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Kamilah Bush Artist

Kamilah is a dramaturg, playwright, and educator originally from North Carolina. She holds a B.F.A. in Theater Education from UNC-Greensboro. Most recently, she served as the artistic assistant at Two ...

Kamilah Bush Literary Manager

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PCS Welcomes New Literary Manager Kamilah Bush

PCS has hired Kamilah Bush as our new literary manager, following a nationwide search.

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Jonathan Larson: Life & Work

Learn about Jonathan Larson's childhood, education, and career path. 

Headshots of actor Jamie Sanders and autism consultant/actor Troy Sawyer

Behind the Curtain: Spotlight on Jamie & Troy

Literary Manager Kamilah Bush sat down with actor Jamie Sanders and autism consultant — and actor in his own right — Troy Sawyer.

Vintage photo of four performers putting on a radio broadcast, including one man striking an object to produce sound effects.

Behind the Curtain: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

PCS Literary Manager Kamilah Bush talks to Phil Johnson and Matt Rowning, the sound design and composition team, about bringing this unique experience to life.

Headshot of playwright Lauren Yee

Behind the Curtain: Spotlight on Lauren Yee

Literary Manager Kamilah Bush spoke to playwright Lauren Yee about her inspirations and the personal connections that led her to write The Great Leap.

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The Vietnam War

Background, escalation and legacy of the war.

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Frida ... A Self Portrait Plot Summary

Here is a brief summary of Frida ... A Self Portrait. 

A two-image collage showing detail from the Hedwig set design model on the right and detail of a Hedwig costume design drawing on the left.

Behind the Curtain: Spotlight on Design

Britton Mauk and Dominique Fawn Hill, the scenic and costume designers of Hedwig, respectively, chat with Kamilah Bush, PCS’s literary manager, about their approaches to design and this bold take on Hedwig.

Black and white photos of Stephen Sondheim and Jonathan Larson on a black and yellow abstract background.

Behind the Curtain: Larson & Sondheim

When theater's cherished composer Stephen Sondheim met Jonathan Larson, he took the young tick, tick ... BOOM! creator under his wing. PCS Literary Manager Kamilah Bush explores their relationship and Sondheim's candid thoughts from a New York Times interview written just months after Larson's death.

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Rent Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of Rent.

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Rodney King, the L.A. Riots, and the Aftermath

Learn about who Rodney King is and the impact this incident sparked in 1991. 

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tick, tick … BOOM! Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of tick, tick … BOOM!

Preview image for Diving Deep: How Pool Segregation Sprung a Movement

Diving Deep: How Pool Segregation Sprung a Movement

Since the first public pool was opened in Boston in 1868, there have been strict regulations on who can and cannot share the water.

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Kansas: A Background of the Play's Setting

Learn more about the development of the state of Kansas and the origin of Beacon, Kansas. 

A man stands to the right of a poster advertising tickets to Rent at NY Theatre Workshop with a notice in red that says "Sold Out."

Thank You, Jonathan Larson: 25 Years of Rent

More than 25 years after Jonathan Larson's death and the original cast's first preview performance of Rent, both of which occurred on January 25, 1996, the world still has Jonathan to thank for his contributions to the living canon of musical theater.

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World of the Play: 19th Century English Society

A brief overview of the history, culture, and society of the Victorian era in Great Britain provides context for Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really.

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A Brief History of Police Violence

Police violence in America can be traced all the way back to the 1700s. Read more to learn about the progression and changes between the early 1700s and now. 

A lit, red wax candle, long and slender, that has been twisted into the shape of a red AIDS Awareness ribbon.

AIDS, Arts, & Activism

Learn about the history of the AIDS epidemic, including the cultural responses that exist to this day.  

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Origins & Inspirations for It’s a Wonderful Life

Learn about the works that had an influence on the creation of It's a Wonderful Life.  

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A Brief History of Christmas

Though Christmas, in some form, has been celebrated since about AD 336, what many modern people consider a "traditional" Christmas began in the Victorian era. Learn more about how the traditions of Christmas have changed over time. 

