The 2016/2017 Season

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Olmos

so go the ghosts of méxico, part one

By Matthew Paul Olmos

September 14 – October 8, 2016

Directed by Katherine Owens
A Regional Premiere
Press Opening on September 17th

A twenty-two year old woman volunteers to replace a beheaded police chief when nobody else is willing to accept the position. She sets off a chain of reactions for her husband, the Narcos, and perhaps the entire country of Mexico. “so go the ghosts of méxico, part one (a brave woman in méxico)” is the first of a three-play cycle exploring the US/Mexico drug wars. Selected by American Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Sam Shepard as the inaugural play of the first-ever Ellen Steward Award — named after the famed founder and director of La MaMa— Olmos’s so go the ghosts of méxico, part one is inspired by the life of Marisol Valles Garcia, who stepped up to fill the place of a decapitated chief-of-police in the northern town of Praxadis, Mexico only to be run out of the country by the drug cartels who threatened her life. Matthew Paul Olmos has fashioned these events into a poetic, nightmare-land where the dreamworld and the real world intertwine and the legion of dead from the drug wars return to speak. Undermain Artistic Director Katherine Owens directs this groundbreaking work.

“An incredibly moving play that successfully brings the tragedy that has happened so far away…quite literally to the main stage.” ~Exeunt Magazine

“Chilling…persistently haunting…audacious, almost novelistic…” ~The New York Times

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10 Out Of 12

By Anne Washburn

November 9th – December 3rd, 2016

Directed by Blake Hackler
A Regional Premiere
Press Opening on November 12th

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to tech. Around you, a company of 14 is engaged in the very peculiar task of making a new play. You’ll have a seat next to the sound designer as he mixes cues. You’ll eavesdrop on backstage gossip as it happens over headset. You’ll watch the director struggle to contain the uncontainable. Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns) has examined the world of tech rehearsal and crafted a wondrous, layered and often hilarious world that examines the process of creation. An immersion into the world of the theatre directed by Undermain company member Blake Hackler. 10 Out of 12 is a wry and absorbing look at how work forms us and deforms us.

“Ms. Washburn is a past master at assembling art out of shards. And “10 out of 12” is steeped in a doubt-tinged religious wonder” ~The New York Times

“Washburn finds the beauty and strangeness of playmaking, the nobility of an often futile pursuit.” ~David Cote, Time Out New York

“Anne Washburn’s odd and often hilarious new comedy…takes on the perverse challenge of making theater…exceptionally funny and moving, the more so for the mystery of how either reaction was produced.” ~Jesse Green, Vulture

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Galileo

By Bertolt Brecht

February 8th – March 5th, 2017

Directed by Katherine Owens
Press Opening on February 11th

The setting is the dawn of the age of reason in the early 17th century when Galileo was teaching young students the incredible account of how the earth moves around the sun, rather than the other way around. His heretical announcement, that both the moon and Jupiter only reflect the sun’s light, is brought to the attention of the church and Galileo is summoned to the Vatican. His friends abandon him and his appeal to the Pope is intercepted by the inquisitor. Galileo recants, but even while imprisoned continues his writings surreptitiously. Throughout his life Galileo is pitted against an institution which claims the truth as its own commodity and threatens torture and death to those who would offer an opposing vision. After emigrating to the United States from Hitler’s Germany, Brecht translated and re-worked the first version of his play in collaboration with the actor Charles Laughton.[3] The result of their efforts was the second ‘American version’ of the play, which to this day remains the most widely-staged version in the English-speaking world. The original Broadway production in 1947 was directed by soon-to-be blacklisted stage and film director Joseph Losey.

Undermain will offer a rare opportunity to see this masterwork, last produced in North Texas in 1984, in its unique and intimate performance venue. Undermain Artistic Director Katherine Owens directs Galileo with Undermain co-founder Bruce DuBose in the title role.

“Unquestionably Brecht’s masterpiece.” ~New York Daily News

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Really

By Jackie Sibblies Drury

April 12th – May 6th, 2017

A Regional Premiere
Press Opening on April 15th

Undermain returns to the work of award winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury, whose provocative and exciting play We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… was staged in its 30th season. In Ms. Drury’s latest play, Really, three people’s lives intertwine, through the art of photography as they search for the truth of their common history in this tense and telling play about artists, legacy, and the ephemeral nature of time. Really asks what do we try to leave behind, what do we actually leave behind, and how do we deal with being left.

Premiered with The New York City Players at Abrons Arts Center (March 2016). Developed at Sundance Theatre Lab, Van Lier Residency at New Dramatists, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab (2012).

“an unnerving study of art as pollution, distraction from a world fast evolving beyond aesthetics” ~Time Out New York Critics’ Pick

“stylishly contemplative…[Ms. Drury] asks provacative questions about the value of what is seen in pictures that freeze fleeting moments for posterity…Magic has happened, and it’s as unsettling as it is irrefutable. Does any photograph do justice to the reality it tries to capture?” ~The New York Times

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