It is January and the skies of Portland are an angry grey, the streets are as wet and soggy as your drowning sense of hope and the air smells a bit like a wet dog. You haven’t seen the sun since November and you are in no mood to be Pollyannaed. You want to commiserate with other Pacific North Westerners. You want acknowledgement that life is grim and difficult, you want a little serious live theater.
Fortunately, several of Portland’s theater companies are presenting plays that offer catharsis and comfort in these dark days. There are several thought provoking dramas in town this winter which address such heavy topics as sex trafficking, sexual abuse and the way our idols effect our lives. Each of the plays is certain to evoke hours of discussion and debate which will give you something to do instead of cry and eat until spring.
Through January 23, 2016
If you prefer your drama to be political, you may want to check out Olga Sanchez’s play which is based on local stories about teen sex trafficking and is part of the Fertile Ground Festival.
According to the shows press release the play was,”created in collaboration with Planned Parenthood.” The intention of the show is to open up a dialog about sexual health in underserved neighborhood.
Broken Promises runs Thursdays through Saturdays with a matinee on Sunday, January. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets to the show are $5.00 To $30.00.
Through February 6, 2016
The Sowelu Theater Company presents this play by David Rabe, about the life of a molestation victim who becomes a bisexual go-go dancer. The play details the dancers many affairs and her friendship with a gay neighbor. The play was directed by Joseph Papp and was nominated for a 1974 Tony Award.
Although the play was originally set in 1960’s the Sowelu production is set in modern day Portland. There is actually a strip club in Portland called the Boom Boom Room and there are more strip clubs here per capita than anywhere else in the country.
In the Boom Boom Room Was David Rabe’s fifth play. He is most famous for his play Hurlyburly, about a group of unethical Hollywood players.
The play runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the show are $12.00 to $25.00.
Forever Ellyn Bye Studio at the Armory
January, 30 to March 20, 2016
This one woman show by Dael Olrlandersmith’s takes a look at her own personal history while visiting the graves of those people she has idealized.
Dael Olrlandersmith’s is an actress, poet and playwright. She grew up in public housing in 1960’s Harlem. She is best known for her play, Beauty’s Daughter which was another one woman show about Ms. Olrlandersmith’s life from the time she was 13 to 30. Most of her work is autobiographical.
Forever takes us to the famed, Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris which is the final resting place of many famous artists including Marcel Proust and Jim Morrison. When Ms. Olrlandersmith’s visits his grave it unleashes a flood of memories about her childhood in New York and becoming an artist including having her life threatened for liking a white artist.
The show contrast her real life and the people in it to those people she has idolized and illustrates the hand they all had in shaping the person she is today.
The show begins on January, 30 and runs Tuesdays to Sundays at 7:30 p.m. With matinees at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and Thursdays at noon. Tickets to the show are $25.00.
Eliza Gale – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
Eliza Gale began her blogging career interviewing aspiring actors and industry professionals on a Los Angeles based website called Curvewire. She started www.elizagalesintervviews in 2012 and has interviewed over three hundred people about their jobs and businesses since then. She has contributed many interviews to 360drinks.com, which is a Portland based happy-hour website. She also writes for Examiner.com and AXS.com.