PCS Blog

The 2012–2013 Season at Portland Center Stage

Posted by Natalie Gilmore | 28 February 2012

Are you ready for an amazing ride? Get lost in the magical forest of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved tales, take a harrowing journey alongside an award-winning war photographer, converse with the original Portland foodie and get a glimpse of Portland through the eyes of a comedy whiz in the Portland Center Stage 2012-2013 25th Anniversary season.  And it all begins with a dark masterpiece of American musical theater!

Complete information on packages and pricing can be found here; there's a package to fit everyone!



On the Main Stage

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Musical Thriller

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an adaptation by Christopher Bond
Directed by Chris Coleman

September 18–October 21, 2012

“A whopping good, grisly yarn of obsession and destruction.” —The New York Times
“A work of such scope and such daring that it dwarfs every other Broadway musical that even attempts to invite comparison.” —New York Daily News

Widely acknowledged as Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece, Sweeney Todd is set amongst London’s seedy side streets and laced with Sondheim’s characteristically brilliant wit and dark humor. This landmark musical depicts the barber Sweeney Todd’s savage quest for justice and retribution after years of false imprisonment. Aided by harridan pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett, who is secretly in love with him, he sets out to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. Combining comic turns and chilling drama, music hall-style numbers and hauntingly beautiful romantic songs, Sweeney Todd offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Penny Metropulos

November 13–December 23, 2012

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time

As the royals Theseus and Hippolyta prepare to marry, four young lovers from their Athenian kingdom flee to the forest in the wake of parental disapproval. But in the woodland, these lovers’ lives are complicated when they cross paths with feuding faerie royalty. As Oberon and Titania bicker over a changeling child, the mischievous Puck and his sprightly accomplices use herbal spells to hilariously complicate the love-mad quartet’s forest idyll. When a group of local rustics rehearsing a play for the Athens wedding also seek the quiet of the forest, the spells and confusions wrought seem unlikely to ever sort themselves out. But this is William Shakespeare at his most magical and most imaginative, and with a little enchantment, as Puck says “all is mended.”


I Love to Eat

By James Still
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky

January 8–February 3, 2013

“Beautifully captures Beard’s zest for life.” —Indianapolis Star

This new play celebrates the life and talent of a Portland, Oregon original – James Beard.
Before Julia Child, before today’s proliferation of cooking shows and networks, there was James Beard, the first TV chef. He brought fine cooking to the small screen in 1946 and helped establish an American cuisine, but as is often the case with pioneers his early efforts on screen have been lost. He went on to become America’s first “foodie,” and the award bearing his name is still the prize most coveted by chefs. Playwright James Still invites you meet the man described as “the face and belly of American gastronomy” in this play that recreates an evening at Beard’s New York home. PCS will join with Portland’s nationally-recognized food community to honor our homegrown culinary star.


The Whipping Man

By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Rose Riordan

February 26–March 24, 2013

“A compelling Civil War-era drama, filled with fine characterization and unexpected moments of humor.” —The New York Times

In the post-Civil War South, three men are tied to each other by history and faith, but are also bound by secrets. A badly-wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns home at war’s end to find that his family has fled to the countryside. Remaining in the city mansion are two former slaves, also raised by his family as Jews. With Passover upon them, the three men unite to celebrate the holiday, even as they struggle to comprehend their new relationships at a crossroads of personal and national history. The Whipping Man, which premiered in New York earlier this year to great acclaim, is an extraordinary tale of loyalty, deceit and deliverance.


Clybourne Park

By Bruce Norris
Directed by Chris Coleman

April 9–May 5, 2013

“A buzz-saw sharp new comedy.” - The Washington Post
"A spiky and damningly insightful new comedy." - The New York Times

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2011

A white community in 1950s Chicago splinters over the black family about to move in. Fast forward to our present day and the same house represents very different demographics, and neighborhood values and tensions. Decades apart, hilarious and horrifying neighbors pitch a battle over territory and legacy that forces us to consider how far our ideas about race have evolved – or not. When our houses become our homes, and our neighborhoods become our identities, what will we do to protect them? And from what?


Somewhere in Time

Book by Ken Davenport
Music by Doug Katsaros
Lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz
Based on the novel and the Universal Pictures film written by Richard Matheson
Directed by Scott Schwartz

World Premiere

May 28 - June 23, 2013

Young playwright Richard Collier has an encounter with a mysterious old woman on the opening night of his earliest success; she entreats him, to his bewilderment, to “come back to me.” Several years later, with his life and career in disarray, he seeks quiet and contemplation and checks in to a storied hotel from his youth. But his stay at the hotel turns into the journey of a lifetime as he unravels history—and time—to discover a powerful but perhaps impossible love.

