Oregon's Artist Repertory Theatre will begin its 2001-02 main stage season with a Miller, end it with a Margulies and inaugurate a second stage season in between.
Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, an examination of the Salem witch hunt (and its parallels to the Communist witch hunts of the 1940s and '50s), kicks off the Portland theatre's main stage season, Sept. 2-Oct. 14. The play will also receive a Broadway revival this season, with Richard Eyre at the helm.
At A.R.T., The Crucible will be followed by Lynn Nottage's Crumbs From the Table of Joy, Nov. 4-Dec. 16, about an African-American family trying to find their place in 1950s America.
Part farcical comedy, part psychological mystery, Terry Johnson's Hysteria involves an elderly Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dali and a naked woman in a closet. It runs Jan. 13-Feb. 24. The aftermath of the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in 1998 shapes The Laramie Project, March 17-April 28, by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project.
The season concludes with the Donald Margulies Pulitzer Prize winner Dinner With Friends, May 19-June 30, which examines two couples and their struggles with friendship, marriage and divorce. A.R.T. launches its second stage in January with the West Coast premieres of two plays: Angelo Parra's The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, Jan. 11-Feb. 17, rights pending; and Tracy Letts' Killer Joe, May 10-June 16.
Set in an after-hours club, Devil's Music looks at Smith's struggle to lead her life on her own terms, while Joe focuses on a very dysfunctional Texas family who hire a killer to bump off a family member with an insurance policy.
The main stage theatre is at 1516 SW Alder St.; tickets are $15 to $28. The 109-seat second stage theatre is at 5340 North Interstate Ave.; tickets are $21. For information, call (503) 241-1ART.
— by Diane Snyder