Productive Discomfort: On Casting
The casting process has long been one of the more complex facets of theater. As we move toward greater diversity and representation on stage and off, many of the long-held processes for casting have to evolve and change as well. Join us in person or online for an in-depth conversation with PCS Associate Artistic Director Chip Miller and actor/writer Ayanna Berkshire.
The event is free and will be streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
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Chip Miller is a director and producer, currently in the role of Associate Artistic Director at Portland Center Stage. They were previously the Artistic Associate/Resident Director at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Directing: Hedwig & The Angry Inch, the world premiere of Redwood (Portland Center Stage), Larry Owens’ Sondhemia, Journeys to Justice (Portland Opera), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, Welcome to Fear City, Sex with Strangers, A Raisin in the Sun (KCRep); the world premiere of Becoming Martin by Kevin Willmott (The Coterie); dwb: driving while black (Lawrence Arts Center, Baruch Performing Arts Center); 4:48 Psychosis (The Buffalo Room). Chip has developed work with playwrights including Kevin Wilmott, Kara Lee Corthron, Brittany K. Allen, Catherine Trieschmann, Darren Canady, Andrew Rosendorf, Susan Kander & Roberta Gumbel, Michelle T. Johnson, and Michael Finke. They have developed work at The William Inge Theatre Festival, NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences, Portland Center Stage’s JAW New Play Festival, The Midwest Dramatists Center, KCRep’s OriginKC New Works Festival, and La Jolla’s DNA Series. Education: B.F.A.: New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.
Ayanna Berkshire is a Pacific Northwest-based actress and Resident Artist at Artists Repertory Theatre (ART) in Portland, OR. She is a 2020 TCG and Fox Fellowship Foundation actor fellowship recipient and grant awardee, recognized for distinguished achievement. She has also been recognized by American Theatre magazine as a "Theatre Maker To Watch." Ayanna has been working professionally, on stage and screen, for nearly 25 years. She is best known for her role as Cora in the box-office hit Twilight, based on the popular book series by Stephanie Meyer. She has most recently been seen on stage, playing Judy in Portland Center Stage’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, set to remount in the winter of 2021.
Theatrical credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (PCS); The Revolutionists, Wolf Play, Teenage Dick, Small Mouth Sounds, Between Riverside and Crazy, An Octoroon, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Civil War Christmas, Grand Concourse, The Understudy, Intimate Apparel, and Race (ART).
Other stage works include The Scottsboro Boys (Ahmenson Theatre — Los Angeles), Back Bog Beast Bait, Bang, Curtain, End of Show, and The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador (defunkt theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (Teatro Milagro), The Tales of Canterbury (Ensemble Loupan), and recent audio plays By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Hot N’ Throbbing (Profile Theatre) and Today Is My Birthday (ART)
On-screen credits include (films) Twilight, Wendy and Lucy, Again and Again, The Shasta Triangle, Boundary Springs, The Record Keeper, The Dark Divide, Sorta Like A Rockstar, Extraordinary Measures, Lean on Pete, The Dust Factory, and more; (TV) Shrill, Documentary Now, Portlandia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parenthood, American Vandal, Chicago PD, Grimm, The Librarians, Castle, Grey’s Anatomy, Awake, Leverage, Significant Mother, In The Vault, and more.
Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).