Portland, OR. Portland Center Stage at The Armory celebrated the World Premiere of a new play: Redwood. It stars Brittany K. Allen, a New York-based actor and writer. The play focuses on a young black woman’s relationship with her white boyfriend and how it’s thrown into turmoil when they discover her ancestors were enslaved by her boyfriend’s ancestors. Redwood also features a hip-hop dance chorus that helps explore a way to live in the present with the ghosts of the past. Pictured above at the November 1st’s opening night party are Brittany K. Allen, Hannah Rice, Orion Bradshaw, Ashley Mellinger, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jamie Lynne Simons, and Andrea Vernae. (Photography by Kate Szrom/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage at The Armory.)

Brittany K. Allen and Nick Ferrucci at the opening night of Redwood.

Jamie Lynne Simons, Hannah Rice, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Orion Bradshaw, and Ashley Mellinger at the opening night of Redwood.

Jennifer Lanier and Tyrone Mitchell Henderson at the opening night of Redwood.

Eva Steingrueber-Fagan with Redwood costume designer Alison Heryer.

Nick Ferrucci and Darrell Grand Moultrie

Jenn Thompson, Lauren Modica, and Katie Nguyen at the opening night of Redwood.

Andrea Vernae, Ashley Mellinger, Orion Bradshaw, and Charles Grant at the opening night of Redwood.

Chip Miller, Marissa Wolf, and Darrell Grand Moultrie

Associate Producer Chip Miller made his directing debut at The Armory with his vibrant theatrical production. Darrell Grand Moultrie, who has choreographed for Beyoncé and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, also made his debut at The Armory choreographing Redwood.

Miller states, “How much of our identity is something we choose? And how much of it is tied to our genealogy – the traumas and joys of our ancestors being passed along to us through generations? Brittany is able to ask these challenging questions while maintaining a true sense of joy, surprise and theatricality continue to astound me. Plus, there’s dancing!”

Marissa Wolf and Chip Miller

A short video of Redwood:

 

From Portland Center Stage at The Armory:

Portland Center Stage at The Armory is the largest theater company in Portland and among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994 and is under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Managing Director Cynthia Fuhrman. Around 160,000 visitors attend The Armory annually to enjoy a mix of classic, contemporary, and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. Ten productions are offered this season, in addition to hundreds of community events created to serve the diverse populations in the city. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 27 world premieres and presents an annual new works festival, JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Home to two theaters, The Armory (originally built in 1891) opened its doors in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue in the country, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.

THE 2019-2020 SEASON

The 2019-2020 season is funded in part by Season Superstars Tim and Mary Boyle, Mary and Don Blair, and Lead Corporate Champion Umpqua Bank. Further support comes from Season Sponsors Advance Gender Equity in the Arts (AGE); the Regional Arts and Culture Council; and the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for Redwood comes from Ronni Lacroute, Ellyn Bye, and Hilary Krane and Kelly Bulkeley. Here’s a link with more information: https://www.pcs.org/

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