April 23 — June 19, 2011
In the Ellyn Bye Studio

Written by and starring Lauren Weedman
Directed by Allison Narver
“A horrific hilarious journey into Prison hell and LA fluff…on track to be one of Weedman's best shows yet.” —Seattle Times

Comedian, writer, and former Daily Show faux correspondent Lauren Weedman has transformed her experience straddling the line between jail and Hollyweird into a hilariously poignant one-woman show. BUST was a smash hit in Seattle several years ago at The Empty Space; this fresh version of the show will mark Weedman’s professional premiere in Portland.

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm
Thursday matinees at noon

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

View the Cast and Creative Team Bios

Running time for BUST is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Playbill for Bust

Performance Times

Evenings: Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m.,
Thursdays at noon

*Note: These are general performance times. Certain productions may have exceptions. View the season calendar for more information.

This show's run time will be posted below the synopsis at left near the date of the first performance.

Production blog

Take Lauren Weedman home with you!

Take Lauren Weedman home with you!

18 May 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Her book, that is. Can’t get enough of Lauren Weedman? After seeing Bust in the Ellyn Bye Studio, be sure to pick up a copy of her hilarious semi-autobiographical memoir, A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body: (Tales from a Life of Cringe). From the uproarious account of her time at the Daily Show, where she developed an entirely one-sided infatuation with Jon Stewart, to the time she read her boyfriend’s diary with disastrous results, Lauren’s work is filled with wit, honesty and personality. On sale now in the Armory Cafe for only $15!


Lying, Truth and Trust in Lauren Weedman’s Bust

04 May 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

The intricately related themes of lying, truth and trust are seamlessly woven into Lauren Weedman’s Bust, playing now in the Ellyn Bye Studio.  Why do people lie? How do people lie? And, most importantly, how do we decide who to trust? Read on for a few clues to look for the next time you think you’re being duped!


“I wanted to do something that wasn’t about me.”

27 April 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

So says Lauren Weedman, in one of the first scenes of her one-woman show Bust. Throughout the show, Weedman describes her time working with a volunteer support service in the L.A. jail system. Ultimately, her volunteer experience isn’t as, shall we say, smooth as she had expected. Where do you volunteer? Tell us your story and you could win a pair of tickets to Bust, plus a gift certificate to Cassidy’s Restaurant and Bar. What more could any do-gooder ask for?



Show excerpts, Part 2 View on YouTube »

Show excerpts, Part 1 View on YouTube »

BUST art; design by Patrick Weishampel and Justin Flood, art direction by Michael Buchino View on Flickr »

Lauren Weedman shared an hilarious story at Back Fence PDX this past January. (NSFW) View on Vimeo »

Reviews and Features

Christi Krug | Kindling [Review 18 May 2011]

Lauren Weedman of the Portland Center Stage production, Bust (playing through June 19), is a writer and actor who can conjure vivid characters and produce laughter as with spontaneous combustion. She can convince me that a few steel beams constitute the Los Angeles County Jail, that a tank top and khakis equal seven different outfits—or nothing at all—and that twenty people fill the empty stage. Not only has she written an intelligent but hilarious play, she has crafted a performance wrought of life experience, weakness and shame. The story: sick of her own drama in life and career, Lauren volunteers to help jail inmates. Her romanticised ideas are far from the heartbreaking reality, and her blunders force her to take an even harder look at herself.

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Alison Hallett | The Portland Mercury [Review 18 May 2011]

When actress and comedian Lauren Weedman decided to become a volunteer in the Los Angeles County prison system, it was because, she explains in her one-woman show Bust, she hoped that helping others would force her to think about something other than “career or weight loss.” Weedman portrays a range of characters in Bust, as she describes the consequences of that decision: her unlikely immersion in a labyrinthine, overextended women’s prison, and the volunteers and prisoners she met there.

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Ben Waterhouse | Willamette Week [Review 04 May 2011]

On any given day, the Los Angeles County jail system holds over 18,000 men and women in custody—160,000, all told, in 2010. Seven or more men share cells built for four in buildings so foul that, according to Lauren Weedman’s autobiographical play about volunteering there as an inmate advocate, visitors are warned “not to touch the walls or railings [because] there is staph infection everywhere.”

Weedman’s story is about more than inhumane jail conditions, weaving her visits to the jail with the humiliation of commercial auditions, the publication of a terrible personal story in Glamour and the general frivolity of the lives of the not-quite-famous. It is riotously funny and also quite dark and unsettling. The stories of the inmates she meets reach beyond the failings of the justice system, probing the nature of shame and deceit.

read more

Richard Wattenberg | The Oregonian [Review 04 May 2011]

Lauren Weedman is one funny lady, but she’s not all laughs. As author and performer of the high-energy one-woman show “Bust,” Weedman takes us on an uproariously entertaining but also eye-opening journey into the Los Angeles County Jail world.

“Bust,” directed by Allison Narver, is based on Weedman’s own experiences as a volunteer advocate for women inmates. She hilariously traces her awkward efforts as a representative of the advocacy group Beyond Bars to learn the ropes of the jail’s institutional bureaucracy. Underlying this wild satire, however, is the story of how she came to understand, accept and help the incarcerated women on their own terms.

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