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Stages Announces 2021-2022 Season

Season highlights include six world premieres, four of which have been written by Houston-based playwrights, and the 5th annual Sin Muros Latinx Theater Festival.

Stages Announces 2021-2022 Season

Stages' 2021-2022 Season will resume in-person performances at their new campus, The Gordy, this October! The 2021-2022 Season celebrates comedies, musicals, and various joyful projects providing an opportunity to explore and experience humanity from many different perspectives. Season highlights include six world premieres, four of which have been written by Houston-based playwrights, and the 5th annual Sin Muros Latinx Theater Festival.

"There are shows we have longed to produce but have been unable to due to COVID, and there are new pieces that were developed during the pandemic," said Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin. "Taken as a whole, the season captures our modern moment of coming back to live performance with a bit of what was before combined with pieces from the current moment. It functions like a link between where we were and where we are going."

The 2021-2022 Season launches in October with a family-friendly adventure with the celebrated playwright John Leonard Pielmeier's Hook's Tale, a re-imagining of Peter Pan that questions the real price of refusing to grow up. Also in October is the The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the Tony Award-winning hilarious and touching musical about six adolescents competing for the spelling bee championship of a lifetime. The holiday season kicks off with an appearance by Houston's favorite hilarious nun, Denise Fennell, back by popular demand! In Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold, Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages - whatever happened to Magi's gold? Stages continues the holiday programming when Panto favorites join a fresh cast of characters in the world premiere Panto Little Mermaid, a tidal wave of magic, romance and hilarity for all ages, created by Houston-based playwrights Elizabeth A.M. Keel and ShaWanna Renee Rivon.

Stages begins 2022 with MacGyver: The Musical! Based on the original TV series created by Lee David Zlotoff, this rock-n-roll musical comedy pits MacGyver against the Soviet Empire and best of all, the leading actor who plays MacGyver is selected from the audience each night!

In February, Stages will offer the 5th annual Sin Muros (Without Walls): A Latinx Theater Festival, featuring free play and poetry readings by Texas-born and Texas-based Latinx artists, as well as workshops and other public events.

Sunrise Coven opens in March, a brilliant new dark comedy about American healthcare by the Houston-based author of Stages' hit The Book of Maggie, Brendan Borque-Sheil.

Spring continues with ShaWanna Renee Rivon's You Are Cordially Invited to Sit-In. Set to the love songs, dance hits and revolutionary tunes of the 1960s-1970s, this rockin' new musical takes place in Houston, Texas during the peak of youth in the lives of four Black college freshman who join the revolution against inequality and racism. Shortly after, Stages will welcome Inda Craig-Galvan's Black Super Hero Magic Mama. Surprising comedy and grace mark this stunning new play which covers the pain of grief when a mother loses her son and retreats inward to a technicolor universe to avoid the agony of the real world.

The 2021-2022 season closes with the world premiere of Song of Me, a story about family, tradition, Vietnamese cooking, and growing up in Houston from two of the city's most exciting young artists, Mai Lé and Đa??t Peter Ton.

A key focus for Stages is the continued development and implementation of an institutional plan and systems for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), with the goal of dismantling oppressive and exclusive structures, creating equitable access to our work, building connections between diverse communities, and broadening our reach to fully reflect the populations we serve. Over the past four years, Stages' board, management and staff have undertaken critical conversations about our role in shaping equity, diversity and inclusion for all Houstonians through our work as theater producers and educators, and we have made a purposeful, consistent institutional commitment to inclusion.

In January 2021, with support from the Elkins Foundation and the Vivian L. Smith Foundation, Stages announced the hiring of Eboni Bell as our first Inclusion, Engagement and Training Director charged with strengthening Stages' operational and creative capacities including advancement of the company's work with equity, diversity and inclusion, and expansion of progressive community engagement and education training programs. Eboni will guide Stages through expansion of our anti-racist work, community engagement programming, and professional training initiatives as we start a new era in our history at The Gordy.

In November 2020, Stages launched a three-month anti-racism facilitation skills training course, welcoming a cohort of Houston-based arts advocates working to create social change in our city. This course was facilitated by nationally celebrated ArtEquity and hosted by Stages with underwriting support from Houston Endowment and additional support from Macy's. Our shared goal was to create a cohort of advocates who are working across the Houston arts community serving as change agents to create racial equity. The cohort comprises a diverse group of more than 50 participants across the Houston arts community including both individual artists/administrators and leaders and representatives from a wide range of Houston arts organizations.

Work during the 2021-2022 Season will continue to focus on deep engagement of Stages' Board of Directors to help support lasting cultural change and act as advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion throughout Houston and beyond.

Stages is committed to investing in students and nurturing talent through a variety of educational initiatives, with a focus on emerging artists, including middle, high school and university students as well as early-career professionals. One of these programs is the fully merit-based summer Young Artists Conservatory (YAC) for high school students, offered free of charge to all participants. Applications are open to all interested students, regardless of economic status or experience level, and selection is based on application, recommendations and audition. This four-week full-time intensive program immerses participants in all aspects of theatre production, preparing young theatre practitioners to excel in university-level theatre programs.

In summer 2021, Stages will partner with Houston's HITS Theatre to provide full production support for their performance of Showstoppers at Miller Outdoor Theatre July 9 and 10, 2021.

Now entering its 15th year, Stages' performance and production internship program with the Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Dance provides professional training and experience for college students planning a career in the arts. Many of Houston's recognized theatre artists made their professional debuts as part of this program.

Stages will continue its student matinee program for the 2021-2022 Season, including a sensory-friendly student matinee for children with autism-spectrum disorders and other sensory challenges.

The 2021-2022 Season is presented with generous support from Lead Presenting Sponsor The Humphreys Foundation, along with The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Hamill Foundation, Houston Endowment, The Meadows Foundation, Mid-America Arts Alliance, The Wortham Foundation, Inc., and The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts.

General performance times are Wednesdays & Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Fridays 8 p.m., Saturdays 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays 2:30 p.m. Panto performance times are Wednesdays - Fridays 7 p.m., Saturdays 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday 2 p.m.

Season subscriptions are now on sale and range from $144 to $513. Subscribers receive priority seating at The Gordy and enjoy a host of other benefits. Subscriptions are available through the Stages Box Office (713.527.0123, boxoffice@stageshouston.com) or online at www.stageshouston.com.

Regular tickets will go on sale on sale later this summer. Individual tickets start at $25 with savings for groups of 6 or more. To purchase, call the Stages Box Office at 713.527.0123 or reserve online at www.stageshouston.com.


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