The fourth season for Upstart Productions has been announced, and like the first three, it is only two productions. The difference this year is that both are happening in the winter and spring of 2012 (as opposed to a fall and spring season).
Upstart burst on the scene with a gritty debut season of Topdog/Underdog and This is Our Youth; the second season (and its best so far) was devoted to writer Eric Bogosian; and the third ambitiously gave us a trio of one-acts from Harold Pinter and a good-looking revival of The Violet Hour. The fourth season is about contemporary writers. Both with Chicago ties, and one of whom is from Dallas, Matt Lyle. The other, Sarah Ruhl, is quickly becoming one of the most popular current writers.
The shows, both of which will be at the Green Zone in the Design District, are below (descriptions are from Upstart's news release):
Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl, Jan. 11-Feb. 4, 2012
With the lyrical, audience-wooing timbre of Sarah Ruhl, Upstart breaks in the new year with Melancholy Play, a "sincere melodrama" about a girl who manages to make sadness sexy. Ruhl, originally from Chicago, is the award-winning playwright of In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Eurydice and The Clean House, among others. Ruhl holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.
The Better Doctor by Matt Lyle, April 25-May 19, 2012
The second offering for the year comes from a recent Dallas native Matt Lyle. Co-founders of Bootstraps Comedy Theatre, Lyle and his wife Kim moved their company to Chicago in 2008. Following the silent-film-on-stage format of Lyle's hit play The Boxer, The Better Doctor playfully satirizes the obstacles presented by the American healthcare industry. It's a live-music spectacle equipped with subtitles and slapstick gags for the whole family to enjoy. That's right. Bring your babies.
Precluding the opening of Season 4, Upstart will spend the fall of 2011 hosting cultural events and fundraisers to further Upstart's mission of supporting local artists, building stronger relationships with its audience, and contributing to the continuing cultural growth of Dallas.
For more information, viist www.UpstartTheater.com.