How do you lift up a society?
George Bernard Shaw’s witty and timely classic Major Barbara
pits charity against capitalism with surprising results.
Previews Begin April 14 | Opening Night is April 20 | Must Close May 13
Tickets start at $25
The clash between a daughter’s philanthropic idealism and her father’s hard-headed capitalism is at the heart of George Bernard Shaw’s witty and timely classic Major Barbara, which begins preview performances at The Armory on April 14, opens on April 20, and runs through May 13 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage.
Major Barbara will be the final production directed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman at The Armory before he moves to Colorado to take the helm of Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. The production will star Hanley Smith, who will make her debut at The Armory in the role of Major Barbara; joined by Charles Leggett as Andrew Undershaft; Dana Green as Lady Britomart; Joshua J. Weinstein as Stephen Undershaft; Nikki Weaver as Sarah Undershaft; Brian Weaver as Adolphus Cusins; Chris Murray as Charles Lomax; and Gavin Hoffman as Peter Shirley/Morrison.
“It feels somehow fitting that my final production for Portland Center Stage is a play by Shaw. He is one of my all-time favorites, and this is the sixth production of his that I’ve worked on,” said Chris Coleman. “What I find delicious about the piece right now,” he continued, “is the fact that Shaw, one of the early members of the Fabian Society (the socialist party of England), is wrestling with capitalism in the bluntest terms we see in his work. And the outcome is not at all what we anticipate walking in. As with all of his plays, it is rich with irony and brilliant thought, but it also sparkles with his ever-present wit.”
Regular tickets start at $25. Tickets may be purchased at www.pcs.org, 503.445.3700, or in-person from the box office (128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR). Rush tickets are $20. Students and patrons who are 30 or younger can purchase $30 premium tickets. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. Discounts for groups of 10+. Active duty or veteran military personnel and their immediate families get 50% off the price of regular tickets. Performance times are Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.; Thursday matinees at noon; date exclusions apply, see below for more information. Recommended for ages 12 and up. The actors in this production will be using tobacco-free herbal cigarettes. More at www.pcs.org/majorbarbara.
ABOUT THE PLAY
When her daughters, Sarah and Barbara, are both engaged to be married, Lady Britomart decides to ask her estranged industrialist husband, Andrew Undershaft, for support. Barbara, a Major in the Salvation Army, agrees to let her father visit her mission in the East End of London. In exchange, she promises to visit his munitions factory. The clash between Barbara’s philanthropic idealism and her father’s hard-headed capitalism are at the heart of Shaw’s witty and timely appraisal of capitalism, war, religion and politics. Major Barbara, written in 1905 and first produced in London the same year, is among Shaw’s most widely regarded plays. It has been praised by New York Post as “one of Shaw’s brightest, slyest, most provocatively outrageous and most timeless comedies” and by The New York Times as “inescapably playful and undeniably serious, George Bernard Shaw’s 1905 Major Barbara pits youth against age, poverty against wealth, faith against armored tanks. You might be surprised which side you ultimately take.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the acclaimed dramatist, critic and social reformer, was born in Dublin, the son of a civil servant. He moved to London as a young man in 1876, where he established himself as a leading music and theater critic. Shaw declared himself a socialist in 1882 and became a prominent member of the Fabian Society in 1884, for which he composed many pamphlets. He began his literary career as a novelist. As a fervent advocate of the new theater of Ibsen (The Quintessence of Ibsenism, 1891), he decided to write plays in order to illustrate his criticism of the English stage. His plays include Widower’s Houses, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, The Man of Destiny, Man and Superman, Back to Methuselah, Saint Joan, Caesar and Cleopatra, Androcles and the Lion, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Candida and Pygmalion. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.
