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Classical Theatre Company Announces 2021-22 Season

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Season to include a play about Edgar Allen Poe, a classic sci-fi tale from H.G. Wells and more.

Classical Theatre Company has announced the lineup for its 2021-2022 Mainstage Season. As the only professional theatre company in the State of Texas that solely produces classical drama on a year-round basis, CTC only produces plays that are 100 or more years old.

CTC will be celebrating its thirteenth season with a trio of plays that will help to open our eyes to what can be classical theatre. CTC will be returning to the iconic DeLuxe Theater in the historic Fifth Ward. All three Mainstage productions will be housed in this gem of a facility. After opening in 1941 as a movie theater, the DeLuxe spent decades as a landmark location for film. Then in 2015, an agreement with the City of Houston and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation brought about major renovations to the DeLuxe, bringing it new life as a state-of-the-art performance venue, event hall, and art gallery. Classical Theatre Company is proud to have the DeLuxe Theater as its performance space for the upcoming season. Tickets will go on sale July 1. Seating will be at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The upcoming season's slate will kick off with an original adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe stories entitled Nevermore: Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, the local professional premiere of Karel Čapek's examination of artificial life in R.U.R., and in the spring, a brand-new adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.

Nevermore: Tales of Edgar Allan Poe

By Edgar Allan Poe

Adapted by Chris Iannacone and John Johnston

Directed by John Johnston

October 6 - October 17, 2021

The Classical Theatre Company will return to live in-person performances with a play comprised of tales written by the master of suspense and horror himself, Edgar Allan Poe. The performance will include Poe's short stories and poem: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, William Wilson, and The Raven.

"We were excited to come back to live performances in October, and that month provides us with a certain 'spooky' opportunity," says director and co-adaptor John Johnston. "We produced an evening of readings of Poe tales a few years back and it was well received. The chance to bring a full production of these horror short stories will be a real treat for our audiences this Halloween season."

Directed by CTC Executive Artistic Director, John Johnston, who most recently co-directed last year's award-winning production of Peer Gynt, and appeared on CTC's stage when he reprised the role of Sherlock Holmes in The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

R.U.R.

By Karel Čapek

Directed by Jon Harvey

January 12 - January 30, 2022

The second of the trio of local professional premieres for the season will be R.U.R. by Karel Čapek. Subtitled Rossum's Universal Robots, this Czech play which celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 25, 2021. It explores the very nature of life as the characters in the play have created robots - indeed, the play is credited with inventing the word "robot" - to perform their labor for them. The story follows the human characters and their relationship with their fabricated servants as it changes over the course of several decades.

"Čapek's play is way ahead of its time," says Johnston. "You can see exactly how Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Rod Serling, and others of their ilk were influenced by this play."

Directed by CTC Company Artist Jon Harvey, who last directed at CTC with the chilling Strindberg horror play, The Ghost Sonata. His other work at CTC includes sound design for numerous productions, most recently performing and designing sound for Peer Gynt.

The War of the Worlds

By H.G. Wells

Adapted by Chris Iannacone

Arguably H.G. Wells' most enduring story, The War of the Worlds, first published in its entirety in 1898, is a science-fiction tale of planetary invasion by creatures from Mars. Famous for his explorations into human nature through the fantastical, Wells' novel takes aim at the imperialism which was so prevalent at the time. In the 120 years since its publication, The War of the Worlds has been turned into numerous films, comic books, television series, and perhaps most famously, a 1938 radio play by Orson Welles.

"This story has persevered because, aside from its basic humanity, it speaks to generation after generation," says CTC Executive Artistic Director, John Johnston. "Whether it's natives in Tasmania in the 1890s, Communists in the 1950s, or Latinx or Muslim immigrants in the 2010s, this story remains relevant. The branding and fear of 'The Other' is a trend that is always in play, I'm sad to say."

Directed by CTC Company Artist Andrew Love, whose work for the company has included directing and performing in readings of William Shakespeare's Star Wars, A Classical Christmas, and A Classical Fright. He has also appeared in Doctor Faustus, The Ghost Sonata, The Speckled Band: An Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Henry V, and most recently could be seen as Old Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt.


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