UP Theater's 2022-23 Season

*Season is Subject to Change*


In the 2022-2023 season, UP Theater offers four surprising and compelling plays, all of which take the characters (and the audience) on a journey of discovery. In each of these wildly different plays, the characters are on a quest to find out who they are, how to tell their story, and how to find their community. Join us for this year-long joyful, profound, and cathartic odyssey into the self and the stories we tell ourselves and the world.

The University of Portland Theater Program values a creative and collaborative environment that leads to an inclusive and satisfying artistic experience for all regardless of age, disability, race, color, religion, creed, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation.


Headshot of Playwright Claire Willett

New Works/New Voices

How Can I Keep From Singing by Claire Willett

Workshop Reading directed by Gregory Pulver

October 5-8 at 7:30pm, October 9 at 2:00pm 

Auditions April 11-12, 2022


Following the death of their parents, the four O’Connor siblings are struggling through their grief. When Aidan, the baby of the family, is publicly outed as a “Queer Catholic” in the local newspaper, the family unit splinters. Each one of them is trying to balance their identity, faith, family, and chosen community in their quest to find wholeness. Aidan, bolstered by the members of his campus LGBTQ+ group, struggles to discover his voice as he bridges the worlds of his faith, his family, and who he truly is. This vital new play is UP Theater’s first commissioned piece: written by queer playwright Claire Willett, who is a Portland native, former Catholic youth minister, and active member of the parish of St. Andrew’s. This production is sponsored through generous support from the Kunal Nayyar fund.

Headshot of Playwright Branden Jacobs Jenkins

Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Directed by Andy Christensen

November 10-12 and 17-19 at 7:30, November 13 and 20 at 2:00pm 

Auditions September 5-7, 2022


The play follows Everybody as they journey from life into death to confront life’s greatest mysteries: who are we? How do you create community? What makes a good life? Award-winning playwright Brandon Jacobs Jenkins brings us on the ride in this irreverent and surprising riff on the 15th century morality play, Everyman. Underscoring the shared hopes, fears, and randomness of the human experience, the cast for this production will be chosen by lottery during each performance. This is a play you will want to see more than once: no two performances will be the same! Join us for this comedic, thought provoking, and immersive theatrical experiment.

Headshot of Playwright Carla Ching

TBA by Carla Ching

Directed by Barbie Wu, Artistic Associate at Actors Repertory Theatre

February 22-25 at 7:30pm, February 26 at 2:00pm 

Auditions September 5-7, 2022


When Silas Park’s girlfriend leaves him, he becomes a shut-in, writing intense autobiographical stories in his Brooklyn apartment. When literary agent Darren offers Silas a book deal, he finds himself on the verge of being the next big thing in Asian American literature. But the appearance of Silas’ adoptive brother Finn changes the story. This stunning new play from Carla Ching asks us to consider the line between identity and storytelling. When is a story truly autobiographical? When is a story yours to tell?

Headshot of William Shakespeare (with sunglasses)

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Directed by Dr. Lezlie C. Cross

April 19-22 at 7:30pm, April 23 at 2:00pm 

Auditions January 17-18, 2023


Our scene opens in Illyria, where the Duke Orsino and Countess Olivia are in a romantic stalemate: he’s in to her, but she is not in to him. Their lives change when twins Viola and Sebastian are shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria, alone and fending for themselves.  Viola, disguised as a young man, starts working for the Count Orsino and is sent to woo Olivia. Sebastian, rescued by sea captain Antonio, also sets off for Orsino’s court. As the two twins try find their way in this new world, they become embroiled in mistaken (and true) love triangles in this celebratory journey of discovering who you truly are.