MISTAKES WERE MADE by Craig Wright opens Saturday at Artists Rep

Craig Wright.

Heard of him?

If you have, it’s probably because of Third Rail Rep.

The Portland company have championed this whip smart playwright ever since their very first production, way back in 2005, of Wright’s RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS.

A major force in contemporary theatre, Wright penned several of the most memorable American plays of the early 2000’s and (even as television commands a lot of his keystrokes these days) remains a power when he turns his attention to the stage.

In addition to EVENTS, Third Rail have also produced Wright’s GRACE, THE PAVILION, and THE GRAY SISTERS. The latter, in a stunning coup, was written especially for Third Railers Stephanie Gaslin, Maureen Porter, Valerie Stevens, and Gretchen Corbett. How often does that happen?

All these locally Third Rail-rendered versions of Wright’s funny, dark, meta worlds have been standout highlights of their respective Portland theatre seasons, with the sensational THE GRAY SISTERS rising to the level of a nationally significant premiere.

Yup, right here in Stumptown.

With such a firmly established partnership between the playwright and one Portland theatre company, it is more than a little odd (verging on the downright wrong) to learn that Wright’s most recent play is coming to town not via Third Rail, but rather Artists Rep.

Apparently Third Rail did have plans to produce MISTAKES WERE MADE this same season in their smaller Off Burnside space at Coho. But the people at Dramatists were more interested in the numbers game (more seats at Artists Rep than Coho) than relationships.

And so it goes.

Anyway, if you can get beyond the drama, there is still the matter of a new Craig Wright drama coming to town.

And if past performance is any indicator of future results, this play (which had a successful run at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre with Michael Shannon in the lead role) should be a lot of fun.

Michael Mendelson stars in MISTAKES WERE MADE.  Photo: Owen Carey.
Michael Mendelson stars in MISTAKES WERE MADE. Photo: Owen Carey.