Live at the Armory!

Kate Hamill’s take on Holmes and Watson comes to Portland fresh off its world premiere after being developed at PCS’s JAW New Play Festival in 2021

Previews Begin Jan. 14 | Opening Night is Jan. 20 | Closes Feb. 12

The work of Kate Hamill, one of the most-produced playwrights in the country, returns to Portland Center Stage in the new year, bringing another innovative, feminist lens to a literary favorite. This time, Hamill envisions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterful stories as a female buddy comedy with Holmes and Watson played by women and set in the present day. Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B begins preview performances on January 14, opens on January 20, and runs through February 12 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage. Tickets are on sale now.

L-R: Ashley Song, Dana Green, and Kimberly Chatterjee in “Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B” at Portland Center Stage; photo by Shawnte Sims/courtesy of Portland Center Stage.

Ashley Song, who is currently starring in PCS’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, will play the character of Sherlock Holmes. Song will be joined by Kimberly Chatterjee, who will make her PCS debut as Dr. Joan Watson. Portland actors Dana Green and Darius Pierce return to bring detectives, criminals, and other favorite characters to life from Doyle’s stories.

“Kate Hamill’s brilliant adaptation of the iconic Holmes and Watson duo is deliciously funny,” said Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, who will direct this production. “From nun costumes to buckets of blood to jumping onto moving trains, this play contains all the joyful elements of a farce crossed with a cozy mystery — the perfect antidote to brighten a dark winter day!”

L-R: Ashley Song, Darius Pierce, and Kimberly Chatterjee in “Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B” at Portland Center Stage; photo by Shawnte Sims/courtesy of Portland Center Stage

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B was developed at PCS’s JAW New Play Festival in 2021, in partnership with KCRep. Portland audiences will be the first to experience this new play hot off its world premiere at KCRep, and the script has since been further developed at Portland Center Stage. Black Bee Buzz praised KCRep’s production as “bloody good … if the classic characters are the heart of Apt. 2B, then near-broad comedy is its soul … by lights down, the heart has beat wildly with hope of romance, the gut has jiggled from guffaw and giggles, and the mind has flexed with solving puzzles and decoding riddles.”

L-R: Kimberly Chatterjee and Ashley Song in “Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B” at Portland Center Stage; photo by Shawnte Sims/courtesy of Portland Center Stage.

Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B follows the wildly popular staging of Hamill’s adaptation ofBedlam’s Sense & Sensibility at PCS. Hamill has received much praise for her adaptations. The Wall Street Journal noted that “Hamill’s adaptations of the classics are endlessly ingenious.” The New York Times has called her adaptations “irresistible theater,” “a gift to actors and a goody bag for its audience,” and even, “a powerful argument for the full humanity of women in our culture — a matter that’s not as settled as we might like to think.”

L-R: Dana Green and Ashley Song in “Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B” at Portland Center Stage; photo by Shawnte Sims/courtesy of Portland Center Stage.

ABOUT THE PLAY
Fast-paced and wonderfully farcical, this is the bold, feminist take on the iconic crime-fighting duo that you’ve been awaiting. It’s present-day Baker Street and female roommates Holmes and Watson careen from caper to caper. Eventually, they come face-to-face with a supervillain who seems to have all of the answers. Get ready for a quasi-dysfunctional, “Odd Couple” comedy that packs in non-stop laughs and hijinks galore.

SPECIAL EVENTS
The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Night for Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B Wed., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. • Sliding scale tickets w/ FREE pre- & post-show offerings
The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Nights are a mindful curation of an environment meant to center the experience of people who identify as part of the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). These events are dedicated to generating a space for BIPOC individuals to engage with the performance in ways that are authentic to them — and they include exciting pre- and post-show offerings, along with complimentary beer from Deschutes Brewery.