Hanley Smith makes her debut at The Armory as Barbara Undershaft (Vanda in Venus in Fur at Fulton Theatre and Laura in The Glass Menagerie at Pioneer Theatre Company, among others); joined by Charles Leggett as Andrew Undershaft (Sorn in Stupid Fucking Bird, Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing and Liputin in The Devils at The Armory); Dana Green as Lady Britomart/ Rummy Mitchens/Mrs. Baines (most recently Marianne in Constellations and Mrs. Joe/Miss Havisham in Great Expectations at The Armory); Joshua J. Weinstein as Stephen Undershaft/ Snobby Price (The Armory debut; Dr. William Huffington in Magellanica and White Man/Actor 1 in We Are Proud to Present … at Artists Repertory Theatre); Nikki Weaver as Sarah Undershaft/Jenny (co-founder of Portland Playhouse; JAW at The Armory); Brian Weaver as Adolphus Cusins (co-founder of Portland Playhouse; Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare & Company); Chris Murray as Charles Lomax/Bill Walker (most recently at The Armory in Astoria: Part One and Two); and Gavin Hoffman as Peter Shirley/Morrison (most recently at The Armory in Astoria: Part One and Two).
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Chris Coleman directs his final production as Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage at The Armory, joined by a creative team that includes Scenic Designer Daniel Ostling (Tony Award nominations for Metamorphoses and Clybourne Park); Costume Designer Lex Liang (The Armory debut; Classic Theatre of Harlem’s upcoming production of Antigone); Lighting Designer Sarah Hughey (A Christmas Memory and Winter Song at The Armory, among others); Sound Designer Casi Pacilio (The Armory’s resident sound designer; most recently Kodachrome); Dialect Coach Mary McDonald-Lewis (most recently Astoria: Part One and Two at The Armory); with Stage Manager Kristen Mun and Production Assistant Jordan Affeldt.
TICKET AND PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
When: April 14 – May 13, 2018*
*Opening Night/Press Night: Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Preview Performances: April 14, 15, 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: On the U.S. Bank Main Stage at The Armory
128 NW Eleventh Ave., Portland, Ore., 97209
To Purchase: Regular tickets range from $25 to $87. Rush tickets are $20. Students and patrons who are 30 or younger may purchase premium tickets for $30. $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. Discounts for groups of 10+. Active duty or veteran military personnel and their immediate families get 50% off the price of regular tickets. Prices vary by date and time, and are subject to change.
By Phone: 503.445.3700, 12–6 p.m.
In Person: The box office is at 128 NW Eleventh Avenue
12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on performance days
12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on non-performance days
Groups: Discounts available for groups of 10+ by calling 503.445.3794.
More Info: www.pcs.org/majorbarbara
Showtimes: Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (April 29 and May 5, 8 and 13); Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. (excluding April 14, 15, 21 and May 5); and Thursday matinees at noon (excluding April 19).
Please Note: Recommended for ages 12 and up. The actors in this production will be using tobacco-free herbal cigarettes. Children under 6 are not permitted at any production at The Armory.
Accessibility: Learn about our accessibility options at www.pcs.org/access.
PORTLAND CENTER STAGE AT THE ARMORY
Portland Center Stage at The Armory is the largest theater company in Portland and among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994 and has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman since 2000. Around 150,000 visitors attend The Armory annually to enjoy a mix of classical, contemporary and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high quality education and community programs. Eleven productions are offered each season, in addition to roughly 400 community events created — in partnership with 170+ local organizations and individuals — to serve the diverse populations in the city. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 26 world premieres and presents an annual new works festival, JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Home to two theaters, The Armory was the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.
THE 2017-2018 SEASON
The 2017-2018 season is funded in part by Season Superstars Tim and Mary Boyle and Lead Corporate Champion Umpqua Bank. Further support comes from Season Sponsors the Regional Arts and Culture Council, The Wallace Foundation and Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for The Magic Play comes from John and Linda Carter; Doug and Teresa Smith; Dr. Barbara Hort; and Portland Monthly. Mark Spencer Hotel is the official hotel partner for the company. Portland Center Stage at The Armory was selected as a participant of the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative, a four-year effort with a nationwide cohort of 26 performing arts organizations.