Anne Mueller of Oregon Ballet Theatre retired as a dancer in 2011…but she’s not through performing. July 5 marks Anne’s return to the stage and her debut as an actor, playing the tragic Lavinia in a kabuki-styled adaptation of Titus Andronicus. Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare’s first tragedy, written to please Elizabethan audiences who flocked to revenge plays—structured dramas in which a hero avenges an injustice, often a crime committed against a family member, with lots of cruelty and spilt blood along the way. In Bag&Baggage’s sumptuous new production of Kabuki Titus, the highly stylized, graceful discipline of Kabuki is used as a vivid contrast medium to the bloody arc of the story and the crackling danger of the exquisite text. Anne plays Lavinia, the innocent daughter of Roman general Titus Andronicus. Her dishonor sparks an ultimate tragedy. “As a dancer, I always felt most satisfied by roles that challenged me to explore or express the grittier side of life. They require an artist to perform in a very honest and vulnerable way, something that is both scary and deeply satisfying. Playing Lavinia gives me the amazing opportunity to embark on a new journey as a performer in a role that demands all those things of me,” said Anne. “We are so thrilled and honored to have Anne working with us this summer, it has been really inspiring for all of us. She is the personification of grace and beauty and that makes her performance in this show all the more powerful,” said Scott Palmer, artistic director of Bag&Baggage and adaptor/director of Kabuki Titus. Kabuki Titus will feature an original score by Tylor Neist, which will be played by seven musicians in the Red Sneaker chamber ensemble. In addition to Anne, the cast includes Ty Boice, a Portland-based actor recently seen in Post5’s Romeo and Juliet, as Titus, Benjamin Farmer (recently seen in Lakewood Theatre’s City of Angels) as Marcus and Melissa Murray (recently seen in Artists Repertory Theatre’s’s Gracie and the Atom) as Tamora, Queen of the Goths. Costumes have been designed by Melissa Haller who created the stunning 1980s-inspired costumes for Bag&Baggage’s Dangerous Liaisons. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of Palmer’s most moving, evocative and powerful adaptations of Shakespeare.