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Portland Playhouse Teams Up With Many Hats Collaboration to Produce Charles Grant's MATTER

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MATTER will stream for free on both organizations websites from September 25 - October 1.

Portland Playhouse Teams Up With Many Hats Collaboration to Produce Charles Grant's MATTER

Portland Playhouse is teaming up with local company Many Hats Collaboration to co-produce a video of a solo theater work written and performed by actor Charles Grant. The 15 minute piece, Matter, will stream for free on both organizations websites from September 25 - October 1.

Matter first debuted in 2017 as part of an evening of solo works marking the culmination of the Playhouse's apprenticeship program, where Grant spent the 2016-17 season. Grant will now remount the work in collaboration with director James Dixon, with whom a previous partnership resulted in multiple Drammy nominations for Fuse Theatre Ensemble's Bootycandy. Fellow 2016-2017 apprentice, actor and videographer Tamera Lyn will shoot and edit the piece for video.

"In an ideal situation, there would be no need to remount this show, and yet here we are in 2020 dealing with the same issues - countless murders of Black people at the hands of police across the nation," said conceiver/performer Grant. "Matter is my way of trying to understand what is actually going on, and I hope it can serve as an opportunity for all of us to move past just talking about it, and take action to prove that Black lives really matter."

Inspired by recent (and not so recent) events, Matter follows the quest of one young Black man looking to find answers to police brutality and gun violence. Determined to save Black lives, he seeks to sort out the noise of opposing viewpoints and social division with a methodical examination of facts. As his theatrical investigation uncovers patterns of senseless violence and clues lead him to the likelihood of his own death, the reality and tragedy of lives lost begins to truly hit home.

Matter is a searingly personal portrait as told through the lens of a Black Everyman. The piece uses movement, song, projection and sound, with movement direction by Wallenfels and sound design by Sharath Patel. By exploring how news and media affect perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement, Matter centers the embodied experience of being continually bombarded with tragic evidence of the systemic racism and injustice that is built into our country's criminal justice system.

The co-production of Matter marks the second year of Many Hats Collaboration's Five in Five Initiative. Starting with 2019's The Undertaking, the company's challenge is to create five new works between 2019-2023 which use collaborative practice to increase inclusion and representation on and behind Portland's stages.

The video of Matter will be made available for free on both Many Hats Collaboration's and Portland Playhouse's websites from September 25-October 1. Matter is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Ronni Lacroute, Virginia Belt and Curt Frye, and Charlotte Rubin.



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