"American Hero" by Bess Wohl at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in 2013.

Artists Repertory Theatre Announces a Season of Premieres for 2016–17

The season brings comedy and light to the many struggles of pursuing happiness and the American Dream.

PORTLAND, ORE.: Artists Repertory Theatre has announced its 2016–17 season, including a world premiere and four regional premieres.

“Next season features a diverse, exhilarating, and provocative mix of theatrical styles from intimate drama to bold satire, from musical theatre to classic comedy,” said artistic director Dámaso Rodriguez in a statement. “Each of these wildly different stories explores how families—biological, chosen, situational, or ideological—can cross boundaries and unite or divide individuals over something they believe will make their lives better.”

The season begins with the regional premiere of Trevor, by Nick Jones, about a 200-pound chimp working to revive his career in show business.

Next will be the regional premiere of Bess Wohl’s American Hero, a satirical comedy about a trio of sandwich artists trying to get by after they are abandoned by their fast-food franchise.

Following will be the regional premiere of Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, which takes place on Christmas Eve on the banks of the Potomac River with abolitionists, assassins, slaves, freemen, Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, and President Lincoln all pursuing their paths to liberation and preparing for the holidays.

Next will be the regional premiere of Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime, about an aging woman struggling to remember her life and an artificial version of her late husband who helps her hold onto her memories.

Following is the regional premiere of Charise Castro Smith’s Feathers and Teeth, a dark comedy about an angsty teenager dealing with the loss of her mother. When her father’s new girlfriend, the boy next door, and some freaky little creatures join, events escalate.

Next is the world premiere of  Yussef El Guindi’s The Talented Ones, about two immigrants whose marriage unravels as they chase the American Dream. The play is Artists Rep’s first new-play development commission for Table|Room|Stage as part of the Oregon Community Foundation’s “Creative Heights Initiative.”

The season will conclude with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. An all-female cast will take on the 19th century comedy about marriage, manners, and social climbing.

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