Arts on the Couch

…a collaboration between the Oregon Psychoanalytic Center (Outreach Committee) and the Artists Repertory Theater in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to further the understanding of psychoanalytic ideas through the rich and evocative media of theater, music, dance, and the visual arts. Community collaborations provide a "place" for conversations about any and all facets of the human condition as expressed through the arts.


Artists Repertory Theater’s 2017-18 Season

1515 SW Morrison • (503) 241-1278 •

  • OPC member facilitated post-play discussions, listed 2pm Sunday matinée.
  • Post-play discussions are free/open to the public. Can attend any performance.
  • Discount ticket packages available on-line or through box office: (503) 241-1278.
  • Please check "Box Office" tab for tips on public transit and parking.
Click here for a printable flyer

AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins & directed by Lava Alapai & Dámaso Rodríguez -- OPC discussion by Phyll Zuberi, MD  on SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

An Octoroon is a raucously irreverent Gone with the Wind meets Looney Tunes mash-up that The New York Times calls “…this decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.” Riffing off a 19th Century hit set on a Louisiana plantation, Jacobs-Jenkins offers a brazen, metatheatrical melodrama that twists a funhouse world of larger-than-life stereotypes into blistering social commentary. It’s gasp-inducing satire from one of America’s most thrilling writers.

Shocking Comedy -- 2014 OBIE Award for Best New Play -- MacArthur Genius Grant winning playwright 

CAUGHT  by Christopher Chen and directed by Shawn Lee -- OPC discussion by Mike Mihalas, LCSW on OCTOBER 15, 2017

Chinese activist artists have devised a four-part theatrical installation to jar audiences out of their complacent acceptance of the daily onslaught of ‘alternative facts.’ With rigorous intellect and an impish spirit, Chen presents a disconcerting philosophical puzzle that leaves everyone in the room off-kilter and trying to figure out their role. Ripped from today’s headlines and breaking the theatrical mold, Caught investigates the murky intersections of fact and fiction, how self-interest and false altruism shape perspective, and the fluidity of truth in crafting art … and news. 

Theatrical Installation -- 2017 Obie Award for Playwriting -- 2015 Barrymore Award for Best New Play -- 2017 Dramatist Guild Award 

THE HUMANS by Stephen Karam & directed by Dámaso Rodríguez   -- OPC discussion by Rachael Berkeley, LCSW & David Haven, PsyD on DECEMBER 3, 2017

It’s the small family dinner that made big waves on Broadway. Enclosed in a basement apartment, a middle-class family gathers to christen Brigid and Richard’s new digs with a fancy Thanksgiving dinner on paper plates and undertake their holiday ritual of smashing the peppermint pig. With darkness falling and mysterious bumps from above, the lights ominously flicker on the Blake’s family banter. While Momo mumbles quasi-prophetic gibberish from her wheelchair and Aimee makes urgent trips to the bathroom, the world creaks curiously around them and layers of their fragile lives and lurking secrets are revealed. “There is so much love, dread, tenderness and brutality in The Humans…deeply-felt family tragicomedy thriller...” - Newsday

Tragicomic  Family Drama -- 2016 Tony Award for Best Play -- 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis directed by Adriana Baer -- OPC Discussion by Zoe Crawford, LCSW & Julie Rosenberg, MD on MARCH 18, 2017

Meet Walter “Pops” Washington, retired after 30 years from the NYPD after being shot by a white, rookie cop. Holding court from his recently deceased wife’s wheelchair over a motley crew of housemates, he righteously, tenaciously, holds out for a police department settlement until an ecstatic experience shakes him from inaction.  For once, “Pops” will make it go how he wants it to go while everyone else hustles to get what they think they deserve. A well-lived life can’t only be eating Ring Dings, drinking whiskey all day and living in a ramshackle palace on Riverside Drive, now can it?

Explosive Comedy --  2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama -- 2015 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play -- From the writer of The Motherfucker with the Hat

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa FastHorse & directed by Luan Schooler -- OPC discussion by Sandra Krussel, DO on APRIL 15, 2018

A group of mismatched teachers and actors have been charged by the school district to devise an ethnically sensitive play to somehow celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. In order to be as respectful and accurate as possible, the three white actors defer to the only Native American in the room for guidance and find their expectations of her insights are wildly misguided. In this wickedly funny satire, this foursome must find their way through a hilarious thicket of assumptions, historical perspectives and school district policies as the absurd pageant must go on!

Provocative Satire -- Multiple Fellowship and Award-winning playwright -- PEN USA Literary Award for Drama -- TABLE|ROOM|STAGE commission

I AND YOU by Lauren Gunderson & directed by JoAnn Johnson -- OPC Discussion by Deborah Kass, LCSW on JUNE 3, 2018

Two teens – a sick and snarky girl who hates poetry, and a sweet and sporty boy who just wants to get his class work  project done  – are thrust together to work on a school project about Walt Whitman’s poems. Like boxers in a ring, the mismatched pair spar their way through Whitman's epic Song of Myself into an uneasy friendship. With growing urgency and searing poignancy, I and You is a funny, tender and surprising journey about the strange beauty of human connectedness.  

Revelatory Drama -- 2014 Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award -- 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize -- 2016 Dramatist Guild Award Winner