Dallas — Second Thought Theatre had its best year yet in 2017. It moved up to Actor's Equity Association Small Professional Theatre status, meaning better pay and insurance for actors and stage managers. It was also an artistic triumph, from Jenny Ledel in the timely, one-woman play Grounded, to Christie Vela's bad-ass production of Young Jean Lee's Straight White Men to Blake Hackler's stunning world premiere The Necessities.
Hackler will have another premiere in 2018, which looks incredible for several reasons. After many years of three productions, STT moves up to four next year. It also looks to be a highly political season, with the regional premieres of Lucas Hnath's Hillary and Clinton, Hackler's loose adapation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, and the area premiere of Alice Birch's Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. Also on the season is Empathitrax by Ana Nogueira, who you might know as a actress on TV's The Vampire Diaries, but who has solid theater and playwriting cred.
This means half of Second Thought's season is women playwrights (and both will have women directors). Awesome ratio. There's also an interesting Ibsen thread with Hackler's Enemies/People on a season with Lucas Hnath, whose The Christians has drawn comparisons to An Enemy of the People and made his Broadway debut this year with a A Doll's House, Part 2, a "sequel" to the Ibsen masterpiece.
Below is the complete news release, with dates, descriptions and subscription info.
On the heels of closing a successful 13th season, Second Thought Theatre Artistic Director Alex Organ announced details for the company’s 2018 season today. The new season adds a fourth production for the first time since 2013 and is comprised of three area premieres and one world premiere. Play selections include “a work of total fiction” taking place during the 2008 New Hampshire Democratic primary, a committed couple resorting to a miracle drug to regain their capacity for empathy, a city planner fighting for the safety of a town that doesn’t want his help, and a provocative ensemble piece that exposes the incongruities of being a woman in the 21st century. Season subscription and ticket information for STT’s 2018 season is available online at 2TT.co.
The 2017 season saw STT tackle several new initiatives, beginning with initiating the transition to becoming an Actors Equity Association (AEA) “Small Professional Theatre” (SPT). This transition increased weekly compensation rates for union artists and allowed STT to begin offering health insurance eligibility to AEA members. “2017 was a year of exciting growth for STT,” said Organ. “I’m enormously proud of the three plays we produced, and we continue to be encouraged by fruitful discussions during our talkback series. We were particularly honored to partner with Community Conversation Dallas for the first time for some of those talkbacks. We were also thrilled to carry on our tradition of offering “pay-what- you-can” ticketing for 30 percent of our performances – something that remains very important to us.”
Their successful season was also reflected in fundraising efforts, leading to the increase in programming for the 2018 season.
The season begins with Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton, the story of a woman named Hillary trying to become president of the United States. Set during the 2008 New Hampshire primary, audiences may think they know what happens next, but in Hnath’s play these characters aren’t necessarily the people you’ve seen on the news, and the outcome isn’t necessarily what you might expect. STT alum Lee Trull (Belleville, The Midwest Trilogy) will direct.
Following Hillary and Clinton, Carson McCain (The Great God Pan) returns to direct Empathitrax by Ana Nogueira. In an unnamed city in the not-so-distant future, two unnamed people are struggling to make their 10-year relationship work, so they decide to give new miracle drug Empathitrax a try. Now able to experience their partner’s feelings through touch, they seem to be back on track – until one of them stops taking their Zoloft. STT alum Jenny Ledel and Director of Operations Drew Wall are back together on stage for the first time since 2015’s Bellville in this compelling look at what happens when big pharma tries its hand at empathy.
Next is the world premiere of Enemies/People, a new play by local playwright/actor/director and SMU professor Blake Hackler. A loose, modern adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, Enemies/People tells the story of Tom Stockmann, an urban planner determined to shut down his town’s new hot springs attraction because he believes the water has been poisoned by fracking. But the town Mayor – who is also Tom’s brother – has the people on his side and will let nothing – not even facts – get in the way of the town’s monetary success, even if it means silencing his brother for good. Hackler’s play The Necessities closed STT’s 2017 to critical and audience acclaim. STT Artistic Director Alex Organ takes the stage as Tom, and Hackler will direct.
The fourth and final show of the season is Alice Birch’s subversive new play Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. Birch’s play explores how language and other forces have influenced the modern day female experience through a series of short conversations between women and men and women and other women. Led by Tiffany Nichole Greene, making her STT directorial debut, an ensemble of actors probe into what happens when rebellious women take over the conversation and do what’s least expected of them.
