From the ArtsHub: Profile Theatre’s 2017 Quiara Alegría Hudes season
February 10, 2017
Founded in 1997, Profile Theatre has the unique mission of producing a season of plays dedicated to the work of one playwright. For the 2017 season that playwright is Pulitzer Prize-winning Quiara Alegría Hudes.
Profile Theatre’s Interim Artistic Director, Lauren Bloom Hanover said the company is committed to featuring the work of contemporary playwrights who are creating the canon of tomorrow. “We look for who we think are going to be the 21st Century masters, who are going to be this century’s Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee …” she said. Hanover said they also keep diversity at the forefront of each search. In January 2016, the company launched its Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, a three-year commitment to producing the work of exclusively women and people of color. According to their website, “Profile Theatre is committed to presenting work that accurately reflects the diversity of our great nation, not just during this Initiative, but beyond.”
Hanover said when the search for a playwright began this year many people had mentioned Hudes and Hanover noticed a spark that set the playwright apart from the rest. “She makes it possible to reflect about people who may be different than we are, but who care about similar things,” Hanover said. Because she had originally planned on being a composer, there is also an intricate threading of music throughout Hudes’ work. Hanover said Hudes “uses musical structures to tell a theatrical story.”
“The long arc of a body of work is vital to a thriving American theater, and I’m both honored by and enthusiastic about Profile’s unique focus. Here’s to a season of reflection and looking forward!”
– Quiara Alegría Hudes.
Profile kicked off their 4-play season with Hudes’ ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE, which runs through February 19. Hudes, who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, wrote ELLIOT with inspiration from her cousin of the same name. (Read more about that here in an essay Hudes wrote about the script). Elliot is a hometown hero that returns from war and questions whether he will return. ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE is the first installation in a trilogy that will continue throughout the season.
In a review of the production for Portland Mercury, Megan Burbank wrote, “ … ELLIOT achieves political relevancy and emotional power without pulling any punches or leaving you feeling even more weighed down by fear and dread than when you came in.” Read the full review here.
Looking ahead, the prolific Hudes recently wrote the script for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming animated movie Vivo, with whom she had worked with on the hit, IN THE HEIGHTS. Quickly becoming a household name, Portland is fortunate to be able to go on a journey through Hudes’ distinctive work this year, thanks to Profile Theatre.
By Artists Rep Marketing Department Intern Maddie Odegaard