Just five months ago, Undermain Theatre was the first to transition to an all-virtual season. Now, the Deep Ellum theater is hoping for online with the option of in-person for its 2021 lineup.
"Out of our primary concern for the health and safety of our audience, artists, staff, and crew, as well as the cultural life of Dallas, we will not be offering live performances at our Deep Ellum home until late June of 2021," says artistic director Bruce DeBose. "Until then, we'll be offering a variety of streaming-only content in our 2021 Subscription Series. As we return to live performances we hope to introduce audiences back into the space in limited numbers of socially distanced seating."
DuBose also notes that the physical space will be undergoing updates for ventilation and HVAC systems, including the addition of UV light filtration units.
From now through the end of January, Undermain is streaming the new work Things Missing/Missed, produced in collaboration with Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (Georgiou is Undermain's associate artistic director).
DuBose previously hinted at more upcoming works for 2021, and we now have the details:
In late February, the Undermain video archive is releasing The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac from 2010. Clad in exotic dress and sequined makeup, Taylor Mac brings this showcase of work to the stage with a multitude of costumes and props from a giant suitcase while self-accompanying on the ukulele and mandolin. It's streaming February 24-March 14, 2021, but is only available to season subscribers.
In April, the Whither Goest Thou America Festival of new work will feature virtual streams of David Rabe's new solo piece, adapted from his short story Suffocation Theory, and virtual readings of three new plays: Second Hand Conversations with Irene by Teresa Marrero, Bright Boys by Blake Hackler, and Feeding on Light by Lenora Champagne.
Suffocation Theory is streaming April 7-25, 2021, and the streaming dates for the readings have yet to be announced.
In May comes the virtual production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler from a new adaptation by company member Blake Hackler. Originally meant to be presented live in November 2020, this new translation is now online.
Directed by Bruce DuBose and starring Olivia de Guzman as Hedda Gabler, Ibsen's masterpiece of realism is the story of an extraordinary woman trapped in a conventional life of secrets and lies that fuel her own personal explosion. It's streaming May 26-June 13, 2021.
Closing out the season is Lonesome Blues by Akin Babatundé and Alan Govenar, a meditation on the life and songs of Blind Lemon Jefferson. Undermain founding artistic director Katherine Owens originally directed the show in its Off-Broadway premiere at the York Theatre in New York City during the summer of 2018, with Babatundé in the title role.
Discovered on a street corner in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas in 1925, Jefferson made more than 80 records over the next four years, becoming one the most prolific and influential performers of his generation and propelling the growth of rhythm and blues, soul, doo-wop, rap, and hip-hop. It's streaming June 19-July 3, 2021.
Undermain will be rescheduling previously announced productions of Athena by Gracie Gardner; its workshop of David Rabe's He's Born, He's Borne; and the coproduction of Seven Against Thebes with the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group for next season — the company's 38th — when "we feel they can all be more fully realized," says DuBose.
Streaming tickets are $20, regular season passes are $100, and an unlimited season pass is $125. A regular double season pass is $175, while an unlimited double season pass is $200. The Underground Pass is $65 or $99, depending on if you choose four or six tickets. All can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 214-747-5515.