Hello, I’m back with the second half of my interview with Portland author Cindy Brown.  Her recently published mystery novel, Macdeath, will be performed by Portland Actors Ensemble as a staged reading as part of the Fertile Ground 2015 festival.  The performance will be held at O’Connor’s Vault, 7850 SW Capital Highway ( in Multnomah Village),  on January 22, 2015, at 7 pm.


Cindy Brown 1

Portland writer Cindy Brown

Now here’s Part 2 of my interview with Ms. Brown.  You can find Part One here if you missed it earlier.

(Athena McElrath / AM): Do you act or are you involved in theatre, and have you ever participated in any way in a production of Macbeth?

(Cindy Brown / CB): I had my first professional job in theater at age 14, and I never looked back. I started out as a pit musician, began singing (so I could be on top of the stage), then moved on to acting, directing, and teaching theater. I was lucky enough to make my living as an actor for several years, and yes, played Lady Macbeth for nearly a year in a touring production of the Scottish play. A disability waylaid my acting career in my mid-thirties, but I kept directing and then turned to playwriting. I’ve had over a dozen plays produced in Phoenix, AZ, even a few since I moved to Portland in 2007. I haven’t really gotten involved with the theater community up here except as an audience member. Learning to write a novel took all my creative energy.


(AM): What are your writing/literary plans for the future?


(CB): Henery Press gave me a three-book deal (!), so there will certainly be more Ivy Meadows theater mysteries. The second one, The Sound of Murder, will be out in September 2015, and the third one (which may be set on a Dickens-themed cruise ship) in Spring 2016. I also have a couple of plays bouncing around in my head…


(AM): If I have neglected to ask you something that you would really like to share, please do so here!


(CB): When I first wrote Macdeath, I used shifting first person points of view, so the reader saw the situation from Ivy’s view, the stage manager’s view, the director’s view, etc.—kind of a playwright-y thing to do. I was eventually convinced (and rightly so) that being a light romp, the book needed to be in just Ivy’s point of view. During an extensive rewrite, I cut all the other characters’ chapters. But I saved them. Now they are the basis of the monologues that PAE will perform during Fertile Ground. All my killed darlings will live again!


Thank you so much, Cindy!  And come join us for a staged reading of this fantastic new mystery on January 22nd.


You can pre-order Macdeath from Amazon.com.


And don’t forget that Portland Actors Ensemble has a full 2015 summer lineup of Shakespeare favorites coming to parks near you, including Macbeth in the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetary, and The Taming of the Shrew.  These shows will play June through Labor Day at various parks throughout Portland, Oregon, and are free to the public, with donations gratefully and graciously accepted.  We also have several Educational Outreach shows perfect for schools to enjoy–contact us for more information!


Have any questions about Macdeath or PAE’s Fertile Ground show?  We’d love to hear about it down in the comments, so feel free to stop by and say hi!


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Till next time,

Take pains; be perfect; adieu!

DCFC0486.JPGAthena McElrath is an actor and singer who is also an Administrative Board member with Portland Actor’s Ensemble.  She helps PAE with social media and educational outreach.  She often works onstage with her husband, K.J. McElrath, in their cabaret act, called McElrath Cabaret, which features songs from classic Broadway, Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley.  For more:  http://mcelrathcabaret.com/