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Gary Cole and CoHo Productions Present BLACK BOX: PAGE TO STAGE

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Gary Cole and CoHo Productions Present BLACK BOX: PAGE TO STAGE

As CoHo Productions works to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are experimenting with ways to share theatre with their audiences from a distance. Artists across the board are grappling with this same dilemma, adapting their work for new platforms that allow instant-access, enabling artists to share the spontaneity and immediacy of live performance from the safety of your home.

In response to these new realities, CoHo Productions' cofounder Gary Cole is bringing a virtual experience to CoHo as a unique fundraising campaign for COVID-19 relief, benefiting area arts and cultural organizations. On July 24th, the red carpet will be rolled out for the digital opening of a limited "Page to Stage" run featuring scenes adapted from Black Box, Gary Cole's debut novel. BLACK BOX revolves around a BLACK BOX theater very much like CoHo's home in Northwest Portland. Scenes from the novel will be performed live for socially distanced media representatives and captured on video. Due to the continuing public health restrictions on Portland theaters, there will be no subsequent live performances, but each week of the run will feature an online event, such as the release of a new scene on video, or an interactive "talkback" with the actors, author, and CoHo Producing Artistic Director. The virtual run will continue until Portland theaters have fully reopened and plays can be staged without restrictions. Funds raised from this campaign will go towards direct relief for local arts and cultural organizations through the Oregon Arts and Cultural Recovery Program, established by the Oregon Community Foundation.

Tickets are on sale now through CoHo's online box office, and will be priced at a suggested donation amount. A patron purchasing a "Box Seat" (suggested donation of $50) will receive a copy of BLACK BOX and invitations to the online talkbacks. Patrons purchasing a "Front & Center Box Seat" (suggested donation of $100) will receive a signed copy of the novel with a custom inscription and a call-in by the author to a book club of the patron's choice, as well as invitations to the online talkbacks. All ticket prices include shipping and handling fees for the distribution of Black Box.

Set largely in Portland, BLACK BOX is a suspenseful story of players, on stage and off, making deals to save or sell their souls. Several actresses, a critic, and a patron form a set of dramatic triangles as their ambitions collide within the confines of a BLACK BOX theater. The scenes that will be performed during the run portray the increasingly intimate relationship between Karin, an actress turned socialite who decides to make a return to the stage, and the younger Ned, a privileged writer who is forced to take a job as a theater critic after the mysterious death of his father. The role of Ned will be played by James Luster, and Karin by Marcella Laasch. Videography by Robert Randall.

Black Box author Gary Cole also wrote the first play produced by CoHo back in 1995. The company is marking its 25th anniversary this year. Cole, now a resident of Chapel Hill, NC, has agreed to donate 500 copies of the novel in support of this campaign and to provide additional copies at cost, if needed.

"We are delighted to collaborate with Gary on this innovative campaign raising desperately needed funds to relieve the devastation of COVID-19 on arts and culture in our region," says CoHo Producing Artistic Director Philip Cuomo. "While we know it's only a limited run, we are also thrilled to have performers back in the CoHo Theatre and to be able to offer those performances to an online audience."

75 percent of campaign proceeds will be donated to the Oregon Arts and Culture Recovery Program established by the Oregon Community Foundation. The remaining proceeds will be retained by CoHo, to cover the substantial operating losses incurred during the closure, and cancellation of numerous performances.

OF NOTE: Seats purchased as part of "Black Box: Page to Stage" do not include tickets to any future performances at CoHo Theatre. BLACK BOX contains mature content and is intended for adult audiences.

For more information and to purchase tickets from the box office, visit or purchase directly HERE.

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