Playwrights West Presents the World Premiere of THE SWEATERMAKERS, Now thru 8/30

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Playwrights West Presents the World Premiere of THE SWEATERMAKERS, Now thru 8/30

Playwrights West in association with CoHo Productions presents The Sweatermakers, a world premiere drama by Andrew Wardenaar. The Sweatermakers marks the third year in Playwrights West's ten-year mission to present quality, professional productions of its members' works.

It's one of the worst days of your life. A package arrives. It contains a beautiful, handmade sweater, perfect for you. And maybe, for a moment, you find solace. But where did it come from? Who made it? Confined to their own secluded world, Brin and Henry-a remarkably close sister and brother-craft beautiful sweaters, designed to comfort those in need. One day, exquisite material arrives. It's so striking that Brin can't help but wonder whom it's destined for. The question haunts her until she breaks the rules and ventures out to find its recipient. And the siblings' perfect, self-contained but restrictive world, begins to unravel....

Part mystery, part coming-of-age story, The Sweatermakers-woven with humor, psychological insight, and magic realism-affectionately explores our need for human connections, the change those connections bring, and their sometimes painful consequences.

The world premiere of The Sweatermakers marks Mr. Wardenaar's first full-length production. In 2012, the play won the Portland Civic Theatre Guild's playwriting contest, and they subsequently presented it as a staged reading during the 2013 Fertile Ground Festival.

The Artists

Playwright Andrew Wardenaar has been a member of Playwrights West since 2011. His play Live, From Douglas was featured in Portland Theatre Works' 2009 LabWorks workshop. Another of his plays, Spokes, premiered in 2008 as part of a compilation of short works entitled Me, Me, Me and Ewe. His other works include The Next Smith, Anachronous, The Attendant and Good One, God. Mr. Wardenaar is also a director and recently graduated with an MFA at the University of Portland.

Director Matthew B. Zrebski is a multi-award winning playwright, composer, script consultant, teaching artist, and producer-director whose career has been defined by new play development. He has served as the Artistic Director for Youth Could Know Theatre, Theatre Atlantis, and Stark Raving Theatre-all companies specializing in new work-and, since 1995, has mounted over 40 world premieres. He holds a BFA in Theatre from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

The Sweatermakers' cast includes: Jen Rowe, JR Wickman, Ben Buckley, and Sharon Mann. Designers include: scenic design by Tal Sanders, lighting design by J.D. Sandifer, sound design by Em Gustason, and costume design by Ashton Grace Hull.

The Sweatermakers opens tonight, August 8, 2014, and runs through August 30 at CoHo Theatre (2257 NW Raleigh St, Portland, Oregon). It plays 7:30 PM on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday tickets are $25, or $20 for students and seniors. All seats on Thrifty Thursdays are $15. Tickets can be purchased through CoHo Productions, at www.cohoproductions.org (503-220-2646). For more information see Playwrights West: http://www.playwrightswest.org/sweatermakers/

Playwrights West thanks our generous sponsors: Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate and Frederick & Edie Allen.

About the Author - Andrew Wardenaar has been a member of Playwrights West since February 2011. The world premiere of The Sweatermakers marks his first full-length production. The play has been previously recognized by the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, as winner of their playwriting contest in 2012, and was subsequently presented as a staged reading during the 2013 Fertile Ground Festival. Another of Mr. Wardenaar's plays, Live, from Douglas was featured in a workshop by Portland Theatre Works in 2007. His other plays include: Spokes, The Next Smith, Anachronous, Tower's Down, and Good One, God. Mr. Wardenaar is also a director, and recently graduated from University of Portland's MFA directing program.

About the Director - Matthew B. Zrebski is a multi-award winning playwright, composer, script consultant, teaching artist, and producer-director whose career has been defined by new play development. He has served as the Artistic Director for Youth Could Know Theatre, Theatre Atlantis, and Stark Raving Theatre-all companies specializing in new work-and since 1995, has mounted over 40 world premieres. His notable productions include Joseph Fisher's plays Prometheus Bound, Cupid & Psyche, Faust. Us., and Tundra (Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Recipient) and other plays such as The American Pilot, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In addition to directing, Mr. Zrebski has had many of his own plays and musicals produced, including the recent Ablaze: an a cappella musical thriller. He holds a BFA in Theatre from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

About Playwrights West - Founded in 2009, Playwrights West, a professional theatre company composed of ten Portland playwrights known for the high quality of their work, focuses on presenting top-level productions of its members' work as well as supporting the development of original work in Portland. The ten member playwrights are: Debbie Lamedman, Karin Magaldi, Ellen Margolis, Aleks Merilo, Steve Patterson, Andrea Stolowitz, Andrew Wardenaar, Claire Willett, Patrick Wohlmut, and Matthew B. Zrebski. Drawing upon a growing national movement of playwrights taking the reins for productions of their work, Playwrights West seeks to introduce Portland audiences to compelling, innovative theatrical experiences, while engaging in a dialogue with the Portland theatre community about the rewards of presenting vital new plays by gifted local authors. Playwrights West believes staging new work proves essential to furthering Portland theatre's continued relevance to its audiences and the region's overall culture. New plays provide thrilling, unique evenings at the theatre, while exploring the complex dynamics of the 21st-century human condition. The Sweatermakers marks Playwrights West third full play production in association with CoHo Productions, a premier supporter of new plays and original work.

Photo Credit: Steve Patterson

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