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Main Street Theater Launches 40th Anniversary Season in 2 New Theaters

Guy Roberts as Sir Toby Belch

Main Street Theater Launches
40th Anniversary Season in 2 New Theaters

Main Street Theater’s 40th Anniversary Season will unfold in the company’s 2 new residences: the completely renovated Rice Village space on Times Blvd. and the MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston) on Main Street.

Founded in 1975 on Main Street, the company has operated out of its Rice Village home since 1982 and is currently completing a total renovation of that space. The organization will also become an anchor tenant of the MATCH for MST’s Theater for Youth.

Beginning in November for the new season, all MainStage performances (for adults) will take place at the Rice Village location, and in October, all Theater for Youth performances (for families and school groups) will take place at the MATCH.

2015-2016 MainStage Season

Silent Sky
Texas Premiere
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Rebecca Greene Udden
November 7 – 29, 2015

A new play about Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the real women “computers” working at Harvard Observatory at the dawn of modern astronomy. In this exquisite blend of science, history, family ties, and fragile love, a passionate young woman must map her own passage through a society unaccustomed to strong women in a man’s world. A celestial romance and true story of discovery. Finalist for the Jane Chambers Award 2013. http://silentskyplay.tumblr.com/

“Lauren Gunderson’s luminously beautiful play… A lovingly crafted period piece that imagines Leavitt’s inner world against the backdrop of World War I, Einstein’s discoveries and the suffragette movement, Silent Sky is an intellectual epic told on an intimate scale. Bottom line: Heavenly.” – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Main Street Theater – 40th Anniversary Season Page 2

Love and Information
Regional Premiere
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Philip Hays
February 13 – March 6, 2016

Someone sneezes. Someone can’t get a signal. Someone won’t answer the door. Someone put an elephant on the stairs. Someone’s not ready to talk. Someone hates irrational numbers. Someone told the police. Someone got a message from the traffic light. Someone’s never felt like this before. Playwright Caryl Churchill (Cloud Nine, Top Girls) has been pushing theatrical boundaries for over fifty years. Her newest acclaimed work, Love and Information, features 57 brief yet memorable scenes that make up a world where data inspires obsession and FaceTime conversations and selfies threaten to replace human contact. In this fast-moving kaleidoscope of scenes, more than a hundred characters try to make sense of what they know and how they love.

“Exhilarating! Dizzying . . . thought-churning, deeply poignant. Leave it to Ms. Churchill to come up with a work that so ingeniously and exhaustively mirrors our age of the splintered attention span.”—New York Times

1946
World Premiere
By Thomas Hagemann
Directed by Patti Bean
March 26 – April 17, 2016

1946 chronicles the lives of a Texas family in the aftermath of World War II. Joyful, funny, and infused with music throughout the play, 1946 is also powerfully mournful and reflective. Inspired by Hagemann’s own family, it plays out against the background of notable historical figures such as Vernon Baker, Hank Greenberg, and Frank Sinatra.

Main Street produced the world premiere of Houston playwright Thomas Hagemann’s Breakfast at Eight in 2010 as well as the staged reading of 1946 in 2014. Mr. Hagemann is currently finishing a trilogy (the third of which is still in progress): 1946, Breakfast at Eight, and The End (or, Fluke’s Last Chance).

Working
2012 Revised Version
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso
With additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg
Songs by Craig Carnelia and Micki Grant and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mary Rodgers and
Susan Birkenhead and Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor
From the book by Studs Terkel
Directed by Andrew Ruthven
May 21 – June 12, 2016

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Main Street Theater – 40th Anniversary Season Page 3

Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, Working paints a vivid portrait of the people the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the phone operator, the
waitress, the millworker, the mason, and the housewife, just to name a few. Nominated for 6 TONY Awards, this classic has been updated for a modern age featuring new songs by TONY Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, and James Taylor.

This new 2012 version of Working is a musical exploration of 26 people from all walks of life. While most of the professions have been updated, the strength of the show is in the core truths that transcend specific professions; the key is how people’s relationships to their work ultimately reveal key aspects of their humanity. (Music Theatre International)

Main Street Theater will continue its Part of the Art Series for its third season.

PSC at MST
Prague Shakespeare Extras
Fresh off their wildly successful runs in Prague, Twelfth Night and Venus in Fur come to Main Street Theater.

Twelfth Night
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Main Street Theater Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden
December 31, 2015 – January 10, 2016

“If music be the food of love, play on…” A sprightly new production of Shakespeare’s mischievous and glorious romantic comedy of desire and mistaken identity featuring Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic Jan Thompson, OBE as Olivia, Jessica Boone as Viola, and Guy Roberts as Sir Toby Belch.

