Portland Playhouse Returns Home With SCARLET

Portland Playhouse Returns Home With SCARLET

After ten months of renovations to their North Portland theatre, Portland Playhouse joyfully returns home for the third production of their tenth anniversary season, Scarlet. The new musical, based on the novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a fitting homecoming production, taking the strong bones of a classic and giving it another look from a fresh angel.

Condemned by her community, Hester fights to build a life for her and her daughter in Puritan Boston, Massachusetts. Funny, sweet, and heroic; the new musical based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter takes back Hester's story from the hands of the American canon and gives Hester agency in her own narrative.

The original score, lyrics and book by this North Portland playwright Michelle Horgen features classic duets between lovers, bawdy barroom sing-a-longs for the ensemble and heartfelt harmonies between mother and daughter and brings into focus the relationships women cherish and challenge, both centuries ago and today.

The stellar cast features Portland favorites Rebecca Teran, Susannah Mars, Isaac Lamb, Darius Pierce, Dana Green and more.

Portland audiences who experienced A Light in the Piazza or Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Playhouse have experienced the magic Portland Playhouse brings to musical theatre. This is the first production of this new musical, debut work from Horgen, it has the chops to fill a Broadway stage and those lucky enough to see will be able to say "I saw it first."

Additional support in developing Scarlet comes from Portland Playhouse's media partner Bitch Media, a Portland-based, nonprofit, independent, feminist media organization dedicated to providing and encouraging an engaged, thoughtful feminist response to mainstream media and popular culture.

Further support provided by PHAME, inspiring individuals with developmental disabilities to lead full, creative lives through arts education and performance.

With a Master's in Music with a focus on conducting,, Michelle Horgen is often seen at the piano or holding a conductor's baton. She has directed the PSU vocal jazz ensemble, spend time as the choral director for Lower Columbia College, and as a freelance pianist and conductor. And after spending fifteen years teaching choir and theater in public schools where she directed and accompanied dozens of musicals, she took a year off to finish writing the first draft of Scarlet. During that year she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a demo album, and began submitting the show to festivals. When Scarlet was accepted into the Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival in Auburn, NY and then the New York Musical Theater Festival in New York City, she took the leap and left the classroom to focus on composing and writing full-time. She is thrilled to have this first full staging at Portland Playhouse. Love and gratitude to husband Garen for taking this leap with her.

After ten months working outside their theatre home in NE Portland's King Neighborhood, Portland Playhouse announces that it will return to its space in a historical church building at 602 Prescott Street in mid February and will stage its first production of Scarlet in the renovated space starting February 28.

The renovation dramatically improves the experience of Portland Playhouse patrons as staff alike. Additional bathrooms and professional dressing rooms, and new heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems make the unconventional space an ideal venue for a company that represents the best of Portland - casual and comfortable but very high quality with respectful nod to the past and an eye toward the future.

As the capital campaign to raise nearly $2.5 million closes in on its goal, the second phase f the project is set to begin. A new shop will allow sets to be built onsite, saving both time and resources. A new community gathering space and rehearsal studio will make space for additional programming and increase the number of community events hosted by the company.

PORTLAND PLAYHOUSE, now in its tenth season of making theatre for diverse audiences in Portland, is a space for people of all backgrounds to come together to celebrate the complexity of our shared human condition. Portland Playhouse is dedicated to producing quality, intimate, performances in which the interaction between artists and audience is paramount. We envision a world awakened by the wonder of theatre.

Box Office: (503) 488-5822


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