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‘The Misanthrope’ parodies The Pearl in winter PCC production

Story by James Hill

Fools, liars and idiots will be on full display this March at Portland Community College’s Performing Arts Center.

PCC’s Theater Arts winter production will be “The Misanthrope,” by Moliere. This classic romantic comedy attacks the idea that humans are lying, insincere and selfish fools, and his characters do everything to prove his point in the funniest ways. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., March 5-6 and 12-13 with a 2 p.m. show on Sunday, March 14. In addition, a special “Pay what You Will” performance will start at 11 a.m., Thursday, March 11. All showings will be in the Performing Arts Center, Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave.

Kim Alderman as 'Celimene.'

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for students, college staff and senior citizens. Call (503) 977-4949 for more information and tickets.

Translated and updated by award-winning playwright Constance Congdon, the play parodies the city’s trendy Pearl District, social networking technology and the relentless push toward self-promotion. The show is appropriate for ages 12 and up, with a running time of just under two hours.

Just like in most of his past productions, Theater Arts Director Patrick Tangredi has received some innovative assistance from his students in creating a dynamic set and array of costumes. Because the play is set in the Pearl District, several clothing designers from that neighborhood have chipped in outfits for the main characters and PCC instructor Kim Manchester’s photography class has assisted with the production by contributing their photography talents.

Dan Hayes, in cooperation with Peter West and students Natalie Staggs, Clare Parker, Jared Sorenson and Victor Ciccone, have created an architectural look by using light and set construction. The stage manager is Jill Park. Tangredi even coaxed a local bike company to lend their sacred and rare pedicab to create a realistic Pearl District feel on stage.

“It’s impressive how resourceful the students have been,” Tangredi said. “We didn’t want to do a traditional seventeenth century French take on the production.  Instead we wanted to adapt Moliere’s work to a place and time that Portlanders could relate to. And no place was more perfect than the Pearl District. The play has a surprising new life in this setting and the comedy has really blossomed. We’ve been very pleased with how smoothly everything has come together.”

Misanthrope Cast List

(in order of appearance)

  • Alceste                           Josh Murdock
  • Philante                         Tyler Pascua
  • Orante                           Patrick Garrity
  • Celimene                       Kim Alderman
  • Eliante                           Tiffany Dixon
  • Basque                           Alwynn Gail
  • Acaste                            Jade Donigan
  • Clitadre                          Connor Michelotti
  • Arsinoe                          Landy Hite
  • Du Bois                          Izzy Buckner
  • Guard                             Kyla Tompkins


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