17 SE 8th
Portland, OR 97214









*From 1979 to 1993 Triffle and Mouawad created a number of variations of FROGZ as well several shorter experimental works



VOICEOVER - July 2022

A collaboration between Drew Pisarra and Imago's Jerry Mouawad, VOICEOVER uses inner monologues in an extremist fashion to expose the muddled minds of a choreographer and his company of dancers à la Pirandello. A collage of soliloquy, choreography, and theatricality, this innovative work merges postmodern dance with vaudevillian hijinks as one unconventional performance gets warped in a hall of mirrors of self-reflection. Fun and provocative, VOICEOVER is an insightful exploration into the mysterious act of creation.

"... fascinating, funny and philosophically frightening ..." - Marty Hughley, Oregon ArtsWatch

“Engaging! Funny and Provoking! Curious, Zany… Subversive … A non-stop feast! A must see! Beautiful and daring … Unique … Best show ever! ... Terrific … Go!” - Audience Members

"A winner! ... exceptional! " - All Things Performing Arts

“Inventive and wonderfully staged! A funny, meaningful journey through the creative process. Loved every second of Voiceover!" -Dennis Giacino, Playwright/Composer of the hit Off Broadway Musical “Disenchanted!”

“Funny & thought-provoking…. A wonderful exploration … about the creative process and the demons lurking in it.” -Karen Farley, Audience Member

“ I found it as fun, and funny, as it is beautiful to watch. The dancers are so talented and interesting, and the story is so charming and funny it keeps you guessing what’s coming next! A must see!” - Noel Olken, Audience Member

“Confessions of a creator! More than a play within a play … an ontological dance within a dance!” - Audience Member

“Curious, zany, philosophical and funny.… I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of the year.” - Audience Member

“Unlike of what I’ve seen here before … sucks you in!” - Olivia Sitea-Walters, Audience Member

"The less is more touch of Jerry Mouawad's direction shines in Voiceover, allowing me to infer and imagine the inner experience of the characters. I was engaged throughout by the beauty of conventional life movements tweaked into synchronized dance." Nathaniel Holder, Audience Member

“More theatrical subversion from Mouawad, borrowing from history to create original theater while rejecting the “kitchen sink” model of today’s devising formulas.” - CC Egan, Audience Member

Choreography/Direction Jerry Mouawad, Writing Drew Pisarra, Jerry Mouawad, Light Design Jon Farley, Sound Design Myrrh Larsen, Costume Design Erin Lauderdale, Performers Emma Holland, Ariel Puls, Jessica Curtiss, Isaac Ellingson, Kellie Holway, Fiely Matias, Index Marcus, Sean Bowie


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Julia's Place - June 2022

With Julia's Place, Imago's writer/director Jerry Mouawad pays homage to Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros, with a cast of five comedic Imago knockabouts, puppetry, song and extreme zaniness. Comedic, provocative, an eyeful and a brain twist, this riff on Ionesco's freakish scenario of a populace devolving into horned beasts delivers a freshly philosophical farce. One part existentialism, two parts slapstick, this zany social satire incorporates shadow puppetry and pure buffoonery as its two lead characters – Porkchop (Josh Edward) and Ralph (Noel Olken) – figure out a way to survive the stampeding apocalypse with a trio of fellow misfits or, at least, get a plate of spaghetti from the kooky cafe owner (Carol Triffle) before the world ends.

His wife turned into a rhino. Her girlfriend turned into a rhino, too. We've seen this dehumanizing insanity before. But with Julia's Place, Imago Theatre riffs on Ionesco's freakish scenario – of a populace devolving into horned beasts – to deliver a freshly philosophical farce. One part existentialism, two parts slapstick, this zany social satire incorporates shadow puppetry and pure buffoonery as its two lead characters – Porkchop (Josh Edward) and Ralph (Noel Olken) – figure out a way to survive the stampeding apocalypse with a trio of fellow misfits or, at least, get a plate of spaghetti from the kooky cafe owner (Carol Triffle) before the world ends.

"Mouawad’s script, of the avant-garde genre, is chilling and thrilling, as it seems to speak to the root of nightmares, where only the brave may tread! I highly recommend this play." - Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

"... clever wordplay and an anarchic energy that’s infectious at times ... creativity and originality on display ... that deserves to be celebrated" - Morgan Shaunette, Willamette Week

"Charming and poignant theater of the absurd, showcasing an accomplished cast whose nimble physical comedy and burlesque-infused repartee comes coupled with a warning." - Margaret K, Audience


"The cast is great! Awesome!"

"I've never laughed so hard!"

"Marvelous eerie menace chilling and thrilling."- All Things Performing Arts

"hilarious and at the same time thought provoking wonderful new writing inspired by the original I was blown away by the uniqueness ground breaking to see. Absolutely recommend folks go see this play right away. You won't regret it!" - T. Myers

"Had me riveted from the opening scene forward! Julia's Place has a consistently brilliant and very funny energy, bringing the audience along for a fun journey through a surreal landscape that looks a bit familiar. Highly recommended!!" - Kris Cahill

"a theatrical high for this live theater starved person. " - CC Egan

"It was insane!" - Bobby Fouther

"Great! So funny. I loved it." - Sumi Wu

"Oh with a hand over my heart Wonderful!"

"Fun! Wacky! Silly! Loved the puppetry!"

".. a hilarious examination of the effects of sociopolitical propaganda and conformity.. savvy and jocular. Humor and comedy may not solve our problems, but they do have an eye-opening healing quality that helps us navigate through these hard times.Get that thoughtful laughter off your chest! "- Mona Huneidi

"Charming and poignant theater of the absurd, showcasing an accomplished cast whose nimble physical comedy and burlesque-infused repartee comes coupled with a warning."- Margaret K

"Amazing! Absolutely amazing! I laughed so hard. You can get tickets at the door, right? I want to try to see it again! "- Mary Ames

"A wonderful adventure in a crazy Imago world. "- Karen Farley

"Exceeded my expectations and touched my heart!" - Bonnie Scott

Josh Edward Porkchop, Noel Olken Ralph, Carol Triffle Julia, Christopher Kehoe Leonardo, Laura Loy Poem, Cosmo Kay Puppeteer, Olivia Vavroch Puppeteer

Writing/Direction Jerry Mouawad, Scenic Design Jerry Mouawad, Puppet Design Jerry Mouawad, Choreographic Staging Fiely Matias, Dramaturgy Drew Pisarra, Light Design Jon Farley, Sound Design Myrrh Larsen, Costume Design Erin Lauderdale, Scenic Dressing Sarah Andrews, Food Fabrication Olivia Vavroch


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Shining City - October 2021
Playwright Conor McPherson is no stranger to hair-raising ghost stories (The Weir, The Seafarer). But, the haunting at the center of his devastating drama Shining City is grounded by a naturalism suited to telling tales of psychological possession, not of mysterious visitors or evil tricksters. It is the inner demons that trouble the characters this time around: a former priest, a widowed philanderer. Shining City showcases what happens when we are betrayed by our very selves.

"... make no mistake about it, you will not leave the theatre unmoved…or unreflected.... Imago, with the team of Mouawad, Triffle, et. al. are among a small select group of theatres ... giving us thought-provoking, as well as entertaining, theatre as with this one. May they all “live long and prosper!”" - Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

Mark Mullaney Ian, Jeff Giberson John, Tess Middlebrook Neasa, Matt Sunderland Laurence

Director/Designer Jerry Mouawad, Producer Carol Triffle, Lighting Designer Jon Farley, Sound Designer Myrrh Larsen, Scenic Designer Alex Meyer


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The Birds - November 2021
From a story by Daphne du Maurier, Conor McPherson's ingenious The Birds takes one of Hitchcock's most iconic fright flicks and transforms it into a tension-filled chamber drama in which four characters struggle to survive an ever-encroaching airborne apocalypse. Less camp than the movie (and more faithful to Daphne du Maurier's original tale), The Birds found director Jerry Mouawad reuniting with actor Matt DiBiasio (The Black Lizard), lighting designer Jon Farley (Special K), and sound designer Myrrh Larsen (The Strange Case of Nick M.) for a heart-racing production that showcased Imago's signature theatricality with its eerie realization of the ever-escalating attack from the birds.

“….a masterful job of bringing us a topical subject and entertaining us …
pepper[ed] my imagination with possibilities…” - Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

"What a suspenseful and wonderful show…. " - Amy Katrina Bryan, Audience

"...tense, human and beautifully produced" - Elizabeth Neal, Audience

Matt DiBiasio Nat, Melissa Jean Swenson Diane, Elizabeth Rees Julia, Paul Bright Tierney

Director Jerry Mouawad, Producer Carol Triffle, Scenic Designer Alex Meyer, Light Designer Jon Farley, Sound Designer Myrrh Larsen


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Satie's Journey - October 2021

A concert performance of the music from a new and adventurous dramatic chamber work, Satie's Journey resurrected the spirit of Erik Satie, a groundbreaking, eccentric, fin-de-siècle composer who shielded dry umbrellas under his coat (no matter the weather) and stacked two grand pianos in his apartment (for reasons unknown). Conductor Ben España, with a chamber ensemble of three vocalists and five instrumentalists, presented the live concert of this work by librettist Jerry Mouawad and composer Marisa Wildeman. With a fanciful narrative indebted to Mouawad’s teen years in Beirut, and Wildeman's dreamscape score weaving fragments of Satie with traditional Middle Eastern sounds, Satie's Journey delved into the mind of a creative genius whose unique ability to think outside the box resonates as a precursor to neurodiversity today. Situated somewhere between a familiar haven and a mystical paradise, Satie’s Journey transcended the time and place that birthed its various elements and, by doing so, became its own metaphor for the underlying “oneness” in all things, regardless of how different they first appear. (This performance also played Online On Demand for seven days.)

“Few theater artists are as adept at creating surprising, self-contained worlds through minimal means (movement, light, sound) as Mouawad.” – Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch

"I guarantee you will not walk away from one of [Mouawad's] productions without being touched in some way." – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews

Marisa Wildeman Composer, Jerry Mouawad Librettist, Ben España Conductor, Julie Silva Mezzo Soprano, Austin Allen Bass Baritone, Alexander Trull Tenor, Camila Oliveira Flute, Victoria Racz English Horn, Chris Fotinakis Viola, Rob Fischel Piano, Joel Bluestone Percussion

(This production marked the reopening of Imago Theatre after the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown. It played for one night live at the theatre on October 9 and was also offered Online On Demand from October 19 - 25.)


