We are in the final weeks of our season and pushing to make our fundraising goals… i.e. a perfect excuse to sit down with one of our very inspiring artists, Director of New Play Development and Dramaturgy, Luan Schooler! Luan heads up our in-house new play development program Table|Room|Stage, which has commissioned seven new scripts in just a few years and debuted this season’s critically acclaimed The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse. When you make a gift to Artists Rep, you are supporting so much more than a theatre company. You are amplifying diverse voices that speak directly to our times. You are challenging convention. You are helping to sort the messy laundry of our collective psyche and making it possible to come out the other side with more perspective and understanding. You are making Portland an inclusive home for art and artists. Thank you for your support.
1. How did you first get into theatre?
My big sister was a dancer and performed in community theatre, so I tagged along with her. It was probably very annoying, especially when she was a teenager and I was still a little kid. On the strength of my 3rd grade recitation of “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes (it’s a truly horrible poem — look it up!) I was cast as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit at the Permian Playhouse, and that set my life’s course. The lesson here is: good things come to those who follow their big sister.
2. What is your favorite thing about Artists Rep?
I have many favorites (lovely people, exuberant pups!) but most of all, it’s the work. I love the adventurous, chewy, theatrical work we’re doing! And I love that we are committing to playwrights whose point of view is fresh and challenging.
3. What was the strongest emotion you have come away with from one of your shows?
A stew of sorrow, outrage, and complicity at the end of We Are Proud to Present…
4. What was your favorite play from last season?
Honestly, I can’t choose. An Octoroon made my scalp tingle; Caught thrilled me with its unexpected twists; I was filled with a sweet ache by The Humans; I loved the subtlety and complexity of Between Riverside & Crazy; The Thanksgiving Play made me think AND snort coffee out of my nose; I & You is really about how much we need each other — and that hope is so precious these days.
5. What is your life motto?
A Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
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