In 2004, when a small theater in New York put on Sam Shepard's story of brotherly rivalry, True West, with an all-female cast, the acclaimed playwright's agent contacted the group and demanded they shut down the show. The reported reason? Because Shepard would "never allow women to do the play," according to theatermania.com.
Six years later, Houston's own Pendulum Theatre is putting on True West, and while it hasn't replaced its two male leads with women, it does have a female director, Holly Vogt Wilkison. Pendulum's Artistic Director, Wilkison has already heard that some people in the acting community think a woman has no business directing this play.
While she can't change one line of the work, Wilkison says she thinks she brings a different way of looking at the relationship of the warring brothers at the center of the story. Houston Hayes (Austin) and Michael P. Shukis (Lee) play the brothers in this staging at the Midtown Art Center. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through April 10. 3414 La Branch. For information, call 832-746-7347 or visit www.pendulumtheatre.com. $10.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: March 19. Continues through April 10, 2010