Portland’s Hottest Theater Companies Converge for CoHo’s Season Opener!

September 12, 2011

For Immediate Release

Animals & Plants

by Adam Rapp

October 13 – November 5, 2011

Directed by Michael O’Connell

Featuring Chris Murray, Joseph Bolenbaugh and Nikki Weaver

CoHo is proud to facilitate an unprecedented collaboration two more of Portland’s hottest theater companies. Adam Rapp’s quirky comedy will feature  Nikki Weaver, the Drammy-winning star of Portland Playhouse (who also received rave reviews for her work in CoHo’s recent reasons to be pretty!) and Chris Murray a talented young member of the acclaimed Third Rail Repertory. Also from Third Rail, director Michael O’Connell will apply his unique vision to Rapp’s script.

In Animals and Plants, Burris and Dantly are trapped in a seedy motel room outside of Boone, North Carolina, waiting out a snow storm. Errand men for a drug dealer in New York, they’re here to purchase a large quantity of mind-altering drugs from a mysterious “Burning Man”. As the snow piles up outside, cryptic phone calls ring in, bears lurk in the dark, and visits from local denizens begin to alter the minds of Burris and Dantly, unassisted by any drug. Animals and Plants received its World Premiere in 2001 in the New Stages Program at the American Repertory Theatre. Rapp recently directed a site-specific version of the play at NYC’s Gershwin Hotel, a collaboration with the Amoralists theatre troupe. Variety calls Animals & Plants “a lurid comic phantasmagoria of life on the underside of Middle America.”

Adam Rapp is a novelist, filmmaker, playwright and director. In 2006, he was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play Red Light Winter. His other plays include Bingo with the Indians, Kindness, American Sligo, Nocturne, Blackbird, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Finer Noble Gases, Essential Self Defense, Trueblinka and Faster. As a director, his production of Blackbird received two Drama Desk nominations. Red Light Winter won the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago and a Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best New Play and two Obie Awards in NYC. Finer Noble Gases at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival received a Fringe First Award. His films include Winter Passing and Blackbird. In a recent online interview with Jesse Schmitt, Rapp said of his work, “I feel like [in] theatre, that’s where you want to know what humanity can be and how horrible we can be and how beautiful we can be. So I do deal with extremes but one thing that’s real important about that is, as brutal as my stuff is, I actually think it can be as tender or as sweet or as beautiful at times; I want that combustion.”

Director Michael O’Connell is a Drammy-winning actor that has performed all over Portland and teaches at Portland State University, as well as Porltand Center Stage’s acclaimed Visions and Voices program. Michael’s Third Rail credits include The Lying Kind (Drammy), A Skull in Connemara, Nobody Here But Us Chickens, Number Three, The Pavilion, The Lonesome West, Dirty Story and Recent Tragic Events (Drammy). Michael has numerous local acting, regional and New York acting credits and recently directed Matt Zrebsky’s Forky for the Made in Oregon Series at the JAW Festival.

Chris Murray is a veteran co-producer at CoHo, having adapted and performed in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 2010. He recently starred in Futura at Portland Center Stage and The Unseen, produced by Quick & Dirty Arts Project. Chris played Mairtin in A Skull in Connemara at Third Rail, before his inclusion in the company in 2009. Other Portland credits include Mr. Marmalade and Take Me Out (Drammy, Best Supporting Actor) at Artists Repertory Theatre, Six Degrees of Separation and The Sisters Rosensweig at Profile Theatre, The Receptionist at CoHo Theatre, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lakewood Theatre.

Nikki Weaver is a founding member of Portland Playhouse and won a Drammy Award in 2011 for her performance in The Scene. She recently received praise for her role in CoHo’s reasons to be pretty. Before relocating to Portland, Nikki performed on the East Coast for Shakespeare & Company, Centastage, Theatreworks, and 11:11. Other Portland Playhouse credits include Telethon, bobraushcenbergamerica, After Ashley and Mauritius.

Performance Schedule
Friday, October 14 at 8pm – Opening Night
Saturday, October 15 at 8pm
Thursday – Saturday, October 20 – November 5 at 8pm
Sundays, October 16 – October 30 at 2pm

Ticket Information

Adults: $25
Seniors (60+)/Students/Educators/Groups (8+): $20
Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Will

(Prices do not include online/phone fees)

Tickets can be purchased by calling 503-205-0715 and more information is available at

Performances are held at CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh Street, Portland, OR, 97210.
CoHo’s 2011-12 Season Continues with:

Day of the Docent
by Ebbe Roe Smith
February 17 – March 24, 2012
directed by Marcella Crowson
featuring Casey McFeron, Laura Faye Smith and Ebbe Roe Smith

Movie-loving criminal Mick wants to change his life. When he discovers that Francis Overley, the writer of his favorite film, is in town, he and his girlfriend Grace abduct him in an effort to coerce him into becoming Mick’s mentor. What begins as a kidnapping develops into a mutually advantageous partnership, as the three collaborate on a screenplay they hope will launch Mick’s career, and allow Francis to return from his self-imposed exile from Hollywood.

Hard Times

adapted by Stephen Jeffreys
from the novel by Charles Dickens
May 11 – June 2, 2012
directed by Michael Gerber
featuring Camille Cettina, Ted deChatelet, Patricia Ferguson, David Janoviak

The wide expanse of Dickens’ novel on the riches and hardships of the Industrial Revolution is triumphantly brought to life in this skillful adaptation of Hard Times for a cast of four. The New York Times says Jeffreys’ adaptation has “heart, humor and twists that keep the audience engaged until the final resolution.”


Coho Productions

CoHo Productions’ mission is to produce high quality and affordable theater in Portland in an intimate setting under a unique collaborative model we call co-production.  CoHo invites local theater artists to propose plays for production and our Artistic Council, consisting of established Portland artists of all disciplines, selects three shows per season.  CoHo provides the venue, funding, and marketing support for the show, freeing our co-producers to focus on the artistic and technical aspects in which they excel.  CoHo serves the entire Portland metropolitan area, with a particular concentration on our Northwest Portland neighborhood.


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