Shows featuring Michael O'Connell


The Realistic Joneses

Meet Jennifer and Bob. They’re the Joneses. Meet Pony and John. They’re also the Joneses. They’re next door neighbors. Keeping up with them can feel awfully familiar in this hilarious and humane look at how we live. Literate and slyly hilarious this award-winning play dives deep below the surface with subtle grace.

Michael O'Connell & Darius Pierce

Sorry / Regular Singing

Staged Readings of the Final Installments of the Apple Family Plays

ONE SHOW: $20.00
BOTH SHOWS: $35.00
BOTH SHOWS AND DINNER WITH THE CAST: $100.00
To purchase tickets please call 503.235.1101 or email boxoffice@thirdrailrep.org.

We conclude our presentation of Richard Nelson’s play cycle with staged readings of the final two installments of the Apple Family cycle. Featuring company members Karen Trumbo, Maureen Porter, Rebecca Lingafelter, Bruce Burkhartsmeier, Mike O’Connell and Isaac Lamb, this is an event not to be missed for any Third Rail followers, or newcomers eager to engage with the company.

For a truly intimate and insightful experience, JOIN THE APPLE FAMILY CAST FOR DINNER BETWEEN PERFORMANCES. Good food, good wine, and great conversation. Discuss the plays, the characters, theatre, or whatever strikes your fancy. (Proceeds from the dinner will support Third Rail and the presentation of these readings). $100 includes dinner, wine, and priority seating for both readings.  Jump on this! Space is limited.

Sorry

The play transpires during the early morning of the 2012 presidential election, but the race for commander-in-chief is not the main item on the Apples’ minds. Siblings Richard, Barbara, Marian, and Jane have gathered in upstate Rhinebeck to take their mentally failing Uncle Benjamin, once a famous actor, to an eldercare facility. In addition, each member of the family has his or her own dilemma. Lawyer Richard, who once worked in state government, has just returned from an extended business trip to England and is dissatisfied with his career in private practice. Marian is coming to terms with her daughter’s suicide, while Jane wrestles with her next writing project and her relationship with her boyfriend Tim, a character in the previous plays who is in Chicago on an acting job. Barbara has the most pressing problem. She is closest to Uncle Benjamin-she shares her Rhinebeck home with him and Marian-and his advancing senility is causing him to behave in sexually inappropriate ways toward her.

Regular Singing

Is Uncle Benjamin still alive? Are Marian and Adam back together? Has Richard gone over to the dark side and become a Republican? And is everyone agreed that this country has gone to hell in the past 50 years? “Regular Singing,” the fourth and final play, takes place on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination (Nov. 22, 2013), so the topic of death hangs in the air. But in the end, the scribe leaves the Apples the way he found them – very much alive and bearing witness to the times we live in.


Number Three

Third Rail is proud to present this world premiere by local playwright Ebbe Roe Smith.

Set in 1950’s America, Number Three is the heartbreaking, hilarious story of the youngest child in a military family.


The Pavilion

With The Pavilion, Third Rail returns to the universe of Craig Wright (Recent Tragic Events ), who tackles metaphysical questions with compassionate humor and bold theatricality.

Set in a dance hall in small-town Minnesota, a twenty-year high school reunion provides the backdrop for Wright’s cosmic distillation of time, choice and irrevocability. When the “Cutest Senior Couple” of 1986 meets on the dance floor, will their flame be rekindled or will their history tear them to pieces?


The Lonesome West

Our third production moves from the absurd/global to the naturalistic/domestic – but don’t count on things being any more peaceful as a result.

With Sam Shepard’s True West, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple and J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World as points of reference, the play is a surprising and very funny look at the darker side of family.


Dirty Story

In this savage, very funny play by John Patrick Shanley (Tony- and Pulitzer-award-winning Doubt, Moonstruck), a familiar story of domestic strife takes a twist that will make audiences gasp. In the hands of Third Rail Repertory Theatre, this promises to be a thrilling and provocative evening of theater. Director Scott Yarbrough has assembled a dynamite quartet of actors: company members Valerie Stevens and Michael O’Connell (both of whom recently received Drammy awards for their work in Third Rail’s first production, Recent Tragic Events) are joined by Damon Kupper (last seen in Artist Rep’s Death of a Salesman) and the venerable Ted Roisum.

Third Rail delivers it with that giddy combination of talent, humor, and professionalism.Portland Mercury

A dizzyingly clever thrill ride from brainy and dark to howlingly funny, this play is not to be missed.Portland Tribune

A deliciously savage comedy… a bristling, fiercely smart production from Third Rail Repertory Theatre.The Oregonian

…hilariously rendered by Third Rail’s cast of pros…Willamette Week


Recent Tragic Events

In the West Coast premiere of this stunning new comedy by Craig Wright (writer on HBO’s Six Feet Under), Recent Tragic Events places the enormity of world tragedy in context – a dazzling, delirious context of uncanny blind dates, drinking games, and Joyce Carol Oates. Craig Wright frames 9/11 in a splendidly cracked rear view mirror, becoming a catalyst for examination of who or what is running our lives.

Do we really have a choice, or are we mere puppets espousing freedom?


That Hopey Changey Thing

It’s Election Day, 2010 and what begins as a simple visit by the Apple siblings to their uncle transforms into an examination of 21st Century American politics. Chekhovian in spirit, HOPEY CHANGEY is the first play in a planned four-play cycle that annually reunites the Apple Family during events of national importance. In an exciting and ambitious project, Third Rail is delighted to be the only company in the country (besides the Public Theatre in New York) to present a new play in this series every year for the next four seasons, each featuring the same cast of Third Rail actors!



The Night Alive

Tommy crashes in a room in his uncle’s house, does odd-jobs here and there, tries get-rich-quick schemes with his buddy, Doc, and keeps his ex-wife and kids at arm’s length. Then one night, he defends a young woman from a violent act, a choice which fills both their lives with unexpected consequences. Mystery lies around every corner and they soon find out the past won’t let go so easily. This play is a joyous, frightening, funny, and ultimately gorgeous meditation on the possibility of redemption. An amazing new work by one of the great writers and poets of the theatre.