Award-winning playwright, Sarah Ruhl, will make you fall in love with love this winter with Melancholy Play: a chamber musical running November 30- December 22 at CoHo Theatre, directed by Rebecca Lingafelter*. Meet the outstanding cast who will be bringing this whimsical comedy to life.
Leah Yorkston (Tilly) is so excited to be making her Third Rail debut in this incredible show with an amazing team. She appeared this summer as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods at Broadway Rose. Local credits include Maria in The Sound of Music, The Narrator in Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat (Broadway Rose), Dusty Springfield in Forever Dusty (Triangle Productions; Drammy nominated, Best Actress in a Musical), Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Live on Stage), and Sweeney Todd (Portland Center Stage). Leah can also be seen in the IFC TV show, Documentary Now! Original Cast Album: Co-Op (Season 3).
Ithica Tell (Frances) is delighted to perform with Third Rail for the first time! Other favorite roles including: Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (PAMTA Award) Othello in Othello; Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Ithica has appeared on Grimm, The Librarians, The Benefits of Gusbandry, and Life After First Failure.
Kerry Ryan(Joan) is a graduate of Brown University and the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Program, a former member of Imago Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, and the Anonymous Theatre Company, and a proud current member of Third Rail Repertory (A Bright New Boise, The Realistic Joneses, The Angry Brigade, Men on Boats, Arlington). Regional credits include Futura and JAW at Portland Center Stage, The Servant of Two Masters and The Tempest at the Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Julius Caesar with the Tennessee Shakespeare Company.
Nick Ferrucci (Frank) is happy to return to Third Rail, where his previous credits are Arlington [a love story], John and The Angry Brigade. Portland theatre credits: Redwood, Crossing Mnisose, Astoria: Parts One and Two, JAW at Portland Center Stage, Teenage Dick at Artists Repertory Theatre, Luna Gale at Coho, Peter and the Starcatcher at Portland Playhouse, True West at Profile Theatre. Regional: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Maples Repertory Theatre, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Commonweal Theatre Company, Heritage Theatre Festival, and Bright Star Touring Theatre. He holds an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University, a BFA in Theatre from Southern Oregon University.
Michael Hanna (Lorenzo) is delighted to be making his Third Rail Repertory debut. A graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Program, Michael’s recent regional credits include The Lion in Winter, Sense and Sensibility, and Twelfth Night (upcoming) at The Guthrie Theatre; This Bitter Earth at New Conservatory Theatre Center; Le Switch, Little Women, and Ride the Cyclone at the The Jungle Theater; and The Mermaid Hour at Mixed Blood Theatre Company. He’s the frontman for the band Ready Freddie (IG – @readyfreddiempls).
Enda Walsh’s play about holding onto humanity in a dystopian city runs May 31 – June 22 at CoHo Theatre and is directed by Isaac Lamb. Meet the outstanding cast who will be bringing this poetic, haunting drama to life.
Nick is happy to return to Third Rail where his previous credits are John and The Angry Brigade. He has also performed with Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Portland Playhouse, Profile Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Q & A with Nick
What excites you about working on Arlington [a love story]? The rehearsal room and the people in it. The process with these particular artists. This play is also unlike any other in ways I do not want to spoil here, but come watch and you’ll know what I mean.
Critics and audiences have compared Arlingtonto 1984 and Black Mirror in terms of the setting and tone. Are there any other books, movies, or other works of art that it evokes for you? The book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Arlington takes place in a waiting room of sorts. What is the best, or worst, waiting room you’ve been in? I think the world we live in is perhaps the best and worst waiting room I’ve been in. It’s certainly the largest, and the magazines are still so out of touch.
What are you willing to wait for, even when you don’t know how long it will take? Apparently I’m willing to wait for the Seattle Mariners to make the playoffs again.
When the world feels dark, what gives you hope? Baseball.
Kayla, a member of Third Rail’s 2018-19 Mentorship Cohort, makes her Third Rail Main Stage debut with Arlington. She’s been seen on stage in Portland with Rutabaga Story Co., Shaking the Tree Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, and the Red Balloon Collective, where she is also a founding member and Managing Director.