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The Lonely Vampire - October 2021
In this 16th of Carol Triffle's canon of original music-theatre plays, willful and insatiable Dracula is propelled by a comic elusive desire. Is it hunger for blood, eternal love or ephemeral love hidden from sunshine that haunts his life at night and his dreams in the days? Who knows? Camilla doesn't, but perhaps the Dancer knows before it’s too late.

Carol Triffle Writer/Director, Kyle Delamarter Vlad, Amy Katrina Bryan Camilla, Emma Holland The Dancer


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The Strange Case of Nick M. - May 2021
Imago's trippy audio journey into the fragmentary world of the title character, who suffers from a rare but crippling illness that leaves him with a memory that lasts mere seconds – is hosted by a cocky podcaster who has unearthed a box of long-forgotten reel-to-reel tapes once belonging to Nick's lead psychotherapist – the famous, if controversial, Dr. Polina K. Listening secretly to these taped conversations, we witness the ambitious doctor's dangerous tinkering with Nick’s mind as Dr. Polina K. struggles to reactivate his frozen memory. Along the way, we also hear from Nick himself (the amnesiac pianist), Betty (his wife and primary caretaker), and Liz (their resentful daughter). Yet, while their collective shoot-from-the-hip, '70s-idealistic approach leads to a temporary improvement in Nick's condition, the patient ultimately unravels when one risky experiment backfires disastrously. Suddenly, the promising therapy results in a tragedy worse than the one which Nick had been experiencing before he fell under Dr. Polina's care.

“My friend loved it. We listened to it in the dark!” ... “Truly brilliant!” ... “Mouawad (and Imago) are never ones for anything but provocative subject matter, and this is no exception.” - Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews

Sean Doran Nick M., Stephanie Woods Liz, Danny Gray Narrator, Nancy Campbell Betty, Vanessa Hopkins Dr. Polina K.

Producer Carol Triffle, Sound Designer Myrrh Larsen, Pianists Eric Little and Chase Garber

(This production was broadcast live on KBOO Community Radio, premiering on May 3 and streaming online from May 7 - 16, with a talk-back with the writer, director and cast members free on Zoom on May 16.)


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Happy Times - July 2020
For over a decade, Trudy, Judy, and Gladys have been meeting for an annual party … and a murder. The victim is an unwitting romantic interest duped into playing the butler at their soiree. The killers are a trio of middle-aged murderesses with a taste for hot tubs, spiked cocktails, and backyard burials. Plans this year, however, go wildly awry when the lethal ladies unexpectedly experience deeper feelings for their intended prey. What lies ahead -- a honeymoon or a homicide? Not your typical reunion comedy by any stretch, the absurdist radio play Happy Times is a flashbacking farce for the ears.  

"Carol Triffle pushes the medium to its limits by layering her Hitchcock-meets-slapstick story with Kyle Delamarter’s demented soundtrack, which incorporates everything from ‘60s psychedelics, to a flatulent couch, to songs that make you want to sing along."

Kyle Delamarter Mr. Dell, Judge, Jon Farley Bailiff, Randy Bynum Mister B, Danielle Vermette Trudy, Matt Sunderland Corey, Amy Katrina Bryan Judy, Laura Loy Gladys

Writer/Director Carol Triffle, Composer, Sound Design Kyle Delamarter, Lyrics Carol Triffle, Sound Engineer Jon Farley, Producer Jerry Mouawad

(This production was broadcast live on KBOO Community Radio on Monday, July 26 and streamed online from July 30 - August 6.)


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Special K - February 2020

Inspired by Luise Pirandello's Henry IV, this startling original work was written and directed by Jerry Mouawad. In 1999, a young female student attends a college soiree – a festive party with a 14th-century/great plague theme. By accident, the young student swallows five glasses of punch spiked with hallucinogens and takes a mind trip into the Middle Ages, and remains permanently stuck in this delusion. After conventional medicine fails, her despairing family decides to give her what she wants – her delusion in full. They purchase a lodge in the woods, transform it into a 14th-century castle, and staff it with actors to play her royal court.

Anne Sorce HER
Stephanie Woods Thelma
Emily Welch Louise
Danny Gray Narcissus
Matthew Sunderland Goldman
Colleen Socha Jeanette
Sean Doran Arnold
Writing/Scenic/Direction Jerry Mouawad
Light Design Jon Farley
Sound Design Myrrh Larsen
Costume Design Carol Triffle & Christine Richardson

“[An] Elaborate theatrical game….Hitchcock psychodrama… Consistently inventive… Strange and compelling…part absurdist merry-go-round… terrifying beauty…” -- Oregon Arts Watch

“A brilliant piece of art… Exceptional!” -- Dennis Sparks Reviews

“And about being crazy. And/or not being crazy after all. And about the way that craziness breeds more craziness around it…. It also seems to be about … mental illness, drug-induced psychosis, power and manipulation, complicity and duplicity, acting and improvising, sexuality and gender dynamics … the permeable membrane between internal experience and objective reality … All in all, it’s another distinctive creation from Imago.” – Marty Hughley, Oregon ArtsWatch


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Pebble - May 2019

Carol Triffle’s latest work Pebble is a study in missed connections, conflicting impulses and thwarted desires. Pebble is an outsider, or an artist, and is herself a mystery. She yearns to be touched by another, but spends most of her days with jigsaw puzzles and playing cards. She thinks of the mental institution where she voluntarily resides, where all engage in song, dance and pills shared like snacks, as her art studio. She flirts recklessly with the Medical Orderly and harbors distrust of Nurse Megan, who chirpily promises special treatments via loudspeaker bulletins. Pebble feels alone, until one day, a mysterious visitor comes to see her. In his presence, things begin to unravel, sending ripples throughout the staff. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Pebble is a prismatic exploration of loneliness and what it means to be an outsider, or an artist.

“It’s a place so simple and ordinary that it takes on extra-ordinary dimensions, mundanity transforming like Kafka’s unfortunate Gregor Samsa into a new reality of darkly comic horror and thwarted passion at loose ends.” - Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch

“Triffle has, once again, introduced us to an alternate reality, in which Up is Down and Down is Sideways…and your own perception of the world will never be the same again! Her cast is mesmerizing, as they induce us to believe in the unbelievable and convince us that it is enjoyable and makes sense…almost. Imago never ceases to amaze me with their inventive works!” - Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

Danielle Vermette Pebble, Kyle Delamarter Nick, Jon Farley Medical Orderly, Megan Skye Hale Nurse Megan

Writer/Director Carol Triffle, Producers Carol Triffle & Jerry Mouawad, Costumes Carol Triffle, Light Design Jon Farley, Sound Design Kyle Delamarter


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Leonard Cohen is Dead - March 2019

“Leonard Cohen is Dead” is an homage to Richard Foreman’s work, which had a profound impact on director Jerry Mouawad’s own artistic course. In Leonard Cohen is Dead, after kidnapping the trillionaire's daughter Erika (sometimes accidentally called America), the Hey Dey Gang is fighting their way out of the flea-bag Motel Nowhere where the police have cornered them. One moment, the gang is planning their escape, and the next, the five-member gang of gay men (two played by female actors) slip into deep thought about philosophy, religion, sex and spirituality. Fighting with guns and bombs one instant, the Hey Dey Gang finds in the next examinations of the most troubling or beautiful aspects of what it is to be human. Near the end of the play we learn the world is led by dead famous singers who are among the "Editors," gene-edited humans who now rule the world.

Sheer Joy! ... Bombs of Absurdity." - Barry Johnson, Oregon ArtsWatch

"Hilarious … a thrill ... such ferocity and imagination." - Danielle Vermette, Special to Oregon ArtsWatch

"… if you can blend the artistry of violence and dark humor of Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs); the balancing act of Sartre (No Exit); the mind games of Pinter (The Dumbwaiter); a daub of Keystone Kops; Kafka’s ambiguities; and couple them with an intricate ballet, you might begin to understand the depth and breadth of this presentation." - Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

Writer/Director/Set Designer Jerry Mouawad, Producer Carol Triffle, Light Design Jon Farley, Sound Design Kyle Delamarter, Joe Jatcko, Jerry Mouawad, Costumes Sumi Wu

Performers - Stephanie Woods, Danny Gray, Emily Welsh, Kyle Delamarter, Jonah Kersey, Sawyer Shipman


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Title and Deed - June 2018

A monologue by Will Eno, his protagonist talks to the audience about the meaning of home, his nameless character describing his world as festive, all while emanating an apologetic gloominess. A man who is here but somewhere else, familiar yet foreign, usual yet unusual, and looking to define that place where “the hat’s hanging and the placenta’s buried.” Through verbal gymnastics we catch glimpses of the human condition, from some or any angle, as the character tries to define “home.” And, through this nameless character’s ruminations on the differences between here and there, we recognize a shared circumstance. “In Eno’s world the audience, the space, and the theatre are all one, which fits director Jerry Mouawad’s world of theatre and his ability to bring out ‘the moment’ with terse and simple language within an indefinable universe. Mouawad teamed up with powerhouse actor Todd Van Voris who played the foreigner.” – Dennis Sparks, All Things Performing Arts

Jerry Mouawad Director, Todd Van Voris Protagonist, Carol Triffle Producer

Costumes Sumi Wu, Light Design Jon Farley


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Fallout - June 2018

A truckload of word and physical comedy populates Carol Triffle's absurd romp. Long-time Imago comedic talents Danielle Vermette, Anne Sorce and Kyle Delamarter play off each other just as well as the Marx Brothers. The comedians maneuver inside an amusement park of a special effects set designed by Triffle. While on a picnic, Jackie Anne and Nadine accidentally discover a fallout shelter and find themselves locked inside with Bobby, Jackie Anne’s one-time romantic cousin. Bobby has hidden away in the shelter with dirt bike survival gear and portraits of two actresses who died in Hiroshima. Flirtations and light-hearted menace spar between the three while the most hilarious encounters, physical comedy, dance and song sprout here and there, vaulting the characters into first-time kisses with line after line of playful nuance. FALLOUT takes place in the most charming chamber, equipped with all we need to sustain this absurd apocalypse as an impending (can we even say palatable?) doom approaches. Like a word magician and sleight-of-hand director, Triffle guides her audience to a place where the end of the world is almost as acceptable as apple pie.

