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Dear Friend,

Thank you for being a part of the wonderful Portland Center Stage community! While 2020 has tested each and every one of us, a recurring theme of gratitude comes up during my conversations with many of you. This year has shone a light on the importance of family and friends, staying connected, and caring for one another!

At PCS, we have been able to stay true to our mission and provide rich and innovative offerings as part of our PCS Remix season, including unique offerings like the Community Voices Project and Earth Without Borders/Tierra Sin Fronteras. We welcome the holidays with a stream of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, featuring Tony Award® winner Jefferson Mays playing over 50 roles! Most recently, actor Isaac Lamb returns to PCS for the holidays to helm The Bells That Still Can Ring – a beautiful series of short and lively filmed vignettes.

The support and generosity of our community lifts up everything we do at PCS, and we are so grateful!

Staying connected is deeply meaningful to me and I am only a short email or phone call away, so please reach out if I can ever be of any assistance.

With very best wishes for the holiday season, and a very happy new year!

Luisa Adrianzen Guyer

Director of Development
Direct: 503-445-3729
Email: LuisaG@pcs.org

P.S. As the year comes to a close, I hope you will make a year-end gift in support of Portland Center Stage by December 31. If you have already made a year-end gift, thank you! 

P.P.S. Donors who contribute to Oregon cultural nonprofits, including ours, are eligible to make a matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust and receive a 100% tax credit for their Trust donation. For more information, visit culturaltrust.org.

Insights from Marissa Wolf

The American theater has reached a point of reckoning. When theaters across the country were temporarily shuttered in March 2020, and three weeks of dark stages grew to three months, and now likely over a year, a small light emerged in the darkness. This massive rupture in our jam-packed producing schedules created critical space for theaters like Portland Center Stage to begin a powerful period of reflection to consider how we can be a more sustainable, equitable, and vibrant field when we build back in the seasons yet to come.

In her book Emergent Strategy, author adrienne maree brown cites Naima Penniman who says, “When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, almost everything lost its footing. Houses were detached from their foundations, trees and shrubbery were uprooted, sign posts and vehicles floated down the rivers that became of the streets. But amidst the whipping winds and surging water, the oak tree held its ground. How? Instead of digging its roots deep and solitary into the earth, the oak tree grows its roots wide and interlocks with other oak trees in the surrounding area. And you can’t bring down a hundred oak trees bound beneath the soil!” 

It is the interlocking roots of our theater community in Portland, on weekly and monthly calls to share our hopes, struggles, and discoveries, that will see us through to the other side. It is the phenomenal work of Managing Director Cynthia Fuhrman, who is at the forefront of multiple state-wide and national initiatives with representatives to advocate on behalf of our field for relief and support, that will see us through. It is the small but ferocious PCS staff, who have all grabbed oars to row to the other side of this pandemic, with a sense of joy and purpose as we consider all of the amazing ways we can build new structures to serve as a home for all artists and community, that will see us through.

It is you, our amazing donors and Board members, who have continued to support PCS with tenacity and passion, that will see us through. I hope you’ll check out the Donor Happy Hour section below; it’s such a pleasure to stay connected and in conversation with each of you! 

Metamorphosis Gala in honor of Diana Gerding

Our upcoming virtual Gala on Saturday, February 20, will be held in celebration of the life of Diana Gerding who, along with her husband Bob Gerding, was one of the most influential people in the history of Portland Center Stage. As a board member, Diana not only offered her sage counsel to the theater, she also demonstrated deep personal commitment to our artists and staff, and she was beloved by all in return. We look forward to honoring her on this special evening.

The Gala will include fabulous performances and a live auction featuring delightful and unique experiences. The Gala is free to all, with delicious three-course dinners available for purchase from Vibrant Table.

Sponsorships with great benefits – such as a pre-show virtual Happy Hour with Marissa Wolf and Cynthia Fuhrman, complimentary dinner and wine, a beautiful amaryllis centerpiece, and more – are now available!  

Supporting PCS Since 2005

Samantha and Paul Harmon have been supporting Portland Center Stage since 2005, and they became monthly donors in 2008. In this interview, Paul takes a moment to share what inspired their ongoing generosity and their decision to become monthly donors.

“We were starting our family, and (corny, but true) we wanted to do our little part to make sure that theater would still be around when we emerged from the infant and toddler years. From a more practical perspective, my company (Cambia Health Solutions) just makes it so easy via online tools and a year-round match, so you can sign up for regular giving but still get the match on any supplemental efforts that we're able to support.”
—Paul Harmon

If you are interested in learning how to provide long-lasting support for PCS, explore our Individual Giving options online or contact Jack Ridenour-Starnes, Development Manager, at JackR@pcs.org.

Foundation Spotlight  

We are very excited to have recently received a $75,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations in support of our youth education programs, including Stage Door, Visions & Voices, PCS Teen Council, and Teen Academy. Under normal operations, these programs serve 8,500 or more young people each year with free and low-cost performance tickets, plus free residencies, workshops, resource guides, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. With the current COVID-19 protocol, Portland Center Stage is continuing to provide arts learning opportunities through virtual programming and, when possible, small-group, physically distanced activities. To learn more on how PCS serves educators and youth, please visit our website.

With a giving focus in the areas of culture, education, health, and social service, the Hearst Foundations (comprising the Hearst Foundation, Inc. and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation) aim to identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the U.S. have the opportunity to build healthy, productive, and inspiring lives. Since 1946, the Foundations have made over 21,500 grants to nearly 6,000 organizations, totaling more than $1.3 billion in funds awarded.

We are grateful to the Hearst Foundations for supporting PCS and so many other arts organizations doing important work in our community.


Bernard Bom & Dorothy Arnold

Deborah Correa

Maxine Fookson

Lisa Hansen

Eddy Morales & Hugh Harris

Jessie Steiger

Dan Weston & Catherine Theriault

See our full list of supporters!

Learn more about how you can support creative work at PCS!

Our Community Values

Theater often brings productive discomfort to the surface. Portland Center Stage is committed to grappling with that discomfort, on and off the stage, and we invite members of our community to participate in that growth process with us. Our goal is to co-create safety for our community by identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression, when we witness them, through specific actions rooted in the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Learn more.

Photos: Cindy Im backstage during Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; Charles Grant, Andrea Vernae, and Orion Bradshaw in Redwood.  Photos by Kate Szrom and Russell J. Young. Graphic designs by Mikey Mann.