Venus in Fur
By David Ives
Directed by Guy Roberts
January 14 – 24, 2016

Vanda, a wildly talented young actress, is determined to land the lead in Thomas’ new play based on the classic erotic novel, Venus in Fur. Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the demanding playwright/ director becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, submission and domination – and enters into an increasingly serious game of seduction and power which only one of them can win. Featuring Jessica Boone and Guy Roberts.

2015-2016 Theater for Youth Season

Goodnight Moon
Based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown
Directed by Vivienne St. John
Oct. 11 – Nov. 7, 2015

More…
Main Street Theater – 40th Anniversary Season Page 4

“In the great green room, there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of — the cow jumping over the moon…” Published in 1947, Goodnight Moon is the beloved bedtime story that has charmed and comforted generations of children. Brought to life with such characters as the 3 bears and the dish and the spoon, this classic short story is expanded to a fully realized musical production.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile
Based on Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and The House on East 88th Street
by Bernard Waber
Directed by Jimmy Phillips
Nov. 22 – Dec. 23, 2015

When the Primm family moves into their apartment they find a crocodile in their bathtub, and nobody knows quite what to do. But his singing and dancing soon convince them that Lyle is a perfect addition and is here to stay! Audiences of all ages will be reminded not to judge people (or crocodiles) and to love one another as they are. A tap-dancing, high-energy holiday spectacular for all families!

Bridge to Terabithia
Based on the book by Katherine Paterson
Directed by Troy Scheid
Jan. 31 – Feb. 21, 2016

Jess, a farm boy, develops a friendship with new girl Leslie after she beats him in a race at school. Together they create Terabithia, a fantasy kingdom that allows them to escape from the hardships of reality. When tragedy strikes, the adventures from Terabithia help Jess to cope. A powerful story about friendship, imagination, and courage.

Junie B. Jones: The Musical
Based on the book series by Barbara Park
Directed by Meghan Hakes Booth
Mar. 6 – Apr. 2, 2016

She’s baaaack!!! The sassy Junie B. returns to Main Street Theater in a new adaptation from Barbara Park’s best-selling books. This time she is facing first grade: new glasses? new best friend? Join us for more of Junie’s exciting and crazy adventures!

Harriet the Spy
Based on the book by Louise Fitzhugh
Directed by Katie Harrison
Apr. 17 – May 21, 2016

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her trusty notebook, she writes down everything she sees, thinks, and feels about everyone – everything. When her notebook is lost, she must use all her super-spy techniques to try to get it back before someone reads it. A heartfelt musical about being true to yourself!

More…

Main Street Theater – 40th Anniversary Season Page 5

ON TOUR:

Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans
Based on the book A Good Night for Ghosts MAGIC TREE HOUSE #42 by Mary Pope Osborne
Book & Lyrics by Will Osborne & Murray Horwitz
Music & Additional Lyrics by Allen Toussaint
Directed by Andrew Ruthven
October 19 – December 11, 2015
February 8 – May 20, 2016

Adventure awaits as Jack and Annie, beloved Magic Tree House characters, take on their next mission in 1915 New Orleans. Their task? To inspire Louis Armstrong to bring jazz to the world. Based on the popular Magic Tree House book, A Good Night for Ghosts, this musical will introduce young audiences to the sounds and history of jazz!

Main Street Theater was founded in 1975. The organization currently produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and for the 2014-15 season only, our Theater for Youth is housed at Talento Bilingüe de Houston. Our MainStage is in its 15th season operating under an Actors’ Equity Association union contract. The MainStage features new works (including numerous world and regional premieres), rediscovered classics, passionate revivals, works by female playwrights, and neglected musicals in the intimate setting of our Rice Village location. Our Theater for Youth is Houston’s most-attended theater for young audiences, serving over 138,000 children and families from the greater Houston area in school performances, weekend family matinees and tours to schools and community centers across the state of Texas. Plays are selected based on literature children are reading at home or at school. Our Education Department offers students a performing arts playground where professional theater artists serve as mentors. In support of Main Street Theater’s mission, our Education Department provides a significant resource in the community for education in theater and classical theater for children, families and educators and provides classes and camps (on and off-site) as well as programs in residential treatment facilities for Harris County youth.
Main Street Theater is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters, of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (formerly ASSITEJ), the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people, and a founding member of Houston Arts Partners. MST’s MainStage operates under Actors’ Equity Association Small Professional Theater contract.
Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.