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Ellen Margolis' PERICLES WET Makes World Premiere this December at Portland Shakes

Ellen Margolis' PERICLES WET Makes World Premiere this December at Portland ShakesPortland Shakespeare Project presents the world premiere of Pericles Wet, by Portland playwright Ellen Margolis. Commissioned by Portland Shakes, Pericles Wet is a masterful adaptation of William Shakespeare's Pericles directed by Michael Mendelson. The show will run from December 1 to December 17 on Artists Rep's Alder Stage.

Pericles Wet is a contemporary and visceral reimagining of a poignant fable that was inspired by Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre. When Pericles, a young prince, vies for the hand of a neighboring princess, he recognizes in her father's riddle a coded secret. Facing certain death if he reveals this dark secret, Pericles flees, abandoning Princess Hesperides, who sees in his departure the loss of her last hope. While she comforts herself with empty curses, Pericles carries a burden of guilt with him as he travels the world and encounters adventures, silly, romantic and chilling.

Playwright Ellen Margolis says this about the show: When the opportunity came up to work with Proscenium Journal and Portland Shakespeare Project, I had an electric realization, "Yes, time to dig into Pericles!" And then as I wrote, it became more about the position of someone who witnesses a violation and must make a decision, and less about the daughter and her abuse-although we hear from her pretty strongly as well. Pericles Wet is about Pericles's role as a witness, and it's also about how life surprises him and beats him up.

Pericles Wet was commissioned (2015) and workshopped (2016) by Portland Shakespeare Project and by Proscenium Live! an annual new play showcase which is sponsored by Proscenium Journal and Portland Shakespeare Project.

For tickets and more information visit Arts People.


Ellen Margolis is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays, which have been produced at theatres and festivals throughout the United States, include Licking Batteries, Calumnies, American Soil, How to Draw Mystical Creatures, What We Thought, Second Career, Prime, and A Little Chatter, which appears in a collection of baseball plays from Mile Square Theatre. Her most recent play, Hide, will be produced at Pacific University in October of 2017 under the direction of Matthew B. Zrebski. Ellen has received commissions from Proscenium Theatre Journal & the Portland Shakespeare Project, Teen West, Mile Square Theatre, Shaking-the-Tree Studio, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Her work has been published B. Smith & Kraus; Playscripts, Inc.; YouthPLAYS; and in the Proscenium Theatre Journal. She is also the editor of Singular Voices, a book of monologues from the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Her plays have received awards or recognition from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, the New York International Fringe Festival, the Trustus Foundation, the Jane Chambers Competition, the National 10-Minute Play Contest, and the Oregon New Play Program. She is currently at work on a musical for children, based on stories by Crockett Johnson. Ellen teaches in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Pacific University.


Michael Mendelson is the Artistic Director of Portland Shakespeare Project and a Resident Artist at Artists Repertory Theatre. Well known in Portland as an actor, director and teacher, Michael received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Washington's Professional Actors Training Program. While in New York City, he studied with Tanya Berezin. Michael directed The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and Lear's Follies for Portland Shakespeare Project. Other directing credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, The Understudy, Intimate Apparel; and both directed and starred in Mistakes Were Made for Artists Rep., Love's Labour's Lost (Northwest Classical Theatre Company), Stones In His Pockets (Public House Theatre), As Is (Key Productions), The Meaning of Prayer (Verbatim Productions), and staged readings of Botticelli (Profile Theatre) and Dinner With Friends (Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre). His acting credits include Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night directed by Lisa Harrow (Portland Shakespeare Project), Iago in Othello directed by Bill Alexander, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Essex in Macbeth directed by Liz Huddle, also Jon in Marjorie Prime, Oliver in Trevor, and roles in The Skin of Our Teeth, Mothers and Sons, Tribes, Blithe Spirit, The Quality of Life, Alfred Lunt in Ten Chimneys, Andrei Borchevsky in Red Herring and Sherlock in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, The Miracle Worker, God of Carnage, The Cherry Orchard, Superior Donuts, Othello, Design for Living, Holidazed, Becky's New Car, Three Sisters, Eurydice, House, Garden, Orson's Shadow, Mr. Marmalade, Theater District, and Love! Valour! Compassion! Other local credits include work with Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Portland, Profile Theatre, Miracle Theatre, Northwest Classical Theatre Company, triangle productions!, Tygres Heart Shakespeare, Portland Center Stage, A Contemporary Theatre, Reader's Theatre Repertory, Cygnet Theatre and New Rose Theatre. New York credits include Revolving Shakespeare Company, Theatre 1010, The Normal Heart (Lincoln Center/Clark Studio Theatre), Genesius Guild and The Barrow Group. Regional credits include work at PCPA Theaterfest, Paper Mill Playhouse, A Contemporary Theatre, Saint Michael's Playhouse, Penobscot Theatre Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, Idaho Rep, Attic Theater and Wisconsin, Utah and Berkeley Shakespeare Festivals. Michael is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.


Portland Shakes is a nonprofit theatre company in residence at Artists Repertory Theatre dedicated to educating, enriching and entertaining audiences by producing classical works and contemporary works associated with classical material. Since its founding in 2010 by Michael Mendelson and Karen Rathje, more than 4,500 people have enjoyed the company's productions of William Shakespeare's As You Like It, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and The Turn of the Screw, as well as a many audience enrichment and education events. More information at

Photo credit: Design by Aaron C. Yeagle

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