Will Eno's WAKEY, WAKEY Comes to Portland Playhouse
Portland Playhouse kicks off its 11th Season with Will Eno's Wakey, Wakey. Written during Eno's five year residency at New York's Signature Theatre Company, Wakey, Wakey asks What are we here for? Is time a friend or an enemy? Do we all eventually end up in the same place, but take different routes to get there? This funny, moving, and thought-provoking new play challenges the notion of what really matters and recognizes the importance of life's simple pleasures. (All of which might sound dreary, but there's a chance this will be a really good experience.)
"I wrote Wakey, Wakey mainly because of some great people in my life who are not with us anymore and some wonderful, beautiful people, including my daughter Albertine, who are blessedly very much with us." said Eno, " It's rare to find places where we can mourn, or celebrate, together, and I was thinking that "time" and "space" are two sort of surprising things a play can offer, some room for people to really remember and feel things."
Portland Playhouse co-founder Nikki Weaver was very taken by the work when she saw the production starring Michael Emerson and January LaVoy at Signature. "This play is a delicate, complicated, gentle journey that encourages us all to look more closely at the lives we're living." Weaver will be a part of that journey with audiences this September and October as she takes on the role of Lisa, opposite the character of Guy played by Michael O'Connell, directed by Gretchen Corbett.
Will Eno Wakey, Wakey premiered at the Signature Theater in NY in 2017, directed by the author. The Realistic Joneses appeared on Broadway (2014 Drama Desk Award) and was named USA Today's "Best Play on Broadway." The Open House (2014 Obie Award, Lortel Award for Outstanding Play) was included in Time Magazine's Top 10 Plays of the Year. Thom Pain (based on nothing), a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, will be presented at the Signature Theatre in fall of 2018.
From Gretchen Corbett: "I started directing plays in Los Angeles after I had been an actor there and in NYC for twenty years or so. My first outing was Born Yesterday in a little theatre in Santa Paula, California and I was so scared I wouldn't get it right that I staged the whole show exactly like the Broadway production. It was a great success for the theatre. Imitation, as they say, is a great teacher. I went on to direct at the Odyssey and the Back Alley Theatres in LA and ultimately become the Resident Director for the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre for several years, a theatre dedicated to nurturing new plays and playwrights. When I moved to Portland I founded and for ten years ran The Haven Project which paired underserved children with professional actors and writers to create original theatre. The productions I have directed in Portland include Bo-Nita for Portland Center Stage, Body Awareness and Reasons to Be Pretty for CoHo Theatre, The Alice Event at the Winningstad, Taming of the Shrew for Tygres Heart, The Further Adventures of Anse and Bhule in No Man's Land for Sowelu Theatre, The Lower Rooms for Stark Raving Theatre and then Mia Chung's You For Me For You and Nikki Weaver's Weaving Women Together for Portland Playhouse. Several of the plays I directed received prizes- for the actors, for the designers, for the production, and a couple for me. Everyone likes prizes."
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