Local News: Main Street Theater Announces 2008-2009 season

Posted by: Staffon 2008/7/21 1:40:00 2738 reads Wasserstein,Craig Lucas and Clifford Odets are among the diverse authors of play offerings main street theater in Houston is offering for its 2008 and 2009 season alomg with a few world premieres to round it out. The season kicks off with..

Third
By Wendy Wasserstein
Regional Premiere
Directed by Cheryl L. Kaplan
Aug 30 – Sept 21, 2008
MST – Chelsea Market

Laurie Jameson teaches literature at an elite university, where she is known for her electric teaching style and her fiercely liberal politics. But her complacency is shattered when an original student named Third presents her with a challenge to her convictions and forces her to come to terms with her own place in the universe. ..

.. Wendy Wasserstein’s last play before her untimely death, Third examines what it means to open up to the world and expand your point of view, with all the heart and humor for which Wasserstein has become known. Featuring Main Street Theater Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden as Laurie.

This will be the sixth Wasserstein production of five of her major plays. Uncommon Women and Others (produced twice), The Heidi Chronicles, An American Daughter, and The Sisters Rosensweig, and now Third.

...and L.A. Is Burning
A World Premiere
By Y York
Director Troy Scheid
Oct. 11 – Nov. 9, 2008
MST - Times Blvd.

For Haddie, a white, middle-aged government worker, the world is very straightforward. Your race and your class determine the world you live in, and there really is no wiggle room. For Alvin, Haddie’s African-American co-worker, life is about getting ahead. And for Syliva, a journalist from the East Coast, the world must be changed. Set against the backdrop of the Rodney King trial and the subsequent L.A. riots, playwright Y York examines the terrain of the modern workplace, on which well-intentioned liberalism, racism, the news, reality itself, and the Cosby Show intersect.

Y York has written more than thirty plays for adult and youth audiences and has been produced throughout the country, including GeVa Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), The Coterie (Kansas City), Provincetown/NYU, The Children’s Theatre Company (Minneapolis), Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Main Street previously produced her play Rain. Some Fish. No Elephants. …And L. A. Is Burning was workshopped at the New Harmony Project.

But Not Goodbye
By George Seaton
Directed by Steve Garfinkel
Nov. 28 – Dec. 28, 2008
MST - Times Blvd.

It’s the summer of 1910, and unbeknownst to him, Sam Griggs is not long for this world. If he had known he was going to die today, he might have made an effort to clean up the family finances, particularly the speculative real estate venture in which all their money is invested. He didn’t realize he’d taken his son’s life savings, too, and now that son won’t be able to pursue his life’s dream. The spirit of the newly-deceased Sam wants to try to fix the mess he’s made, but the spirit of Benjamin, his father, who died at 36 in a tavern brawl, arrives to help him “move along”. Sam’s spirit watches helplessly as his family faces disaster, but just as his father predicted, it all works out for the best in this comedic fantasy from the screenwriter and director of “Miracle on 34th Street.”

George Seaton won the Academy Award twice for Best Writing of a Screenplay for “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Country Girl,” and was nominated for Oscars several other times, including for Best Director for “The Country Girl” and for Best Writing of a Screenplay for “Song of Bernadette.”

The Light in the Piazza
Book by Craig Lucas
Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel
Houston Premiere
Directed by Ron Jones
Musical Direction by Glenn Sharp
Jan.3 – 25, 2009
MST – Chelsea Market

Margaret Johnson and her daughter Clara are on a tour through Italy in the summer of 1953. Clara meets and falls in love with handsome young Fabrizzio Naccarelli. Clara's mother opposes the affair for reasons that only gradually become known to the audience, but ultimately she must put her trust in the miracle of young love even as she faces the truth about her own marriage.

Adapted from a novel by Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza was first developed at the Intiman Playhouse in Seattle and then at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The Tony-award winning Broadway production ran for over a year.

The Pie Dialogues
A World Premiere
By Joseph Lauinger
Directed by Andrew Ruthven
Feb. 21 – Mar. 22, 2009

MST - Times Blvd.

Dawn and Sean are the parents of Pie. She is the center of their world, the tie that binds these seeming opposites, even when the rest of life is tearing them apart. The Pie Dialogues follows Dawn and Sean

through their lives as parents and individuals. Through a series of eight scenes representing eight different junctures in their lives, the play traces Pie’s journey – and that of her parents – from toddlerhood

to womanhood. As playwright Joseph Lauinger says, “The big events in life that are considered important are never staged; they, like all milestones, are always past or about to come. It is only in the seemingly small interchanges of daily life that we can know the moment – and find the deep interweaving of lives known as fate.”

A World Premiere production.

Joe Lauinger’s plays have been performed throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Australia, and India. Mother's Day was a finalist at the Humana Festival and was produced both at Gallery Players in Brooklyn in 2000 and at the Stamford Center for the Arts, Stamford, CT in 2001. Cut to Happiness was a 2006 Finalist at the 16th Annual New Works Festival of the Long Beach Playhouse. The Pie Dialogues was developed under the title of Dawn and Sean in the 2006 Gallery Players Reading Series and won Best Play as a staged reading at the Dayton Playhouse FutureFest 2007 in Dayton, Ohio. Rich on Skins won Best Play at the Shortened Attention Span Festival at the Players Theatre in Greenwich Village in June 2007, and The Chamberpot won the Golden Curtain Award (Best of Festival) at the New Voice Play Festival 2008 at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, WV. Bury Him was commissioned by Gallery Players and produced in June, 2007, under the direction of Alexa Polmer of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. His newest play, Michael Archangel, is a modern fantasia on Chekhov’s Platonov. Mr. Lauinger teaches dramatic literature at Sarah Lawrence College and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.


Awake and Sing!
By Clifford Odets
Directed by Claire Hart-Palumbo
May 2 – June 7, 2009
MST - Times Blvd.

“Do what is in your heart and you carry in yourself a revolution,” says Jacob, the quiet and misunderstood patriarch of this Jewish family in 1935 in the Bronx. Clifford Odets’ passionate, tumultuous, and ultimately hopeful Awake and Sing! tells the story of Bessie Berger and her boisterous family as they struggle with poverty and the hardships of the Great Depression. Full of life and fervor, Awake and Sing!, creates a rich and lasting tribute to the dreams and aspirations of America’s working class. In a departure from his usual role as director of this period-style comedy, Steve Garfinkel will appear as Jacob, a role originated by Morris Carnovsky and played in the 2006 Broadway revival by Ben Gazzara.


Clifford Odets was a founding member of the famed Group Theatre, for whom he wrote Awake and Sing!, Waiting for Lefty, Till the Day I Die and Golden Boy among many others. He also wrote for Hollywood (including “The Sweet Smell of Success”) and continued his playwriting career into the 40’s and 50’s with The Big Knife and The Country Girl.

***************

Since 1975, Main Street Theater has produced high quality professional theater for audiences of all ages through its MainStage productions and Main Street Youth Theater. The Main Street Theater Kids On Stage program offers performing arts classes and camps for children 5 years to 14 years of age. The organization produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market.