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OITNB Writer Takes the Stage

Nick Jones’ tragicomedy TREVOR makes regional premiere at Artists Rep

Presented by September 7, 2016

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The taut drama, gut-punch humor and real-world storytelling of Orange Is the New Black comes through in Nick Jones’ nationally lauded play, TREVOR, on stage at Artists Repertory Theatre September 6 – October 9.  

This time, instead of taking us through the gates of a women’s prison, Jones takes us behind the chain link fence into the middle class American home of a 200-pound, formerly famous chimp and his “mother.” Trevor, played by actor John San Nicolas, is a high-functioning chimp with a big personality, who drives the family car and hopes to get back into show business.  But, it’s not all joyrides and bananas as we witness Trevor’s struggles to regain his lost fame and to make sense of the crazy world around him.

In this tragicomedy play, inspired by the horrific, true incident of a pet chimp named Travis in 2009. Events in the play don’t get anywhere near as gory but instead, the wry humor and poignant comedy prompts pondering and pulls heartstrings. When Jones was asked in recent interview what the most challenging part of this play is for audiences, he replied, “Knowing something really bad is going to happen, and then seeing it happen.”

Through Trevor, audiences will not only get a sense of what it might be like to be a domesticated primate, but will also get a glimpse into the mind of the writer himself. “I think I can look at the play now and say I was relating deeply to what Trevor goes through on an artistic level, of having been fluffed up to have huge expectations for himself—being promised the world—and slowly realizing that none of that will ever come to pass,” said Jones. 

Praise for TREVOR:

“(A) clever, subversive comedy…” – NY Press

“Sweet, clever and weirdly touching…Trevor’s absurdist admixture of showbiz satire and real-life poignancy is so continually delightful…Funny though it often is, Trevor is good for much more than a laugh.” – Adam Feldman, Time Out (Critic’s Pick)

Since the first season in 2013, Jones has been a writer and producer for the mega-hit Netflix original series OITNB, created by Jenji Kohan – he’s been the recipient of Emmy, Golden Globe and Writer’s Guild nominations, the Peabody Award. While writing for an award-winning television series is super sexy and very visible, his prowess for critically acclaimed plays should be just as exciting to Portlanders right now.

Jones’ other plays (including a puppet rock musical) have won and been nominated for an impressive array of awards, which can be seen here. He has received play commissions from Lincoln Center, Ars Nova, The Old Globe, Manhattan Theater Club, The Huntington, Center Theater Group and South Coast Rep. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, he earned his Literature/Creative Writing BA from Bard College and a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting degree from Juilliard, twice garnering the esteemed Lecomte du Noüy Prize.

Artists Rep’s presents the regional premiere of TREVOR, which claimed the 2015 Ovation Award for Playwriting, as well as the LA Drama Critics Circle Award now through October 9.  It is the first of a series of premieres Artists Rep, Portland’s longest running professional theatre, has planned for its seven-show 2016/17 season. Tickets can be purchased at www.artistsrep.org or by calling 503.241.1278.