Moving, Surprising Drama Finishes Artists Rep’s 35th Season I AND YOU by Lauren Gunderson America’s Most-Produced Living Playwright

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Moving, Surprising Drama Finishes Artists Rep’s 35th Season


by Lauren Gunderson
America’s Most-Produced Living Playwright


WHO:                    Artists Repertory Theatre
WHAT:                  I AND YOU

By Lauren Gunderson

Directed by JoAnn Johnson

WHEN:                 May 20 – June 17, 2018

Preview Performances: May 20, 22, 23, 24, 25

Opening Night/Press Night:  Saturday, May 26 @ 7:30pm

Regular run May 27 through June 17: Wed-Sun @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm

Additional Performances:

Tuesdays: May 22, June 12 @ 7:30pm

Wednesday: June 6 @ noon

Saturday: June 16 @ 2pm

Post Show Discussions:

Sunday 2pm matinee: May 27, June 3, 10, 17
Wednesday Noon matinee: June 6

Oregon Psychoanalytic Center: following Sunday 2pm matinee June 3

Open Captioned Performance: June 16 @ 2pm

Closing Performance: June 17 @ 2pm

WHERE:                Artists Repertory Theatre, Morrison Stage, 1515 SW Morrison St., Portland

TICKETS:               $50 regular price; $25 preview/student/under 25

Buy Tickets:  503.241.1278 or


May 20: Sunday Sounday – Pay-What-You-Can First Preview + Live Music at 6:30pm
with Youth Music Project

May 22: Ten Buck Tuesday – Tickets only $10

May 23: Wine Down Wednesday – $25 preview ticket + a glass of Dark Horse wine

May 24: Pizza Love Thursday – $25 preview ticket + slice of Hot Lips Pizza

May 25: Happy Hour Friday – $25 preview ticket + a beer from Lagunitas



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Portland, Oregon | May 4, 2018. Artists Repertory Theatre presents I and You by Lauren Gunderson as the final production of their 2017/18 season. Gunderson is the most-produced playwright in America for the second year in a row. She is a recipient of a Dramatist Guild Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, won the 2018 Steinberg for The Book of Will, and won the Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award in 2014 for this revelatory drama. I and You runs from May 20 through June 17 on the Morrison Stage.

Homebound due to illness, the smart and sarcastic Caroline is suspicious of the sweet and athletic Anthony after being thrown together to work on an English class project about Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. As the pair stumbles through the poem, they begin to share secrets and let their guards down, eventually unlocking the mystery that brought them together in the first place. With searing poignancy, I and You tells a funny, tender, and surprising story of two young people falling in love with the mystery of human connection and learning how much they need each other to live on. I and You is an ode to youth, life, and empathy with a gasp-inducing ending.


“Lauren Gunderson’s unmatched popularity in theatres around the country comes as no surprise when you get to know the beauty and breadth of her writing,” said Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez. “Her funny, poignant, and always imaginative plays have a way of being entertaining, ingenious, and emotionally rewarding. The boldly hopeful I and You may serve as the finale to our season of unflinchingly honest and timely new plays, but it only marks the beginning of Gunderson’s run on Oregon stages. Over the next year, I look forward to seeing her play The Book of Will this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, while we at Artists Rep will produce her wildly funny, and vastly different, The Revolutionists to finish our next season.”


“It is a really special play for me because it is a play that allows us to examine the surprising connections we have with each other, and how much we actually need each other, even we think we may not have anything in common,” said Lauren Gunderson, I and You playwright. “It’s about the power of words and poetry and story to unite us. It’s about the good things in life we do, even if we don’t know their long-term impact. And, it’s about coming together and how that makes us stronger.”


“I find that one of the most compelling things about I and You is its intricacy, it is a play about the little things and it is wondrously complex,” said Director JoAnn Johnson at the production’s first rehearsal. “It is about the intricate dance of building a relationship starting from scratch—all that tentativeness and aggression and defensiveness and courage and humor and anger and speaking and listening and then becoming a partnership— truly a little miracle. I love that this play is about kids who have homework to do and waffle fries to eat and parents to manage—and who struggle under the weight of challenges that ones so young should not have to bear. This is sadly familiar territory to us these days and the tone of this play has become political as young people in our country are struggling to find their voice and fight for a better future…giving hope to us all. And most of all, I love the mystery of this play. As Hamlet says, ‘There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’”


I and You is sponsored by Charlie & Darci Swindells, Len & Susan Magazine, and Rafati’s Catering.



Lauren M. Gunderson was the most-produced living playwright in America in 2016 and 2017, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s three-year residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the U.S. including South Coast Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Olney Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, and more.  She co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon. Her work is published at Playscripts, Inc. (I and YouExit Pursued By A BearThe Taming, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (Silent Sky, Bauer, Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr. Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon was released from Two Lions / Amazon in May 2017. Learn more: and on Twitter @LalaTellsAStory.



