The People’s Republic of Portland

April 23 — June 30, 2013
In the Ellyn Bye Studio

By Lauren Weedman
Directed by Rose Riordan
This world premiere play was commissioned by Perkins Coie’s “Innovative Minds,” a philanthropic program designed to recognize and reward intellectual curiosity in our communities.
World Premiere

NOW EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 30! Portland is garnering lots of attention lately—for our leadership in sustainability; for our food scene; for being, well, weird. And now we’ve caught the attention of Lauren Weedman, actor/writer of BUST. In the few months she spent here in the spring of 2011, Lauren’s imagination was 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?

This world premiere play was commissioned by the “Innovative Minds” program at Perkins Coie.


Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Thursday matinees at noon

A full list of performances and dates will appear when you enter the ticketing section of the website.

The running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.

View the cast and creative team bios.

Learn more about accessibility options at PCS.

Check out our guide to Portland.

Reviews and Features

Marty Hughley | The Oregonian [Review 09 May 2013]

Lauren Weedman has been in town for several weeks now, rehearsing and previewing her solo show “The People’s Republic of Portland.” But perhaps her system still hasn’t adjusted in certain respects, such as toleration of the high caffeine levels in the local diet.
     
Then again, maybe Weedman, a Los Angeles writer/actor, is naturally as energetic, quick-witted and, well, jittery as she appeared in Friday’s opening night performance at the Gerding Theater. Darting from anecdote to impersonation, self-deprecation to dance routine, embellishing every observation with a half-formed comic flourish or glancing aside, she at times brought to mind the manic momentum of Robin Williams or Jonathan Winters.

Portland Center Stage commissioned Weedman to write a show about our fair city, but rather than compete with “Portlandia” satire, she riffs wildly within a loose, personal framework: pondering whether Portland’s welcoming weirdness might be right for her at age 44, with a young son, a husband who leaves every summer to work in Alaska, and a growing ambivalence about her careerist life in L.A.
     
She never quite answers the question she sets out near the beginning: “Could I live here?” And in other respects as well, the show still feels like a work in progress, both for its semi-improvisatory flow and a few thematically and technically abrupt transitions.
     
But from her opening tale of encountering a mass-transit proselytizer before the plane even touched down for her first Portland visit, through observant accounts of Pearl District dog chauvinism, geeky trivia competitions, strip clubs, the “ecstatic dance” scene, farmers markets, and so on, Weedman is relentlessly, rapidly funny. Somebody, keep her coffee cup full.

Aaron Scott | Portland Monthly [Review 09 May 2013]

The Los Angeles–based actor and comedian Lauren Weedman has officially drunk the Portland Kool-Aid. Or, given this is Portland, the kombucha. She’s also visited the strip clubs, suffered the baristas’ scours, and been to geek trivia night.

Weedman’s one-woman world premiere production of The People’s Republic of Portland begins with her first touching down in our city two years ago for her debut at Portland Center Stage in another one-woman show, Bust. The next 90 minutes are a caffeine-fueled travelogue through Portland Weird, over the course of which her mispronunciation of WILL-e-mette and ignorance about LEED transform into a tender love of bike paths and farmer’s markets. But although the show is exuberantly funny, in the end, like all vacation recounts, it doesn’t go much of anywhere at all.

Daniel Meeker’s set, bare white with two TV monitors and PDX in giant white letters, has all the slickness of a TV studio, which sets the perfect stage for the Oprah level excitement of the audience’s applause. And there’s no question Weedman’s flair for characterizations and energetic physicality fills it, her body bounding across the stage like a champion boxer and then breaking down for dance party interstitial moments colored with concert lighting by Don Crossley.

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Bob Hicks | Oregon Arts WAtch [Review 09 May 2013]

Is Lauren Weedman Portland’s Nemesis? It was Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, you may recall, who led the beautiful and arrogant young Narcissus to the fateful pool where he gazed at his own reflection, fell deeply, madly in love with himself, then pined away and died.

And isn’t that Weedman, the extremely talented L.A. comedian and monologist remembered widely and fondly for her stints on “The Daily Show,” pulling a mirror out of her hipster pocket and aiming it straight at the city’s eyes?

Careful, Portland. The illusion you see may be your own.

Weedman scored a hit at Portland Center Stage a couple of years ago with her solo show “Bust,” had a good time while she was here, and then accepted an intriguing challenge from the theater company: create a new solo show about Portland. What with “Portlandia” slapping little birds on every corner of the city, and “Grimm” celebrating the town’s inner monster, and the New York Times adopting Portland as the cute Little Village That Could, the assignment seemed both trendy and timely: Weedman would poke around a bit, blend her observations through the mixer of her own mordant wit, and report back to us as a not-quite-outsider on what it is, exactly, that makes us so darned special.

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Production blog

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Join us in the Ellyn Bye Studio for late-night solo sketch comedy brought to you by Portland’s finest! Shows are Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 at 10 p.m. in the Ellyn Bye Studio. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. See you then!

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17 May 2013 & Posted by Sarah Mitchell

Join a quartet of Portland’s finest improv theater performers for an evening inspired by our hit production The People’s Republic of Portland. Always fresh and locally sourced, this dream team of Brad Fortier, Nicholas Kessler, Shelley McClendon and Marilyn Divine are not-to-be-missed. One night only! Join us on Monday, June 17 at 8 p.m. in the Ellyn Bye Studio. Tickets are just $5!

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