Anne Sorce Jackie Anne, Kyle Delamarter Bobby, Danielle Vermette Nadine Carol Triffle direction, costume & scenic design, Jon Farley light design, Carol Triffle & Kyle Delamarter sound design


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To Fly Again - May 2018

“Jerry Mouawad's brilliant new riff on Beckett…. A strange yet familiar landscape, a rolling plain of sand like a beach’s or a desert’s, a wilderness broken only by a single tree … funnier and more touching the more you know about Beckett and Godot. The action, such as it is, centers on a quartet of oddball characters, a sort of wandering family-by-default, known as Stink Bomb, Tater, Togo, and Bob…. Mouawad has given their terse dialogue his own knowing, tongue-in-cheek twists. Their snatches of conversation are proto-Beckettian, coming from nowhere, meaning nothing or everything, and delivered with a deadpan Sad Sack seriousness … frightfully funny… then, unexpectedly, they meet… [a] quartet of dancers, accompanied and preceded by a diminutive drummer, a sort of John the Baptist of the chorus line, rolling her announcements smoothly from her snare. They are a remarkable lot, these dancers, fleshly apparitions who speak only in their movement…. Sprightly and alluring and just a little dangerous, they sweep through space in sand-like shades of white and brown and gray that shift with the light, seeming sometimes like adobe or wet clay and at others like fleeting shafts of silver.

To Fly Again is like: a big dollop of Waiting for Godot; a splash of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author; a jigger of Mad Max; a few drops of Fellini.” Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch

Light & Scenic Design – Jerry Mouawad

Costume Design – Sumi Wu

Clown Ensemble – Mark Mullaney, Stephanie Woods, Nathaniel Holder, Jake Ottosen

Dance Ensemble – Nathan HG, Kaician Kitko, Emma Holland, Andrea Larreta

Percussionist – Amy Katrina Bryan


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Hotel Gone - December 2017

Choreographer/Director Jerry Mouawad pushes, pulls and shoves five characters into a hotel lobby, where identities shift, love is uncertain, and souls search for substance. Check-in and check-out become a commitment to live or run away. Live music drifts through HOTEL GONE as motifs propel dancing travelers through coat racks, exiting and entering a world of timeless seduction and trapped mysteries.

Dancers - Nathan H.G., Kayla Banks, Mathilda Seger, BreAnna Rae Hansen, and Leif Schmit.

Musicians/Performers - Amy Katrina Bryan and Sumi Wu.

Costume design - Sumi Wu.


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Human Noise - September 2017

Fans of Raymond Carver were delighted to find four of his earliest works staged by Imago’s Jerry Mouawad. Stylized movement and bold sound design served to bring short story and poem to life.

Neighbors When the Stones leave their apartment in the care of Bill and Arlene Miller, the Millers’ otherwise sedate existence begins to drastically change as they feed the Stones’ kitty and water their plants.

A Serious Talk Burt may not know the first thing about how to save his marriage or how to have a serious talk with Vera during the holidays. And, he would rather eat bacon and eggs than turkey.

Gazebo A young couple on a drunken binge have closed the office of the flea bag motel they operate and holed themselves up in a suite to try to piece their lives together after she discovers he had a six-week fling with one of the maids.

Torture You fall in love again. This time, it's with the South American General's daughter.

Bold … Creative … Uproarious … Precious … Beautifully minimalist! - Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Willamette Week Madcap … Funny … Terrific … Delicious to Watch! Mouawad’s instinct to align with Carver pays off by giving us a texture that those bare words on the page don’t deliver. - Barry Johnson, Oregon Arts Watch

Performers- Michael Streeter, Carol Triffle, Nathan Wonder, Danielle Vermette, Elizabeth Welch, Bryan Smith, Sara Fay Goldman

Jon Farley light design, Kyle Delamarter sound design, Jerry Mouawad scenic design, Carol Triffle & Cast, costumes

Tess Gallagher, wife and partner of the late Raymond Carver (1938 - 1988), is a renowned American poet, short story writer, essayist and teacher. Ms. Gallagher presented readings from her work and joined the cast for a post-show talk on September 30.


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The Reunion - June 2017, revived January 2018

Walking into … Carol Triffle’s new play The Reunion was like walking into a hippie pad circa 1969 … on a particularly groovy day. In The Reunion … the oddball and laughable and sometimes more than slightly looney settle slowly, almost imperceptibly, into a deep and moving contemplation of the human condition. Triffle’s … brittle absurdist comic style that seems deeply rooted in the traditions of mime and clown and slapstick comedy … at its best can make you laugh out loud while it’s quietly breaking your heart. She [Triffle] gently pries up the trap door of humanity and opens it to a miracle of grace. We are all fools, we are all mortal, we are all in this thing together. – Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch

Danielle Vermette Dolores, Jerry Mouawad John, Kyle Delamarter Duke, Megan Skye Hale Brittany, Sean Bowie Floyd, Jon Farley Tek, Bryan Smith Custodian, Jon Farley Drummer

Jon Farley Light Design, Kyle Delamarter Music Arrangement and Conductor, Jon Farley, Sean Bowie Music Arrangement, Carol Triffle Costume, Sound, Scenic Design, Lyrics, Sarah Andrews Scenic Associate Painter


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Medea - April/May 2017

Director Mouawad’s famous “No Exit” tilting stage, which moves with each actor’s step and is balanced and imbalanced by the weight of the performers, is the setting for this Euripides tragedy, in a version by Ben Power of the National Theatre, London. A minimalist set, dressed only by costume and lighting, enhances the raw emotion that is disturbingly identifiable and ultimately ends in murderous revenge. When her former husband and father of her two children takes a much younger, richer, more “inside” bride, the tension builds to a moment of wrenchingly horrific violence, ending with an emotionally-spent Medea standing center stage holding the blood-drenched pinnacles of her catharsis.

Anne Sorce Medea, Todd Van Voris Jason, Carla Grant, Tamara Sorelli, Lucy Paschall Chorus, Jim Vadala Jason’s Attendant, Madeleine Delaplane Nurse, Sean Doran Kreon, King of Corinth, Tom Mounsey Aegeus, King of Athens, Duncan Creagle Doran, Anthony Feely Medea’s Sons, Max Wallsmith Understudy

Jerry Mouawad direction, scenic design, Carol Triffle producer, Jon Farley light design, Sumi Wu costume design, Ryan Mooney sound design, Demetri Pavlatos set engineering, Sarah Andrews scenic associate, Elecia Beebe scenic painter

“Working from playwright Ben Power’s 2014 version of Euripides’ Greek tragedy, director Jerry Mouawad has … created an intoxicating fusion of intense performances and minimalist staging … His stripped-down vision makes every moment of the play feel emotionally violent.” – Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Willamette Week

“Mouawad, as always, gives us a production/interpretation that is totally unique and is a feast as nourishment for the eyes and soul. We are, I believe, at the feet of creative genius when encountering productions of his and his partner, Triffle!” – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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Savage/Love - February/March 2017

Nineteen poems on the nature of love written by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin form the musings that Imago Theatre staged with interpretive dance. With no notes on setting and no dialogue, the script gives any director a wealth of freedom in interpretation, and director Jerry Mouawad chose sign language, mime, pantomime, dance, and stylized movement to horror-movie scores, 1960s pop and jazz noir to illuminate the many aspects of the experience of love, guiding the audience through a flow of opposing emotions and recognizable human ponderings.

Jerry Mouawad direction, choreography, scenic design, Jon Farley light design, Ryan Mooney sound design (in collaboration with the company), Sarah Andrews props and scenic associate, Sumi Wu assistant direction & costume design (in collaboration with the company)

Mouawad has done his usual exceptional job of creating a totally unique piece that soars! – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews … an engrossing, experiential piece of contemporary theater. – Shannon Gormley, Willamette Week


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La Belle | Lost in the World of the Automaton - Winter 2016

A giant art work of a play with 100 moving parts that will engage you like no other show… Animated effects every 30 seconds... Steampunk finesse… Whimsical, dramatic and heartfelt… This is the new Imago and they are at their best!


“It's all wow factor!”

Lee Williams, The Oregonian
“A triumph! A beauty of a Beauty…Surprising.. Delightful…Rare and Wonderful…you may well want to see it over and over again!” 
Marty Hughely, Oregon Arts Watch

“Should be at the top of your holiday to-do list! Creative! Engaging!” 
Debbie Tofte, PDX Parent 

“Masterpiece..Alluring!.. a complexity that engages adults but just the sort of magic and suspended reality that appeals to little ones. This holiday performance season, make sure La Belle is on your can’t-miss list! 
Karel Chan, NW Kids Magazine 

“.. a masterpiece …. raised to an infinite degree. A delicious feast for the eyes and ears and nourishing fodder for the soul… a cornucopia of sights and sounds that burrow through the hard shell of adulthood to the child-like wonder of innocence and imagination, too long buried.” 
Dennis Sparks – All Things Performing Arts

“Populated with 100 astonishingly detailed automata, puppets and other dazzling non-digital effects... a nonstop eye-popper. After several years in the making, Imago Theatre's tricky, visionary new take on "Beauty and the Beast" arrived this past weekend. And what a landing. It's all wow factor. You'd need a jeweler's loupe to take in all the intricate work, particularly the gear-driven pieces 

In a time when spectacular visual stories are forged from lines and lines of code, along comes a wondrous tale carefully carved, tinkered, fitted and welded by consummate Portland creatives.” 
Lee Williams, The Oregonian

“Imago’s La Belle is a creature of a rare and wonderful sort, a show you may well want to see over and over again, both to marvel at its graceful mechanics and to soak in its symbolic resonances about the human, animal and spiritual in us all…. with a tone that’s often whimsical but never cutesy, finding that sweet spot of family entertainment that’s really for the adults, even if the kids are so enthralled that they won’t notice. 

