“What began as a series of dramatic monologues representing radically different perspectives between police and African Americans has now become a living conversation,” stated Red Door Project artistic director Kevin Jones in a press release. “It’s our best effort yet.”
The Evolve Experience, which is built around first-person narratives from police officers, judges and Black community members, originated in 2019, when Red Door Project produced Hands Up, a show featuring dramatic monologues exploring the intersection of the Black experience and the criminal justice system.
During a talkback for Hands Up, Red Door Project says a Portland police officer said: “I want every cop I work with to see this show. How can this happen?” That led to the creation of a police-themed companion show (titled Cop Out: Beyond Black, White & Blue), which was ultimately combined with Hands Up to create The Evolve Experience.
“I felt it was important to merge the two pieces,” Jones said. “I want audiences to experience both points of view at the same time, which can be really challenging and even dissonant at times. But that’s where the real work takes place: right at the intersection of our deepest divides.”
Performers in The Evolve Experience include Joseph Bertòt and La’Tevin Alexander, the actor and Confrontation Theatre artistic director who, in 2022, was named one of WW’s most influential people in the arts.
Tickets for The Evolve Experience, available via Portland’5, are $24.