The Frederick Douglass Project:
An Eloquent Fugitive Slave Flees to Ireland
by Psalmayene 24
by Deirdre Kinahan
Directed by Bobby Bermea
A staged reading of 2 short plays, accompanied by discussion and community voices.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Season sponsor: Ronni Lacroute
A cross-cultural examination of freedom.
This duo of short plays imagines Frederick Douglass’s meditations on freedom and bondage during his historic visit to Ireland. His encounters with white women are particularly complex as they compare how their two nations oppress or empower them.
Corrib Theatre’s presentation of these plays as staged readings will be accompanied by moderated discussion, panelists, or speakers by Portland-area artists and thinkers.
COVID: For our 2022-23 season, patrons will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination in order to be admitted to a performance, however we reserve the right to change this policy at any time during the year. In addition, we may require all audience members to be masked at performances at any given time, based on prevailing conditions around the country. Our cast, crew, and staff have been fully vaccinated.
Download program (printed programs are available at the performance).
James Dixon as Frederick Douglass
Hannah Edelson as Margaret/Ensemble
Jason Glick as Captain Q/Ensemble
Clara-Liis Hillier as Susan/Ensemble
Ambrosia Johnson as Kabite/Ensemble
Peter Schuyler as Roscoe/Ensemble
LeFoster Williams as Kalief/Ensemble
About the Playwrights
Psalmayene 24 (a.k.a. Gregory Morrison) is an award-winning playwright, director, and actor. Psalm—as his colleagues call him—is currently The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Mosaic Theater. He is the writer and lyricist of The Blackest Battle (Theater Alliance) and the writer, director, and lyricist of the film The Freewheelin’ Insurgents (Arena Stage).
The Frederick Douglass Project—his play inspired by Frederick Douglass’ 1845 trip to Ireland and co-written with Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan—was the first play to be produced on a pier at The Yards Marina in Washington, DC and was the recipient of six 2019 Helen Hayes Award nominations.
Psalm is the recipient of the Imagination Award from Imagination Stage (past recipients include Christopher Reeve, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Dennis Haysbert). He has also received grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the Boomerang Fund for Artists Inc.
Psalm is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Deirdre Kinahan is an award-winning Irish playwright. She is an elected member of Aosdána, Ireland’s elected organisation of outstanding artists and Literary Associate with Meath County Council Arts Office. Deirdre collaborates with artists and theatres all over the world and has a large canon of regularly produced plays to her credit. She is published by Nick Hern Books.
Best Known Plays include: The Unmanageable Sisters, Rathmines Road, Moment, Halcyon Days, Bogboy, Hue & Cry, Melody, Spinning and her Irish Revolutionary History Trilogy Wild Sky, Embargo and Outrage.
Recent works include The Saviour for Landmark Productions, In the Middle of the Fields for Solas Nua Washington DC, The Visit for Dublin Theatre Festival, Bloody Yesterday for Glassmask Theatre.
Deirdre has new theatre projects in development with the Abbey Theatre and Landmark Productions and a new opera with Sofft productions. She also has years of experience as a producer and enjoys curating artistic projects and working in documentary, music and short film making.
Holly (she/her) recently earned her MFA in Theatre Directing at The Lir Academy, Trinity College Dublin, where she directed Sophie Treadwell's Machinal as her final project. Holly also served as assistant director on Rosaleen McDonagh's Walls and Windows at The Abbey Theatre (dir. Jason Byrne) and Our Town at The Lir (dir. Wayne Jordan). Holly is a resident artist at Common Crow Theatre, a Dublin-based company dedicated to international stories.
Holly was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, but began her professional career as a resident actor at The Rogue Theatre in Tucson, Arizona where she acted in over 30 productions and served as an Artistic Associate.
Her time at The Rogue left her with lasting interests in ensemble work, literary adaptation, comedy and clown, and live musical scoring and foley.
Holly's directing career started at Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre where she directed Brian Friel's Lovers, Finegan Kruckemeyer's This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, and her own original adaptation of Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry's The Little Prince.
In addition to her MFA, Holly holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Arizona, and a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College.
