Main Street Theater Announces 42nd Season

Main Street Theater's (MST) 2017 - 2018 Season will offer plays that embody alternate takes on moments in history, in literature, and in the way people view the world. With 5 regional premieres on the MainStage and 7 plays based on children's books at the Theater for Youth, MST's 42nd season opens in September 2017 and runs through June 2018.

MST's Theater for Youth will continue its successful initiative offering accommodations performances for children with learning differences. The MainStage will offer its popular Part of the Art Series for the 5th consecutive season.

Rebecca Greene Udden is the Executive Artistic Director of Main Street Theater, and Vivienne M. St. John is the Theater for Youth Producing Director.

The 2017 - 2018 season will take place in the company's 2 residences: its Rice Village space on Times Blvd. and in midtown on Main Street at the MATCH. Founded in 1975 on Main Street, the company has operated out of its Rice Village home since 1982 and has recently completed a total renovation of that space. The organization is also resident at the MATCH, which houses the theater's offices and professional Theater for Youth in the multi-theater venue. All MainStage performances (for adults) will take place at 2540 Times Blvd., 77005, and all Theater for Youth performances (for families and school groups) will take place at 3400 Main Street, 77002.

2017 - 2018 MainStage Season

Enemies

By Maxim Gorky

Sept. 16 - Oct. 15, 2017

A Collaboration with the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance

Gorky's extraordinary play, which was written in exile and banned in his home country, presents a panoramic view of a restless society. It's 1905, and Russia is at a critical moment in its history. The bourgeoisie is no longer confident in its own values. The working class is slowly realizing the terrifying sacrifices they will have to make. Gorky approaches this unique, imaginative play, with great humanity and a broad dramatic scope, offering a glimpse into what the world might have been like between aristocratic rule and the revolution in Russia.

Maxim Gorky, whose real name was Aleksei Maximovich Peshkov, was born on March 16, 1868, in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod, which in 1932 was renamed Gorky in his honor. Already established as a major novelist and short story writer, at the turn of the century Gorky began writing plays and formed close connections with the Moscow Art Theater, which, in 1902, produced his most famous play, The Lower Depths. For a significant part of his life, Gorky was exiled from Russia and later, the Soviet Union. In 1932, he returned to Russia on Joseph Stalin's personal invitation and died there in June 1936.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

Nov. 11 - Dec. 17, 2017

A sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet is set two years after the novel ends and continues the story, this time with nerdy middle-sister Mary as the unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as the dutiful middle sister in the midst of everyone else's romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary's hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.

Ms. Gunderson co-authored the play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon, which received a 3-way world premiere in 2016 and will be published at Dramatists Play Publishing.

Lauren Gunderson is a playwright, screenwriter and short story author from Atlanta. She was named the most produced living playwright in America by American Theatre Magazine in 2016, won the 2016 Lanford Wilson Award from the Dramatist Guild, and was awarded the prestigious 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for her play, I and You (also a Susan Smith Blackburn Blackburn and John Gassner Award finalist). She is also a recipient of the Mellon Foundation's 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company.

Main Street Theater has previously produced Gunderson's Silent Sky and The Revolutionists along with staged readings of The Taming.

Men on Boats

By Jaclyn Backhaus

Feb. 10 - Mar. 11, 2018

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane but loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Oh, and all the explorers are played by women.

"...off-the-canyon-walls funny..." -Variety. "...you will surely want to spend time with the hearty title characters of MEN ON BOATS...[a] rollicking history pageant...MEN ON BOATS makes canny use of the obvious distance between performers and their roles to help bridge the distance between then and now." -NY Times.

Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus is based in Brooklyn and serves as co-founder of the arts development group Fresh Ground Pepper. She is also a member of Clubbed Thumb's Falcons, where she developed Men on Boats which premiered in Clubbed Thumb's 2015 Summerworks Festival and SuperLab in conjunction with Playwrights Horizons. Ms. Backhaus is also the resident playwright for Theater Reconstruction Ensemble.

Daisy

By Sean Devine

Mar. 31 - Apr. 29, 2018

It is the fall of 1964. With a presidential election looming, a group of advertisers working for Lyndon B. Johnson unleash the most infamous political commercial ever conceived: the "Daisy" ad. This ad played only once, but it carved a scar deep into the American psyche. Based on actual people and events, Daisy explores the power of manipulation and the moment in television history that launched the age of negative ad campaigns -- and forever changed how we elect our leaders.

Written by Canadian playwright Sean Devine, Daisy premiered in Seattle at ACT Theatre. His newest play, When There's Nothing Left to Burn, will premiere at the University of Lethbridge in the fall of 2017. He is currently working on a new play called The Authoritarians for the Resident Ensemble Players in Delaware.


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