Dallas — The 2015-16 season for Undermain Theatre has been announced, and keeping with the trend of recent seasons, it has four mainstage productions, half of them world premieres. The season kicks off with a world premiere from Meg Miroshnik, playwright of The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, seen at Undermain in the 2014-15 season, and ends with a to-be-announced premiere from the New York writer with whom Undermain has had a long relationship, Len Jenkin. Between those is the area premiere of Irish playwright Conor McPherson's The Night Alive, and a revival of one of the masterpieces of American theater: Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.
Here's the complete news release from Undermain, with dates and descriptions:
Katherine Owens, Artistic Director of Undermain Theatre has released the season line-up for 2015-16 saying, “ We are now in our in 32nd year of exploring new writing and revisiting seminal modern works at the Undermain Theatre. Next season we will present a powerful season of premieres, monumental drama, and cutting edge performance with four mainstage productions, each a portrait of a family, bound by blood or by circumstance, confronting the forces of darkness. Two world premieres bookend a regional premiere of one of the contemporary stage’s leading theatrical voices and a masterwork of modern drama by a man some call the father of the American Theater.”
Season subscriptions are available now online at www.undermain.org or by calling the box office at 214.747.5515.
by Meg Miroshnik
A World Premiere
Directed by Undermain Company Member Blake Hackler
Performance run 9/22/15-10/17/15
Previews 9/22, 9/23, 9/24,and 9/25
Opens Saturday 9/26, runs Wednesdays through Saturdays with two matinees on 10/3 and 10/17
Seduced by the magic of the Stage, young Nim Dullyn seeks to join an illegal theatrical troupe—pursued by the beastly Roundheads, who deem theatre an abomination during this time of sickness and troubles. The Droll (Or, A Stage Play about the END of Theatre) imagines a world in which theatre is banned, but one troupe resists by organizing a clandestine performance of Hamlet. Undermain is excited to bring Dallas this world premiere by Meg Miroshnik, author of last season’s hit comedy, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls. Inspired by the theatre closures of Puritan England, The Droll asks: “What evil would you do in the Name of Laughter?” Miroshnik’s fascinating play was work-shopped at the Yale School of Drama’s Studio Series in 2009 and at the South Coast Repertory’s Pacific Playwrights Festival in 2011.
Meg Miroshnik is a dramatic writer whose work features a heightened attention to language. Her plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll (A Stage-Play about the END of Theatre), The Tall Girls, Old Actress, and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki. She is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award. Her work has been developed or produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the McCarter Theatre Center, Alliance Theatre, Yale Rep, the Kennedy Center, Lark New Play Development Center, Chicago Opera Theater, The Moscow Playwright and Director Center, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Circle X, The Wilma Theater, Perishable Theatre, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, One Coast Collaboration, and published in Best American Short Plays, 2008-2009 (Applause, 2010). The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn prize and winner of the 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Upcoming: Commissions for new plays for South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, and Yale Rep. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama where she studied with Paula Vogel. Meg hails from Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is a member of the Playwrights Union and The Kilroys.
THE NIGHT ALIVE
by Conor McPherson
A Regional Premiere
Directed by Undermain Artistic Associate Dylan Key
In Performance 11/17/15 – 12/12/15
Previews 11/17, 11/18/, 11/19, and 11/20
Opens Saturday 11/21, runs Wednesdays through Saturdays with two matinees TBA.
Winner of the NY Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best play of 2013/ 2014 season
Undermain is thrilled to return to the work of Conor McPherson, one of the English language’s leading theatrical voices, with the regional premiere of his startling new play. The Night Alive follows the lives of four modern Dubliners who are trying to get by, helping each other stay one step ahead of the past. Tommy’s a middle-aged misfit renting a run-down room in his uncle Maurice’s house, rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the other with his pal Doc, a homeless mystic. One day he comes to the aid of Aimee, a twenty-something lass who hasn’t had it too easy herself. Their past won’t let go easily. But together there’s a glimmer of hope they could make something more of their future. Something extraordinary. As in Undermain’s productions of his earlier plays Shining City and St. Nicholas, Conor McPherson’s new play deftly mines the humanity to be found in the most unlikely of situations. After premiering at London's Donmar Warehouse in 2013, it transferred to New York’s Atlantic Theatre and was lauded by critics for its boisterous comedy and aching poetry.
