The city’s largest theater company is moving forward with plans to bring performances back to its stages in front of live audiences later this year.
Today, Portland Center Stage announced its 2021-2022 season lineup, which will kick off in October pending pandemic safety guidelines. That schedule features seven plays in total, four of which had been previously scheduled but were scrapped following the lockdown last spring, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. That tender yet haunting show folded just one week into its run in March 2020.
The company traditionally starts its season with an outsize, flashy musical, but this year will instead open with a more intimate show. Frida...A Self Portrait focuses on the life and art of famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who is played by Vanessa Severo, who also wrote the script and previously staged the production at Kansas City Repertory Theatre—PCS artistic director Marissa Wolf’s home base before accepting her position here.
Audiences who had looked forward to last year’s Cambodian Rock Band won’t get a second shot to see that show this time around, but PCS will bring you The Great Leap, which is by the same renowned writer, Lauren Yee. The story also focuses on the themes of family and politics but this time uses basketball as a focal point instead of music.
PCS will wrap up its schedule in May and June with Rent, 25 years after the iconic musical became a Broadway hit.
All but one of the shows can be seen in the Main Theater. That will allow Artists Repertory Theatre and its Art Hub to use the Ellyn Bye Studio as artists in residence at the Armory. That company had to move out of its Southwest Morrison Street building because of construction.
Even though the schedule has been set and PCS organizers remain optimistic, the company knows it may need to push back performances if the pandemic continues to pose a hazard and capacity caps stay in place. Shows will only be staged as long as it is safe to do so, and the theater says it will continue to follow requirements established by the Oregon Health Authority, including mask wearing.
In the case that any performance must be canceled, PCS will offer a full array of ticket exchange and refund options. Subscriptions and single-seat admission for most shows will go on sale on Sept. 15.