“When I think of you, I am aware of who you now are, your age, and your physical problems, but those perceptions are overridden by my knowledge of who you were 50 years ago.” –from Jordan Harrison’s MARJORIE PRIME
Welcome to Artists Rep and to the Portland Premiere of playwright Jordan Harrison’s intricate, delicate and deeply moving MARJORIE PRIME. I first read this acclaimed new play just over a year ago while it was still enjoying its Off-Broadway run, and I jumped at the chance to produce it here in Portland.
Over a series of quiet and deceptively simple two-person scenes, Harrison ambitiously explores themes as grand and challenging as our inevitable relationship to artificial intelligence technology, the ephemeral nature of memory and the stories we leave behind when we pass
from life. Each time I experience the play, I’m moved by the notion that we human beings exist beyond our time on Earth only through the stories we tell, and those told about us by others, whether they are apocryphal or not. I’m reminded of the vital importance of telling and recording our stories for future generations and the need for the shared storytelling experience that is uniquely possible in the theatre.
On stage today, you’ll be experiencing the work of some of Portland’s finest professional storytellers. Resident Artists Vana O’Brien (Artists Rep co-founder), Linda Alper, Michael Mendelson and Chris Harder represent several decades of experience and share a history of collaboration that imbues their performances with rich detail and honesty. They are guided by the sure hand of Adriana Baer (Artists Rep’s THE PRICE), former artistic director of Profile Theatre and currently one of Portland’s most skilled freelance directors. I also want to call your attention to the design and production team, which is comprised of a dynamic mix of Artists Rep veterans and newer guest artists whose work can be seen on stages across the city. It’s artists such as these, and many others, who make our city one of the country’s most lively theatre scenes.
Thank you for joining us today! I look forward to welcoming you back to the theatre in March for the wildly theatrical and absurdly funny local premiere of Charise Castro Smith’s horror-film inspired FEATHERS & TEETH.
Marjorie Prime runs Feb 7 – Mar 5 at Artists Repertory Theatre