PLAYWRIGHT KATE HAMILL
Kate Hamill is a playwright and actor based in NYC. For the last three seasons, she has been included on the most-produced playwright list in American Theatre magazine. Her most recent work includes the virtual production of Badass Galboss Power Hour for Primary Stages; Dracula at Classic Stage Company; the New York premiere of Little Women by Primary Stages (commissioned and received its world premiere at Jungle Theater in Minneapolis); and Mansfield Park, which was commissioned by and debuted at Northlight Theatre. This past season, she debuted Emma at Guthrie Theater. She is currently working on an adaptation of The Odyssey, which will be produced by Artists Repertory Theatre, as well as several new original plays, including The Piper (2019 O’Neill NPC finalist; PlayPenn selection) and The Prostitute Play (developed at Cygnet Theatre). katehamill.com

THE CAST
Returning to the stage to play Sherlock Holmes is Ashley Song (Rent at PCS), with Kimberly Chatterjee making her Portland Center Stage debut (Wheelhouse Theater Company’s Off-Broadway LIFE SUCKS) as Holmes’ sidekick and roommate Dr. Joan Watson. Dana Green (Macbeth at PCS) will portray Irene Adler, Mrs. Hudson, and Mrs. Drebber, and Darius Pierce (The Great Leap with PCS/ART) will play the roles of Lestrade, Elliot Monk, and others.

THE CREATIVE TEAM
Director Marissa Wolf helms a team that includes Scenic Designer Carey Wong (a designer of Beyond the Gate at the Portland Chinatown Museum, where a retrospective of his design work was exhibited last year); Costume Designer Sydney Dufka (The Winter’s Tale for Portland Shakespeare Company); Lighting Designer Sarah Hughey (Crossing Mnisose at PCS); Sound Designer Madeleine Oldham (American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre); Wig Designer Jessica Miller (Rent at PCS); Dramaturg Kamilah Bush (PCS’s Literary Manager); with Stage Manager and Fight Coordinator Kristen Mun-Van Noy and Assistant Stage Manager and Intimacy Coordinator Amanda Vander Hyde.

TICKET AND PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

When: January  14 – February 12, 2023*

*Opening Night/Press Night: Friday, January 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Preview Performances: January 14, 15, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m. Pay What You Will Performances: January 15 and February 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Pay What You Will Performances: January 15 and February 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Night: February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: On the U.S. Bank Main Stage at The Armory, 128 NW Eleventh Ave, Portland, OR.

To Purchase Regular Tickets: Prices range from $25 to $98 and tickets may be purchased at pcs.org/ms-holmes-ms-watson-apt-2b, 503.445.3700, or in-person from the box office. Prices vary by date and time and are subject to change.

Ticket Specials: Visit pcs.org/deals to view ticket specials, including Rush Tickets, Pay What You Will, Arts for All, Active Duty, Military Veteran, Student, Under 30, The Armory Card, Groups of 10+, and more. 

Please Note: This production is recommended for ages 12 and up. It contains strobe lights, gunfire, theatrical haze and blood, smoking, and drug use. Learn more by calling 503-445-3700.

Accessibility: Learn about accessibility options at pcs.org/access.

PORTLAND CENTER STAGE 
Portland Center Stage’s mission is to create transcendent theatrical experiences and community programs that break down the barriers separating people. We support our community in celebrating the full scope of humanity, appreciating difference, and fostering belonging. PCS was established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and became independent in 1994. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Interim Managing Director Liam Kaas-Lentz, the company produces a mix of classic, contemporary, and world-premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 28 world premieres, many of which were developed at its JAW New Play Festival. PCS’s home is The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, the first performing arts venue in the country, and the first building in Portland to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Learn more at pcs.org/idea

Portland Center Stage’s 2022-2023 season is funded in part by Season Superstars the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation; Season Sponsors the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts, and US Bank; and Producing Sponsors Ellyn Bye, Ray and Bobbi Davis,  Ronni Lacroute, Mark Spencer, Argyle Winery, and Deschutes Brewery. 

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