Articles about Maureen Porter


September 21 – September 27, 2015

We’re in the last full week of September (already!?!) and there are still two ways to join us at the theatre before we turn the page into October.

First – Or, is in full swing and audiences are having a fantastic 90 minutes! There’s poetry, espionage, laughter, sexy times, and cross-dressing (in both directions…)! The Oregonian says:

[Maureen] Porter, with lovers literally tugging at her sleeves to hit the sheets, gracefully centers the sexual shenanigans… [Amy] Newman and Damon Kupper, playing multiple parts, make impressive character transformations… You just wish plays had a replay button…

We hope you’ll join us for the “shenanigans” and if you’re a Member, you can hit a “replay button” by seeing the show for free as often as you’d like!

Second – On Sunday, we are offering another Bloody Sunday play reading. Join us for a reading of a play that is under consideration for production… and tuck into some nibbles and morning-appropriate cocktails. This is a Members only event. If you want to attend, and get unlimited access to any Third Rail event, you can become a Member at any time!

We’re also in the midst of rehearsals and production meetings for The Realistic Joneses, which opens in just about a month. Whew! Here at Third Rail World Headquarters, we’re keeping the good times rollin’!


September 14 – September 20, 2015

The season is in full swing! And if there is one season that really knows how to swing, it’s Fall. We have two productions in rehearsal, so the building is overflowing with Third Rail theatre.

On Monday, we have first read for The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. This is always an exciting evening. We get our first look at design ideas for the show and our first listen of the play read by the full cast. If you attended the first read of Or, then you know how great an opportunity this is to begin your relationship with the show and to meet other Members and Company Members. First reads are Members’ only events!

Then, of course, we have Or,! This week, Or, will be in previews. Previews are an invaluable step in preparing a show. After the weeks of rehearsals, this is our chance to add the final, vital element of any live performance – the audience! A play in front of an audience is a different creature than a play in the rehearsal room. In previews, we have a chance to experience, experiment, and expurgate as we move towards opening the show.

Which is exactly what is happening this week! September 18th is opening night of Or,! There’s no need to tell you why you should join us for opening night, but we will because that’s what we do here in “This Week at Third Rail”. You can be among the very first people to see this hilarious and thought-provoking show! Starring Company Members Maureen Porter and Damon Kupper, and Third Rail favorite Amy Newman, Or, is sure to tickle your funny and thoughtful bones. See it with the unique energy of opening night and then celebrate with us afterward!

With our increase in programming, they’re all big weeks around here. But this one is a particular joy. In one week, Members can see the beginning of our process for The Realistic Joneses and the beginning of our run of Or,. So…we’ll definitely see you at the theatre!


Or, A Little Valentine to Love in the Theatre

Our next production is Or, by the extraordinary, contemporary American playwright Liz Duffy Adams. We have long been a fan of Adams’s work and are thrilled to be sharing it with you! Or, premiered in 2009 at the Women’s Project Theater in New York.

Set over the course of a single evening, Aphra Behn – poet, actress, spy, and one of the first professional female playwrights of the Restoration – has the opportunity to land her first commission for a professional company if she can deliver her play by dawn. Complicating this task are an array of lovers and rivals, from a rogue-spy to a blossoming ingénue to the king himself, vying for her time and affection. With echoes of Restoration comedy, quick-change farce, a dash or two of Tom Stoppard, and the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, Or, is a little valentine to love in the theatre.

Our production is being helmed by director Philip Cuomo with Maureen Porter playing the poet/actress/spy/playwright Aphra Behn. It also stars Damon Kupper and Amy Newman playing six roles between them! Cuomo, Porter, and Kupper are long-time Third Rail Company Members and Newman has been a favorite on our stage in Noises OffMiddletown, and her Drammy-winning performance in Gidion’s Knot.

Our design team includes Company Member Kristeen Willis Crosser (Set), Company Member Mark Valadez (Sound), Company Member Drew Dannhorn (Props), Jessica Bobillot (Costumes), and Owen Walz (Lighting). It is a brilliant team creating a world straddling the 1660’s and the 1960’s. It is going to be a treat to see how they transform the space at Imago!

“[Adam’s] language has a natural period flavor and a formidable wit; her characters possess the spark of fully animated spirits; and she weaves into her story both biographical detail and cultural context with grace. More remarkably, the play succeeds on its own terms as a potted pastiche of Restoration comedy as well as a lively showcase for the actors.” The New York Times

September 18, 2015 – October 10, 2015
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm
17 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Tickets are available now! (Though, you can attend the show as much as you like by becoming a Member!)


Or, Cast and Creative Team

So, you’re excited about our fall production of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams. But, we hear you ask, who will be acting in the show? And who – who?!? – will complete our creative team? Well…why didn’t you say so?

Playing Aphra Behn, the poet, actress, spy, and one of the first professional female playwrights of the Restoration will be Maureen Porter! This past year alone, Maureen graced our stages in Static and Middletown. Complicating Aphra’s (Maureen’s) night will be an array of lovers and rivals vying for her time and affections including Nell, a blossoming ingénue, and King Charles himself. Nell will be played by Amy Newman! Amy is a resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre and has previously joined Third Rail for Middletown, Noises Off, and her Drammy award-winning performance in Gidion’s Knot. The king himself will be Third Rail company member Damon Kupper! Damon was most recently on stage with us in The Night Alive (Drammy nomination for Best Actor) and Middletown.

