OREGON CITY, Ore. — August 15, 2019 — Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents the West Coast Premiere of “Queens Girl in the World” by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, September 5 – 29 at the Osterman Theatre on the campus of Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. Performances take place Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets may be purchased at www.clackamasrep.org or by calling 503-594-6047.
The hit play of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., “Queens Girl in the World” is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about Jacqueline Marie Butler, a young black woman in Queens, New York, during the tumultuous 1960s.
“It felt important to tell a story so unlike the childhood many in this area experienced,” explained Artistic Director David Smith-English when asked why he selected “Queens Girl in the World” for Clackamas Rep’s 2019 season. “The play is charming, funny, and light-hearted while addressing issues specific to African Americans that a large segment of the population has never had to negotiate. The playwright skillfully weaves her personal story into events of the Civil Rights era. Plus, we knew an extremely talented young actress whom we were excited to feature.”
Equity actor Lauren Steele, a Portland native who recently returned home after graduating from Southern Methodist University, will portray 13 different characters, including Jacqueline, her Caribbean father, imperious mother, boyfriends, and bullies. Steele, the daughter of Portland blues legend LaRhonda Steele, made her Clackamas Rep debut in 2017’s popular musical, “Irving Berlin’s The Melody Lingers On.”
Clackamas Rep’s production will be directed by Damaris Webb, co-founder and director of The Vanport Mosaic, a community-driven, artist-led non-profit dedicated to presenting, celebrating and preserving the silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest. She coaches for PlayWrite Inc. and the August Wilson Monologue Competition. The production team includes Equity stage manager Lorina Alfaro, technical director Chris Whitten, sound designer Marcus Storey, costume designer Alva Bradford, and projection designer Haley Hurita.
To enhance the audience’s experience and provide insight into the black experience in 1960s Portland, Clackamas Rep will offer pre- and post-show lectures by Percy Hampton, a founding member of the Portland Chapter of the Black Panthers; Dr. Maude Hines, professor of English and Black Studies at Portland State University; and Dr. Pancho Savery, professor of English and Humanities at Reed College. For more information on the lectures, visit www.clackamasrep.org.
Clackamas Rep has also partnered with The Black Pioneers of Oregon to feature a curated lobby display with historical photos for patrons to enjoy before the performance, and audiences can enjoy actor/director talkbacks following Friday night performances on September 13, 20 and 27.
There will be a low-cost preview on September 5 and an opening night post-show reception in the lobby on September 6.
About Clackamas Repertory Theatre
Clackamas Repertory Theatre (www.clackamasrep.org) is a professional Equity theatre company in Oregon City, Ore. Founded in 2004, CRT offers high-quality, financially-accessible productions for the citizens of Clackamas County and beyond and prepares current and former Clackamas Community College students for a career in theatre through paid summer positions.
For more information:
Jayne Stevens, Assistant Managing Director
Clackamas Repertory Theatre