A Letter From Playwright Lauren Gunderson

The Taming is connected to our politically active city in more ways than we realized when it was selected for production in CoHo Season 23. We knew that Mariel Sierra, Lauren Bloom Hanover, McKenna Twedt, and Katie Watkins collaborated on a public reading of the play as part of the nation-wide Inauguration Project protest on January 20, 2017 before proposing a full production at CoHo. We knew they would make a dynamic team of co-producers. We knew that Lauren Bloom Hanover had personal and professional connections to the playwright, Lauren Gunderson. But we didn’t realize that Hanover was actually the first actor to read the role of Patricia (in Lauren Gunderson’s living room) while The Taming was originally in development in 2013. And we had no idea that the woman responsible for commissioning and directing that original 2013 production of The Taming for San Francisco’s Crowded Fire Theater, Marissa Wolf, would be moving to Portland to take on the Artistic Director role at Portland Center Stage. So here we are at midterm election time with a sharp and hilarious political farce that now has deep Portland connections, and a playwright who couldn’t be happier that her work is being produced here. Now, who wants to save America?


I am so thrilled and honored that The Taming is coming to Portland. For such an incredible town full of art and activism, this play will complement all that Portland is. It’s the perfect time for the play – right before the election. I hope that people see this production and that it inspires them to take immediate action at the ballot box!

The truth is, this play is not partisan. It is about bringing together different perspectives around a few central tenants: that what should make this country great is our collaboration and appreciation for the differences that make us unique, diverse and strong hearted. We actually need each other to make America its greatest, and its greatest self is empathetic, creative, and always looking to be kinder and more helpful to everyone.

Plus, I’m so thrilled to see Lauren Hanover in this role! It’s been a personal dream to see her play this part, since she was in my living room reading the very first draft of this play. I’m so honored that she is performing it!

This project started with The Taming readings staged around the country on Inauguration Day, all to protest intolerance and sexism; to have a full production come out of that experience and those readings is incredible to me. I can’t wait to be inspired by this group of fantastic women.

~ Lauren Gunderson

The Taming opens October 26 and runs through November 17. Get your tickets now!

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