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SLIPPING by Daniel Talbott

 "..made my jaw drop. I have never seen such a seamless transition from violence to intimacy onstage.....Holznagel's portrayal of Eli is well-paced, varied and profoundly moving..The cast goes above and beyond in bringing sparse dialogue to life by relishing subtextual tension."  The Oregonian


" experience that is as unforgettable as it is overwhelming..beautifully realized.....A visually exhilarating voyage.... Slipping (is) an event: It leaves you with no doubt that you are in the presence of genuine redemptive love" - ArtsWatch

photo by Rosemary Ragusa

INSIGNIFICANCE by Terry Johnson 

"You feel physically close not only to the play's larger-than-life characters, but to the production's astounding aural and visual details, from the sounds of traffic that waft up to the hotel room to the pulsating light that illuminates the Actress' sorrowful face. Thanks to a dexterous cast and the lush imagination of director Andrew Klaus-Vineyard... 

Bennett Campbell Ferguson - WILLAMETTE WEEK

"...director Andrew Klaus-Vineyard manages to evoke the apocalyptic sense of doom at the end of the show that leaves the audience unsettled as they walk out."


photo by Rosemary Ragusa

"... just returned home from Defunkt Theatre's brilliant production of INSIGNIFICANCE, a play that creates alternative history by Terry Johnson, and I feel as if I had seen one of the best shows off-Broadway. The script is smart and ever-so-relevant today, the direction by Andrew Klaus-Vineyard is meticulous, the acting is some of the finest I have seen in Portland..." - Ronni Lacroute




 Hir by Taylor Mac at Defunkt Theatre

photo by Rosemary Ragusa
  " Klaus-Vineyard and the cast have honored Mac’s play, but kicked it up a notch with their with great attention to making the characters’ internal conflicts seem real. Access is a theme around which much of Taylor Mac’s work revolves. Defunkt lets you in for a while to a version of Mac’s past, through a joy ride of the transformative power of play. " -Oregon Artswatch

photo by Rosemary Ragusa

The Udmurts by David Zellnik (World Premiere)

photo by Rosemary Ragusa

"What's rare is precious, and that applies to people, places and things... Defunkt is a hot date." Willamette Week

photo by Rosemary Ragusa


"The Udmurts makes a sweet, and important, last remark in the current season of plays: Defunkt has high regards for its audience and works to make its productions not only present, but also meaningful over the long haul. Defunkt wants us to go through their process with them, to participate and debate the almost real-life conflicts in its plays. It’s a dangerous, brave, and challenging approach, and through it, Defunkt lives up to its place in Portland’s theatre scene." - Artswatch

IN THE FOREST, SHE GREW FANGS by Stephen Spotswood
(West Coast Premiere)


photo credit Rosemary Ragusa

 Portland Monthly:
“Fortunately, the play is not just timely, it’s good, and Defunkt does Spotswood’s script more than justice. Confident direction from Andrew Klaus-Vineyard... The lead performances are brimming with charisma. In the Forest succeeds largely because it doesn’t shy away from the variance and the gray areas inherent to a teen-bullying epidemic that, though its victims are high school kids, is not a “high school problem.” Spotswood gives us a violent and bloody condemnation of a society that still seems content to sit back and watch as the emotional and psychological effects of bullying percolate through our young people. It’s crucial material, and Defunkt tackles it fearlessly.”

photo credit Rosemary Ragusa

“Intense and hypnotic... In the Forest is notable partly because director Andrew Klaus-Vineyard and his cast and designers use the compact Back Door space so well. And for a story with such a gothic sense of good and evil and retribution, Spotswood’s version is surprisingly subtle and complex. We see layers and levels of abuse, some of it malicious, some of it thoughtless, and the silent scars that run as deep as claw-slashes across a face. The whole thing has an intimate hothouse effect, as if the story just grabbed you by the throat and pulled you in for a good theatrical mauling.”

PC: Andrew Klaus-Vineyard for American Theatre Magazine
“Opening night was sold out and I attended that performance directed by Andrew Klaus-Vineyard. I am still trying to process the myriad of emotional responses that the performance conjured up in me and trying to answer a few questions about what I experienced that night. These are two clear indicators that the playwright, the actors, the director and the crew did their individual work brilliantly and cohesively in my book: I can't stop thinking about the play."
 “The rapidly shifting power dynamics, coupled with snappy dialogue, mirror the widening gyre of teenage life, and prove an apt reminder: In the scariest stories, you never discover who's the real monster.”

“This show overall is not nearly as hateful and derisive as this premise might suggest. Many redemptive nuances of character and comic moments set it apart from, for instance, David Mamet’s more misanthropic Race. Nobody’s wiser to Submission’s strengths than its playwright Jeff Talbot, who commandeers Trevor’s opening lines to Danny to indirectly give HIMSELF a compliment. “Four characters,” Trevor remarks, “…producible! lean…taut…authentic!” Based on this and subsequent devices, add self-aware and witty. And the actors keep pace. “
A.L Johnson, Oregon Artswatch

“The folks at defunkt theatre have put a lot of energy into their fierce and hilarious production of this cautionary tale of Danny (Matthew Kern), a young white gay playwright, who has written a successful drama about African Americans trying to leave the projects. Delightfully clever…irresistibly funny. The play reminds us that using the wrong words to describe others, particularly in the heat of greed and envy, can do more damage than sticks and stones."
Holly Johnson, The Oregonian.



This is a no-holds barred production and is extremely expressive in exposing the inner turmoil and torture of haunted and, perhaps, hunted souls. Klaus-Vineyard has steered his cast well into “trouble waters” and has allowed them to explode on this small stage. He has explored all the nooks and crannies of the psyche and let the pieces fall where they may. One may say that he and his cast, I’m sure, have delved deep into themselves to bring us such a searing portrait
of our society.” Dennis Spark

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