PORTLAND, ORE.: Profile Theatre has announced that its 2020-21 season, titled Generations II, will be presented as audio plays and podcasts because of the coronavirus pandemic. The audio plays will be free for Profile Theatre members to listen to for a month, and non-members can purchase audio plays on a sliding scale for 24-hour rentals. The winter and spring installments of Profile Theatre On Air will be announced in November 2020 and February 2021.
“Our 2020–21 season was intended as the second part of our two-year exploration of Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and we remain committed to these groundbreaking artists,” said artistic director Josh Hecht in a statement. “We’ve developed a new platform to share their extraordinary work which we’re calling Profile Theatre On Air. We will deliver full-length audio plays, artist interviews, and other content through this platform. Throughout the fall, winter and spring, we will release the first-class storytelling you love through this new digital channel, which you can enjoy anywhere: at home, in the car, or while enjoying Oregon’s great outdoors. I think it’s safe to say that Season 23 at Profile Theatre is not what we imagined when we dreamed up this two-year exploration! Who could have known how radically our world would change and then change again? One thing remains constant: our need for art that opens our minds and softens our hearts, art that deepens our collective compassion.”
First up will be Lynn Nottage’s Mlima’s Tale (Oct. 7-Nov. 4), presented as an audio play. The play explores the ivory trade through the journey of an African elephant’s tusks. Reginald L. Douglas will direct.
Next will be the audio play Hot ’N’ Throbbing (Nov. 4-June 20) by Paula Vogel, a one-act play about the intersection of pornography and domestic violence. Jamie M. Rea will direct.
The final audio play will be Nottage’s Las Meninas (Dec. 2-Jan. 5, 2021), about Queen Marie-Therese’s illicit romance with her African servant. Dawn Monique Williams will direct.
The programming will also include two community podcast series. “Community Profile: Voices From the Real World” will feature participants from the company’s affinity spaces for LGBTQIA+ people and Black women. The second series, “Satellite: Beyond the Page,” will explore the audio plays through artist profiles, lectures, concerts, and more.
Founded in 1997, Profile Theatre dedicates each season to an in-depth exploration of playwrights’ work.