HOUSTON: Main Street Theater (MST) has announced its 43rd Season which includes eight productions on the MainStage and seven at its Theater for Youth.
The MainStage season opens with the regional premiere of The Book of Will (Sept.8-Oct.7), by Lauren Gunderson, about two loyal actors in Shakespeare’s playing company, the King’s Men, who must compile the First Folio after the playwright’s death. Rebecca Greene Udden will direct.
Following will be La Fille Du Laitier’s Macbeth Muet (Nov. 1-11), a silent pantomime of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s love story by the Canadian theatre company.
Over the holidays MST will bring back its production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 23-Dec. 23), by Lauren Gunderson and Margaret Melcon, which takes place two years after the Pride Prejudice ends and continues the story, this time with nerdy middle sister Mary as the unlikely heroine. Claire Hart-Palumbo will direct.
Next will be The Secretary (Jan.19-Feb.17, 2019), by Kyle John Schmidt. Julia Traber will direct this absurdist comedy about small-town gun company that aims to protect women by helping them protect themselves. Houston’s Wordsmyth Theater Company produced a reading of The Secretary in the spring of 2018.
Following will be The Trojan War Project: A Trilogy of Plays about The Trojan War (Mar. 2-Apr. 20, 2019), a collaboration with Prague Shakespeare Company, co-directed by Guy Roberts and Rebecca Greene Udden, with music composed by Patrick Neil Doyle. Troilus and Cressida and Hecuba and the Trojan Women will play in repertory, offering Shakespeare’s and Euripides’ unique perspective of the Trojan War and on humanity’s unshakable attraction to love, violence, destruction, and chaos. The Trojan War Project has performed once in Prague at the Estates Theater. Main Street’s production marks the American debut.
Next will be An Iliad, by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, based on Homer’s Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles, which will be brought back for a very limited run in connection with the Trojan War Project. The production will feature Guy Roberts as the Poet and Jessica Boone and Fanette Ronjat as the Muses.
Closing out the mainstage season will be The Weir (May 11-June 9, 2019), by Conor McPherson, about a bar in rural Ireland where local men swap spooky stories in an attempt to impress a young woman from Dublin who recently moved into a nearby “haunted” house. Andrew Ruthven will direct.
The 2018-19 Theater for Youth Season will open with Curious George and the Golden Meatball (Sept. 25-Oct. 27), based on the books by Margret & H.A. Rey, with music by John Kavanaugh and books and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon, about George the monkey’s worldwide adventure to Europe for the Golden Meatball culinary competition.
Next will be Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Nov. 7-Dec. 21), based on the novel by Richard & Florence Atwater, adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by Jody Davidson, and music by Brett Schrier.* Mr. and Mrs. Popper are an ordinary couple in an ordinary English town, until some extraordinary Antarctic penguins come to stay.
Following will be Jackie and Me (Jan. 22-Feb.17, 2019), based on the book by Dan Gutman, adapted by Steven Dietz, about a boy who travels through time using a baseball card to meet Jackie Robinson.
Next will be Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Feb. 26-Mar. 30, 2019), based on the book by Judith Viorst, adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by Judith Viorst and music by Shelly Markham, about a day when everything that happens is “Just not fair!”
Closing out the season will be Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium
(Apr. 9–May 17, 2019), based on the books by R.L. Stine, adapted for the stage with book and lyrics by John Maclay, and music and lyrics by Danny Abosch. The show follows the efforts of the young thespians of Woods Mill Middle School to put on the best darn musical ever while things go mysteriously awry.
Founded in 1975, Main Street Theater provides theater experiences for all ages including literary plays for adults and engaging productions based on children’s literature for families and school groups.
*A previous version of this story listed Robert Kauzlaric and George Howe as the authors for Mr. Popper’s Penguins. They did write a version of the musical but that is not the version Main Street Theater is performing.