Now that it looks like live performances are a no-go until at least 2021, theater companies are planning ahead with technology in mind. Undermain Theatre has become the first DFW company to announce a virtual season, replacing at least the first part of its previously planned roster of shows for 2020-21.
Artistic director Bruce DuBose has lined up three productions to stream instead for ticket prices of just $15, with a hopeful promise of live shows performed at the group's Deep Ellum theater in 2021 (titles to be announced later this fall).
Undermain has already been broadcasting a free streaming music series called In Concert Undermain, which will continue through the summer, but beginning in September the company will reach into its archives for the 2014 production of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation... by Jackie Sibblies Drury.
Available for in-home streaming from September 16-October 4, 2020, the show follows a troupe of young actors gearing up to portray the extermination of the Herero tribe of Namibia. They're passionate, energetic, and have piles of research — but what do they really know about being black Africans under German colonization?
Up next is Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas, a one-man play performed by DuBose as a cynical and jaded drama critic who falls for a beautiful young actress. On a drunken bender one weekend he pursues her to London, where he falls in with a coven of modern-day vampires. Is it a drunken fairytale or his own vision of a higher truth? It's streaming October 7-25, 2020.
Last (for now) is a new work called Things Missing/Missed by Justin Locklear, Melissa Flower, and Philip Hays with Undermain associate artistic director Danielle Georgiou (who also directs). A woman finds her reality less tangible than she thought, her mate slowly erasing her agency. The pain of her strained affection is augmented by the slow and steady disappearance of household items. The culprit? A hermit — who may or may not exist. This is a virtual co-production with the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, and is streaming January 13-31, 2021.
"As we return to live performances next year, our hope is to introduce audiences back into the space in limited numbers of socially distanced seating, while our physical space will be undergoing updates for ventilation and HVAC systems," says DuBose. "In addition to these changes, we'll be offering intermission-free productions with smaller casts and other safety measures, endeavoring to create a safer, touch-free experience for patrons as much as possible. This also means we'll be rescheduling our co-production of Seven Against Thebes with the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group to our 38th season, when we feel it can be more fully realized."
Previously announced shows for 2020 that have also been canceled include Athena (September 9-October 4) and Hedda Gabler (November 11-29).
Visit www.undermain.org to purchase tickets online or call the box office at 214-747-5515.