Red Death

Lisa D’Amour’s black comedy Red Death, making its Houston premiere at Mildred’s Umbrella, was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.” It’s the story of Jane, a woman who’s been tasked with finding the “origin of evil, the root of denial, and the basic human weakness” by a mysterious and secret panel. Red Death follows Jane from Florida’s beaches to the Adriatic Sea to the sewers of Texas as she goes to drastic lengths to accomplish her mission. Or should we say, her interpretation of her mission. (Her version isn’t quite what the panel had in mind.)

It’s directed by Mildred’s Umbrella’s artistic director, Jennifer Decker, who tells us the play’s multiple locations were a concern from a technical standpoint. “Our space is small, and there are many locations and quick costume changes for the lead character, which is always a challenge.” She credits the company’s “fabulous designers,” Jodi Bobrovski, Greg Starbird, Lindsay Burns and Andy McWilliams, with solving the various problems leading to a glitch-free production.

D’Amour’s Detroit is coincidentally being performed this season by Catastrophic Theatre. The double dose of D’Amour was accidental. “That wasn’t planned,” Decker tells us, “but I think it’s kind of cool.”

8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Monday, October 20. Through October 25. Studio 101, 1824 Spring. For information, call 832‑463‑0409 or visit -mildredsumbrella.com. Pay-what-you-can to $20.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Mon., Oct. 20, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Oct. 25, 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez