Articles about Or


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!)


August 24 – August 30 2015

This week, we send August out with a bang!

Our mainstage shows are in full swing. Or, will be having a production meeting. The Realistic Joneses will be having a preliminary design meeting about set and costumes. But! This week belongs to NT Live. Specifically, our NT Live Encore Festival! All of your favorite screenings from the past year in one weekend of theatrical excellence. See your favorites one more time and catch the ones you missed!

There are three ways to get in the room with us for NT Live…
1) Single tickets are $20 (with discounts for Students and Seniors).
2) Punch cards for 6 screenings are $96.
3) Become a Third Rail Member for the low monthly fee of $29.33 and receive UNLIMITED access to many events, including all NT Live screenings.

We have something for everyone this weekend. So, we’ll see everyone there!

Man and Superman
– Friday (8/28) at 7:00 pm – Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes stars in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic.

Treasure Island
– Saturday (8/29) at 11:00 am – Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation. Suitable for 10years +

Of Mice and Men
– Saturday (8/29) at 3:00 pm – James Franco and Chris O’Dowd star in this landmark Broadway revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s powerful portrait of the American spirit.

Skylight
– Saturday (8/29) at 7:00 pm – Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan star in David Hare’s riveting play about former lovers locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

A View From the Bridge
– Sunday (8/30) at 2:00 pm – A stellar cast, led by Mark Strong, brings to life this ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece.

JOHN
– Sunday (8/30) at 7:00 pm – Internationally renowned DV8 Physical Theatre creates an intense, moving theatrical experience about a man’s extraordinary and touching journey. Suitable for 18yrs+.

All screening will be at Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Avenue, 97214.


Or, First Read

Scott Yarbrough

A great group of Third Rail Members joined the cast, designers, and production team at the first-read for Or, on Monday night. Historically, our first-reads have only been open to Third Rail Core Company and members of the board, but with our new Membership model, we’re cultivating a deeper relationship with our patrons by including Members in the process of page-to-stage… and we’re so frickin’ excited!

We all gathered to hear our director (Core Company Member Philip Cuomo) speak about his vision for the show, and to listen (and watch) design presentations by an impressive design team. After snacks and beers, we regrouped to hear the actors read the play, together, for the very first time.

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Or, is set in the 1660s (or is it the 1960s?), and is based on an imagined meeting between the (very real) Aphra Behn, England’s first professional playwright, the (also very real) Nell Gwyn, a famous Restoration actress, the (real) William Scot, an English spy in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, and the (yes, THE) Charles II, King of England. It’s funny, beautiful and it bends sexuality and gender and time with bawdy glee. We couldn’t be more excited to be opening our season with this show.

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Want a run-down of the team? Check out our post on the cast and creative team. Would you like to attend one of our production’s first-reads? We would love for you to join us! Read this to learn more about becoming a Member of Third Rail.

Brian Myers


August 3 – August 9 2015

Hello everyone!

Another week, another full slate at Third Rail, another new episode of “Chopped”, and another blog post keeping you updated and informed!

First, we continue to sell memberships and increase the number of people who can say “I am a Third Rail member!”

Then, after a few giant weeks for us, we have a rare moment when we can catch half a breath. But only half. This week, we have the first design meeting for our October/November show, which will follow Or,. We are excited and eager to share with you The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. You may remember Eno’s brilliant writing from Middletown this past Fall. Eno has been an Oppenheimer Award winner, a Drama Desk Award winner, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He was quite open and communicative and present with Third Rail during the Middletown process, so are particularly delighted to be tackling another fantastic play of his.

The Realistic Joneses is Eno’s first Broadway play. It had a successful ran in 2014 starring Michael C.Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts (so just imagine how extraordinary this will be when some talented actors get their hands on it!). It is an unconventional, unexpected, original and outrageous look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know, and the secrets we never imagined we all might share. Here are three quotes about Eno’s script that we hope will begin to get you looking forward to this show as much as we are.

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 New York Times

For all the sadness woven into its fabric, ‘The Realistic Joneses’ brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season. The New York Times

Eno’s dialogue is a marvel… there’s much to savor… Life in Enoland isn’t what you’d call realistic – it’s more real than that. Time Out New York

But! First, we have the hilarious and beautiful and liberating Or,! This week will be the final Set and Costume Design meeting before first read! First read will happen next week and there is nothing more invigorating than diving into a new show… but that is out of my prevue. Next week!

– Darius Pierce, Third Rail Company 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!




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

*AMERICAN PREMIERE*

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.

Or,
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