Q & A with Kayla
What excites you about working on Arlington [a love story]? So many things! I was already a fan of Enda Walsh’s work, and this script, especially the role of the young woman, is so enticing. Getting to create through movement and dance is what fills my cup artistically, so getting to focus on solely that is a dream. Being in a Third Rail show after having been in the mentorship cohort last year is also an honor. It feels good to know that you already admire, respect, and genuinely enjoy being around the people you’re working with prior to even starting rehearsals. It feels like coming back to an artistic home.
Critics and audiences have compared Arlington to 1984 and Black Mirror in terms of the setting and tone. Are there any other books, movies, or other works of art that it evokes for you? Black Mirror was the first thing I thought of when I read the script. For me, that and The Twilight Zone go hand in hand.
Arlington takes place in a waiting room of sorts. What is the best, or worst, waiting room you’ve been in? Worst- ER, DMV, waiting in line outdoors at a football stadium in the cold for a cattle call audition for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (spoiler alert- I wasn’t cast). Best- probably Disneyland (they’re spoon feeding me an experience).
What are you willing to wait for, even when you don’t know how long it will take? Breakfast/brunch food. Caffeine. Love.
When the world feels dark, what gives you hope? That all the happiness, hope, and safety that I’ve felt before are not isolated incidents, and that I’ll feel them again, the support from my friends and family, and vine compilations.
What excites you about working on Arlington [a love story]? So much. I am excited about all of the collaborators on the piece. The design, production and performance team are just incredible and it is thrilling to watch all of these brilliant minds wrestle with this gorgeous text. I’m a big fan of Enda Walsh, Penelope and New Electric Ballroom are two of my favorite plays that Third Rail has done, and I really think we are the company that can best represent this work on stage in Portland. I am excited to be a part of that process. Finally, this is my first time on stage after having my daughter, so the way that I am seeing the world, the work, and the stakes of what it means to make a play about how we behave towards each other when the world is falling apart feels especially potent and rich.
Critics and audiences have compared Arlington to 1984 and Black Mirror in terms of the setting and tone. Are there any other books, movies, or other works of art that it evokes for you? Enda is definitely swimming around in the sci-fi/post-future genre (of which I am a big fan), so yes, lots of references; 1984, Hunger Games, Minority Report, The Matrix, Children of Men… I could go on. I think what’s particularly evocative about Enda’s world is that he is elevating this genre into poetry. You can read the facts of the world as dystopian and post-future, and you can also read it as a metaphor for the ways in which we live our lives now. I think this is what the best sci-fi does; it uses an imagined future to illuminate something about our present.
Arlington takes place in a waiting room of sorts. What is the best, or worst, waiting room you’ve been in? Best: The Singapore Airport – there’s a movie theatre, a spa, a giant mall, food galore… you never want to leave. Worst: Any hospital.
When the world feels dark, what gives you hope? The relentless need for human beings to be in relationship to one another. Love is like a weed, it will grow in the most unlikely of places and destabilize the most well-constructed of foundations.
Company Member Kerry Ryan‘s productions with Third Rail include A Bright New Boise,The Realistic Joneses,The Angry Brigade,and Men on Boats. Kerry is also a member/founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company, and happily spends her days at the Oregon Children’s Theatre and managing Dog Adventures Northwest.
Q & A with Kerry
What excites you about working on Arlington [a love story]? There is so much here that is left open to interpretation, and it has been amazing to create such vivid backstory ideas with this group of intelligent theatre-makers.
Critics and audiences have compared Arlington to 1984 and Black Mirror in terms of the setting and tone. Are there any other books, movies, or other works of art that it evokes for you? Those two references are pretty spot-on. I’d also add just about anything written by Ray Bradbury. And maybe The Truman Show, in a weird kind of way.
Arlington takes place in a waiting room of sorts. What is the best, or worst, waiting room you’ve been in? Just reading this question gives me anxiety.
What are you willing to wait for, even when you don’t know how long it will take? My kid to grow up. I’d like time to slow down a little.
When the world feels dark, what gives you hope? Community.
Food. Drink. Live music from the Barra Brown Trio and B-Side Book Club. Incredible goods and experiences to bid on. Quality time with Emcee Darius Pierce. Plus the chance to increase your impact thanks to a CHALLENGE GRANT from theatre-supporter extraordinaire, Ronni Lacroute. Ronni will match any money raised at the event up to $25,000.
