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Chip Miller makes Portland Center Stage directing debut in 'Redwood' written by and starring Brittany K. Allen.

COURTESY PHOTO  - Brittany K. Allen will star in her play Redwood, running through Nov. 17 at The Armory.

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.

The cast

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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