PCS, The New Season

Portland Center Stage’s 2024-2025 season kicks off in September with Stephen Sondheim’s spooky musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The nine-show lineup includes a remount of last season’s holiday hit, Liberace & Liza, Holiday at the Mansion (A Tribute), new takes on classics like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Plus, audiences will experience recent works such as Broadway hit Jaja’s African Hair Braiding and Chicago playwright Loy Webb’s The Light, plus a new solo work by television actor Chris Grace, where he lauds the work of fellow Asian actor, Scarlett Johansson.

The season includes a world premiere adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest by Kamilah Bush, as well as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s story of brotherhood, The Brothers Size. PCS’s support of new work also continues with the return of the 24th annual JAW: New Play Festival, July 26-28, 2024.

“This season’s lineup is fierce, speaking directly to our current lives as we center joy, fight for our democracy, and offer a space to wrestle with our own humanity,” said Artistic Director Marissa Wolf. “From arresting new approaches to beloved classics, including Sondheim’s revenge musical, Sweeney Todd, to the theatrical, humor filled worlds of Twelfth Night and a world premiere adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest, the season lifts off to feature hot new plays, including award winning Jaja’s African Hair Braiding and the scathingly funny Chris Grace: As Scarlett Johansson. Join us for a season of energetic, expansive, transcendent theater on our stages!”

Beyond the stage, PCS’s 2024-2025 calendar will be packed full with vibrant community events, including First Thursday gatherings, live music and comedy showcases, art exhibits, community discussions, classes for adults, and more. PCS’s youth programs will continue to grow in the season ahead as well, with increased student matinees, ongoing classes for teens, and robust in-school offerings. 

Season tickets are on sale now. Group tickets of 10+ are also available for early reservation. Single tickets will go on sale in late summer 2024. PCS will continue offering a wide array of prices to make its productions and events affordable for all, including two Pay-What-You-Will performances for each production, discounted rush tickets that can be purchased as early as noon on the day of a performance, and more. Full details below.   

PCS’s 2024-2025 Season Lineup

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Directed & Choreographed by Chip Miller

Musical Directed by DeReau K. Farrar

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

September 29 – November 3, 2024

Great for fans of Little Shop of Horrors, Tim Burton, Dexter, Guillermo del Toro, and The Pie Spot (IFKYK!).

After 15 years in exile on a trumped up conviction, Sweeney Todd returns to the grit and grime of Victorian London, bent on reclaiming his life and exacting bloody retribution. With the help of his trusty razors and his plotting landlady and pie-shop owner, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney tears through a corrupt society proving revenge is a dish best served piping hot. This Sondheim classic is to die for! 

Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, 1979.

“…Sweeney Todd may well be the greatest of all Broadway musicals: an epic combination of disparate ingredients—horror and humor, cynicism and sentiment, melodrama and sophisticated wit—with a central core of grounded, meaty humanity.” – Time Out New York

Liberace & Liza: Holiday at the Mansion (A Tribute)

By Jillian Snow & David Saffert

Directed by Chip Miller

In the Ellyn Bye Studio

November 10 – December 22, 2024

If you like sequins, showtunes, and laughing until your face hurts, this one is for you!

Local favorites David Saffert and Jillian Snow are BACK! Join them as they sparkle in this exhilarating night of musical and comical fireworks. Settle in for a glamorous evening as they bring two icons to life. Liberace & Liza delights in some of show business’ wildest and most well known personalities, sharing iconic musical numbers, enchanting costumes and unforgettable laughs. Make your visit to the mansion a holiday tradition!

“…their comic banter shines as brightly as their glittering outfits. It’s a delight.” – Oregon ArtsWatch

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Marissa Wolf

On the U.S. Bank Mainstage

November 24 – December 22, 2024

If you like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, romantic comedies, and Portland indie pop, join us!

When Viola washes ashore, her twin brother Sebastian is lost at sea. Disguises, mistaken identities and unrequited love show them that shipwrecks may be the least of their problems. In one of  Shakespeare’s most enduring comedies, everything — love, mischief, music and libations — exists in exciting excess! 

“Shakespeare’s most perfect comedy” – Broadway World

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

By Jocelyn Bioh

Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

January 19 – February 16, 2025

For fans of Beauty Shop, B*A*P*S, Bronner Bros Hair Show, and Steel Magnolias.

Fresh off of a celebrated Broadway run, Jocelyn Bioh (writer of School Girls: Or the African Mean Girls Play) brilliantly brings the bustling world of a Harlem braiding shop to life! This universal story full of heart and hilarity centers a vibrant group of West African Stylists who create hair magic, community, and comedy in Jaja’s shop. As these “capital S” Stylists and their zany assortment of patrons navigate the complexities of culture, politics, love, and beauty, they illuminate how one finds, builds, and maintains home, even when home feels far away.