A man wearing headphones stands at a radio microphone, reading aloud from a script on a music stand, one hand raised dramatically.

100 Years of Radio Drama

Although we are used to seeing plays on a stage, some early theatrical performances took place over radio. Learn more about the origins of radio plays and their relevance to this day.

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It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. 

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136 Years of Holmes & Watson

With his groundbreaking fictional crime-fighting duo, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created what many consider to be the first modern “fandom.” Holmes and Watson are the most adapted characters in British literature — with thousands of pastiches across all manner of media.

Vintage photo of a group of Black men and women seated and standing, wearing late 19th-century clothing.

The Songs That Held Us Up

The music in Choir Boy, which could be categorized as Negro spirituals and folk songs, marries enduring legacies and living history, passed through the oral tradition of Africans in America. The power of this legacy cannot be overstated.

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Queerness & Christianity

There are several key Bible scriptures that have been interpreted as anti-gay and are used as the basis for the rhetoric that homosexuality is a sin. It should be noted that all of these interpretations are also resting on translation from the original languages that the Bible was written in. This features takes a deeper look into the history between Queerness & Christianity.  

Painting of a distressed woman kneeling over the prone body of a man. In the background is a marble fountain featuring a cupid sculpture.

A Most Lamentable Comedy: The Play-Within-a-Play

Although he may not have invented it, Shakespeare famously employed the "play-within-a-play" in several of his works. See how the Bard used this metatheatrical device in A Midsummer Night's Dream to both reference and parody a classical Ovidian myth.

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Dracula & Vampirism: A History

How to stop a vampire — and other useful background on Dracula and the history of vampirism. A must-read for all aspiring vampire hunters!

A busy Manhattan street in the evening, framed by lit shop windows and high-rise apartment buildings.

Alphabet City

Alphabet City is a neighborhood in the East Village of Manhattan. Learn more about the history of this area and the many arts and activist movements that took place there.

Floor-to-ceiling view of an ornate opera house with seated audience members in the foreground and performers on stage.

La Bohéme to Rent: Legacies

Rent is loosely based on the opera La Bohème, composed by Giacomo Puccini. Learn more about the story of La Bohéme and its connection to Rent. 

The original DJ Kool Herc party flyer, hand-written on notebook paper in pencil and black ink.

“And You Don’t Stop” — The Enduring Legacy of Hip Hop

If you happened to be in the Bronx on August 11, 1973, and you had a few quarters in your pocket, you may have become a witness to a world-changing event. At a Back to School Jam hosted in the rec room of his apartment complex, DJ Kool Herc, a teenage Jamaican immigrant, singularly invented a new art form that would evolve into a global phenomenon.

A man stands in the foreground as water falls on his head; another person stands staring forward in the foreground, a magic aura around them

Behind the Curtain: Spotlight on Aunt Ester

Over the course of approximately 26 years, Wilson wrote one play for each decade in the 20th century. At the center of this tapestry stands Aunt Ester, the character which Wilson himself deemed the most significant in his plays.

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The Great Leap Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of The Great Leap. 

A full-color scale model of the scenic design for Gem of the Ocean, with scale-sized figures of people in the exposed interior of a house.

The Century Cycle

Beginning in 1904 with Gem of the Ocean and ending in 1997 with Radio Golf, August Wilson's 10-play American Century Cycle charts the lived experience of African Americans throughout the 20th century. Learn more about each of these plays and their connection to one another. 

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Gem of the Ocean Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of Gem of the Ocean. 

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Get your head in the game!

Learn a little about basketball and some of the lingo you'll encounter as you watch The Great Leap.

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Hair: A History

A quick look at the original creative team, early productions and the musical's lasting legacy.

A gathering of young, long-haired war protesters on a city sidewalk are bordered by a row of armed soldiers along the adjacent street.

1968: The Year that Changed the World

1968 saw the peak of political unrest in all corners of the world. In America, resistance became a way of existence for many citizens, and new musicals of the era like HAIR brought the explicit and present politics of the moment roaring on stage.

