'Redwood' a dance infused family drama
For The Review, Tidings
Brittany K. Allen will star in the world premiere of her play "Redwood" at Portland Center Stage at The Armory.
In "Redwood," a black woman's relationship with her white boyfriend is thrown into turmoil when her uncle's exploration of their family's lineage reveals her ancestors were enslaved by her boyfriend's ancestors. Guided by a hip-hop dance class chorus, this American story is about finding a way to live and love in a present overpopulated with ghosts.
Associate Producer Chip Miller makes his directing debut at The Armory with this vibrant, humor-filled, theatrical production. Darrell Grand Moultrie, who has choreographed for Beyoncé and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, makes his debut at The Armory choreographing this dance-infused play.
"How much of our identity is something we choose? And how much of it is tied to our genealogy — the traumas and joys of our ancestors being passed along to us through generations?" Miller said. "That Brittany is able to ask these challenging questions —while maintaining a true sense of joy, surprise and theatricality — continues to astound me. Plus, there's dancing!"
The Armory will host various free community events, including a pre-show reception Oct. 26 featuring the Genealogical Forum of Oregon's President Vince Patton and Director at Large Julie Ramos, founder of the African-American Interest Group at GFO; a pre-show conversation Nov. 13 with "Redwood" director Chip Miller and playwright and star Brittany K. Allen; and additional discussions with cast, crew and community guests. Details will be posted at www.pcs.org/redwood closer to the show.
The show runs Oct. 26 through Nov. 17. Tickets range in price from $25 to $87 and can be purchased online at pcs.org or by calling the box office at 503-445-3700. All performances take place at 128 N.W. 11th Ave., Portland.
Allen plays Meg Durbin. Nick Ferrucci ("Crossing Mnisose" and "Astoria: Part One and Two" at The Armory) plays Meg's partner Drew Tatum. Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (First National Tour: "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk"; "Much Ado about Nothing" at The Public Theater) play's Meg's uncle Stevie Wilson. Jennifer Lanier ("Well" and "Let Me Down Easy" at Profile Theatre; "Men on Boats" at Third Rail Repertory) plays Meg's mom, Beverly Durbin. Charles Grant ("Bootycandy" at Fuse Theatre Ensemble, "Jump" at Confrontation Theatre/Milagro Theatre) plays Stevie's dance instructor.
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