Come show your support for Third Rail’s locally-grown, artist-driven, thought-provoking work– and have a great time doing it!
What can I eat and drink while I enjoy good company for a good cause?
Well, to begin with, craft beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company. Plus appetizers, tapas, sweet treats, and more from some of your favorite local eateries like Alexis Foods, ¿Por Qué No?, Sizzle Pie and Lardo.
So let’s party like it supports Third Rail’s exceptional work for the 2019-20 season and beyond…because it certainly does. Thank you for being part of our artistic community!
Where can I park?
Besides street parking, you are welcome to park in the RE/MAX lot (NE Broadway and 2nd Ave) or Transmission Exchange lot (NE Schuyler and 3rd Ave). Light rail and buses can also drop you right by the Lagunitas Taproom.
We are thrilled to welcome Dana Ghazi to the stage as the Interpreter in Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss. Ghazi also served as the Cultural Consultant for the production. Kiss opens March 15th, 2019 at CoHo Theatre.
Dana Ghazi was born and raised in Damascus, Syria before moving to the United States in 2002. She studied English Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies for her undergrads and has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from Portland State University. Dana has worked with international programs focused on addressing major conflicts like the ones in Syria, Colombia and the Balkans and national programs focused on transforming structural violence, generational trauma and the role of the arts as a way for resistance and recovery during and post-conflict. Currently Dana works as an Arabic mental health counselor at the Intercultural Psychiatric Program with Oregon Health and Science University providing direct mental health services to refugees and victims of torture and war. Earlier this year, she joined the board of the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon.
Q & A with Dana Ghazi:
TR: What excites you about Kiss?
DG: I think what most excites me about Kiss is that it is written by a Chilean writer who is using literature as a way of shedding light on what is happening in Syria. To me, it speaks to the power of literature in transcending all boundaries and to our human connection and solidarity beyond borders.
TR:Kiss draws inspiration from Soap Opera, which some might describe as a “guilty pleasure”. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” genre of theatre, film, television or literature?
DG: I like stand up comedies and I like science fiction genre in literature, which I think at times is under-appreciated for its subversiveness. Lately I have been watching Broad City and it is definitely a “guilty pleasure”.
TR: How do you view the role of theatre in political discourse, or theatre as political action?
DG: In the Arab world, theatre has been a main form of cultural and political resistance in the post-colonial era. Much of our cultural memory is shaped by the cinema and theatre of the 1940s onward. Theater is not only allowed a collective space to address social and political tensions but also to express pains of political stagnation post-independence era or to celebrate major political wins against colonial powers. Thus, creating a shared national and trans-national identity linking anti-colonial liberation movements around the world.
TR: What do you hope audiences will take away from Kiss?
DG: I hope the audience is able to experience through Kiss the complexity of narrative surrounding conflict and the people who are impacted by it, especially ones happening in The Middle East where for so long generic narratives have masked such complexities. In one of the lines Calderón writes that romantic love is how Syrians connect with their past, identities and longing for country. For the play to take place in Damascus, one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world, is to tell about this human energy of love and pain and longing, a tale of timeless perseverance and rich history.
Rolland Walsh returns to the Third Rail stage as Ahmed/Martin in Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss. The show opens March 15th, 2019 at CoHo Theatre.
With Third Rail Repertory Theater: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, Mr. Kolpert, Static, The Night Alive, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Noises Off, A Noble Failure. Also in Portland: Rolland has acted with CoHo Productions, Portland Center Stage, Artist’s Repertory Theater, Portland Playhouse and others; in Boston: American Repertory Theater, Club OBERON; produced: The Year of the Rooster, Weekend at Bernie’s: Live on Stage, Thom Pain (based on nothing) and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Rolland received his MFA in Acting from The American Repertory Theater / Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
The mission of Third Rail Repertory Theatre is to provide a dynamic artistic home for theatre audiences in Portland by fostering a professional local company, which, through collaboration and discipline, brings to life exceptional stories that provoke dialogue, encourage empathy, and inspire curiosity.