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The Hill District

The Hill District is a 1.4-square-mile section of Pittsburgh that has been predominantly African American since the 19th century. This small strip of Pittsburgh is where a majority of the Century Cycle Plays are located. To understand more, read to explore where these plays come from!

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the ripple, the wave that carried me home Plot Summary

Spoiler alert! A brief overview of the ripple, the wave that carried me home.

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A Conversation with Playwright Lauren Yee & Director Desdemona Chiang

PCS Literary Manager Kamilah Bush sat down with long-time collaborators playwright Lauren Yee and director Desdemona Chiang for a conversation about their relationship, developing new work, and bringing the world premiere of Young Americans to life.

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An Interview with Playwright Kate Hamill

PCS Literary Manager Kamilah Bush talked to Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really writer Kate Hamill about "monster" stories, the fun of horror, and reclaiming classic stories as a feminist playwright.

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The Bells That Still Can Ring

On Demand through January 3, 2021

A devised film offering to lead us from darkness to light! This piece is part of PCS Remix: Original Works.

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An Interview with Jillian Snow and David Saffert

PCS Literary Manager Kamilah Bush spoke to the creators and performers of Liberace & Liza Holiday at the Mansion (A Tribute) about their collaboration, their creative backgrounds, and their obsessions with the larger-than-real-life celebrities who inspired their stage personas.

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Summerfield Estates

June 25-27, 2021

Imagine waking up in a strange place with no memory of how you got there or who you are. Step into the shoes of Mouser, a special agent of dubious background, who wakes up on the bathroom floor of a retirement community and must rely entirely on the decisions made by the audience to figure out what she's doing there and how to get out! Help craft the story in this techno/select-your-own-adventure/sci-farce created by Ashley Song Mellinger. Streamed live and changing in real-time, Summerfield Estates invites you on a thrilling, hilarious journey that you’ll want to take again and again.

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The Music Man Staged Reading

May 7 & 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Only two chances to catch this exploration of the classic musical! 
Con man Harold Hill means to make a quick buck and be on his way, but when he brings music to a small, conservative town, it bursts open the imaginations and hearts of everyone in it  — including Harold himself! This staged reading will investigate the surprising central love story between Harold Hill and Marian Paroo, whose worlds are turned upside down when they find connection in the midst of a glorious upheaval.

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PROTOCOL: Episode 1

March 9 – April 4, 2021

When an unexpected tragedy befalls the crew aboard space cruiser Elegua IV, they are thrust into a thrilling mystery which threatens their mission to preserve humanity. Conceived by Portland artist Phil Johnson, this science fiction audio experience explores how the systems we trust may not always be on our side.

Many festive people reaching out to clink glasses of champagne together above the words The Theater Lover's Bash: A Community Party for All!

The Theater Lover's Bash
Apr 8

Revel in a night full of entertainment as we celebrate the best of what Portland Center Stage offers our community! Enjoy delicious bites from local businesses, a one-night-only premiere performance, live music, dessert, and celebratory dancing. All to support PCS as we continue providing transcendent theatrical experiences and programs for our community!

A man drives a car as a woman in the passenger seat looks excitedly at an open map. The title "Young Americans" appears below.

Young Americans

February 11 – March 26, 2023

With Bowie blaring from a mixtape, two road trips veer back and forth in time, as an upbeat father and his jaded daughter take a journey that mirrors the father’s life-changing road trip 20 years earlier.

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Reviews of Young Americans

"We saw this author’s King of the Yees and loved it. Came into this show with good expectations and really enjoyed it. The watching experience was full of what brings you to live theatre. The man who plays the husband/father inhabited the writing with a life and ...

The title "Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B" above a Victorian door with a frosted window revealing the silhouettes of two women.

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B

January 14 – February 12, 2023

A bold, feminist take on the iconic crime-fighting duo! This wonderfully farcical comedy packs non-stop laughs and crime-fighting hijinks galore.

Five people on stale in colorful outfits, all holding microphones and one holding a guitar.

