Director/actor Guy Roberts in An Iliad
Director/actor Guy Roberts in An Iliad
Photo by Pin Lim

Main Street Theater Announces its 2018-19 Season, With Encores

Taking a page from the book of its own successes, Main Street Theater will be presenting another work by playwright Lauren Gunderson whose play Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley was such a hit for the theater this past season, and expanding upon its relationship which the Prague Shakespeare Co. whose An Iliad provided such a compelling look at war.

In fact, as part of today's 2018-19 season announcement, Main Street will be bringing back both Iliad and Miss Bennet for encore performances this season.

The new play from Gunderson and a regional premiere is The Book of Will, about the valiant souls who rescued William Shakespeare's plays from being lost to history by recording them on paper.

And an Iliad will be part of a now three part play series that looks at war. The additions will be Hecuba and The Trojan Women by Euripides and adapted by Guy Roberts, Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company, and Troilus and Cressida by Shakespeare.

Other offerings include playwright Conor McPherson's classic ghost story The Weir,  and a story about guns going out of control in The Secretary. Main Street will also play host to Canada’s La Fille Du Laitier, a theater company known for taking theater out into the community — by something like a food truck. In this case, they'll be acting from the Main Street stage when they present Macbeth Muet, the love story of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth done without words.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is back for another run at Main Street.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is back for another run at Main Street.
Photo by Blueprint Film Co.

Here's the lineup from Main Street:

The Book of Will
Regional Premiere
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Rebecca Greene Udden

After the death of their dear friend and mentor, Henry Condell and John Heminges, loyal actors in Shakespeare’s playing company, the King’s Men, are determined to compile the First Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. Their families join them in what is truly a labor of love, for they’ll have to borrow, beg, and band together to make it happen. Guided by a sense of genuine loyalty, admiration, and what really matters in life, this determined lot will stop at nothing to assemble Shakespeare’s Folio. Amidst the noise and color of Elizabethan London, The Book of Will shares this unforgettable true story and sheds new light on a man you may think you know.

The Secretary
Second Production
By Kyle John Schmidt
Directed by Julia Traber

Ruby runs a small-town gun company that aims to protect women by helping them protect themselves. With products like The Bridesmaid, The Babysitter and The Mallwalker, each of the company's guns is named after a woman who used a gun and saved a life—more often than not, her own. So when Shirley, the secretary at the local high school confronts a threat in her office with six bullets, Ruby responds by naming her latest gun after the reluctant hero: The Secretary. But as production begins on The Secretary, guns start going off all around town—and no one’s pulling the trigger. The Secretary is an offbeat, absurdist comedy about safety, survival, and guns in a world that’s up in arms.

The Trojan War Project: A Trilogy of Plays about The Trojan War
A Collaboration with Prague Shakespeare Company
Co-Directed by Guy Roberts and Rebecca Greene Udden
Music composed by Patrick Neil Doyle

These productions offer Shakespeare’s and Euripides’ unique perspective of the Trojan War and examine humanity’s unshakable attraction to love, violence, destruction and chaos. For centuries the triumphs and struggles of Helen, Achilles, Hecuba, Ulysses and the heroes and heroines of the Bronze Age have inspired, shocked and warned us of the horrors of war and the consequences of destructive human behavior. Troilus and Cressida and Hecuba and The Trojan Women will play in repertory.

Hecuba and The Trojan Women
By Euripides
Adapted by Guy Roberts

Euripides’ harrowing look at the aftermath of the Trojan War. With Rebecca Greene Udden as Hecuba, Jessica Boone as Athena, and Guy Roberts as Hector.

Troilus and Cressida
By William Shakespeare
Modern English translation by Lillian Groag
Commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of Play on! 36 playwrights translate Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s gripping look at year seven of the Trojan War in a new modern English language translation of Troilus and Cressida by Lillian Groag, produced in association with Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! 36 playwrights translate Shakespeare project. With Guy Roberts as Neptune and Jessica Boone as Athena.

An Iliad
By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Based on Homer's Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles

Main Street will bring back this genuinely epic production for a very limited run in connection with The Trojan War Project.

Back from the frontlines in an empty theater, The Poet, spins a tale of unquenchable rage, quarrelsome gods, and grieving widows with the music of the muses, capturing the contradictory conditions of glory and violence with spellbinding modernity. Featuring Guy Roberts as the Poet and Jessica Boone and Fanette Ronjat as the Muses.

The Weir
By Conor McPherson
Directed by Andrew Ruthven

In a bar in rural Ireland, the local men swap spooky stories in an attempt to impress a young woman from Dublin who recently moved into a nearby "haunted" house. However, the tables are soon turned when she spins a yarn of her own.

Macbeth Muet

In the fall, Main Street Theater is bringing in Canada’s La Fille Du Laitier, a unique theater company that bills itself as a “Theater Delivery Service.”

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth perform a silent pantomime of their love story. Watch Shakespeare’s classic, performed entirely without words, as Shakespeare’s power couple are transformed through their dark and fateful choices in this hilarious, high-speed romp of object theater, dance, and pure madness. For ages 13+

This production will offer Houston audiences something completely new and different and will be the perfect button to Main Street’s season opener, The Book of Will.

While the production at Main Street will be performed in the theater itself, La Fille du Laitier generally performs out of a mobile theater truck, just like the food trucks you see around any city. Performances could happen at any time, surprising the community with performances they might not normally get the chance to see. Their goal is to initiate people from the community into art they might not normally go out to experience, or have the money to afford.

And over the holidays, Main Street Theater will be bringing back its hit production:

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
By Lauren Gunderson and Margaret Melcon
Directed by Claire Hart-Palumbo

A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet is set two years after the novel ends and continues the story, this time with nerdy middle-sister Mary as the unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as the dutiful middle sister in the midst of everyone else’s romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love. 

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