Go Beneath the Surface

Dallas' Undermain Theatre comes full circle with new season

Dallas' Undermain Theatre comes full circle with new season

Bruce DuBose and Paul Semrad in An Iliad at Undermain Theatre in Dallas
Bruce DuBose and Paul Semrad are returning for An Iliad. Photo courtesy of Undermain Theatre

Undermain Theatre is finding inspiration in its past, present, and future for the 2018-19 season, which includes two world premieres, a rarely seen classic, the return of a new works festival, and a celebratory reboot of a recent gem from the Undermain repertoire.

Its 35th season begins with the latest from Len Jenkin, a longtime Undermain collaborator whose last show there was 2016's Jonah. How is it That We Live or Shakey Jake + Alice traces the lives of two lovers through the years, from the first kiss to the last goodbye and everything in between. The world premiere will be directed by Undermain artistic director Katherine Owens, and if you just can't wait until September to see the fully staged version, a reading is part of this year's Whither Goest Thou America: A Festival of New American Play Readings. The show runs September 13-October 7, 2018.

Following in the classic footsteps of Three Sisters and Long Day's Journey Into Night, Undermain now turns to Henrik Ibsen for his rarely seen drama The Lady From the Sea. The Dallas premiere, directed by Undermain company member Blake Hackler, continues Ibsen's exploration of the imbalances of marriage and a woman's need for freedom. Ellida, a lighthouse-keeper's daughter, is trapped on an island in her marriage and longs for the sea. Her duty to convention takes second place to an otherworldly awareness of more mystical bonds challenging her wedding vows. The show runs November 8-December 2, 2018.

Bruce DuBose's one-man marathon in Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare's An Iliad made my list of the most unforgettable moments of 2012. Missed it? Here's another chance. Undermain is remounting the modern-day retelling of Homer's classic, and bringing back DuBose and musician Paul Semrad to do it. The setting: an empty theater. The time: now. A lone figure comes onstage to recount the ancient tale of the Trojan War in a captivating theatrical experience. It runs February 7-March 3, 2019.

Matthew Paul Olmos' trilogy exploring the U.S. Mexico drug wars, so go the ghosts of méxico​, gets its final installment in 2019 as the centerpiece of next season's new works festival. A young Méxican couple visiting the U.S. get caught up in the web of the drug trade between the two countries, changing their lives forever. It runs April 12-May 5, 2019.

The remainder of the Whither Goest Thou America festival runs from April 10-May 2, 2019, with readings performed every Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm. Titles will be announced during in the season, with ticket priority going to Undermain season pass-holders.