Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company's 2016-2017 season will feature a world premiere, as well as the regional premiere of a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist.
The full season lineup includes Mildred’s Umbrella’s staging of the French classic The Maids by Jean Genet; the regional premiere of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel; the regional premiere of The Johns by Mary Bonnett, which is being produced in collaboration with the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section and United Against Human Trafficking; and the world premiere of A Heroine Free Summer by Janet Lowery. The season wraps up with the company’s ninth annual Museum of Dysfunction short play festival.
“We are thrilled with the productions we have in store for next season, all of which continue to reinforce our mission of bringing female-focused theatrical excellence to the city of Houston,” said Artistic Director Jennifer Decker. “I’m especially pleased that we can present a collection of works from such a diverse group of playwrights. From an up-and-coming college graduate with a hit play to a producing artistic director committed to creating theater for social change, each of them has a unique voice and an important story to tell.”
By Jean Genet
Directed by Jon Harvey
July 28 - August 13, 2016
Pay-What-You-Can Monday, August 8 at 8pm
Matinee Sunday, August 7 at 3pm
Written by French dramatist Jean Genet, The Maids tells the story of Solange and Claire, two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals involving the murder of their mistress (Madame) when she is away. Based on the infamous Papin sisters of Le Mans, France, the play debuted in 1947 and has since been produced in theaters throughout the world – most recently in New York City in a 2014 production starring Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert.
By Ruby Rae Spiegel
Directed by Julia Traber
October 20 - November 5, 2016
Pay-What-You-Can Monday, October 31 at 8pm
Matinee Sunday, October 30 at 3pm
Written by recent Yale graduate Ruby Rae Spiegel, Dry Land enthralled critics upon its 2014 premiere, including Ben Brantley of the New York Times, who called the play “tender, caustic, funny and harrowing, often all at the same time.” Taking place in a high school girls’ locker room, Dry Land is a play about abortion, female friendship and resiliency. For her debut full-length play, Spiegel was named a 2014 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, which annually honors outstanding new plays written by women.
By Mary Bonnett
Directed by Jennifer Decker
January 19 - February 4, 2017
Pay-What-You-Can Monday, January 30 at 8pm
Matinee Sunday, January 29 at 3pm
Originally produced by Chicago’s Her Story Theatre and written by producing artistic director Mary Bonnett, The Johns is a play about the men who buy girls for sex and what it costs. Grace Johnson II has problems: a slipping marriage, a son expelled from Harvard, a daughter who wants to elope...she should be so lucky. What lies between fantasy and fact is a powerful awakening for the Johnson family. Unflinching and eye opening, The Johns is being produced in collaboration with the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section and United Against Human Trafficking.
|A HEROINE FREE SUMMER
By Janet Lowery
Directed by Chesley Krohn
March 30 - April 15, 2017
Pay-What-You-Can Monday, April 10 at 8pm
Matinee Sunday, April 9 at 3pm
A Heroine Free Summer, a world premiere by Houston playwright Janet Lowery, examines what happens when a family becomes divided – the result of two teenaged sons confessing to drug use – while at the family lake house in upstate New York. As the sisters pick where their allegiances lie, one of them has to make the decision whether to try and save the clan or cut and run in this explosive new family drama.
|MUSEUM OF DYSFUNCTION IX
June 15 - June 24, 2017
The 2016-17 season will wrap up with Mildred’s Umbrella’s short play festival Museum of Dysfunction IX. This year submissions will come exclusively from high school and college level playwrights to highlight the newest talent our region has to offer. The Mildred’s Umbrella artistic advisory board will select the top 20, which will then be performed by the professional actors of MUTC. As always, this summer festival of new works is pay-what-you-can.