Undermain Theatre Announces EXIT THE KING And More for 2024-2025 Season

Other titles include Athena, Box, and H*llo K*tty Syndrome.

By: Apr. 30, 2024
Undermain Theatre Announces EXIT THE KING And More for 2024-2025 Season
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UNDERMAIN has announced its 41st 2024/2025 Season The Season of Identity. 

From the hip confines of its Deep Ellum home Undermain theatre will contemplate the question, “Who am I?” While that question may appear simple and straightforward, the concept of identity is complex and fluid. The answer to “Who am I?” depends on a range of factors including how one defines oneself, the labels placed on us by others and society, as well as how events and circumstances may shift that identity.

Building on the momentum of the 40th Season, Undermain continues into the 41st Season with a curated selection of intriguing, language driven productions ripe with opportunities for Undermain's cutting edge performance. The 41st Season opens in September of 2024 with Gracie Gardner's coming of age comedy, Athena, where young women forge their identities in fierce competition on the fencing strip. A New York Times critical pick when it premiered in 2018, Undermain's production will be its regional premiere.

In November the company will present a modern classic with Exit the King, Eugène Ionesco's absurdist dramedy of power and death. What will the King's identity be if he ceases to rule and ceases to be, and what of his Queen? In 2025, two Katherine Owens/Undermain Fund recipients will hold centerstage. Up first Undermain presents the Dallas premiere of Box by Jarrett King. Box mixes history, romance and stage magic to tell the story of an enslaved man who mails himself to freedom, navigating  or solidifying his shift from his identity as a slave to a freeman. The 41st Season closes with h*llo k*tty syndrome by Brian Dang. Last season's workshop production of Brian Dang's play This time delighted audiences with its poetry and imagery, exploring the challenges in resisting the demand to be identified.

ATHENA – by Gracie Gardner

Mary Wallace and Athena are brave, and seventeen, and fencers training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together. They wish they were friends. Undermain presents the regional premiere of Gracie Gardner's searing look into two young women driven to make their way through the ranks of competitive fencing and their fascination with each other.

A Regional Premiere

Preview Performances September 5-6, 2024

Opening Night Saturday, September 7, 2024

Performances September 7 - 29, 2024

Gracie Gardner is a New York based playwright. Her play Pussy Sludge was selected for the 2019 Theatertreffen Stückemarkt in Berlin, and previously received the Relentless Award (2017); it was developed by Less Than Rent at HERE Arts Center, and The Old Vic in London. Her play Athena (New York Times Critics' Pick) was presented by The Hearth at JACK and will have its regional premiere at Theatre Horizon in Philadelphia in 2020. Gracie is the recipient of the 2013 James E. Michael Award, 2019 James Stevenson Prize, and a 2018 Samuel French OOB Festival publication; she has received commissions from Clubbed Thumb, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. 

EXIT THE KING – by Eugène Ionesco

Ionesco's absurdist comedy set in the crumbling throne-room of the palace in an unnamed country where King Berenger the First has only the duration of the play to live. Once, it seemed he ruled over an immense empire and commanded great armies, now his kingdom has shrunk to the confines of his garden wall. Refusing to accept his end, he is attended by his present and former Queens who must help him face the final inevitable truth of life.

Starring Undermain company members Rhonda Boutté and Bruce DuBose

Preview Performances: October 31 and November 1, 2024

Opening Night Saturday, November 2, 2024

Performances: November 2 - November 24, 2024

Eugene Ionesco (1909-1994) was a Romanian-born French playwright. He studied in Bucharest and Paris, where he lived from 1945. His first one-act antiplay, The Bald Soprano (1950), inspired a revolution in dramatic techniques and helped inaugurate the Theatre of the Absurd. He followed it with other one-act plays in which illogical events create an atmosphere both comic and grotesque, including The Lesson (1951), The Chairs (1952), and The New Tenant (1955). His most popular full-length play, Rhinoceros (1959), concerns a provincial French town in which all the citizens are metamorphosing into rhinoceroses. Other plays include Exit the King (1962) and A Stroll in the Air (1963). He was elected to the Académie française in 1970.

BOX by Jarrett King

Part magic show, part historical speculation, part romantic drama—this play explores the harrowing story of Henry Box Brown, the abolitionist lecturer and early magician who escaped slavery by mailing himself to freedom and went on to become a famed magician on the London stage. Using actual magic, this world premiere imagines an unwritten chapter in the story of one of history's most overlooked folk heroes.

A Dallas Premiere

Preview Performances: February 27 and 28, 2025

Opening Night Saturday, March 1, 2025

Performances: March 1 – 23, 2025

Jarrett King is an actor, playwright, and educator originally from Austin, Texas. His play A War of the Worlds—an afrofuturist reimagining of the War of the Worlds radio broadcast—was the inaugural production in Penfold Theatre Company's new play commission series and received 12 B. Iden Payne Award nominations, including Best Original Script. Other works include The Possible, Box, and St. Miles, which was developed while a playwright-in-residence at The Goodman Theatre. He is a 2023 recipient of Definition Theatre's Amplify New Play Commission, where his play Frog Splash is currently in development. In addition to playwriting, he is a two-time second rounder at the Austin Film Festival. As an actor, he has nearly two decades worth of credits performing in film, television, and professional theaters including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Salvage Vanguard, Penfold Theatre, and the Mary Moody Northen Theatre. As an educator, he has worked as a Teaching Artist at Steppenwolf, Silk Road Rising, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Shakespeare Slam. He is the Director of Education at Court Theatre and an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University.


HK is a little lost. They just quit their job as a police officer, broke up with their cowboy-partner, and made a vendetta with their brother-in-law. In Brian Dang's absurd comedy, they find themselves caught in the throes of a family drama, noir, and romance. And worst of all, nobody will stop commenting on the fact that they are wearing a Hello Kitty mascot costume (but it's slightly off because of copyright laws.)

A Professional Premiere

Preview Performances: May 1 - 2, 2025

Opening Night: May 3, 2025

Performances: May 3 - 25, 2025

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright, poet, mentor, and teaching artist based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle). Brian is a proud resident playwright at Parley. For Brian, writing is an act of envisioning an eventual communing and an opportunity to freeze time as we know it. Their writing includes a white haunting (Table Work Press Recommends, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship Final Round 2021) and h*llo k*tty syndrome (Seattle King Street Station Resident Artist). Their writing additionally has been workshopped with Seattle Opera, Pork Filled Productions, Karen's Secret Army, and Theatre Battery. Brian was a 2020-21 Hugo House Fellow and a 2021 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. They're grateful for having somehow convinced the world they can read and write. Their current works in progress include If only I could give you the sun, an opera with Seattle Opera's Creation Lab that reimagines Icarus & Daedalus as a nonbinary utopic myth; This time, a sapphic love story about dreams, the death drive of labor, and murder; and 49 words I wish I could write in my family's language, a poetry/letter collection supported through 4Culture and the 2022 Seattle CityArtist program. Brian was the 2022 recipient of the Katherine Owens/Undermain Fund for New Work. 


Single ticket prices are: All preview performances are $15

Thursday nights at 7:30 PM $20

Friday nights at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM $25 

Saturday nights at 7:30 PM $35

Seniors, students and educators, KERA members, and industry artists receive a $5 discount on tickets to all performances except previews. Students and educators may purchase tickets for $10 to all Sunday matinees.

Undermain is located at 3200 Main Street between Murray and Trunk Streets in Deep Ellum.

For information on parking for Undermain performances, please visit our website at undermain.org.


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