Perhaps future generations, though, will think of the story and imagine not forests and castles but the grimy engine room of a coal-powered steamship. Their memories will be filled not with Disney’s storybook colors or Cocteau’s poetic cinematic effects but with a more immediate kind of artistic magic: puppets and automatons and actors on a stage….They’ll think of Imago.” 
Marty Hughely, Oregon Arts Watch

“My 12-year old son attended this performance with me. We’ve attended performances at Imago before when he was younger. He was skeptical whether he’d truly enjoy a storyline about “Beauty and the Beast.” Quickly, he figured out this was no ordinary retelling, but had a whimsical approach that appealed to him. The whole idea of steampunk and automaton (a moving mechanical device that is an imitation of a human being) quickly captured his interest.” 
Debbie Tofte, PDX Parent

“A story synopsis would not do this production justice; in fact, you could walk into the theater knowing nothing about Sam, Rose or Beauty and the Beast and find yourself instantly enchanted. Vadala and Davis expertly command the stage, theater and your attention with every word and movement, drawing you into their world aboard La Belle and then into the fairy tale land of Belle and Beast, and the intricacy of moving set pieces and elegant puppets are a continual feast for the eyes.” Karel Chan, NW Kids Magazine

“I can see origins of this creation in the works of Eugene O’Neill, “The Hairy Ape” (about a beast-like human working in the boiler room of a ship); “Pinocchio” (the blue fairy); “Cinderella” (a dysfunctional family, with a misfit girl as their slave); “The Merchant of Venice” (the loss of his fortune at sea); and, of course, the original story, the best movie version by far being the 1930’s Cocteau film. There are also influences of the silent film era, especially Chaplin and Keaton, with the exaggerated expressions and stylized movements. And it all works together to perfection!” 
Dennis Sparks – All Things Performing Arts


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Hughie - September 2016

Despite a painful tremor later in life, Eugene O’Neill embarked upon the creation of this one-act masterpiece on April 9, 1941, shortly after completing Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Three weeks later, this extraordinary script was finished. Through the dialogue of the two characters, O’Neill skillfully draws three life stories and two worlds—fantasy and reality. First produced in Sweden in 1958 then in New York City six years later, Hughie has three characters—two living, one dead. As Erie, the protagonist, relates the story of his friendship with Hughie to the Night Clerk at the flea bag hotel where Erie lives, we witness unfolding a man of shattered confidence, a confidence that was built on illusion only, sustained by Hughie, who is now dead; a confidence that begins to be resurrected when Erie realizes the Night Clerk, albeit an excellent soundboard, is not as boring as he had initially seemed.


Starring: Todd Van Voris, Sean Doran


Jerry Mouawad direction, scenic design, Kyle Delamarter sound design, Sarah Andrews scenic associate, Sumi Wu costume design, Jeff Forbes light design


Eugene O'Neill's one-act gem "Hughie," now receiving a tantalizingly intriguing production from Imago Theatre … is certainly worth seeing. – Richard Wattenberg, oregonlive.com


Mouawad’s shows are always worth watching, as he always seems to have another layer or two beneath the ones obviously visible … a real treat for the mind and eyes. – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud - April 2016
Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud, a Carol Triffle original music-theatre piece, presents three sisters—brainy Francesca, sexy Isabella, and beautiful Margarita—working through the detritus of childhood competitions and unintended mishaps, all with the quirky comedic style Triffle is known for.  Francesca is tortured by her childhood losing record of Tiny Miss Pageants.  Margarita is perplexed by her childhood uncontested wins.  Suspicion of fraud pageantry hangs over their parents.  And, Isabella is freaked out by a strange journey, uncertain if she became a reluctant porn star.  Isabella’s bizarre boyfriend RayRay and Margarita’s Bob the Weatherman reflect a tilted view of masculinity.   


“Carol Triffle is Portland’s most prominent stage absurdist, a quiet comic renegade who makes a virtue of never connecting the dots.  Her theater is whimsical, outrageous … an anti-theater, almost, bopping narrative on the nose and then ducking around the corner to put on clown makeup and reappear as something utterly different, yet somehow also just the same.” – Bob Hicks, Oregon ArtsWatch


“… exaggerated physicality and quirky humor earns this show its applause.” – Jess Drake, Willamette Week


“Triffle has done an amazing job of giving us another think-piece from Imago….” – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


“In Triffle’s latest work, you’ll experience the joys, cattiness, sparkle and sorrow of competition without having to tan, hairspray your swimsuit or glide Vaseline across your teeth for that perfect pageant smile.” – Lee Williams, The Oregonian/OregonLive


Starring:  Anne Sorce, Megan Skye Hale, Elizabeth Fagan, Kyle Delamarter, Sean Bowie


Carol Triffle director, writer, sound design & lyrics, Katie Griesar original music, Jeff Forbes light design


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The Lady Aoi - March 2016
This Japanese fusion work by Yukio Mishima tells the story of a living ghost. In Japanese culture, someone who is out of control with jealousy will unintentionally, in their sleep, bring to life their own living ghost who will walk the earth inflicting danger on the cause of the jealousy. For this erotic ghost tale, Mishima modernized a 15th century Noh play, setting it in a 1956 hospital. Director Jerry Mouawad combines influences from Richard Foreman, miked actors speaking in hushed subconscious tone, live percussive accents, jazzy and hypnotic sound loops and highly stylized choreography to create an East/West fusion of the arts.


“Few theater artists are as adept at creating surprising, self-contained worlds through minimal means (movement, light, sound) as Mouawad.” – Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch


"[We] were both somewhat speechless after the performance, choosing to revel in our own thoughts than opining clumsy words about it, as if that might break its spell." – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


"Mouawad brilliantly pushes Mishima's modernism, already on the brink, into full-on mid-century postmodernism." –Thomas Ross, The Portland Mercury


"Mouawad’s plays are always stimulating and invade the senses in very unique ways. I guarantee you will not walk away from one of his productions, this one especially, without being touched in some way." – Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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The Homecoming- October 2014
A dark comedy set in 1960s London, Pinter's “The Homecoming” takes place in an old house where the patriarch Max, two of his three sons, Lenny and Joey, and Max's brother Sam live in emotional squalor.  The power structure is challenged at the appearance of Teddy, who comes home with his wife Ruth, the only woman in the testosterone-driven world of the men in the house.  An exceptional ensemble cast deftly portrays the explosive tension inflicted on the present from a dark shared past and the shifting power dynamics as each character jockeys for position.  The uncomfortable universality in this play has caused some to describe it as resonating on a mythic level as well as an immediate one.  Ruth, sitting in a chair center stage at the end of the play, surrounded by men on their knees, creates a regal final picture, as she has gained the final control. 


… an exceptional, ensemble cast! - Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


… vivid and artfully presented ... " Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian


… overwhelmingly potent. - A. L. Adams, Oregon ArtsWatch


"Mouawad is probably the foremost and best interpreter of Pinter in this part of the country." -Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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Pimento & Pullman- June 2014
This double feature began with “Pimento,” a short clown piece influenced by Jacques Tati. In gibberish resembling fake German, fake French, and fake Japanese, the clown trio in this piece attempts to tell a story of wooing and being wooed.  Using silence, rhythmic nonsensical syllables, and musical instruments, this play ends with the clown trio creating beautiful music together in spite of, or because of, mom.  Following this Mouawad work came “Pullman Car Hiawatha” by Thornton Wilder. This work employs a narrator, as in “Our Town,” to invite us into the microcosm that is a 1930 train trip from New York to Chicago. Jazz rhythms mix with the rhythm of the train to accompany scene changes filled with musical-chair dances presenting different angles of travel, communicating the variety of lives. Common people with dreams and regrets ruminate on literature, astronomy, theology and philosophy through movement theatre, all with “archangels” in CIA-esque suits and dark glasses who manipulate lights and sound to accompany this spiritual ride.

Well done to all! - Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews

Uproarious – A. L. Adams, Oregon Arts Watch


May they [Imago] live long and prosper! - Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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The Caretaker- March 2014
In The Caretaker, renowned British playwright Harold Pinter has given us two brothers and a bum in a basement. Described as one of the powerful masterpieces of the post-WWII era, the simplicity of the setting (one decrepit room) belies the complexity of these three men in a room. When Aston, one of the brothers, invites Davies, the bum, to bunk at his place, we enter a realm of shifting allegiances and struggle for control. Aloof indifference, even seeming hostility, masks a fierce loyalty in Mick, the other brother, for Aston. In Mick's visits, timed when Aston is away, the masterful dialogue cloaks a torturous track toward a kinetic switch that Davies does not see coming, leaving Davies mystified and struggling with which brother to ally himself with next as he seeks to establish control over his own situation. Aston's painful past as revealed in a monologue makes his apparent emotional detachment understandable and the origin of his sympathy for Davies a curiosity. While the play is funny, it is aptly described as a tragicomedy. Pinter once wrote of it, “[A]s far as I’m concerned ‘The Caretaker’ is funny up to a point. Beyond that it ceases to be funny, and it was because of that point that I wrote it.” Its ambiguities invite us to muse on who is crazy or not—the brother who was treated for mental illness, the brother whose torturous antics leave us questioning where his humanity lives, or the disheveled bum Davies, who just may be the only character in the play who could be described as completely human. The other two seem to carry within them crippling voids.

Starring: Allen Nause, Jeffrey Gilpin and Jacob Coleman


Jerry Mouawad Direction, Carol Triffle Producer, Jeff Forbes light design, Jerry Mouawad set design, Mona Huneidi set dressing and painting, Sumi Wu costumes, Ryan Mooney sound design


“I started to take notes .... I folded up my little notebook, clicked my pen closed, and just watched. I don’t do this very often ... Funny! ... Creative and exciting, nano-second to nano-second!” -Barry Johnson, Oregon Arts Watch


"Overwhelming! Startling! Beautiful!" -Carol Wells, The Oregonian

"Evocative! Mundane & Bizzare! Quicksilver! Wicked Humor! Profoundly Human!" -Rebecca Jacobson, Willamette Week


"Exceptional! Perfect! Provocative!" -Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


"Allen Nause's performance in THE CARETAKER was one of the very best I've ever seen in Portland, New York & London. This production deserves to be seen by the largest possible audience."- Glenn Gauer, Audience Member


"Bravo, hurray, applause & praise ... perfectly fine and potent" -Sandra Bruce, Audience Member


"Mesmerizing - beautifully directed." -Gemma Whelan, Audience Member


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The Lover - December 2013
Harold Pinter's 1962 play The Lover explores sexual and romantic love through an adulterous affair that turns out to not be adultery at all, but a husband and wife pretending to have an affair (or are they pretending?). Intriguing? Yes. Funny? Well, yes, but not without its deeper meanings and poignant moments. While it becomes obvious early in the play that Sarah's secret "lover" is actually her husband Richard, this revelation, thanks to Pinter's skill as a playwright, does not reduce the curiosity to see how it will all play out. Thoughts on the private and the public, the power of imagination versus reality, the acceptable and the unacceptable, the status quo and the breaking of it, all work to keep the audience captivated throughout. 


