2019-20 for Undermain Theatre

In its 36th season, Undermain will have a world premiere by Gordon Dahlquist and regional premieres from Larissa Fasthorse and Adrienne Kennedy.

published Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Photo: Courtesy
Adrienne Kennedy



Dallas — The 36th season for Undermain Theatre has been announced, and while it scales back a bit from recent seasons that have had four full productions and the new play readings festival, the three world and regional premieres on the 2019-20 season are exciting (the reading festival returns, too).

There's a world premiere of Red Chariot from Gordon Dahlquist, the New York-based writer whose play Tomorrow Come Today premiered at Undermain in 2014. This play will have a reading in the current season's readings festival, which begins this week. That is followed by the regional premiere of Native American playwright Larissa Fasthorse's The Thanksgiving Play, which runs in time for that holiday.

The final full production will be what I'm pretty sure is the first local professional production of a work by the influential playwright Adrienne Kennedy in at least three decades (I seem to recall that her seminal work Funnyhouse of a Negro was produced here in the 1980s). Undermain is doing her new adaptation of Flaubert's landmark novel Madame Bovary. You can also get a taste of Kennedy as her most recent original play, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, gets a staged reading in the upcoming readings festival.


Below is the complete news release with dates, descriptions, and subscription and ticket information:

For its 36th season Undermain presents works from three award-winning mavericks of the American theatre in three premieres and a festival of new work. Season 36 will bring a world premiere science fiction thriller, a regional premiere of a blistering comedy of well-intentioned manners and an adaptation of a literary classic from a seminal writer of the American avant-garde in its first regional premiere, as well as the third installment of our festival of new American play readings, Whither Goest Thou America. Undermain’s 36th year, the season of the maverick. Four new opportunities to experience Undermain onstage. 


Photo: Robert Hart/TheaterJones
Gordon Dahlquist

Red Chariot

by Gordon Dahlquist

A World Premiere

Directed by Company Member Blake Hackler

Preview Performances 9/11, 9/12 and 9/13

Opening Night Saturday 9/14/19

In Performance  9/11/19 - 10/6/19

Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

What if Tarot Cards could actually affect your future? And you could use that Tarot Deck to control other's destinies as well? And what if the Internet created that Tarot Deck? Red Chariot is a world premiere science fiction thriller set amid the downfall of civilization after the Internet has created a mysterious Tarot Deck, that when read, can actually affect the past, present, and future. Gordon Dahlquist (Tomorrow Come Today) takes us on a journey though time as we explore the chaotic effects of new technological advancements and the role humans have, or haven’t, played in stopping that chaos.


Gordon Dahlquist

Gordon Dahlquist is a highly inventive science fiction novelist and playwright. He is a recent recipient of the James Tait Black prize in literature for his play Tomorrow Come Today which had its world premiere at Undermain in 2014. He has been a member of New Dramatists, and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect. His works include: Venice Saved (PS122, New York), Messalina (Evidence Room, Los Angeles; SPF, New York), Babylon is everywhere: A Court Masque (CINE, Schaeberle Theatre; Theatre Magazine), Delirium Palace (Evidence Room, Los Angeles; published in Breaking Ground), The Secret Machine (Walker Space), Vortex Du Plaisir (Ohio Theatre), and Island of Dogs (4th Street Theatre). He has been an artist in residence at ASK Theatre Projects, Dartmouth College, Vassar College, and the Hotchkiss School. He was a guest lecturer at ECLA (Berlin), and a plenary speaker for the 2004 Ohio Shakespeare Conference. His first novel, The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, was a NY Times bestseller and has been published in 30 countries. His second novel, The Dark Volume, was published in the USA in March 2009.


The Thanksgiving Play

by Larissa FastHorse

A Dallas Premiere

Directed by Executive Producer Bruce DuBose

Preview Performances  11/6, 11/7 and 11/8

Opening Night Saturday 11/9/19

In Performance 11/6/19 – 12/1/19

Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

There will be no performance on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28.

Photo: Courtesy
Larissa Fasthorse

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month. A brilliant take on a modern American cultural dilemma.


Larissa FastHorse

Larissa FastHorse is an award-winning playwright, director, choreographer and performer based in Santa Monica. Larissa was awarded the PEN/USA Literary Award for Drama, NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. Larissa's produced plays include The Thanksgiving Play, Cow Pie Bingo, Urban Rez, Native Nation, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: A Class Presentation, and Cherokee Family Reunion. She has written commissions for Yale Rep, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Artists Rep Portland, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, AlterTheater, Kennedy Center TYA, Native Voices at the Autry, Perseverance Theater Company and Mountainside Theatre. She developed plays with Kansas City Rep, Artist Rep Portland, Arizona Theater Company, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor. She is a current member of the Playwrights' Center Core Writers, Playwright’s Union, Director’s Lab West 2015, Theatre Communications Group board of directors and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Lakota Nation.