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of drama for stage, screen, and radio, as well as fiction short and long, contemporary and historical. Among her works for the stage are I Know My Own Heart (1993), Ladies and Gentlemen (1996), Trespasses (1997), Kissing the Witch (2000), Don’t Die Wondering (2005), Room (2010), The Talk of the Town (2012), and Signatories (2016). Her novels include The Pull of the Stars, The Wonder (her film adaptation is coming soon from Netflix, starring Florence Pugh) and Room (which she adapted into a play as well as a film nominated for four Academy Awards). Her new novel Haven, coming in August, is set on Skellig Michael around the year 600.
Kyra Sanford is a freelance scenic designer, props master, carpenter, and painter in the Portland area, working for theatres such as Milagro, PassinArt, Theatre Vertigo, Defunkt Theatre, Profile Theatre, Portland State University, Clark College, Lincoln High School, Third Rail Rep, and various others. She received her BFA in scenic design from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University.
Allison Normin Johnson
Allison Normin Johnson (she/her) is a designer and costumer who is delighted to be working in live theatre again. This is her first production with Corrib. She has worked in costume shops in Virginia, Arkansas, and locally at Portland Center Stage and Artists Repertory Theatre. Some of her favorite projects have been devised and emerging works with the CoHo Clown CoHort and Theatre 33, among others. Allison grew up in Beaverton and has returned to the area after earning her BA in Theatre Design from Willamette University. While earning her degree she spent considerable time studying art history in London, where her partner still lives.
Blanca Forzán is a lighting designer, set designer, and writer. Blanca has a degree in Architectures from Del Valle de Mexico University, was a Banff Center intern (Canada), and worked with the National Institute of Fine Arts for over two decades (Mexico City). She is also a set designer, producer, manager, playwright, tour manager, and international technical director. Notable shows include Faust (Brooklyn Academy of Music, N.Y) and Hamlet (Cadiz Spain). Other credits: Broken Promises, Contigo Pan y Cebolla, El Muerto Vagabundo and Astucias (Milagro), Bicycle Country (Aurora Theatre, Lawrenceville, G.A.), An Octoroon, A Doll’s House Part 2, and La Ruta (Artist Repertory Theatre), The Taming (Coho Theatre), In the Next Room (Portland State University), Men on Boats (Willamette University, Salem), Jump (Confrontation Theatre), Mother Courage and Ruined (Profile Theatre), The Measure of Innocence (Bag & Baggage, 2020), two participations in digital soliloquies as a writer with Bag & Baggage, one participation as an interpreter with the Mercury (digital) company (Artist Repertory Theatre), A Bright New Boise (Willamette University, 2021), A Christmas Carol (Portland Playhouse, 2021), In the Name of Forgotten Women ( Coho Theatre, 2022), Neat with Passinart at IFCC, 2022, and Bella: An American Tall Tale (Portland Playhouse, 2022). Happy to be with you for the first time.
Alan is a designer, programmer, and technician working in the Portland theatre community for the last ten years. His work has been seen at Artist’s Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Third Rail Repertory, Oregon Children’s Theatre, BodyVox, Northwest Classical, and others. He is very pleased to be making his first appearance with Corrib.
Elizabeth Young (Sound Design) is happy to be working on another Corrib production, particularly with such a female-focused production and design team. She has been involved in theatre behind the scenes, with sound designs for Corrib Theatre, CoHo Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, and Post5, and choreography and direction for Anonymous Theatre, and is a proud company member of Anonymous Theatre. She has also appeared onstage with many theatre companies around town and beyond, including most recently in Don’t Hug Me at Broadway Rose Theatre Company. Much gratitude to Tracy and Gemma for the opportunity, and to Darius, Julian, and Mark for ignoring the strange noises emanating from the study.
Sophina Flores holds a BA in Theatre and Dance from Amherst College. She is the founder of local dance theatre company Roots & All Theatre Ensemble, centering marginalized identities and breaking the boundaries of realism, who you may know from productions such as Liminal and The Between Spaces. She has stage managed for shows such as Sweeney Todd, Urinetown, Big Love, Peer Gynt, and The Importance of Being Earnest. Most recently she stage managed Milagro’s Duende de Lorca. As a theatre maker, playwright, director, deviser, and choreographer, her work centers the intersectionality of identities as a bisexual Puerto Rican woman, and prominently features themes of mental illness and trauma, with surrealist or magical realist motifs.