In the midst of a Syrian city stricken by war, two couples meet for a quiet evening at home. In an intimate theatre in America, four actors attempt to make sense of an intriguing international work of art. Guillermo Calderon’s riveting play-within-a-play blazes a trail through the twists and turns of cross-cultural understanding, challenging us to reframe our notions of life, love, and what’s lost in translation.
How exactly does one decide to bring a child into this world – with the oceans, and the climate, and the, you know, everything else? Surely the kid’s Eiffel Tower-sized carbon footprint is reason enough not to. But what if baby grows up to solve the world’s problems? Then again, what if baby grows up to be a mass murderer? Or what if…? And what if…? If…? What begins as an odd question for a couple in line at Ikea soon becomes much more as they grapple with existence itself as a moral question, in Duncan Macmillan’s timely and startlingly funny Lungs.
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.
The Bylines have spent years performing in clubs, music venues, and at festivals. They know how to write good songs and put on entertaining shows. But this show is different. “We’re getting a little more personal…a little more intimate, a little more theatrical…..this is something you will sit up in your seat for, a story you will get caught up in. We’re partnering with Third Rail Repertory Theatre, a company that knows us and believes in what we do.”
Written by Reece Marshburn and Marianna Thielen
The show will start at 7:30 at the Imago and run for about 90 minutes with an “after party” to follow each performance. This will be an opportunity for the audience to make requests and each night surprise guests, including members of Third Rail, will show up to perform with Marianna and Reece. (Amy Beth Frankel tap dancing?? You’ll have to come to find out….) The Imago Theatre is an intimate space that seats up to 200 people. Beer, wine and snacks will be available in the lobby. It is located in the heart of SE Portland with myriad places to dine or enjoy preshow cocktails.
We open our 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 OUR TOWN. MIDDLETOWN is a quizzical fable about life in all its sweetness and pain, joy and wonder, beginnings and endings.
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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.