The 1980 film of Somewhere in Time is a romantic classic, beloved by several generations of movie goers. This world premiere musical invites those who love the story, and those discovering it for the first time, to experience its magic with original music by Doug Katsaros and lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz, with book by Ken Davenport.

And visit the official Somewhere in Time website. www.somewhereintimethemusical.com.


In the Ellyn Bye Studio

The Body of an American

By Dan O’Brien
Directed by Bill Rauch

World Premiere

October 2–November 4, 2012

War reporter Paul Watson has witnessed some of the most devastating scenes in modern history. As the ghosts of the tragedies he's recorded bear down on him, he crosses paths with playwright Dan O'Brien, who's battling ghosts of his own. In locations as varied as Kabul, Los Angeles and the Canadian High Arctic, the two men form a tentative friendship in a quest for absolution. The Body of an American was a highlight at JAW in 2011.


Venus in Fur

by David Ives
Directed by Nancy Keystone

January 29–March 10, 2013

“As funny as any play currently on Broadway, Venus in Fur is also something darker, stranger and altogether more delicious.” —The New York Times

When a young actress shows up hours late for her appointment, she knows she may have blown her chances at the role. But when her emotionally charged audition for the demanding playwright/director becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex – well, the rules may have all just changed.


The People’s Republic of Portland

By Lauren Weedman
Directed by Rose Riordan

World Premiere

April 30–June 9, 2013

Portland is gathering lots of attention lately – for our sustainability leadership; for our food scene; for being, well, weird. And now we’ve caught the attention of Lauren Weedman, actor/writer of last season’s BUST. In the few months she spent here in the spring of 2011, Lauren’s imagination was also captured by all things Portland, and so we’ve asked her to write a play. About Portland. How will this former Daily Show faux-spondent treat us? What does Portland look like through Weedman’s unique lens? Are we brave enough to find out?


A special holiday offering:

The Santaland Diaries

By David Sedaris
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Starring Darius Pierce as Crumpet

November 27–December 30, 2012

Based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fellow man during the height of the holiday crunch. NPR humorist and best-selling author of When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, and this production has become a Portland holiday tradition.

Comments (8)

Hi Judith,

Your season brochure is in the mail! Thanks so much for your interest. Hope to see you soon at the theater!

- Kinsley, PCS

  • Kinsley Suer
  • 27 Aug 12 04:34

Please send us information on the 2012-13 season with ticket prices, etc.

3411 Country Club Dr. S
Salem, OR 97302

Thank you for your courtesy

  • Judith Heltzel
  • Salem, OR
  • 25 Aug 12 12:53

Just read the email about the schedule change, and I’m thrilled! We (and since I’m already in for next season’s tickets, I feel comfortable in saying “we”) are losing the only, and I mean ONLY, play about which I felt anything less than “Hooray!” when I read it in the original offering. And “Venus in Fur” sounds, well, it sounds like exactly the kind of play I love to see (especially in the Ellyn Bye Studio, where the intimacy gives favorites like “Cymbeline” or “I Am My Own Wife” or “A Feminine Ending” that much more power)—a strong, character-based drama with what sounds like a taut, fast-moving script charged with emotion and tension. (Julie hopes you get Kelley Curran back for this one, she was amazing in both her roles this season.)

So let’s see… you have my favorite Shakespeare play (sorry Henry, sorry Hamlet, Puck is the man—er, merry wanderer of the night), you have Darius Pierce bringing what I’m sure will be his magnificently off-center sensibility to Crumpet the Elf, you have a James Beard bio to whet the appetite of this food writer, you have Lauren Weedman putting a bird on it, you have my “other” favorite artistic director (just in from directing my favorite play by my favorite living playwright, and yes, you can count that as my obligatory “ndz moar Equivocation plzkthxbai”) in another intense drama, you have a musical bio of my favorite female vocalist, you have a play about the Civil war with what sounds like a fantastic twist, and you even have cannibalism, murder, and pretty women—what more could a kid wish for?

  • Scott Fisher
  • Tualatin, OR
  • 08 Jun 12 01:44

Kathy and Steve,

To check on your subscription, please give the box office a call at 503.445.3700.

Hope to see you next season!

- Kinsley Suer, PCS

  • Kinsley Suer
  • 08 May 12 04:10

did i just re-up our subscription for next year? I intended to.

  • kathy and steve johnson
  • 08 May 12 12:19

Looks to be a fabulous season!

  • julie
  • 20 Apr 12 11:51

Hi Marilyn! We’ll get the dates of each production next season added to this blog post in the next day or two.

Thanks so much,

Kinsley Suer, PCS

  • Kinsley Suer
  • 05 Mar 12 07:56

Please make the 2012-13 schedule dates available on line so I can share them with others that don’t get the printed season renewal info.  OR   How do I find them if they are already there?

  • Marilyn Clem
  • Oregon City
  • 03 Mar 12 08:59

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