Photo Flash: Main Street Theater Presents A NUMBER And MACHINAL
Main Street Theater presents an evening of two plays by groundbreaking women playwrights: an adaptation of Sophie Treadwell's impassioned play, Machinal followed by Caryl Churchill's chilling one-act, A Number. With previews February 13, 14, and 17, Machinal and A Number open Thursday, February 18, and runs through March 14 at Main Street Theater - Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. (There is no performance on February 19.) Performances are on Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.
Tickets range from $20 - $36, depending on date and section, and are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office, 2540 Times Blvd., via phone at 713.524.6706, or online at www.mainstreettheater.com.
Machinal is a tragedy of isolation turned to murder, loosely based on the sensational 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, who received the electric chair for killing her husband. Snyder was the second woman ever to be electrocuted, and reporter and witness to the execution Thomas Howard snuck a camera into the chamber and photographed the moment of death. The published photograph caused a sensation, and Treadwell used the case as a springboard for her own speculations about what circumstances might drive a seemingly harmless stenographer to commit murder.
Machinal was first produced in 1928. It premiered on Broadway with Clark Gable as the lover. The production was a critical success and ran for 91 performances.
About A Number
Caryl Churchill's startling one-act A Number examines the emotional repercussions of human cloning and explores the nature of the father-son relationship. Salter has three sons. His wife gave birth to the eldest. A lab created the second. The third he didn't even know existed. Forced to explain and try to make sense of his decisions, Salter stares into the accusing faces of his own flesh and blood who confront him with the fact that each is merely one of "a number."
About Playwright Sophie Treadwell
A prolific playwright, novelist, and journalist, Sophie Treadwell was one of only a few American women playwrights of her time who also actively produced and directed their own works. Her career spanned nearly 60 years and almost 40 plays. She used her writings to explore and highlight women's personal and social struggles for independence and equality.
Treadwell is best known for her plays Machinal and Imitations for Saxophone. Clark Gable was the lead male actor in Machinal when it premiered on Broadway. Machinal is often revered as one of the most significant plays of the twentieth century.
About Playwright Caryl Churchill
Most widely known for her plays Cloud Nine, Top Girls, and Serious Money (all of which garnered Obie Awards), Caryl Churchill has explored difficult territory throughout her career. As playwright Mark Ravenhill said of Churchill,
"Of course it's possible to trace recurring themes in Churchill's work - alienation between parent and child, the possibility and failure of revolution. But it is the variety of her work that is most striking. As Von Mayenburg says: ‘With each play, she discovers new genres and forms. She then discards them and moves on, opening up possibilities for other playwrights to explore. I think many people writing today don't even realize they've been influenced by her. She's changed the language of theatre. And very few playwrights do that.'"
Churchill was also the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fen, Serious Money, and a runner-up for Top Girls. She won the Evening Standard award for Serious Money as well.
Ms. Churchill resides in Islington, North London.
About the Production
Troy Scheid, director of last season's world premiere of ...and L.A. Is Burning, returns to direct Machinal. Meghan C. Hakes (Poor Richard) plays the Young Woman at the center of the piece. The rest of the cast play numerous roles including Mark Roberts (On the Razzle, The Weir) as the Young Woman's husband and boss, Mr. Jones, JoVan Jackson (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever) as her lover, Walter Baker (Awake and Sing!) as the lawyer for the defense, Heather Bryson as the Young Woman's mother, and Rachel Logue as the Telephone Girl.
Andrew Ruthven, director of last season's world premiere of The Pie Dialogues, returns to direct A Number. Rutherford Cravens (Mr. Pim Passes By, The Best Man) plays the troubled father Salter and David Wald (But Not Goodbye, Wondergirl) takes on the various incarnations of his "son."
The design team includes Jodi Bobrovsky (set and properties design), Ruth Dentel (costume design), John Smetak (lighting design), and Bryan Nortin (sound design). Janel J. Badrina is the production stage manager.
Since 1975, Main Street Theater has produced high quality professional theater for audiences of all ages through its MainStage productions and Main Street Youth Theater. The Main Street Theater Kids On Stage program offers performing arts classes and camps for children 5 years to 14 years of age. The organization produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market.
Main Street Theater is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition, a collaboration of 25 arts organizations that work collectively to raise awareness of the size and diversity of the arts in Houston, and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters. Main Street Theater offers a lively year-round repertory of classic and contemporary plays for audiences of all ages and provides a much-needed showcase for Houston theater professionals. Main Street Theater is also a member of Actors' Equity Association and of ASSITEJ, the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people. Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Photo by www.RicOrnelProductions.com
Meghan C. Hakes and JoVan Jackson
Meghan C. Hakes
David Wald and Rutherford Cravens
David Wald and Rutherford Cravens