10-26-2016  6:05 pm      •     
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Many Hats Collaboration is planning the world premiere of "Mutt" by Lava Alapai, an original play, opening Nov. 24 in the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 24 through Dec. 9, at the center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave.

Described as a "bi-racial semi-absurdist comedy" with a backup dancer chorus and 1980s musical nostalgia, "Mutt" is about an 18-year-old girl who finds out she's Black. Funding for the play came from a grant awarded by the Regional Arts and Cultural Council.

While writing the play, Alapai surveyed multicultural college student groups on what it means to be bi-racial. Alapai's Hawaiian/Japanese/African American heritage was never a big deal growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii – then she moved to Danville, W.Va. for college and it was suddenly a very big deal. "Mutt" is a semi-autobiographical account of that time.
Many Hats Collaboration is a theatrical production company founded in 2004 by Alapai and Jessica Wallenfels. Previous works have included site-specific commissions "Rest Room" and "Stages" for Portland Center Stage's Just Add Water/West Festival of New Work, 2006 and 2005. Another world premiere, "Break, Then Open" was produced at Tribe Theater in the spring of 2005. Wallenfels also serves as vice president of the Portland Area Theater Alliance's board of directors. For more information, see www.manyhatscollaboration.com.

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