Terry and Nora are married, not entirely happily, as they try to pursue their version of the American Dream. ''This entire household is trying to craft the perfect picture of a family and a life. So we really look at it through this modern lens,'' Laporte says. ''What is the cost to have a truly intimate relationship with two people who are being fulfilled? Is that possible?'' Gilman's play was commissioned in 2004, which adds a certain poignancy to it. ''This was right before the cusp of the mortgage bubble crash, so there was a sort of innocence that an upwardly mobile middle class had about what the American Dream could look like for them,'' Laporte says.
Dollhouse coincides with Stages' annual Surround, a series of lectures, post-show discussions and a visual art exhibit. This Surround explores what the American Dream looks like to different people and how it has evolved, Laporte says.
7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through April 28. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $21 to $40.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 3. Continues through April 28, 2013