Sarah Ruhl's celebrated Passion Play shows three disparate communities staging the death and resurrection of Christ. Part I is set in 1575 in northern England, right before the play was outlawed by Queen Elizabeth; Part II hops to 1934 Bavaria as Hitler rises to power; and the climactic Part III is set in post-Vietnam South Dakota. For their seasonlong immersion within the oeuvre of Ruhl, Profile Theatre and Shaking the Tree Theatre's founding director Samantha Van Der Merwe are reorganizing the three-part Play into two parts and staging them at different theaters, at different times, while retaining the same cast and crew. This is the first attempt at following a stray suggestion from the playwright for an idealized cross-town production. Parts I and II are at Profile, and two weeks later Part III resurrects the drama at Shaking the Tree. Parts I and II are at Profile Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 242-0080, profiletheatre.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday and 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9-13. $15-$32. Part III is at Shaking the Tree, 823 SE Grant St., 235-0635, shaking-the-tree.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 25-Oct. 24. $20-$25.
A rhythmic drama steeped in Cuban compositions and choreography, this world premiere brings three-time Grammy-nominated band Tiempo Libre together with Artists Rep's new resident director, Dámaso Rodriguez, and a large company of 21 actors and dancers. Set in Cuba and America, and filled with Latin musical numbers, Cuba Libre tells the story of a bandleader on the verge of success and toys with themes of politics, ambition and romance. Artists Repertory Theatre at the Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 241-1278, artistsrep.org. Oct. 3- Nov. 8. $35.
Post5 founder Ty Boice helms this production of Peter Shaffer's notorious horse play, Boice's last before he moves to Seattle. A controversial mix of religion, sensuality and neuroses, Equus follows child psychologist Dr. Martin Dysart as he tries to cure a shy teen of his religious obsession with horses. As the psychological therapy delves deeper, Dysart is ultimately forced to confront his own perspective. Based on the real-life case of an English boy who blinded six horses, the 1975 Tony Award winner for Best Play is known for starring a nude, 17-year-old Daniel Radcliffe at its West End show and Anthony Hopkins as Dysart on Broadway. Post5 Theatre, 1666 SE Lambert St., 971-258-8584, post5theatre.org. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays, Oct. 16-Nov. 14. $15-$20.
Remme's Run opened to rave reviews during last winter's Fertile Ground festival, and local audiences have anxiously anticipated the world premiere of this ambitious multimedia presentation. Crafted from historical accounts of the Oregon Territory by writer-director (and two-time Oregon Book Award nominee) Wayne Harrel, it recounts the tale of a cattleman's desperate ride north from Sacramento to save his fortune and start a family on Sauvie Island. Animated backdrops, photographic projections, and an immersive milieu of era-appropriate actors situated throughout the theater bring the second-grade history lesson to life. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 220-2646, cohoproductions.org. 7:30 pm, Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays, Oct. 16-Nov. 7. $18-$55.
The Realistic Joneses
Following up the local company's celebrated production of Will Eno's Middletown last fall, Third Rail and director Rebecca Lingafelter bring another one of the Obie Award winner's recent achievements to the new stage at the Imago Theatre. The Realistic Joneses, Eno's Broadway debut (starring Toni Collette and Marisa Tomei), doesn't start with much of a premise. It's an elongated meet-and-greet between new neighbors, but Eno's deft writing and addled characters highlight the absurd, making the mundane interaction between strangers poignant and powerful. Third Rail Repertory Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 235-1101, thirdrailrep.org. 7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays, Oct. 23-Nov. 14.
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