For its 34th season, Undermain Theatre is scaling down from four full productions to three, but it's filling that mainstage gap with a four-week readings series of new American plays.
The gender balance has also shifted a bit this year, with the 2017-18 season "examining the world from a largely female perspective," according to a release. Two of the three playwrights are female, and the male's play will have an all-female cast.
First up is so go the ghosts of méxico, part two, the middle installment in Matthew Paul Olmos' trilogy about the world of Mexican drug cartels. Part one was based on the true story of a 20-year-old criminology student who became police chief of a small town in Chihuahua — a job so terrifying that no one else wanted it. The world-premiere part two, which will be directed by Undermain artistic director Katherine Owens, focuses on two warring gangs undergoing a power shift, a drug trade economy relying on Los Estados Unidos as its best customer, and the extreme machismo of narco culture as shown through a cast made up entirely of women. It runs September 6-October 1, 2017.
Next is a Dallas premiere from Annie Baker, whose play The Flick received a stellar production from Undermain two seasons ago. John is set in a (possibly haunted) Pennsylvania B&B during the week after Thanksgiving, and centers on a young couple struggling to stay together despite vacationing near the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Undermain company member Bruce DuBose is set to direct, and it runs November 8-December 3, 2017.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl finishes out the mainstage season with her translation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters. Originally written in 1900, the tragicomic play follows the Prozorov sisters — Olga, Masha, and Irina — who are stuck in a small Russian town but dream of scandal and excitement in Moscow. Two life-changing figures appear in their lives: Vershinin, the new battery commander, and Natasha, a local woman who hopes for a better future for herself. This is the first professional production of Three Sisters that Dallas has seen in 34 years. Owens again directs, and it runs February 7-March 4, 2018.
Whither Goest Thou America? Readings of New American Plays will present a staged reading of a different play each week from April 11-May 6, 2018. The new plays by American writers will examine the modern state of American life, how we got here, and where we’re going. Play titles will be announced during the season, and all tickets are $15, with season pass-holders having priority for reservations.