Book, Music, and Lyrics by Kirsten Childs

May 4 – June 5, 2022

Directed by Damaris Webb

Music Direction by Chika Ma'atunde

Choreography by Julana Torres

BIPOC Nights

Friday, May 6th ( PREVIEW), 7.30pm 

Saturday, May 14th, 7.30pm

Wednesday, May 25th, 7.30pm


ASL Interpreted Show

Thursday, May 26th, 7.30pm


Hop on board for a Western musical adventure, the likes of which you've never experienced. 

Looking to escape scandal, Bella travels west with hopes of starting from scratch. Along the way, she takes us on a journey that is powerful, joyful and downright funny. 

A woman of mythic proportions and heroic appeal – Bella: An American Tall Tale is one story you one you won't want to miss. Book your tickets today! 

NB: This production is not available on-demand. 

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Content Advisory

At Portland Playhouse we strive to ensure our house of play is a welcoming and safe space for you to enjoy your theatrical experience.The musical Bella: an American Tall Tale is set as the sun is going down on Reconstruction and Jim Crow begins its rise. As such, it contains:
  • The use of the N-word
  • Mentions rape & sexual assault
  • Mentions slavery
  • Mentions the middle passage
  • White face is used
  • Mentions the trail of tears
  • Stereotypes of Africans as cannibals
  • Mentions killing
  • Gun violence 
  • Mentions of the KKK
  • Mentions lynching
  • Slurs against Indigenous peoples. 
  • There is a strip tease by a Chinese American cowboy

This play may not be appropriate for those 13 & under. We ask that parents and guardians use their own best judgment when deciding if this play is suitable for their child. 

Lobby Artwork

We are thrilled to display Alice Price’s beautiful artwork in our Lobby during Bella: An American Tall Tale.
The best bit – Alice’s work is available for purchase, so make sure you check it out when you’re at the Playhouse.

Alice Price is a dynamic, multi-genre visual artist whose pieces connect the intersectionality of femininity and the Black experience. Inspired by music such as hip hop, old school, R&B, soul, jazz and classical, Price’s art ranges from paintings and sketches to forward-thinking fashion. Alice uses her environment and experiences to encourage viewers of her work to spend time re-evaluating their ideas on social norms. She’s known to work with numerous mediums including paintings, cross-texture clothing, graffiti, album and book cover art. Alice’s work has been the subject of group commercial gallery exhibitions throughout the city of Portland and nine pieces of her work are on display at Portland Art Museum. She has a growing audience for her live paintings and she participates in many community-centered events around North and Northeast Portland. You can find Alice on Instagram and Twitter @alicepricecreative or @gorilla_funk


Bella: Danielle Barker

Aunt Dinah/Ida Lou Simpson: Lauren Steele

Diego Moreno/CP Conyers: Matthew Sepeda
Nathaniel Beckworth: Theodore Sapp
Gabriel Conyers/Scootah: Isabelle Jennings Pickering+
Bonny Johnny/Snaggletooth Hoskins: Brian Burger
Mr. Dinwiddie/Scumbucket: Anthony Michael Shepard+
Miss Cabbagestalk/Mama:Kristin Robinson
Tommie Haw/Skeeter: Kimo Camat
Mrs. Dinwiddie/Scallawag: Jasmyn Tilford+
Aloysius T. Hunnicut: Tyler Andrew Jones*
Grandma/Spirit of the Booty: LaRhonda Steele

Pit Musicians

Conductor/Piano: Eric Nordin

Percussion:Rob Smith

Bass: Jesika Westmond

Creative Team

Playwright: Kirsten Childs

Director: Damaris Webb

Music Director and Additional Arrangements: Chika Ma'atunde
Choreographer: Julana Torres
Scenic Designer: Carl B. Hamilton
Costume Designer: Wanda Walden
Lighting Designer: Blanca Forzan
Props Designer: BeiYi Teo^
Stage Manager: Riley Lozano^*
Cultural Competency Consultant: Keela Johnson
Asst Director: Kamryn Fall
Asst Stage Manager: Thyra Hartshorn*
Asst Stage Manager & Production Apprentice: Genesis Hernandez
Asst Costume Designer: Viola Pruit
Design Apprentice: Maia Denzler

Appears as courtesy of Actor's Equity

Portland Playhouse Apprentice Company Member

Former Portland Playhouse Apprentice Company Member

Thank you to our show sponsor Karen Fink,
and to these funders:

Our media sponsor is Oregon ArtsWatch

Interested in Getting Involved?

Become a volunteer usher, support our operations, and more!

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