REDWOOD Comes to Portland Center Stage
This October, Brittany K. Allen will star in the world premiere of her play Redwood at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. In Redwood, a young Black woman's relationship with her white boyfriend is thrown into turmoil when her uncle's exploration of their family's lineage reveals that her ancestors were enslaved by her boyfriend's ancestors. Guided by a hip-hop dance class chorus, this singular American story is about finding a way to live and love in a present that's overpopulated with ghosts.
Associate Producer Chip Miller makes his directing debut at The Armory with this vibrant, humor-filled, theatrical production. Darrell Grand Moultrie, who has choreographed for Beyoncé and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, makes his debut at The Armory choreographing this dance-infused play.
"How much of our identity is something we choose? And how much of it is tied to our genealogy - the traumas and joys of our ancestors being passed along to us through generations?" Miller said. "That Brittany is able to ask these challenging questions while maintaining a true sense of joy, surprise, and theatricality, continues to astound me. Plus, there's dancing!"
The Armory will host various free community events, including: a pre-show reception on Oct. 26 featuring the Genealogical Forum of Oregon's President Vince Patton and Director at Large Julie Ramos, founder of the African-American Interest Group at GFO; a pre-show conversation on Nov. 13 with Redwood director Chip Miller and playwright and star Brittany K. Allen; and additional discussions with cast, crew, and community guests. Details will be posted at www.pcs.org/redwood closer to the show.
Making her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut, Brittany K. Allen is a New York-based actor and writer. Her plays have been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and elsewhere. Allen holds commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Manhattan Theatre Club/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She's a member of the emerging writers group at The Public Theater, the Obie Award winning EST/Youngblood, and was a 2017 Van Lier Playwriting Fellow at the Lark. Redwood was selected for the 2017 Kilroys List and will be produced in 2020 at Jungle Theater and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Her recent New York performance credits include Gloria: A Life (Off-Broadway), Minor Character (New Saloon; New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Ensemble), and workshops with Atlantic Theater Company, Clubbed Thumb, and New York Stage and Film. Allen received her B.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center.
Brittany K. Allen plays Meg Durbin. Nick Ferrucci (Crossing Mnisose and Astoria: Part One and Two at The Armory) plays Meg's partner Drew Tatum. Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (First National Tour: Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; Much Ado About Nothing at The Public Theater) play's Meg's uncle Stevie Wilson. Jennifer Lanier (Well and Let Me Down Easy at Profile Theatre; Men on Boats at Third Rail Repertory) plays Meg's mom, Beverly Durbin. Charles Grant (Bootycandy at Fuse Theatre Ensemble, Jump at Confrontation Theatre/Milagro Theatre) plays Stevie's dance instructor. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a chorus of Orion Bradshaw (2010's Hamlet and 2007's The Taming of the Shrew at Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as Tatum; Ashley Mellinger (Persephone with Bedrock Theatre, The Most Massive Woman Wins at Deep End Theatre) as Harriet/Hattie; and Andrea Vernae (The Wolves at Portland Playhouse, JUMP at Confrontation Theatre/Milagro Theatre) as Allie/Alameda.
Chip Miller (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play and Welcome to Fear City at Kansas City Repertory Theatre) leads a creative team of Choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie (Daddy at The New Group, Sugar in Our Wounds at Manhattan Theatre Club; a choreographer on Beyoncé's "Mrs. Carter Show" World Tour), Scenic Designer Brittany Vasta (Octet and Rinse, Repeat at Signature Theatre), Costume Designer Alison Heryer (Crossing Mnisose and Bedlam's Sense and Sensibility at Portland Center Stage at The Armory), Lighting Designer Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Scotland, PA at Roundabout Theatre Company, KPOP at Ars Nova), Sound Designer Phil Johnson (Cop Out and Hands Up with the August Wilson Red Door Project), Stage Manager Jamie Lynne Simons, and Production Assistant Dana Petersen.
To Purchase: Regular tickets range from $25 to $87. Tickets may be purchased at www.pcs.org, 503.445.3700, or in-person from the box office (128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR). Ticket specials are listed at www.pcs.org/tickets/ticket-specials. Rush tickets are $25. Students and patrons who are 30 or younger get 50% off tickets in seating areas 1-3. Active duty or veteran military personnel and their families get $15 off regular adult tickets. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. All prices vary by date and time, and are subject to change.