Starring:  Anne Sorce and Jeffrey Jason Gilpin
Directed by:  Jerry Mouawad


“To capture the profound complexity of this play is a challenge – a challenge well met in the current Imago Theatre production directed by Jerry Mouawad.” Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian


"directed with aplomb … hilarious … fascinating, slyly constructed piece of theater, a psychosexual labyrinth of desire, delusion, uncertainty and jealousy… bold and unusual … terrifically funny… The Lover may be an elaborate mind game, but these performers aren’t joking around!"
-Rebecca Jacobson, The Willamette Week


"fictions we employ to make ourselves comprehensible … [to] places we’ll do almost anything to avoid… virtually Pinteresque!" -Barry Johnson, Oregon Arts Watch


"beautifully precise … I applaud [Imago] for reviving an almost forgotten genre to the public… and doing it so damn well!" -Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews


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Beaux Arts Club - May 2013
In yet another engaging romp through the imagination of Carol Triffle, we are welcomed with an opening dance that ends with a human art installation knocked unconscious by a shoe.  He then wakes up at certain key moments throughout the play. The failed-artist-turned-hooker (the installation’s creator) swings between keeping him quiet and letting him go.  He is amusingly amenable to her changing wishes.  After the members of her annual “meeting of the artists” aka the Beaux Arts Club arrive, the play reveals its darker undercurrents of loneliness, desperation, and lost dreams, humorously mixed with mobster pot smoking, affected poetry reading, and what might be called “installation sex.”  Just a gathering of old school friends who take cruel jabs at each other?  Well, yes, but then there’s this pizza delivery guy.  Oh, and then there’s the mobster.  Oh, and….  As a superlative writer/director of absurdist musical comedy, Carol Triffle does not disappoint with this play.  .

Carol Triffle choreography, writing, direction


“Twisted, delightful fever dream of a play!” -Willamette Week


“Hilariously overwrought dialogue and hallucinatory song-and-dance breaks!” -Willamette Week


“Wildly unusual!”-Willamette Week


“Weirdly brilliant!” -Oregonian


“Sweet then acidic, sexy then goofy, sly then out of control!”  -Oregonian

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The Black LIzard - Spring 2012

In the spring and fall of 2012, Imago Theatre presented the English-language premiere of Yukio Mishima’s 1961 masterpiece The Black Lizard.  An adaptation of one of the most popular “erotic-grotesque” novels of the pre-WWII era, reset in the 1960s, The Black Lizard is Mishima’s most technically challenging modern play available in translation, incorporating many elements of kabuki acting and staging.  Director Jerry Mouawad assembled a team that understood the spirit of Mishima’s gorgeous and grotesque vision and together they created striking set designs, costuming, and multi-media that recalled the pop-art scene and jet-set fashion of 1960s Tokyo.  Themes included beauty, vulnerability, and death; the incompatibility of human pride and love; the impossibility of attaining romantic or aesthetic ideals in a world sullied by petty ego, greed, and fear. 

Starring: Anne Sorce & Matt DiBiasio  

Jerry Mouawad, Direction and Choreography;Carol Triffle, Producer;Dr. Laurence Kominz, Dramaturg; Mark Oshima, Translator; Owen Waltz, light design; Dan Meeker, scenic design; Sumi Wu, costumes; John Berendzen, sound design; Catherine Egan & Kyle Delamarter, multi-media; Toshimi Tanaka, kimono.  


“suspenseful … brilliant … sexy, surrealistic noir thriller… a rare gem that shines!”
-Joshua Hunt, The Vanguard 

"uncanny poetic intensity… a precise clockwork of profane surprise"
-Matthew Korfhage, Willamette Week

“mesmerizing … fabulous … fun….”
-Barry Johnson, Oregon Public Broadcasting

“another striking example of Imago’s creativity…”
-Marty Hughley, The Oregonian


"fantastic, thrilling, awesome, what a winner … absolutely kills!"
-Barret Johnson, Broadway World


"dazzling … brilliant…. There’s the Portland theater scene. And there's Imago. 
-Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch


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Zugzwang - September 2011
Zugzwang is the fifth and most abstract installment in director Jerry Mouawad's "Opera Beyond Words" series of silent theatrical experiments.  Taking its title from a chess term for a situation in which no decision results in a positive outcome, Zugzwang opens with a tense, high stakes card game which ends dramatically for protagonist Rafiffi.  In a sly play on the caper genre, Rafiffi and his entourage embark on a more contemplative and existential odyssey of redemption, through darkened corridors and mysterious chambers.  On a stark stage, imagined spaces are evoked through spectral lighting, tight choreography and emotive performances.  The narrative unravels to a startling denouement of unflinching emotional impact.  A highly entertaining and deeply moving show featuring acclaimed dancer/choreographer Gregg Bielemeier in the role of Raffifi.

Jerry Mouawad choreography, writing, direction, design; Gregg Bielemeier – lead; Carol Triffle producer


"Zugzwang is full of sharp, clever imagery, an intriguingly allusive concept and a powerful, surprisingly clear payoff."
-Marty Hughley, The Oregonian


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SPLAT! - May 2011  

Meet Cinder, a Francophile femme fatale with an inconvenient history of dead husbands. With a new corpse on her hands, she's hired Inkblot, a mafia-trained private investigator, to clean up her mess. Yet her plans are foiled when two possible accomplices, Donny and Joey, arrive in search of hush money. Who's recounting of events is most reliable is up for debate but since this is a Carol Triffle musical, it's worth listening to the the widow’s last victim who's got a song to sing if you're looking for answers.


Carol Triffle, writer, director, designer, lyrics; Katie Griesar original music; Danielle Vermette, & Jerry Mouawad leads


“possesses the strangest sense of humor it has ever been my bemused pleasure to encounter.
Ben Waterhouse, Willamette Week
“It’s one-part horror movie, one-part demented musical and one-part situation comedy with a little burlesque slapstick thrown in for good measure.”
Barry Johnson, Arts Dispatch
The key here isn’t in any conventional element, it’s in the sustained air of sketch-comedy absurdism, the comically overdone gestures, the random bursts of joyfully naive dance and song. . . and little curlicues of language and logic.”
Marty Hughley, The Oregonian




STAGE LEFT LOST- September 2010
The fourth installment in Jerry Mouawad's “Opera Beyond Words," Stage Left Lost strips the text from Shakespeare's tragedy (or the arias from Verdi's operas) then dances around the play's signature moment as a kind of choreographic leitmotif about the nature of reality.  After having the tragedy's leading man murder his onstage Desdemona, Stage Left Lost loops its material in front of a funhouse mirror.  Suddenly, backstage dramas, domestic dramas, and onstage dramas each resurface the iconic kill in increasingly dizzying ways.  With the audience literally seated in the wings of Imago’s theater, Stage Left Lost exposes the very act of performance and the unspoken performance that is being alive.
Jerry Mouawad direction & design; Carol Triffle producer

“One of the best, most beguiling productions on any Portland stage this year. . .
Using swells and scratches of brilliantly chosen recorded music, Stage Left Lost dispenses with language almost completely in favor of dance, mime and the exquisite exaggerations of the silent movies. . . like a well-oiled dance troupe. . . expert expressionist actors, conveying action and emotion with the sort of wide-eyed broadness that silent film stars perfected. . . smooth and self-assured, reflecting a cast that was in its groove and a director who, more than 30 years into a fascinating and experiment-driven career, seems at the top of his game.”

Bob Hicks, The Oregonian
 “I’m almost at a loss for words to tell you how brilliantly Stage Left Lost, Imago’s latest mute masterpiece, communicates. . .  Writer/director Jerry Mouawad’s ingenious staging leaves plenty of room for surprises—but absolutely none for misunderstandings.  The lighting unfailingly guides your gaze, the music strikes the right moods, and an arsenal of little devices spell it out better than words ever could.  Just when we thought mime was moot, it breaks out of the box!”
Anne Adams, Portland Monthly





Carol Triffle’s uncanny ability to surface tragicomic undercurrents from beneath small, oddly significant personal moments, is on full display again in her latest anti-musical. At the center of this working man's clown show is Chloe, an awkward young woman who lands a secretarial role at a trucking company, only to find her father, her brother and her boyfriend constantly interfering with her commitment to proper office decorum. A study of control and confusion (with song), Backs Like That lies the passions of its characters bare amid the chaos of a small mom-and-pop business unlikely to provide larger meaning to anyone's life.


Carol Triffle, writer, director, designer, lyrics; Katie Griesar original music; Danielle Vermette, & Jerry Mouawad Leads
“Disturbingly funny. . . hilarious and surprisingly effecting emotionally, reviving theater's capacity to truly surprise us.”
Marty Hughley, The Oregonian
“Quirky. . . terrific. . . brilliant score. . .  The show is funny, poignant, absurd: fine entertainment and food for thought. I wish I could have gone back to see it again and I can hardly wait for the next in the series.”
Martha Ullman West, Art Scatter
“Avant Garde. . . very funny. . . wonderful, physical, comic, exploiting telling movements eloquently”
Go Geezers Guide





TICK TACK TYPE- March 2009

The third of Jerry Mouawad’s “Opera Beyond Words” explores power dynamics within confined spaces.  A bizarre big business take on Beckett, Tick Tack Type finds five men and four women dropped from a chute into a stark empty room where they're forced to participate in a strange typing academy ruled by a tyrannical instructor (Artistic Co-Director Carol Triffle).  Not unlike his two previous works, Apis, or The Taste of Honey, and The Cuban Missile Tango, Mouawad taps into the universally perverse aspects of competition and coercion but this time the outcome remains adamantly abstract.

Jerry Mouawad, choreography & design; Carol Triffle lead

“Delightfully unconventional. . . Imago Theatre extends its experimental hot streak with Tick Tack Type. . . fascinatingly strange. . . Mouawad knows how to set up moments of interaction between characters and within groups, setting expectations and tension, detonating little surprises -- all with a visual clarity that can make you smile, chuckle and sometimes roar. . . It may be the most nightmarish typing class you've ever attended, but it's also the most fun.”
Marty Hughley, The Oregonian
“Imago blurs the lines of the expected to break new ground, exploding performance boundaries, yet maintaining humor and humanity.”
Broadway World.com






Cuban Missile Tango -Aug 2009

Jerry Mouawad’s second “Opera Beyond Words,” a swingers party, transforms into a metaphor for the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Overhead supertitles teletype a series of messages between Krushchev and Kennedy that shed light on how close the world came to annihilation.


