Season Announcement

Deep Ellum theater turns the spotlight on women for 2020-21 season

Deep Ellum theater turns the spotlight on women for 2020-21 season

Athena by Gracie Gardner
Gracie Gardner's Athena opens the season. Photo courtesy of On The Verge

Right now — especially now — it feels like we need a hero. Undermain Theatre heard our pleas and is doing one better by declaring its 37th season the year of the feminine hero.

The four central productions are all about women, with ladies also getting the spotlight as playwrights and directors.

"Undermain is looking past the pandemic, affirming the well-being of our audience, our company, and our community and looking forward to presenting the season of the feminine hero," says producing artistic director Bruce DuBose.

First up is the Dallas premiere of Athena by Gracie Gardner. Mary Wallace and Athena are brave, and 17, and fencers training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together. They wish they were friends. Undermain associate artistic director Danielle Georgiou directs a searing look into two young women driven to make their way through the ranks of competitive fencing and their fascination with each other. It runs September 9-October 4, 2020.

Undermain favorite Black Hackler is up next, directing his own adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. Ibsen's masterpiece of realism permanently changed the face of world drama — this world premiere version is the story of an extraordinary woman trapped in a conventional life of secrets and lies that fuel her own personal explosion. It runs November 11-29, 2020. 

The centerpiece workshop production of the Whither Goest Thou America: New American Plays festival is Lenora Champagne's Feeding on Light. Based on the playwright's personal relationship and discussions with Undermain Theatre's late founding artistic director Katherine Owens, to whom the play is dedicated, it's directed by Owens' partner DuBose. Nora is a curious writer who seeks to understand her friend and collaborator Katherine's obsession with 20th-century French philosopher and activist Simone Weil. As their discussion deepens, Nora and Katherine embody scenes from Simone's life in an attempt to communicate with her across time and space. It runs March 4-21, 2021.

The festival itself will run weekends from March 5-28, 2021.

Finishing out the season is a new adaptation by Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear of Aeschylus' ancient Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes. The climactic battle for control of Thebes is told from the perspective of Antigone and Ismene and the women of the city. Deadly threatening enemies are standing outside the fragile walls of a city in a country unknown. The citizens continue to live their (miserable) comfortable lives. Military campaigns are rising, monies are being spent. But when iron and steel turn to dust and there is nothing left but empty promises, tragedy ensues. The world premiere runs April 28-May 23, 2021.

Tickets are available by visiting Undermain Theatre online or calling the box office at 214-747-5515.

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