Articles about Portland theater

Summer-in-the-Winter Announcement

On January 4th, we kick off the new year with thrilling news! We’ve got new Third Rail Main Stage productions to share with you! Exciting, bold, and electric plays are on the horizon and we get to tell you about them (and more) at a wonderful event with food, drinks, laughter, and a whole lot of fun!

More details coming soon, but you don’t need to wait for more details. You can get it in your calendar right now! 6:30pm on January 4th, you can warm up your Winter with a little Summer and find out about what the hotter months have in store for our Main Stage.

See you at our Summer-in-the-Winter Announcement party!

The Realistic Joneses Dramaturgy

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 probing grace.

Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses opened on Broadway in 2014, where it won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today’s “Best Play on Broadway,” topped the Guardian’s 2014 list of best American plays, and was included in the New York Times’ “Best Theater of 2014.” We are deeply proud to be sharing it with Portland audiences. The show is an unconventional, unexpected, original and outrageous look at the people who live next door and the truths we think we know. The show is funny and banal and profound and intimate. Eno’s voice is one of the most singular of his generation.

I hope with all of these four characters, who have very different responses to the big, big things in life – I hope that people find one or the other or the other or the other of them or some mix of them to be something that’s very recognizable to how they go through their day and their lives.Will Eno

To be able to hear the play and be part of the play is transforming for me as a human being… I have the exquisite pleasure of standing backstage and hearing something that is cracking me up and changing my perspective on life… It comes so organically out of [Eno’s] heart and soul, that ineffable something, that always gets you in the stomach.Marissa Tomei (who starred in the show on Broadway)

Plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as The Realistic Joneses, by Will Eno, do not appear often on Broadway. Or ever, really… [the show] brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season.Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

The Realistic Joneses First Read

As Or, prepares to open this Friday, our Members joined us for our first read of The Realistic Joneses. This was the second opportunity for Third Rail Members to be a part of the production experience from the very beginning.

We were introduced to the project by Third Rail Artistic Director, Scott Yarbrough, who explained how we’ve come to produce our second play by the brilliant Middletown playwright, Will Eno. Yarbrough will be involved in this production as a kind of Tom Hagen figure (consigliere) to the Don (director) a la The Godfather – his words (more or less). The Don, in this case, is Third Rail Company Member Rebecca Lingafelter. While Lingafelter has been seen several times on the Third Rail stage, this marks her first time as a Third Rail director.

The night progressed with beautiful and evocative design presentations from the creative team. It is a rare privilege to witness these creative minds transform words on a page to a vivid physical universe. Finally, we were treated to a reading of the play by the cast: Michael O’Connell, Dana Green, Darius Pierce, and Kerry Ryan. It is at once a touching, hilarious and deeply human play sure to be a must see this Fall. Watch this space to follow this production’s development over the next month, and be sure to book your tickets! Performances begin October 23rd and run through November 14th.

Announcing our 10th Anniversary Season!

We’re movin on up to the Eastside…no really!  Third Rail is honored and excited to announce that our 10th Anniversary Season will be our first in Residence at Imago Theatre.  The artistic opportunities available to us in this new partnership with Imago are myriad, and we’re pleased as punch to be able to bring ALL of our programming to one location.  Mainstage Productions, NT Live, Mentorship Productions, Readings, and much much more will all now be housed in one artistically thriving location.

Speaking of Mainstage Productions, we’re thrilled to announce the four energetic, hilarious, thrilling, visceral, titillating, and unmistakably “Third Rail” plays that will make up our 10th Anniversary Season:

The Angry Brigade
by James Graham


Against a backdrop of Tory cuts, high unemployment and the deregulated economy of 1970s Britain, a young urban guerrilla group mobilizes: The Angry Brigade. Their targets? Embassies. Police. Pageant Queens. A world of order shattered by anarchy. An uprising has begun and no one is exempt. Part history play, part police procedural, part comedy of manners, part thriller, part documentary, part social satire, The Angry Brigade is perhaps the most compelling show we’ve ever programmed to open a season.

by Liz Duffy Adams

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 ingenue to the king himself, vying for her time and affections. 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.

Mr. Kolpert
by David Gieselman, translated by David Tushingham

What do a mysterious trunk, an Orwellian pizza ordering system, architectural design, tiramisu, Marilyn Monroe, Goofy, Bill Clinton, chaos theory, ropes, gags, and the world’s worst boss have in common?  You’ll find out in a play that Variety described as “a wicked treat for the morbidly inclined — a bonbon filled with arsenic.” One part Albee, one part Hitchcock, one part Tarantino, Mr. Kolpert is a play we’ve been dying to produce since day one. Comedy doesn’t come much blacker or better than this.

The New Electric Ballroom
by Enda Walsh

Meet Breda, Clara, and Ada, three sisters trapped in a remote Irish town filled with gossip and fish. Breda and Clara obsessively relive the time when, as 17-year-olds, they were nearly seduced at the New Electric Ballroom by Roller Doyle, the hearthrob singer in a touring band. Meanwhile Ada, the youngest, tries her best to fend off the romantic overtures of the local fishmonger.  Funny, tender-hearted and at times pitch dark, The New Electric Ballroom is a coiled, glitter-dusted fable about the stories that come to define us.

Exciting stuff, right?  We think so, too.  So what are you waiting for? Subscribe now and join us for the next 10 years…and the 10 after that!

Third Rail Season 10 2015/2016

What’s Coming Up at Third Rail Rep

The night is alive…with pirates!
The Night Alive

The third show of our 9th Season is Conor McPherson’s moving, humorous, deeply introspective glance at how we define our place in the twisted mess that is life, The Night Alive.  Opening February 20th and starring company members (and Portland theatre stalwarts) Damon Kupper, Mike O’Connell, and Rolland Walsh, this beautiful, stirring play about compassion, love and who we choose to share our lives with, is sure to please. Get your tickets now before they’re gone!

Our next National Theatre Live production, Treasure Island, also appears on the horizon…land ho! Get your tickets for our March 14th showings of this family-friendly production spectacular at the World Trade Center Theatre by clicking here!

Quick-Changes, Holidays, and the Best Pommes Frites in Town

‘Twas just before Christmas and throughout Third Rail Rep
Everyone was excited about Irma Vep
The place was abuzz like bees in a hive
Because of the plays with National Theater Live

With great plays and great gifts for the theatre lover
For the holidays Third Rail Rep’s got you covered

Tis the season, and Third Rail has everything you need to celebrate the holidays:

The Mystery of Irma Vep
A little holiday entertainment for you, your family, and your friends with some great Portland live theatre and the hilarious quick-change romp The Mystery of Irma Vep, December 5 – January 10.

Exceptional food with a $10 discount at the fabulous Nel Centro restaurant (just short walk from the Winningstad Theatre), where you’ll find delicious starters and salads, homemade pastas, fantastic entrees and desserts, and the best French fries in the city. (Coupon provided by Third Rail with all Irma Vep ticket purchases.)

The perfect gift for everyone on your list: Tickets to Third Rail Main Stage Plays and National Theatre Live single-show tickets as well as 6-ticket punch cards (great for stocking stuffers).

24 Days of GivingAnd for your end-of-year giving, check out Third Rail’s 24 Days of Giving Campaign.