Jerry Mouawad, director & design; Carol Triffle producer



Taking place in a homeless shelter after the events of the economic crisis, Simple People is a study of lives shattered and displaced.  In her fourth off-kilter musical, Carol Triffle again casts Danielle Vermette as a clown protagonist in a timely, endearing piece about ordinary people at their lowest point, shuffling through their limited existence with amusing pathos.


Carol Triffle, director & design


“Imago is such a treasure. . . couldn’t be more timely or more rudely entertaining. . . The poetry was clear and in a well-measured dose.  Eloquence could seem really inappropriate but in this piece, it added savor.  It was all about the acting and the acting was well tuned and effortless.”
Jay Thiemeyer, Street Roots





ZOOZOO - April 2009

ZooZoo is Imago’s world-class touring production, its first offering with the prestigious touring agency Opus 3 Artists, and featured at the New Victory Theatre in 2010.  As the culmination of more than thirty years of innovation by directors Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, ZooZoo is an evolution of the best of Imago’s signature touring shows, FROGZ and Biglittlethings.  This alchemy of illusion, mime, dance, acrobatics, original music and masks offers audiences worldwide an imaginative, sophisticated show for all ages.  In a series of vignettes and solo pieces, universal themes are presented with a light touch, as animals take on human characteristics and inanimate objects spring to mischievous life.  Fireflies come together to make shapes in the dark, they wink as eyes, later transforming into a flock of birds, frogs reveal the underlying tension of their stillness, a hippo couple struggles for their side of a too-small bed, a paper bag comes to life and balances delicately above the ground, a family of polar bears dances and mingles with the audience, and penguins compete against each other in a heated game of musical chairs.  In ZooZoo’s final piece, Paper, the actors appear as humans, masked in red bodysuits.  They dance and tumble across the stage, and in a thrilling finale, each actor’s identity is at last revealed.


Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad Creators


 “Sure fire, very funny!”
The New York Times


“You can't do better than Imago Theatre’s ZooZoo . . .  magical. . .  skillfully shaped. . .  mask and mime theater at its best. . .  wonderfully wacky. . . saturated with eccentric personality and humor. . .  Artful as well as entertaining. . . a show that anyone can enjoy seeing again and again.”
Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian


“a blur of magic. . .  hysterical and exciting. . . supremely theatrical spectacle. . .  completely immersing. . .  exactly as satisfying as great clown and mask can be. . .  as exciting as the finale of any fireworks show and perhaps among the more purely gratifying moments of theatre I have seen. . .  moments so fun, I don't think I could have helped but giggle like a child.”
Wendy Remington Bowie, NY Theatre.com


"Kids Go Wild for ZooZoo...Wow! is all I can say... Every minute... was engaging and hysterical... laugh out loud throughout the whole show... completely original and unlike anything I have ever seen before... a perfect first theatre experience for children!"
Mommy Poppins.com


"Defying physics and eliciting giggles!"
Time Out New York Kids





APIS, or The Taste of Honey  - March 2009 
Jerry Mouawad begins a new series, called “Opera Beyond Words,” with APIS.  Using mime, choreography and acrobatics, this wordless play attributes the characteristics of a hive of bees to the confines of a prison, and in doing so, relates the common purposes of competition, sex and murder in both the human and the insect worlds.  Carol Triffle, playing the queen bee as the focal point, seduces one drone after another until they are utterly destroyed.


Jerry Mouawad direction; Carol Triffle set design and lead


“Attention-gripping, imagination-seducing mime. . . APIS’ simple truths will continue to resonate hours after the final curtain.”
Andrew Stout, The Portland Mercury


“Triffle is bewitching and amusing”
Michael McGregor, The Oregonian





Vladimir, Vladimir -  October 2008

In an original theatrical comedy about Vladimir, a poor Yugoslavian magician, who discovers the strangeness of metaphysics, polarized clocks and tumbled worlds, Jerry Mouawad creates another work of existentialist vaudeville.


Jerry Mouawad, co- director and writer; Pat Patton, co-director; Carol Triffle lead


“Mouawad makes the ambitious but under-confident ‘balloon guy’ charming in his neediness, and Triffle’s understated but distinctive physical quirks give Natasha many of the show’s biggest laughs.  And there are many laughs throughout Vladimir, Vladimir, at situations and dialog both conventional and peculiar.”
Marty Hughley, The Oregonian





The Dinner - May 2008
With The Dinner, creator-director Carol Triffle completes her first trilogy of off-kilter musicals -- the others being Mix Up and Hit Me in the Stomach.  For this latest comedy with song, Triffle tells the story of Dolores, a housewife who has invited a famous writer to the family dinner.  As each increasingly absurd character dances to his or her own soundtrack, it becomes clear that when the author finally arrives, he'll be in for more than he bargained. 

Carol Triffle, writer, director, designer, lyrics; Katie Griesar original music; Danielle Vermette, lead
“What a fantastic show. . . The acting is consistently great. . . Writer Carol Triffle has a keen sense of the subterranean motivations driving people to act the way they do. . . It’s hilariously uncomfortable, completely original, and utterly worth seeing.”
Alison Hallett, The Portland Mercury
“Memorable and literally knee-slapping. . . perched on the precipice of perpetual giggles, over the abyss of belly laughs. . . original and inspired. . . Katie Griesar’s score morphs effectively from lounge to country to rock to spy-movie soundtrack, to points beyond.”
Marty Hughley, The Oregonian




Double Feature: Serial Killer Parents & The Father-thing - October 2007
For his return to staging original work, Jerry Mouawad creates two short, existential vaudeville skits on a bisected stage.  Serial Killer Parents.  On an all-black set, Imago's directors Mouawad and Triffle star as seasoned magicians who discuss gender politics, ageism, and even their twisted offspring, all while performing sleight of hand tricks in limbo.  The Father-thing.  On an all-white set, a typical bourgeois family discovers that their father’s body has been taken over by an alien.

Jerry Mouawad, director & designer; Carol Triffle lead; Danielle Vermette lead
“Inspired physical antics”
Ben Waterhouse, Willamette Week
“Double Feature is a really fun night of theater. . . Performers Mouawad and Carol Triffle. . . are a pleasure to watch.”
Alison Hallett, The Portland Mercury




Mix Up - March 2007 
Helmed by creator-director Carol Triffle, Mix Up is a poignant if off-center snapshot (with songs) of Ariel and her dysfunctional family.  With her grandmother recently deceased, and her grandfather apparently on his way out, Ariel -- suffering from something incurable herself -- must pack up the house she grew up in and ready the homestead for sale, with assistance from her off-his-rocker boyfriend.
Carol Triffle, writer director designer; Katie Griesar original music

Strangely likable. . . maybe it’s the comedic sensibility of clowning applied to tragedy, executed with remarkable finesse by the cast of Imago regulars. . . I found myself enjoying this weird performance despite myself.”
Ben Waterhouse, Willamette Week





Betrayal - September, 2006
With Pinter's most famous play, director Jerry Mouawad takes a straightforward approach to uncover the treachery at the heart of this brilliant anti-romance.  Written in reverse chronology, Betrayal deconstructs the politics of an affair between a woman and her husband’s best friend -- beginning with the dissolution of the extra-marital relationship and ending with the promising first kiss.
Jerry Mouawad, director, designer; Carol Triffle producer; Maureen Porter, lead; Peter Campbell, lead
Todd Van Voris, lead
“Imago’s production is knife-sharp. . . Mouawad and his team give the actors stark, well-lit spaces to work in, and they do what is asked of them with both icy precision and elan.”
Eric Bartels, Portland Tribune
“Imago’s Betrayal is a nuanced, disturbing, and compelling accomplishment.”
Alison Hallett, The Portland Mercury





Hit Me in the Stomach - March 2006  

Carol Triffle's delightfully creepy and off-kilter musical Hit Me in the Stomach shows the seedier side of suburbia.  The lives of three residents -- two named Pablo, and one named Jackie (Triffle's clown-like muse Danielle Vermette) -- hope for a better future, perhaps one involving "topless coffee" (which means served in a cup with no top).  All the while, two inebriated, menacing figures slink in and out of the garage which doubles as the three friends' living room.
Carol Triffle, writer director, lyrics, design; Katie Griesar music
“Carol Triffle sets loose a fine dark silliness in her savvy, gorgeously paced, very funny new play.”
Bob Hicks, The Oregonian


Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen - November 2005 

Following Imago’s U.S. premiere of A Number, Jerry Mouawad stages two more short plays by Caryl Churchill: Not Enough Oxygen and Heart’s Desire.  Shaped in part by the idiosyncratic choreography of Northwest stalwart Gregg Bielemeier and Mary Oslund, Not Enough Oxygen creates a claustrophobic future within the confines of four cubicles.  Heart’s Desire plays with repetition as a way to unfold the events of a family reunion. John Berendzen’s music direction infuses the production with sound performed by the cast of actors and dancers.

Jerry Mouawad, director, designer; Mary Oslund  & Gregg Bielemeier, choreographers; John Berendzen, sound designer; Carol Triffle lead

“viscerally compelling. . . inspired.” Catherine Thomas, The Oregonian





Uncle Vanya - September 2004  
Using a modern translation by Paul Schmidt, Jerry Mouawad's staging of Chekhov gives an upbeat spin on a writer who is often labeled as a melancholic.  A retired, pompous, irritable professor returns to his estate with his beautiful wife. Vanya, brother to the professor’s late first wife, who has been managing the professor's farm for almost no money then finds himself falling in love with his brother-in-law's new wife.  Intricate set drops executed percussively provide a sense of uplift in an otherwise bittersweet story.

Jerry Mouawad, director, designer; Carol Triffle lead

“It’s strange to leave a Chekhov production feeling joyful.  But who’s to argue against the gratification of art done well?. . . The lighting design. . . is pure sensation. . . the stage direction reveals moments of great interpretive intelligence.  All the elements come together to form a wonderfully rich and nuanced Chekhovian experience.” Dominic Luxford, Willamette Week





Missing Mona - April 2004 
This multimedia, multilayered work by Carol Triffle recounts both the historic 1911 theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from The Louvre, and the modern day story of a young woman whose obsession with da Vinci leads her to explore her own creative and sexual impulses.  With 12 slide projectors and 3 film projectors, the visuals are both an homage and extension of da Vinci's own constantly evolving artistry.

