WHO WE ARE
UNDERMAIN THEATRE IS A COMPANY OF ARTISTS SEEKING TO INSPIRE, EDUCATE AND CHALLENGE AUDIENCES AND ARTISTS THROUGH ITS PRODUCTION OF INNOVATIVE THEATER WITH PARTICULAR INTEREST IN POETIC AND LANGUAGE-DRIVEN WORK.
CELEBRATING 35 YEARS
Undermain Theatre has brought cutting-edge theater to audiences in Dallas for over thirty years. The company was founded in 1984 by a group of artists who transformed a warehouse basement under Main Street in Dallas into a performance space and began producing experimental plays. Under the guidance of Founding Artistic Director Katherine Owens and Executive Producer Bruce DuBose, the company’s reputation grew in Dallas and beyond. The San Diego Union Tribune called Undermain “one of the best small theaters in America.” In 1995, during the siege of Sarajevo, Undermain was invited to tour neighboring Macedonia, where it performed to capacity crowds in Roman amphitheaters. Undermain then broadened its scope to produce six plays in New York, culminating in its original adaptation of Neil Young’s Greendale in 2008.
Today, Undermain produces a subscription season of plays for an audience of 5,500 patrons from North Texas. With heightened attention to language, the company premieres new work, revisits seminal modern work, and presents reimagined stagings of classic works by writers seen as key artistic influencers of their experimental tradition. In reviewing Undermain’s 2016 sold out run of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Martha Heimberg of TheaterJones said “It’s all here - in the kind of passionate, calibrated production we’ve come to expect at Undermain.”
Because of its national reputation for artistic excellence and experimental programming, Undermain is currently nurturing a pool of some of America's best new and experimental writers. Since its inception, Undermain has produced 35 world premiere productions, contributing to the American theatrical canon and introducing new voices to Dallas audiences. American Theatre Magazine has said, "Undermain seeded the ground for a writer-friendly town." In 2015, Undermain Theatre received Dallas's highest nod as it was named Best Theater in 2015 by both DMagazine and the Dallas Observer.
At the heart of Undermain Theatre is its company of artists. Today, this 17-member company consists of actors, directors, designers, and producers who are deeply embedded in the Theatre's artistic life. Since 2007, it has grown to include nationally-known artists, such as Tony Award winning designer John Arnone and Obie Award winning playwright and director Len Jenkin, who today both make Dallas their part-time homes.
A resident of historic Deep Ellum, Undermain's venue is designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and as a member of the National Register of Historic Places. Undermain's performance space, composed of 90 restored original Frank Lloyd Wright chairs, purchased from the Kalita Humphrey’s Theatre during its renovation in the early 1990’s, fosters an exciting and intimate experience unparalleled in North Texas. As the only non-profit arts organization in Deep Ellum, Undermain Theatre is a Dallas landmark with a storied history and has played a vital role in the revitalization of the Deep Ellum neighborhood.
On July 21, 2019, Undermain Theatre’s cherished artistic leader Katherine Owens passed away after a five-month illness. With her passing, she leaves behind a revered legacy of art that is transformative and inspiring and a company of friends built by her guidance and love for the craft of theater. Undermain’s board, staff and artistic company remain steadfast in honoring and moving forward with the artistic vision Katherine created for Undermain, under the direction of her husband and artistic partner, Producing Artistic Director Bruce DuBose.