“A hot and hilarious workplace sitcom.” – The New York Times

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

By Edward Albee

Directed by Marissa Wolf

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

March 2 – 30, 2025

If your favorite plays include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Long Day’s Journey into Night, or if you’re a fan of Scenes from a Marriage or the Normal Gossip podcast, this is for you!

George and Martha have invited a young couple — Nick and Honey — over for a nightcap. As the drinks start flowing and skeletons claw their way out of their closets, the couples soon learn that marriage isn’t all fun and games. Hilarious and harrowing, one of the theater’s beloved classics, Edward Albee’s dark comedy is as fresh now as it was at its premiere more than 60 years ago.

Tony Award for Best Play, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, 1963.

“At its heart, it is a twisted living room comedy… both sharp and poisonously funny.” 

 Entertainment Weekly

The Light

By Loy A. Webb

Directed by Chip Miller

In the Ellyn Bye Studio

March 9 – April 20, 2025

Perfect for fans of Redwood, Love Life, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.

Today should be the happiest day of Rashad and Genesis’ lives — he’s planned it all out — the perfect proposal before the perfect concert from the couple’s favorite artist. Things, however, almost never go as planned and when old secrets put their relationship at risk, they are forced to confront their commitment to each other and to justice. This intimate and moving play set amid the Kavanaugh hearings makes the political quite personal, in a real time rollercoaster ride of romance and reckoning.

Outer Critics Circle nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, 2018.

The Light is the full package – great writing, superb acting, sensitive direction, excellent production values and timely, relevant subject matter presented with honesty, humor, dignity, passion and love. A powerful and affecting combination.” – New York Theatre Guide

The Brothers Size

By Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed & Choreographed by Chip Miller

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

April 20 – May 18, 2025

If you love Tarell’s previous works (In the Red and Brown Water, Choir Boy, Moonlight)Clyde’s, or Life (1999 film), then this show is for you.

From Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight, Choir Boy) comes a story of freedom and family. Steadfast and responsible, Ogun Size fights to connect with Oshoosi, his aimless younger brother,  who has recently been released from prison. Weaving together the mundane and the mystic, this play invites us into the Louisiana Bayou, showing us a world of poetry, African mythology, and music. A fresh and contemporary tale of belonging, brotherhood and the ties that bind. 

New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, 2009.

Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, 2007.

“The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more.” – The Chicago Tribune

Chris Grace: As Scarlett Johansson

By Tarell Alvin McCraney

Directed by Chip Miller

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

May 11 – June 22, 2025

Great for fans of Black Widow, Marvel Avengers, and Kristina Wong’s Sweatshop Overlord. Also great if you’re not a fan of Ghost in the Shell (2017) and Emma Stone in Aloha

Chris Grace is Scarlett Johansson. Or maybe Scarlett Johansson is Chris Grace. Either way, only one of them played a Japanese cyborg in Ghost in the Shell.  In a tour-de-force one-person farce that The Guardian describes as “mind and character bending,” Asian American actor and comedian Chris Grace explores the bounds of an artist’s identity. With the help of an ever-growing pile of wigs, Chris Grace: As Scarlett Johansson celebrates two of Hollywood’s most beloved Asian actors. 

Winner, Hollywood Encore Producer’s Award, 2023.

“Consistently hilarious…. An insightful hour of comedy that is also deeply funny.” 

– Broadway World

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Adapted by Kamilah Bush

Directed by Josiah Davis

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

June 1 – 29, 2025

A world-premiere adaptation! If you like BridgertonSense & Sensibility, Saltburn, or Gossip Girl, you’ll love this!

What’s in a name? For some people — everything. A new, exciting spin on an old classic, this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s satire sparkles with wit and whimsy. To become the gentlemen they believe they’re meant to be, Jack and Algernon must live double lives. Country mice and city mice collide in this comedy that will woo you from the very start!

“The rare work of art that achieves perfection on its own terms.” – The New York Times

Subscriptions are on sale now and single tickets will go on sale in the late summer 2024. To purchase season tickets, visit pcs.org/shows/2024-2025-season or call the box office 503-445-3700, between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m, Wednesday-Sunday. Ticket packages start at $108 for three plays. Special discounts are available for students and K-12 educators. The Armory Card, a hugely popular option for those who are 35 years old, or younger, starts at $125 for five admissions. Groups of 10 or more can sign up for priority seating now to get an early bird special of 25%. 

Portland Center Stage was established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and became independent in 1994. 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 Current Season is supported by Argyle Winery, Brown-Forman Distributing, Ellyn Bye, Ray and Bobbi Davis, Deschutes Brewery, Ronni Lacroute, Mark Spencer Hotel, Mellon Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Multnomah Whiskey Library, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Shubert Foundation, and U.S. Bank.

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