Carol Triffle, writer, director, design; Jerry Mouawad lead

“Jerry Mouawad, as Leo, brings theatrical snap to his lines. . . his set. . . is wonderfully inventive.  Wonderful, too, are some isolated visual images, most notably Triffle’s slow, hypnotic gymnastic turn in the famed da Vinci circle.” Bob Hicks, The Oregonian





Biglittlethings - December 2003
Biglittlethings is the acclaimed follow up to Imago’s signature show FROGZ.  Once again drawing on their training in the renowned Lecoq approach to mime theatre, contemporary dance, physical comedy and traditional mask styles, co-creators Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad have crafted Biglittlethings into another madcap spectacle for all ages.  In a series of short and surreal vignettes, audience perceptions of scale and physical reality are challenged as surprising creatures are brought to mischievous life through ingenious costumes, evocative lighting, original music, and a cast of highly skilled physical performers.  A darkened stage transforms into an inviting sea of glowing fish, dancing seahorses, and a gliding stingray, a family of polar bears dances and mingles with the audience, a hungry anteater at a restaurant can’t seem to get a waiter’s attention, and in the action packed finale Bows and Arrows, acrobatic archers transform the stage with colorful and kinetic streamers, in a celebration of the simple joys of theatrical magic.


Carol Triffle, Jerry Mouawad creators, designers, directors; Katie Griesar original music


 “Biglittlethings at Imago Theatre spills across the stage with visual inventiveness, creating a sumptuous journey into a dream world where the imagination turns some tight corners. . . the perfect nonverbal show for a child's first theater experience. . . the audience frequently crowed with delight and laughed uproariously as antics unfolded onstage. . . The show balances dark images with sweet ones, and an edge of fear and mystery makes ideas resonate.”
Holly Johnson, The Oregonian





A Number - September 2003 

The United States premiere of Caryl Churchill’s new play stands as a unique accomplishment even for a company with plenty of firsts to its credit.  The irony is that this dark family drama doesn't have to do with uniqueness at all.  It has to do with cloning.  A man whose wife has died and left him with an unmanageable son takes the opportunity of cloning to start his life over.  Freed from alcohol and drug addiction, he gives up for adoption his neglected child and, while in recovery, waits for his second, cloned son to be born.  As the play unfolds 35 years later, the adult sons confront the father about buried secrets.  The family is tragically reunited after hospital records reveal that 20 more clones of the same son were illegally produced.

Jerry Mouawad, director, designer; Tobias Andersen, lead; Carol Triffle producer

Tobias Andersen plays Salter with chilling conviction. . . Mouawad’s direction is superb. . . his glorious set design. . . is a prizewinner for both function and looks.  Original music by Imago composer Katie Griesar is perfect.”
Holly Johnson, The Oregonian


“Mouawad brings a touching bewilderment to Bernard-2, and Andersen is marvelous with Churchill’s dark humor.”
Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week





Exit the King - October 2002

For the fourth entry in his series of contemporary classics, Jerry Mouawad tackles Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist play about a 400-year old king facing his end:  the end of his life, the end of his reign, the end of his world.  As death looms in every corner, his castle collapses around him with walls crashing to the ground and even more inexplicably, furniture disappearing.  Some monologues are sung; others declaimed.

Jerry Mouawad, direction and design; Carol Triffle lead


The cast adeptly weathers Ionesco’s drastic changes in tone, from slapstick comedy to melodrama.  Regal costumes and the gritty, dilapidated set further Imago’s well-established reputation for visual invention.”
Stephen Blair, The Tribune





No Can Do - March 2001

“What’s the difference between bad luck and fate?”  That’s the central question of Carol Triffle’s No Can Do in which an invisible God probes the mind of an Actor with split-personality.  This jigsaw narrative eventually pieces together a barren landscape of heroes and bums, actors and wannabes, critics and audience members.  Even Oedipus gets in the mix.  Sitting in the middle of a series of squares of light, the Actor interacts with the Voice, an unknown force which is eventually revealed to be a ventriloquism of the Actor himself.


Carol Triffle, writer; Drammy Award, Best Lighting Design, Jerry Mouawad


What finally makes this a fun-filled, provocative theater experience are the performance and production values that Imago’s Triffle and Mouawad bring to bear. . . Mouawad wonderfully captures the cosmic buffoonery of the play’s focal character. . . Triffle punctuates the action with an ethereal and mysterious presence.”
Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian


“This funny and challenging production will stick with you far longer than your average night at the theater. . . Manic in the best sense of the word.”
Stephen Blair, Ourtown


“Jerry Mouawad. . . is both an actor of great depth and range, and a skilled ventriloquist.”
Justin Sanders, The Portland Mercury





Imaginary Invalid - November 2000 

From his series of contemporary classics, Jerry Mouawad adaptation of Moliere From his series of contemporary classics, Jerry Mouawad’s adaptation of Moliere takes place in the apartment of an affluent Lebanese family in NYC.  Argan, a hypochondriac obsessed with the opinions of increasingly absurd doctors, desires to make one of them his daughter’s husband, and thereby allow him access to all the consultations he requires.  But his daughter, Angelique, rejects these suitors in favor of her guitar-playing boyfriend, Cleante.  A cast of twelve plays a variety of oddball characters motivated by selfishness and greed.  True to Imago, the ingenious set also includes an elevator with a personality all its own.


Jerry Mouawad, director, designer Company Members: Carol Triffle, Danielle Vermette, Jonathan Godsey, Rex Jantze, Graydon Kouri, Michael Vertlieb


Every actor and actress in this production needs to be commended for their strong character development. . . definitely worth seeing. . . outrageous. . . sure to have you laughing loud and hard.”
Carrie Dixon, Vanguard


“Mouawad, as usual, brings a highly creative imagination to bear on the play’s scenic elements. . . An elevator door with a life of its own typifies Mouawad’s particular brand of anarchic humor, as do some of the costume and makeup touches.  Mouawad especially exercises his playfully surreal sensibility.”
Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian





Oh Lost Weekend - January 2000 

Vickie Browne, of Goshen, New York, is on trial for falsely impersonating Queen Victoria of England.  Yet is she the reincarnated monarch herself?  Carol Triffle’s highly original performance piece sets Goshen’s warped trial in a metallic cage equipped with 19-foot-high walls and a 300-gallon water tank.  As a chorus of tight-skinned acrobats sing, dance and dive around her, Vickie Browne must defend her belief in reincarnation both in her prison cell and while performing an Esther Williams-style underwater ballet.

Carol Triffle, writer, director; Demetri Pavlatos, scenic design; Jerry Mouawad lead


“Oh Lost Weekend is a godsend to adventurous entertainment seekers.  In 90 entrancing minutes, Triffle and company invite the audience to tinker with a truckload of provocative questions.”
Stephen Blair, Ourtown


“An exciting theatrical realm where the eerie and the fantastic playfully mingle.”
Richard Wattenberg, The Oregonian


“Brilliant and innovative. . . Oh Lost Weekend is funny, haunting, and will leave a profound mark on your subconscious.”
Julianne Shepherd, The Portland Mercury


“One of the finest pieces of clowning I’ve ever witnessed.”
Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week


“Triffle’s stagecraft is breathtaking.”
The Southeast Examiner


“Triffle’s stagecraft is breathtaking.”
The Southeast Examiner





Blood Wedding, Blood Wedding - October 1999
In the second in his series of contemporary classics, Jerry Mouawad bisects Federico Garcia Lorca’s tragedy -- about a bride, a groom, and their lamented love -- by splitting every part between two actors.  Using blackouts as if they were real-time jumpcuts, Blood Wedding, Blood Wedding presents two different sides to every role and every relationship.  The result is a multifaceted view of the nature of personality, conflict and love.  Half ghost story, half tragicomedy, this unconventional interpretation revealed sides of Lorca no one even imagined before.

Jerry Mouawad, director, designer; Carol Triffle lead

“Fiercely original staging and fine performances. . . near flawless lighting changes and nimble blocking. . . several powerful effects. . . pure surrealism. . . brilliant. . . delicious interplay. . . stunning. . . breathtaking.”
Jeremy Kemp, Back Stage West





House Taken Over -  July 1999  

An eccentric middle-aged brother and sister are caught in a mysterious architectural mousetrap: the house of their childhood.  Isolated from the world, the two live here contentedly until a mysterious, unseen force evicts them.  In one secret room, the strange lady in red sings for brother or sister separately, but never together.  Will the pair ever find peace (or a way in) again?  A poignant piece of magic realism (Mouawad’s third homage to the genre), House Taken Over features an astonishing Imago set as the enormous house is revealed via a series of shifting, oversized blueprints.  A toy instrument chamber orchestra performs the score by Katie Griesar.


Jerry Mouawad, writer, director, designer; Katie Griesar, composer; Carol Triffle & Lyndie Mah, co-leads


“Beautiful costumes. . . spine tingling vocals. . . flawless music composition.”
Jeremy Kemp, Back Stage West


“Imago is one of the few companies that succeed in creating new or altered realities on stage through a combination of technical brilliance and imagination. . . Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad are back in top form. . . Haunting, humorous and unabashedly theatrical.”
Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week





Trailer Park Paradise -  January 1999

placed Snake and Apple in her own Mad Max world where the diabolical duo careen aimlessly while pursuing Adam and Eve on the road to Limbo.  Much of the chase takes place in a car that doubles as a projection screen that’s hit with an artillery of animation and live action footage.  A background of live music drives this journey to an intentionally dubious destination.


Carol Triffle, writer, director, designer; Waltzing Mice, original live music; Paul Regan and Shari Miller, guest musicians


“The effect is simply delightful.  So are the many visual and sound-effect jokes.  The music of Waltzing Mice, a frequent Imago collaborator (here bolstered by Paul Regan and Shari Miller) is pertinent and funny, too. . . curiously engaging.”
Barry Johnson, The Oregonian





No ExitOctober 1998  

 mysterious and vaguely sinister Valet leads a reporter, a socialite and a postal worker to a single, unadorned room.  In Jean Paul Sartre’s vision of Hell, the psychological shifts within and between character states are dramatic and unceasing.  Director Jerry Mouawad locates the absurd humor and ramps up the tension through his audacious and innovative staging of No Exit on a tilting square platform.  The actor’s movements, corresponding so directly to the dramatically shifting stage, are rigorously choreographed and physically demanding, contributing to an onstage atmosphere of palpable danger and genuine surprise.  One of Imago Theatre’s most celebrated productions, No Exit premiered in Portland, OR in 1998, and returned for runs in 2000, 2004 and 2009.  Additional productions include a restaging at the renowned American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA (2005) and at the award winning Hartford Stage Co., Hartford, CT (2006).