Second Thought Theatre’s 2018 season will be presented as follows: Hillary and Clinton (Jan. 10 – Feb. 3); Empathitrax (March 28 – April 21); Enemies/People (June 13 – July 7); and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Aug. 22 – Sept. 15). All performances will take place at Bryant Hall next door to the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.
To learn more about STT’s 2018 season or how to purchase season subscriptions or single tickets, please visit 2tt.co. Season subscriptions can also be purchased by phone at 1-866-811-4111.
More on the season:
Hillary and Clinton
by Lucas Hnath
Jan. 10 – Feb. 3, 2018
Directed by Lee Trull
She was destined for this. She had prepared her entire life for this. And yet, one fateful New Hampshire evening in January 2008, she sees it all beginning to slip through her fingers. Exhausted but not yet discouraged, with spirits, funds, and poll numbers all on the decline, the woman who would be president finds herself questioning, for the first time, whether her dream will ever become her reality. Director Lee Trull (Belleville) returns for Hillary and Clinton, “a work of total fiction” about a woman named Hillary, a man named Bill, and the distance between who we are and who we’re meant to be.
Pay-What-You-Can Previews – Wednesday 1/10 and Thursday 1/11
PRESS OPENING – Friday 1/12
Regular Performances – Saturday 1/13, 1/20, 1/27; Thursday 1/18, 1/25, 2/1; Friday 1/19, 1/26, 2/2
Additional Pay-What-You-Can Performances – Monday 1/15, 1/22, 1/29
Closing Performance – Saturday 2/3
by Ana Nogueira
March 28 – April 21, 2018
Directed by Carson McCain
Featuring STT Alum Jenny Ledel and Director of Operations Drew Wall
What if repairing a broken relationship was as easy as taking a pill? For one couple, a new drug that allows them to experience exactly what the other is feeling could be their miracle cure. However, complications arise when medical advice is ignored, secrets are revealed, and one person’s struggle with depression threatens to consume two people. Directed by Carson McCain (The Great God Pan) and featuring STT artists Jenny Ledel and Drew Wall, Empathitrax is a compassionate, humorous, and unflinchingly honest portrait of a relationship that dares to test the limits of intimacy.
Pay-What-You-Can Previews – Wednesday 3/28; Thursday 3/29
PRESS OPENING – Friday 3/30
Regular Performances – Saturday 3/31, 4/7, 4/14; Thursday 4/5, 4/12, 4/19; Friday 4/6, 4/13, 4/20
Additional Pay-What-You-Can Performances – Monday 4/2, 4/9, 4/16
Closing Performance – Saturday 4/21
June 13 – July 7, 2018
a world premiere written and directed by Blake Hackler
Loosely adapted from An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
Tom, an intrepid urban planner, suspects that a new city-sponsored hot springs project may be more dangerous than the local government is willing to admit. But when Tom speaks out against the project, he is met with resistance from several unexpected sources. The divide between right and wrong proves to be anything but black and white, and Tom finds himself risking everything for a town that doesn’t seem to want his help. Second Thought continues its commitment to local playwrights with this thrilling world premiere play, written and directed by Blake Hackler (The Necessities). Loosely adapted from Ibsen’s classic political drama, An Enemy of the People, and starring STT Artistic Director Alex Organ, Enemies/People is a timely world-premiere about the search for truth in the age of alternative facts.
Pay-What-You-Can Previews – Wednesday 6/13 and Thursday 6/14
PRESS OPENING – Friday 6/15
Regular Performances – Saturday 6/16, 6/23, 6/30; Thursday 6/21, 6/28, 7/5; Friday 6/22, 6/29, 7/6
Additional Pay-What-You-Can Performances – Monday 6/18, 6/25, 7/2
Closing Performance – Saturday 7/7
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.
Aug. 22 – Sept. 15, 2018
by Alice Birch
Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene
To be a woman in the 21st century is to experience - and to embody - a world of contradictions. To express them all in one play is impossible. But, we’re going to do it anyway! Work, relationships, family, sex, and power intersect as one daring group of actors turns everything you thought you knew directly on its head. Language is inverted, bodies are distorted, men are banished, and nothing is sacred in a bold, provocative, riotous play like nothing Dallas has ever seen before. Helmed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, making her STT directorial debut, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. is nothing short of revolutionary.
Pay-What-You-Can Previews – Wednesday 8/22 and Thursday 8/23
PRESS OPENING – Friday 8/24
Regular Performances – Saturday 8/25, 9/1, 9/8; Thursday 8/30, 9/6, 9/13; Friday 8/31, 9/7, 9/14
Additional Pay-What-You-Can Performances – Monday 8/27, 9/3, 9/10
Closing Performance – Saturday 9/15