WHERE WE STAND Opens Tonight at Portland Stage

The production stars Tracey Conyer Lee.

By: May. 23, 2021
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WHERE WE STAND Opens Tonight at Portland Stage

Portland Stage brings Donnetta Lavinia Grays' work to life in Portland, Maine, and as instructed by both the playwright and the director, Portland, Maine is the setting and one of the most important elements of the play.

To represent the spirit of the community, scenic designer (and Executive & Artistic Director) Anita Stewart, reached out to Pandora LaCasse, the artist behind the inspirational Portland area downtown winter lights to ask if they could be used on the set. LaCasse complied. (Video of staff and LaCasse moving lights to the theater.) "When I thought about how to represent Portland," Stewart explained, "I thought about the light signature of the city, the creativity, and the beauty that can come from simple things and can hold magical sway. Even in their raw state as a structural object, they're very interesting to look. It felt like a perfect gesture."

Where We Stand is a modern fable set here and now asking what does justice look like in our community? A lonely soul played by Tracey Conyer Lee, an Actors' Equity Association member who returns to Portland Stage after her role in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, is tempted by the devil's kindness on a fateful trip to the crossroads. "He" asks for forgiveness, forcing the community to decide between mercy or justice in this epic tale that weaves humor, music, and poetry.

In the first production meeting for Where We Stand, Kevin R. Free embraced Portland Stage as one of his artistic homes. "In a time where the pandemic has broken the bonds of community, and our community thinks they want to just sit back and be entertained, doing a play about whom our communities embrace is courageous. I admire you and appreciate you even more for it. It makes me feel even more like a part of your family because this is the kind of work that I have made and set my hat on in my career - that there is no barrier or boundary between us and our audience. How do we do that with this play during COVID times? We'll figure it out; it's going to be great. We are about to do something really wonderful for the community of Portland and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it."

The play is performed live on stage through June 6 in front of limited and socially distanced audiences and masks will be required. A digital on demand production will be available for viewing June 2 through June 20.

Director Kevin R. Free hints at a surprise for the audiences. "The other thing I want to mention, and I don't want to give away anything[...], [about this play]; I just want to reiterate that this play has to grow out of what is happening in our community. It's got to be a literal grassroots effort. The play itself, just like the songs in it, come out of the earth. The play has to come from the universe, and the earth, and just... out of the grass and grow in front of us before we know it's happening; otherwise, it won't work. "

Cast and Creative:

ACTOR Tracey Conyer Lee*

DIRECTOR Kevin R. Free

SCENIC & COSTUME DESIGNER Anita Stewart**

LIGHT DESIGNER Jamie Grant

SOUND DESIGNER Seth Asa Sengel

STAGE MANAGER Myles C. Hatch*

MUSIC DRAMATURG Nehemiah Luckett

* member of Actors Equity Association | ** member of United Scenic Arts

Box Office Email: boxoffice@portlandstage.org

Tickets Online: https://www.portlandstage.org/show/where-we-stand/



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