Jerry Mouawad design & direction; Demetri Pavlatos, set engineering; Carol Triffle co-lead

"Superb!" The New York Times

"Great!" Variety

"Wonderfully imaginative!" The Wall Street Journal

"Deliciously entertaining!" NPR

“Imago's innovative No Exit is a fall-off-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller infused with comedic vaudevillian gags, bringing out the funny in the unexpected.”


“a dynamic and constantly moving production. . . far exceeds anything that could be done on a conventional stage. . . Jerry Mouawad and the Imago Theater company have found something immensely entertaining and even absurdly enjoyable within this play.  Through its innovative staging and deliciously performed characters, Imago has created a fantastic piece of theater that is extremely enjoyable and absolutely worth seeing.”
Geoff Kleinman, On Portland





Dead End Ed - April 1998 

Dead End Ed is Jerry Mouawad’s first foray into existential vaudeville.  (See also Double Feature and Vladimir, Vladimir.)  A heady mix of optical illusion and tongue-in-cheek philosophy, the play presents the five lives of Ed (Mouawad), a mensch haunted and killed five times by nemesis Lady Lavinia (Carol Triffle), only to be resurrected to endure another life.  Like a kind of noir meets Beckett, this production poses questions on the afterlife, double identity, and metamorphoses as Ed combats a barrage of talking tape recorders, projections of projections and a revolving set of nearly-identical rooms.


Jerry Mouawad, writer, director, designer; Drammy Award, Best Actor, Jerry Mouawad

Drammy Award, Best Original Play, Jerry Mouawad & Carol Triffle

“Any description of Dead End Ed must employ that blend of joy and astonishment used to recount dreams. . . rivals the Marx Brothers’ inspired mayhem. . .metaphysical vaudeville of hallucinatory beauty. . . Mouawad and Triffle. . . are masters of their craft. . . Bold, fresh and imaginative.”
Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week





Ginger’s Green - November 1997 

Quirky and spirited, Ginger’s Green takes place in the Golden Galaxy, a white plastic nightclub in Reno, Nevada.  Ginger is a croupier who never wears green for two reasons; her boyfriend King has gone missing, and so has all the green in the world.  In their dramatic reunion, King throws knives at Ginger who’s strapped on a spinning wheel.  A kind of meta cabaret with its use of confessional show tunes and its blurring of the line between public and private personas, Ginger’s Green was Carol Triffle’s first production after returning from her third and final year of training in Paris with renowned mentor, Jacques Lecoq.


Carol Triffle, writer, designer, director; Waltzing Mice, original music; Jerry Mouawad lead


“Funny, tuneful, sexy and campy. . . Triffle is positively bubbly. . . propelling the show along its course.”
Barry Johnson, The Oregonian


“A cunning mixture of open-mike poetics, dance and musicals a la Foreman.”
Steffen Silvis, Willamette Week


“Dramatic brush-strokes fill the space with sharp comedic monologues and ecstatic motion in well-choreographed dance numbers. . . hilarious, head-spinning theatre.”
Jeremy Kemp, Back Stage West





Half Light -  June 1997

Half Light is Jerry Mouawad’s second entry in his trilogy indebted to Latin America’s Magical Realists.  (Verdad is the first; House Taken Over, the last.)  A multimedia dreamscape of wonderment and disillusion, the show is performed by a trio of sleepwalking puppeteers who tell the tale of an ocean town invaded by a disturbing and mystical smell.


Jerry Mouawad, design, direction, writer; Waltzing Mice, live original music


“A perfect balance between form and content. . . A combination of adroit physical expression and timing. . . Imago’s latest production is one of its best.”
Tanya Ignacio, Willamette Week





Symphony of Rats - October 1996

The second Richard Foreman piece directed by Jerry Mouawad, Symphony of Rats was staged during the 1996 presidential elections -- unique in that they found the country voting among three (not two) final candidates: Clinton, Dole, and Perot.  Foreman’s equally unconventional political satire concerns a U.S. President who hears voices from outer space. Outlandish both ideologically and visually, Imago’s explosively chaotic production was further distinguished by a gigantic 12-foot metallic wheel embodying the alien visitors.


Jerry Mouawad, design, direction; Demetri Pavlatos, set and wheel design; Waltzing Mice, original music
Set Collaboration, Annie Abel and Rob Bonde

Drammy Award, Best Sound Design, Katie Griesar and Kahlil Aisha


“The Imago visual style - rambunctious, startling, homemade and technologically astute all at the same time - punches up the whole affair.”
Barry Johnson, The Oregonian


“An astonishingly creative production.  The combination of the script’s disjointed dialogue and spasmodic action with Imago’s flair for spectacle and physicality makes for a disconcertingly delirious experience.”
Tanya Ignacio, Willamette Week





Ajax -  August 1996

Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy tells of the fall of the great Trojan warrior who, when he attempts to revenge his rivals Agamemnon and Odysseus, is tricked by the goddess Athena to kill livestock instead.  Staged in Imago’s second floor ballroom and re-imagining the monologues as “speech-songs,” director Carol Triffle’s production was remarkable for both its use of natural light on its white muslin sets (a sophistication that recalls artist James Turrell) and its equally bold costumes -- visually shocking splashes of colors.


Carol Triffle, writer, director, designer; Drammy award, Best Costumes, Carol Triffle; Drammy award, Best Original Lighting, Jerry Mouawad


“Never undernourished for ideas, Imago consistently presents full, vibrant theater.  Ajax is no exception.”
Tanya Ignacio, Willamette Week





Samuel’s Major Problems -  June 1996

The Portland debut of the work of avant-garde icon Richard Foreman establishes Imago’s reputation as the city’s cutting edge company.  An admittedly strange piece of chamber theater, Samuel’s Major Problems revolves around three nervous, sinister characters -- Samuel, Marie Helene and Dr. Martino -- who are in the midst of a nightmarish birthday party.  Drawing on both Imago’s vaudevillian roots and Foreman’s non-linear narrative style, Samuel’s Major Problems allows director Jerry Mouawad to reveal the subconscious onstage and in triplicate.


 Jerry Mouawad direction and design; Carol Triffle, Drew Pisarra leads

“Theater of exceptionally - and unusually- high quality.”
Tanya Ignacio, Willamette Week


“It points the way to states of mind we don’t usually find in American theater.”
Barry Johnson, The Oregonian





Buffo - May 1995

The Divine Comedy gets a comical spin from creator Carol Triffle who turns Dante’s descent into hell into an adventure story for all ages:  After getting locked out of the house, Buffo, a 12-year-old boy, falls down a manhole that leads to the center of the earth.  There he encounters singing snakes, a dog who guards books, and the strangely protective mud people who help him to find his way home.


Carol Triffle, writer director designer; Dan Ackerman, animation and cinematography; Tom Arndt, animation and cinematography; Jerry Mouawad lead


“Buffo is a great show. The effects are dazzling and the characters well drawn.”
Tanya Malia Ignacio, Tonic




Phoenicians in the House - November 1994

Inspired by the epic productions of Robert Wilson, Jerry Mouawad refashions Inspired by the epic productions of Robert Wilson, Jerry Mouawad refashions Euripides’ Orpheus as something akin to a surreal opera without songs.  Rich in pageantry with a chorus of white-faced spirits, Phoenicians in the House is part expressionist movement theater and part fabulist freak show.  This experimental theater piece follows Orpheus and Eurydice to an underworld ruled by a devil who meditates on consciousness and haunted by three female bakers who emerge from hell’s fiery oven.


Jerry Mouawad, choreography, direction, design; Drew Pisarra, writer; Carol Triffle lead


“Bold and bizarre, Phoenicians goes where no Greek myth has been before.”
Krista Koontz, The Oregonian




Verdad -  October 1993    

Inspired by Latin America’s magical realists, Imago’s Verdad is a multimedia spectacle about a snake oil salesman who falls in love with a carnival runaway named Luna, only to be imprisoned by her for eternity after she’s revealed to be a sorceress.  One of Imago’s largest-scale productions, Verdad incorporates magic and masks, film and the company’s signature physical comedy.


Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, writers, directors, designers; Paul Harrod, art director and scenic design; Tracy Prescott, art direction and illustration; Michael O’Donnell, cinematography and animation; Tom Arndt, animation
Dan Ackerman, cinematography; Greg Ives, original music


“A dazzling combination of magic of every order” 
Jill Kantor, The Oregonian


“The set. . . has all the qualities of a gifted actor.  A Technicolor chameleon with multiple faces, tremendous expressive range and a stage presence that fills the entire room.”
Kevin Francis, Willamette Week




FROGZ - April 1979

FROGZ is Imago’s signature production.  Dating back to 1979, Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad began creating masks and costumes and developing movement to bring the essence of their creatures to life.  With the addition of new actors, designers and original music over the years, FROGZ has earned its status as an international success.  Imago's work has been seen on television and on tour in Europe, Asia, and throughout North America, including twice on Broadway at the acclaimed New Victory Theatre, and an extended run at the Tony Award-winning American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The show, which evolves over time, currently features such favorites as the introverted frogs, slippery lizards, a playful paper bag, dancing strings, mysterious orbs, a curious giant baby, an acrobatic larva and mischievous penguins.  Sophisticated, universally appealing and highly entertaining, FROGZ has fans of all ages returning again and again. 


Carol Triffle, Jerry Mouawad creators, designers, directors; Original Music Katie Griesar


“Terrific! . . . It is hard to name a show better suited to introduce kids to the imaginative power of theater.”
National Public Radio


“Masters of mime, dance and acrobatics... inspired fun!”
The New York Times


“A simple, elegant work that embraces the joy of imagination.”
Variety Magazine


“A cross between a circus, vaudeville, and the zoo. . . . One of the wildest, weirdest, wackiest shows ever to play NYC.”
New York Daily News


FROGZ is a rare theatrical event:  family friendly entertainment that is actually friendly to everyone in the family. . . Imago Theatre's lively varied program of genuinely inventive theatrics provides true aesthetic pleasure and truly goofy fun. . . makes you realize you see such magic every day, and reminds you to pay attention when you do.  I can't think of a better way to introduce my son to the rewards of art”
The Boston Globe


“Crowds will leap for FROGZ... Wacky, thoroughly enchanting... New Age vaudeville mixes Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatics and Mummenschanz-style puppetry with a hip, post modern sensibility... high drama, comedy and breathtaking visual effects... amazing... hilarious... sure fire entertainment for all ages.”
The Boston Herald