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

November 19 – December 24, 2022

This heartwarming journey of community triumph is reimagined for the stage as a live radio broadcast complete with a stellar cast, gorgeous music, lavish costumes, and — of course — George Bailey!

Preview image for Reviews of *Where We Belong*

Reviews of Where We Belong

"I learned so much about indigenous people and their struggles, and to be honest, I thought I was already well-informed. [Jessica Ranville] was amazing. I didn't know what to expect, but I'd frame the show as a history lesson everyone needs to hear."

"Very powerful ...

The title "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," green foliage, and flowers frame a couple frolicking hand in hand, silhouetted by a large, full moon.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

June 3 – July 2, 2023

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies! This beguiling odyssey in an enchanted forest on a very magical midsummer night reminds us that “the course of true love never did run smooth” — so watch your step!

A man and woman smiling and holding hands in a dance pose, in front of a tile background lit by projected water-ripple effects.

the ripple, the wave that carried me home

October 8 – 30, 2022

Drawing on history, this deeply moving story explores the joys and challenges of forgiveness, justice, and family legacy, as a young woman reconciles a childhood she has tried to forget.

The title "tick, tick ... BOOM!" with a birthday cake that has been nearly flattened by a large, cartoonish bomb among the candles.

tick, tick … BOOM!

August 20 – September 18, 2022

The hilarious, feel-good origin story of Rent! Jonathan Larson cracks open the ticking-time-bomb world of creating theater to celebrate the power of finding your voice and holding on to a dream.

The title "Choir Boy" above a Black man in a suit and a young Black man in a school uniform talking animatedly in front of a white column.

Choir Boy

April 15 – May 14, 2023

An exhilarating coming-of-age story from the Academy Award-winning writer of Moonlight. A young, queer student leads the choir at his elite school — and seeks to march to his own drum.

The title "August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean" in blue and white above a photo of a man surrounded by water and blue light, hand outstretched

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean

March 5 – April 3, 2022

An iconic story of freedom, justice, and salvation from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences. Pittsburgh, 1904: Amidst boiling racial tensions, Citizen Barlow arrives at the home of Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old healer, who helps him seek redemption from a mistake that’s cost another man his life. Aunt Ester sends Citizen on a powerful, mystical journey to the City of Bones in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean — where he must understand the past in order to forge his own future.

The play title above the silhouette of a woman in a long western coat and hat, carrying a wooden stake dripping with blood.

Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really

November 26 – December 24, 2023

Bouncing between horror and humor, this thrilling adaptation questions who the true monsters are. Fierce, feminist, and frightening, Dracula is a revenge fantasy worth sinking your teeth into!

The word "Rent" in red stylized as graffiti on a black & white brick wall with other graffiti reading "no more rent" and "silence = death."


June 1 – July 10, 2022

Don’t miss this sensational, iconic musical hot off its 25th Anniversary! Rent took Broadway by storm with its deeply resonant look at a deadly virus, financial precarity, and love as a radical act. As a group of young artists fights for justice and visibility during the AIDS crisis, they revel in the beautiful bonds of friendship and chosen family. With its profound message of joy and hope in the face of uncertainty, this timeless musical reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love.

Preview image for Gala

February 26, 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our virtual gala on February 26, 2022. We are so deeply grateful for the outpouring of support!

The word HAIR above the smiling face of a Black woman with a full afro.


September 30 – November 5, 2023

Let the sunshine in! This revolutionary rock musical follows a group of counter-culturalists whose worlds are shaken by a draft notice for the Vietnam War. HAIR reminds us that our collective voice is a powerful tool for change!

Casting & Script Submission


35th Season 

July 19, 2023: JAW New Play Festival 2023 runs July 28-30

May 5, 2023 Media Release: A Midsummer Night's Dream runs Jun 3-Jul 2

March 16, 2023 Media Release: Choir Boy runs Apr 15-May 14

March 8, 2023 Media Release: 2023-2024 PCS Season Announcement

February ...

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Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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