Famine threatens Rome and hunger fuels the tensions between the country’s elite and the deprived masses. As civil unrest stirs political upheaval, the war hero Coriolanus is driven to defend and then destroy his own country. Shakespeare’s rare and unique tragedy will be fueled by a dynamic female and non-binary ensemble, and a muscular, movement-focused staging. This modern translation updates the Bard’s language while lifting the story’s core — and reminds us that democracy is fragile and always worth defending.
“Coriolanus is a truly great work of theatrical art, one that T.S. Eliot thought better than Hamlet … a masterpiece.” –The Wall Street Journal
“This production explores extremely well how it is not his lack of empathy for the lower classes that makes Coriolanus such a bad politician, but his inability to hide it. Pretence is unnatural to him, and he alienates common people by stating what he thinks: he despises them.” –Cherwell
“Mowing down multitudes with nothing but a naked sword and a whole lot of testosterone ... Coriolanus has little time for cosmic reflection or soul-searching soliloquies.” –The New York Times
“They reveal that unusually for Shakespeare, what’s most powerful in this play is what’s left unsaid, that the posturing and arrogant rhetoric are an expression of emotional wounds only recognized when it’s too late for them to heal.” –the arts desk
“Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s most opaque heroes. Unlike Macbeth or King Lear, the main character doesn’t have any major monologues, and one must retain an inward attitude to better understand the character.” –SEEstage
“Whether it be words of wisdom or a thrown-away thought, the adaptation is powered by sharp wit and quick thinking.” –BroadwayWorld
“Coriolanus is a truly great work of theatrical art, one that T.S. Eliot thought better than Hamlet, and the plot, which pits the title character, an unabashedly proud patrician, against the common folk, easily lends itself to updating ... A hero is needed to save the day, and Coriolanus moves decisively to fill the role. What he is unwilling to do is accept the adulation of the multitudes after he succeeds.” –Wall Street Journal
Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).