Conor McPherson (Playwright) was born in Dublin in 1971. Plays include: Rum & Vodka (Fly-by-Night Theatre Co. Dublin), The Good Thief (Dublin Theatre Festival, Stewart Parker Award), The Weir (Royal Court, Duke of York's West End, Walter Kerr Theatre, New York; Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics' Circle, George Devine Awards), Dublin Carol (Royal Court & Atlantic Theater, New York), Port Authority (Ambassadors Theatre West End, Gate Theatre, Dublin & Atlantic Theater, New York), Shining City (Royal Court, Gate Theatre, Dublin & Manhattan Theatre Club New York; Tony Award nomination Best Play), The Seafarer (National Theatre, Abbey Theatre Dublin, Booth Theatre New York; Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Tony Award nominations Best Play), The Veil (National Theatre) and The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse & Atlantic Theatre, NY; winner NY Drama Critics Circle). Theatre adaptations include Daphne du Maurier's The Birds (Gate Theatre, Dublin & Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis) and August Strindberg's The Dance of Death (Donmar at Trafalgar Studios).
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Undermain Artistic Director Katherine Owens
Scenic Design by Undermain company member John Arnone
With Joanna Schellenberg as Mary Tyrone and Bruce DuBose as James Tyrone Sr.
In Performance 2/9/16 – 3/12/16
Previews 2/9, 2/10, 2/11 and 2/12
Opens Saturday 2/13, runs Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play
For its 32nd season the Undermain will offer a rare opportunity to see an ensemble cast in the intimacy of our 90-seat space performing what many consider to be the greatest play of the 20th Century and a centerpiece of modern drama. Eugene O’Neill’s monumental play depicts a theatrical family doomed by destiny and touched by fate at their summer home in Connecticut on one August day in 1912 from morning to midnight. Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical masterwork was awarded the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. The Undermain production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night is funded, in part, by a grant from the Tad Adoue III Fund at the Dallas Foundation and will be directed by Undermain artistic director Katherine Owens with scenic design by Undermain company member John Arnone.
O'Neill was the first American dramatist to regard the stage as a literary medium and the only American playwright ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through his efforts, the American theatre grew up during the 1920s, developing into a cultural medium that could take its place with the best in American fiction, painting, and music. Until his Beyond the Horizon was produced in 1920, Broadway theatrical fare, apart from musicals and an occasional European import of quality, had consisted largely of contrived melodrama and farce. O'Neill saw the theatre as a valid forum for the presentation of serious ideas. Imbued with the tragic sense of life, he aimed for a contemporary drama that had its roots in the most powerful of ancient Greek tragedies—a drama that could rise to the emotional heights of Shakespeare. For more than 20 years, both with such masterpieces as Desire Under the Elms, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Cometh and Long Day’s Journey into Night and by his inspiration to other serious dramatists, O'Neill set the pace for the blossoming of the American theatre.
TITLE TBA, A WORLD PREMIERE
by Len Jenkin
A World Premiere
Directed by TBA
In Performance 4/12/16 – 5/7/16
Previews 4/12, 4/13, 4/14, 4/15
Opens Saturday 4/16, runs Wednesdays through Saturdays with two matinees on 4/23 and 5/7.
Hero of the avant-garde and long-time Undermain collaborator, Len Jenkin returns with another Undermain/Jenkin world premiere following a long line of acclaimed award winning productions of Jenkin’s plays such as Poor Folk’s Pleasure, Margo Veil, Port Twilight, Time in Kafka, and Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie: Final Reel. Len Jenkin’s credentials and awards include three Obie Awards for directing and playwriting, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Award, a nomination for an Emmy Award, four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a PhD in literature from Columbia University. His stage plays have been produced throughout the United States, as well as in England, Germany, France, Denmark, and Japan.
Undermain Theatre performances are Wednesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are: Wednesdays $15, Thursdays and Matinees $20, Fridays $25, and Saturdays $30. Undermain is located at 3200 Main Street at the corner of Murray Street in Deep Ellum. Discounts are available for seniors, students, KERA members, and groups. Call 214-747-5515 or visit www.undermain.org.
Now in its 32nd season, Undermain Theatre is a company of artists that has produced 36 World Premieres, 52 regional premieres and countless re-workings of masterpieces that celebrate language and poetics. Undermain’s work stretches beyond its home state of Texas and has reached audiences in New York, Greece and Macedonia. The San Diego Union Tribune called Undermain “one of the best small theaters in America.” The theatre collaborates with playwrights, supports a theatre archive and operates a theatre under 3200 Main Street in Dallas’ legendary Deep Ellum. Artistic Director: Katherine Owens, Executive Producer: Bruce DuBose, Artistic Associate: Dylan Key and Operations Manager: Liz Sankersingh.