HOUSTON: Main Street Theater (MST) has announced its 2020-21 season, including six productions on its main stage and seven Theatre for Youth shows.
“It’s hard to believe this fall marks our 45th season,” said founding artistic director Rebecca Greene Udden in a statement. “To celebrate, we’re bringing audiences and artists together for a thrilling new season of productions that can’t be experienced anywhere else in Houston.”
The season will open with the regional premiere of Darwin in Malibu (Sep. 12-Oct 11), by Crispin Whittell. It’s a meeting of the minds when Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and the Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, meet on the beach in Malibu a century after their deaths. Udden will direct.
To follow will be The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 21-Dec. 20), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Continuing Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, the below-stairs servants at the grand Pemberley estate find themselves in the midst of a holiday scandal.
Next up will be Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid (Feb. 6-28, 2021), which reimagines Joan of Arc’s epic tale through the eyes of her mother.
Dog Act by Liz Duffy Adams will follow (March 27-April 18). In the post-apocalyptic wilderness, Dog Act follows the darkly comic adventures of Zetta Stone, a traveling performer, and her companion Dog (a young man undergoing a voluntary species demotion) as they wander through the former northeastern United States.
The season will continue with Julie Kramer’s adaptation of The Best of Everything (May 15-June 13), adapted from Rona Jaffe’s 1958 bestseller about ambitious secretaries in the big city, these girls want thrilling careers and grand adventures—and husbands and children too, in due time.
The mainstage season will wrap up with Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound (July 17-Aug. 8, 2021). While attending the premiere of a new murder mystery, two feuding theatre critics soon find themselves drawn into the play-within-a-play. In this spoof of Agatha Christie, the critics become implicated in the lethal activities of an escaped madman.
The 2020-21 Theatre for Youth season at Main Street will open with Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (Sep. 22-Oct. 24, 2020), adapted by Katie Mitchell. “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” So begins the Dr. Seuss classic. But never fear; the Cat in the Hat appears along with Thing One and Thing Two to take Sally, her brother, and the fish on a madcap adventure.
Next up will be A Little House Christmas (Nov. 3-Dec. 19), based on the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and adapted by James DeVita. The show follows the beloved Ingalls family’s struggles and joys of pioneer life. Join Mary and Laura in this holiday classic about family, friendship, and the Christmas spirit.
To follow will be Reginald André Jackson’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (Jan. 20-Feb. 13, 2021), based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis. It’s 1963 and the Watsons, an African American family, journey from Flint, Mich. to Birmingham, Ala., a trip that lands them in one of the darkest moments in America’s racial history.
The end of February will bring a musical based on Kimberly and James Dean’s series Pete the Cat. With book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond and music by Will Aronson, Pete the Cat will run Feb. 23-April 3. Everybody loves Pete, the groovy, guitar playing cool cat. Everyone but Jimmy, the world’s most organized second grader. But all that changes when Pete the Cat and Jimmy take a once-in-a-lifetime road trip.
Joseph Robinette’s adaptation of Charlotte’s Web will close the Theatre for Youth season (April 13-May 14). Based on the book by E.B. White, this follows the tender story of a wise and kind spider named Charlotte who devises a plan to save her friend, Wilbur the pig.
MST will also be touring Ernie Nolan’s Dragon Loves Tacos, based on the book by Adam Rubin with illustrations by Daniel Salmieri (Feb. 9-May 21), including a stop at its home base, the MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston), Feb. 16-20. The silly, dance-filled journey about first impressions and trying new things is a recipe for laughs and fun.
Main Street Theater provides theatre experiences for all ages. The MainStage produces professional, intimate, literary plays for adults and operates under an Actors’ Equity Association union contract; the Theatre for Youth produces professional, engaging productions based on children’s literature for families and school groups, both in-house and on tour around Texas.