Or, has an exceptional design team, as well. Our Set Designer and Production Manager is the extraordinary Kristeen Willis Crosser – company member, multiple Drammy award winner, and recent birthday celebrator! Costume Design is by Jessica Bobillot, who has done wonderful work all over town, including Profile, Artists Rep, Shaking the Tree,and Portland Actors Conservatory (where she is a Resident Designer). Our Lighting Designer is Owen Walz, a multi-talented artist who works not only in lighting, but scenic design, web design, graphics, illustrations, and more; and Sound Design is by our very own sound guru Mark Valadez, who was heard this past season as the designer for The Mystery of Irma Vep and Belleville.

And finally, this whole team will be led into glorious battle by director Philip Cuomo! For years, Philip has been an invaluable Third Rail company member as actor, administrator and director. Last season, he helmed The Mystery of Irma Vep and Belleville and next spring he will be directing The New Electric Ballroom. Philip will be aided by Assistant Directors Brian Guerrero and company member Karen Trumbo!

We can’t wait to see what this incredible team creates!




Putting Our Heads Together at Third Rail

by Karen Trumbo

Karen Trumbo joins Third Rail Repertory Theatre this season as a core company member. She first worked at Third Rail in last season’s production of Noises Off as Dotty/Mrs. Crachet, and appeared in this season’s production of Middletown.

We had been rehearsing Noises Off for a few weeks and were blessed with the ability to be working on the actual set that had been built in the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s warehouse (later to be moved to the Winningstad). Our rehearsals always started with a warm-up, which for this show was essential to keep us from freezing in the unheated warehouse in the middle of November. Isaac Lamb was in charge of the warm-up on this particular evening, and he chose an exercise called “Predator/Prey.”

The idea behind the game was that Isaac as the “Predator” picked three spots in this large space that included the huge set and lots of places to hide. The “Prey” (which included about 8-9 of us) were to touch each of these three spots in an allotted time of anywhere from 3-10 seconds, before returning to the Predator. The Prey could hide at the end of each countdown to save themselves and then begin to run for their next spot once a new countdown was begun; or until another Prey had successfully touched all three spots, made their way back to the Predator, and touched the Predator’s outstretched hand before the end of the countdown in which case that Prey would win the game. We were allowed to pick any strategy or path we each desired, but if you were seen by the Predator at the end of any countdown you were out.
Everyone was beyond committed to winning the game—quite the competitive group.

On the third or fourth round of this game, I had a laid out my path in my mind, and had a strategy for getting to each spot and back—knowing right where I would hide along the way. I made it to the first and second spot with ease, successfully hiding before the end of each countdown. When the third countdown started, I was running for my final spot at full speed and just as I reached the spot I met, also coming at full speed, Maureen Porter. We collided with full force…..her teeth and mouth with my big forehead.
With not a moment left before the end of the countdown we both dropped to the floor to hide, whispering urgently to each other, “Are you OK?” We each nodded in assent, and then a split second later when the next countdown began again we both jumped up and ran to go for the win. (I can’t remember for sure, but I think she beat me!)

Moments later we were laughing and sharing our “head-on” collision story. Maureen had a big fat bleeding lip and I had a large, swelling bump on my forehead. And I thought, “Ahhh… a comrade! Yep, this is my kind of people!”


Third Rail: Loose in London Returns

March 8-15, 2015
We're heading back to Theatreland and we want you with us!

Our annual Third Rail: Loose In London Tour has quickly become one of our most successful and popular programs, and we’re pleased to announce dates and registration for our 2015 excursion. If history is any  indication, this trip will fill up very quickly and, as always, space will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants in order to make the trip as intimate and personal an experience as possible.

The tour is catered toward the restless “theatre junkies” out there (you know who you are); the ones who need a fix of new plays, major revivals, performances that make you sweaty and nervous (in all the best ways), and experiences to make your heart pound and your breath quicken. We’re ready to be your theatre pusher, your peddler, your candy man. We’ll finalize the details of the itinerary in December, but to whet your appetite, here’s a little taste of what we’re considering:

The World Premiere of David Hare‘s newest play; a controversial new collaboration by the Royal Court and Headlong; the newest offering at the Donmar Warehouse; and performances by James McAvoy, Rufus Sewell, and a host of other heavy hitters of the British stage.

No matter the plays, you can rest assured we’ll line up a wide variety of experiences that will give you plenty to enjoy and even more to talk about.

Remember: space is limited to the first 20 patrons; so don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to join Artistic Director Scott Yarbrough and Company Member Maureen Porter for this one-of-a-kind

Register here…THIRD RAIL: LOOSE IN LONDON REGISTRATION

Registration Deadline: December 30, 2014

For travel information contact Gregg Macy at 503-451-3281

For information about plays and itinerary contact Scott Yarbrough at scott@thirdrailrep.org


Middletown Vaults to the Top of Third Rail’s Ninth Season

Will Eno's "delicate, moving and wry" play begins on September 26 at the Winningstad

We kick off our ninth season with a play Third Rail has been dying to produce since it was the hit of Portland Center Stage’s 2009 JAW Festival, Middletown by Will Eno. The residents of Middletown lead lives that are probably not too different from ours. They wake up, go to work, say hello to their neighbors, fix the plumbing, seek advice on parenting, and try to live lives that are as rewarding as possible. It’s all fairly ordinary. And yet…ordinary doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this quirky, word-frenzied, refraction of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Middletown is a quizzical fable about life in all its sweetness and pain, joy and wonder, beginnings and endings.

  • Middletown by Will Eno
  • Middletown by Will Eno

Featured will be company members Michael O’Connell, Maureen Porter, Damon Kupper, Karen Trumbo, and Bruce Burkhartsmeier, joined by guest artists Amy Newman, Darius Pierce, Diane Kondrat, and Ben Newman. Direction will be by Marcella Crowson.

Performances begin September 24 at the Winningstad Theatre.