JoAnn Johnson  is a professional actor and director based in Portland. Her directing credits at Artists Rep include Ballerina, Birdsend, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Vanya, Blackbird, The Gin Game, and Grand Concourse. Other directing credits include The School for Lies and Boom (Theatre Vertigo); Macbeth (Quintessence Theatre Group); Richard II and King Lear (Northwest Classical Theatre Collaborative); Precious Little (defunkt theatre); Big Love and Eurydice (University of Portland); The Detective’s Wife (Hellfire Productions); and The Turn of the Screw (Portland Shakespeare Project). For Artists Rep JoAnn has appeared onstage as Rev. Chausable in The Importance of Being Earnest, Katherine Gerard in Mothers and Sons, Mrs. Bradman in Blithe Spirit, Hattie in Ten Chimneys, Vivian Bearing in Wit, Flora in Humble Boy, Leo in Indiscretions, Agnes in A Delicate Balance, Mrs. Rafi in The Sea, Margaret Civil in A Perfect Ganesh, and Alice in Retreat from Moscow. Other roles include Sister Aloysius in Doubt and Kate Keller in All My Sons (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Mrs. Stavrogin in The Devils (Portland Center Stage); Leni Riefenstahl in Leni (Insight Out Theatre Collective); Sarah Bernhardt in Memoir and Anna in Boston Marriage (CoHo Productions); Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever (Tacoma Actors Guild); and Meg in The Birthday Party, Nancy in Seascape and Aunt Sally in Fifth of July (Profile Theatre). Other theatres include The Old Globe, Sacramento Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Liminal, The Empty Space, Pioneer Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Theatre, Imago Theatre, and many seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. JoAnn has toured internationally in the role of A in Three Tall Women. She is a Resident Artist at Artists Rep and a member of both Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA. Educated at Wells College and University of Oregon, JoAnn has a BA in English and an MA in Rhetoric.


By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by JoAnn Johnson



Blake Stone+ as Anthony  

A Civil War Christmas (Artists Rep), Heathers: The Musical (triangle productions! and Staged!), Swimming While Drowning (Milagro), Hands Up (August Wilson Red Door Project)


Emily Eisele+ as Caroline

American Hero (Artists Rep), Band Geeks (Broadway Rose), The Norwegians, Edgar & Annabel, ID[ea] (Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Mentorship Company)



Director | JoAnn Johnson*^

Scenic Designer: Tim Stapleton

Costume Designer: Alex Pletcher

Lighting Designer: Kristeen Crosser #

Sound Designer: Sharath Patel ^

Dramaturg: Luan Schooler

Resident Stage Manager: Michelle Jazuk *^

Props Master: Emily Wilken
Asst. Scenic Designer: Samie Pfeifer


Producing Director | Shawn Lee

Associate Producer & Production Manager | Kristeen Crosser

Board Op |Alan Cline
Production Assistant | Megan Moll
Wardrobe | Clare Hungate-Hawk

Technical Director | Nathan Crone

Master Carpenter | Eddie Rivera

Master Electrician | Ronan Kilkelly

Scenic Charge | Sarah Kindler


* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

# The scenic, costume, lighting, projection & sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists
~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society
^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

+ Equity Membership Candidate




Artists Repertory Theatre’s mission is to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists and audiences to take creative risks. Artists Rep is Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre company, and is led by Artistic Director/Interim Managing Director Dámaso Rodríguez. Founded in 1982, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland. Artists Rep became the 72nd member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) in 2016 and is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN).


Artists Rep’s 2018/19 season of play selections for the company’s 36th anniversary season can be found here.


Artists Rep has become a significant presence in American regional theatre with a legacy of world, national, and regional premieres of provocative new work with the highest standards of stagecraft. The organization is committed to local artists and features a company of Resident Artists, professionals of varied theatre disciplines, who are a driving force behind Artists Rep’s creative output and identity.

RESIDENT ARTISTS – Artists Rep productions feature the work of a core group of over two dozen multidisciplinary theatre professionals. Hailing from around the country, our Resident Artists are nationally-renowned and award-winning actors, directors, writers, designers, and educators who have chosen to make Portland and Artists Rep their artistic home. Working together and independently, they create inventive and theatrically rich experiences for our audiences while playing a major role in defining Portland’s cultural landscape.


TABLE|ROOM|STAGE – Established in 2015, Table|Room|Stage (T|R|S) is Artists Rep’s new play program that offers development opportunities for local and national playwrights, and ensures that underrepresented voices are heard on stage. This program strives to make a meaningful impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the theatre field by mandating opportunities for women writers and writers of color, and cultivating the next generation of theatre-goers. Artists Rep is committed to bringing the exciting work of women, transgender, non-binary writers and writers of color to its stages with this program. Artists Rep’s first completed T|R|S commission was The Talented Ones, by Yussef El Guindi (2017). The second T|R|S commission was The Thanksgiving Play, by Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota), which premiered at Artists Rep in April 2018 and heads to Playwrights Horizons in October for its New York City debut. The third T|R|S commission will be Wolf Play by Hansol Jung (2019). Current playwright commissions include: Linda Alper, Larissa FastHorse, Hansol Jung, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Rathje, and Andrea Stolowitz. T|R|S is also developing work with playwrights Anthony Hudson and Susannah Mars. To learn more about all the projects, playwrights, and programs of T|R|S visit here.


ARTSHUB – Artists Rep is also home to the ArtsHub, where a diverse range of artists and arts organizations find a home and thrive with access to affordable administrative, performance, and rehearsal space, as well as myriad support services. The ArtsHub serves as a community arts center, where performance venues and lobbies buzz with creative energy and Portland’s arts-loving audiences gather. Over the past year, Artists Rep hosted 324 rehearsals and more than 600 performances, events, and other happenings by 51 groups. To learn about the arts organizations of Artists Rep’s ArtsHub visit here.


The 2017/18 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by Ronni Lacroute, David & Christine Vernier, and The Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation. Other season support comes from: Boeing; The Collins Foundation; Edgerton Foundation; Kinsman Foundation; Meyer Memorial Trust; James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation; Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency; Oregon Community Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; The Renaissance Foundation; Rafati’s Catering; Regional Arts and Culture Council; The Shubert Foundation; US Bank; Work for Art; and Media Sponsor The Oregonian.

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