Madame Bovary

by Adrienne Kennedy

A new adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel

Premiering Regionally

Directed by Artistic Director Katherine Owens

Preview Performances 2/12, 2/13 and 2/14

Opening Night 2/15

In Performance 2/12/20 – 3/8/20

Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Madame Bovary is the tragic yet scintillating story of a woman who longed for a life she could never fully achieve. Emma Bovary is a woman who desires the illustrious and romantic world she has only read about in books or observed from afar. As this desire grows, Emma must seek to fulfill it, whatever the cost, in an ultimate quest to become the Madame Bovary of her wildest and most passionate dreams. Adrienne Kennedy’s innovative transformation for the stage tells Emma's story through the eyes of her own daughter and brings a fresh and exciting approach to this classic novel.


Adrienne Kennedy

Adrienne Kennedy is a seminal writer of the American avant-garde who continues to influence the world through her art. She was the recipient of the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lila Wallace—Reader's Digest Writers' Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Literature Award. She was also granted a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing, awarded the Pierre Lecomte du Novy Award, and ended her academic career teaching at Harvard. Kennedy was playwright-in-residence at the Signature Theatre in New York City during their 1996-1997 season. Her play Movie Star is in a volume of Norton Anthology of American Literature and her play Funnyhouse of a Negro, most recently performed at the Classical Theatre of Harlem in NYC, is a landmark piece that speaks to students trying to find a place in the world. Her plays are taught in classrooms and performed in theatre’s all over the world. Her latest play, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box was premiered in 2018 at Theater For a New Audience in New York City and was featured in Undermain’s Whither Goest Thou America 2019.



Whither Goest Thou America:

A Festival of new American play readings


The Reading Series runs from April 16 through May 9, 2020

Undermain presents its third series of readings of new American plays examining the American Landscape. Past festivals have brought the work of local writers Jonathan Norton and Blake Hackler as well as other American playwrights such as Adrienne Kennedy, Barbara Hammond, Gordon Dahlquist and Len Jenkin. In addition to staged readings, Undermain audiences get access to writers featured in the festival in post-show discussions with playwrights, directors and actors.  Each week of the series will focus on a different playwright and play with staged readings by an ensemble cast. Audiences will have the opportunity to return each week of the series to experience a new work examining the American experience and asking the question, “Where are we going?”

Play titles will be announced during the season.


Ticket prices are: 

All preview performances are $15

First Wednesday after opening $15

Wednesdays and Thursdays $20

Fridays $25

Saturdays $30

All matinee performances are $20

Reading Festival Tickets are $15


Visit to purchase tickets online or call the box office at 214-747-5515.

Discounts are available for seniors, students, KERA members, and groups. You must call 214-747-5515 for your discount. Undermain is located at 3200 Main Street at the corner of Murray Street in Deep Ellum. Free parking at 3300 Commerce St.


About Undermain

Now in its 36th season, Undermain Theatre is a company of artists that has produced 41 World Premieres, 59 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, Los Angeles, Canada, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. 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, General Manager: Patricia Hackler, Operations Manager: Parker Gray, Marketing Manager and Media Contact: Theresa Webster,, 214-747-1424.



-One person can attend every Undermain fully staged play once

-One person can attend ONE reading once. 

-One guest ticket voucher good for any one performance

-$5 discount on any additional fully staged plays or readings

-All Season Passes are NON-TRANSFERABLE



-Unlimited attendance for one person to all plays and readings

-One guest ticket voucher good for any one performance

-$5 discount on any additional play or reading

-All Season Passes are NON-TRANSFERABLE



-Two People can attend every Undermain fully staged play once

-Two People can attend ONE reading once

-Two guest ticket vouchers good for any one performance

-$5 discount on any additional fully staged plays or readings

-All Season Passes are NON-TRANSFERABLE



-Unlimited attendance for two people to all plays and readings

-Two guest ticket vouchers good for any one performance

-$5 discount on any additional play or reading

-All Season Passes are NON-TRANSFERABLE



-4 or 6 tickets to use any way you’d like

-2 Drink vouchers

-$5 discount on any additional fully staged plays and readings


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2019-20 for Undermain Theatre
In its 36th season, Undermain will have a world premiere by Gordon Dahlquist and regional premieres from Larissa Fasthorse and Adrienne Kennedy.
by Mark Lowry

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