Undermain has been called “One of the best small theaters in America” by The San Diego-Union Tribune, and “…our most daring and accomplished theatrical troupe…” by The Dallas Morning News.

Our Mission Statement

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.

35 Years of Undermain Theatre…Our History

Undermain Theatre 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 new and experimental plays. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Katherine Owens, the company’s reputation grew in Dallas’ artistic community and beyond.  The San Diego Union Tribune called Undermain “one of the best small theaters in America.”  Soon Undermain was home to many regional premieres of new work, and its acting company, anchored by Executive Producer Bruce DuBose, became leading figures in theatre throughout the city. Early defining productions include Caryl Churchill’s haunting Fen, Undermain’s collaboration with John O’Keefe on All Night Long, and a dazzling, Butoh-inspired Macbeth. Undermain’s commitment to cutting-edge playwrights led to productions of work by Mac Wellman, Lynn Alvarez, Suzan Lori-Parks, Young Jean Lee, Jeffrey M. Jones, John O’Keefe, Erik Ehn, Len Jenkin, Dario Fo, Lenora Champagne, Samuel Beckett, Caryl Churchill, and Octavio Solis, among many others.

 

In 1995, during the siege of Sarajevo, Undermain was invited to tour a neighboring Balkan country, Macedonia, where it performed to capacity crowds in Roman amphitheaters and on the steps of orthodox cathedrals.  Along with the continual seasons of plays produced in its Dallas home, Undermain then broadened its scope to produce six plays in New York, culminating in its original adaptation of Neil Young’s Greendale.

 

Today, Undermain produces its annual subscription season of plays for an audience of 5,500 patrons from throughout North Texas. With heightened attention to language, the company premieres new work and revisits seminal modern work while focusing on artistic refinement and using its unique performance space to create intimate theater experiences. Because of its national reputation for artistic excellence, Undermain is nurturing a pool of some of America’s best new and experimental writers. American Theatre Magazine has said, “Undermain seeded the ground for a writer-friendly town.” Since its inception, Undermain has produced 41 world premiere productions, contributing to the American theatrical canon and introducing new voices to Dallas audiences.

At the heart of Undermain Theatre is its company of local artists. Today, this 17-­member company consists of actors, directors, designers, and producers who are deeply embedded in the Theatre’s artistic life, appearing in all Undermain productions and serving on each production’s creative team. As Undermain expands its audience, it maintains its pledge to keep the highest production values while guaranteeing access to all. Affordable ticket prices are made possible by Undermain’s generous donors whose gifts open the Theatre’s doors for a diverse audience to experience language-rich, visionary theater.

from left: In Fireworks, Sarajevo

from left: In Fireworks Lie Secret Codes, Sarajevo

Early defining productions include Caryl Churchill’s haunting Fen, Undermain’s collaboration with John O’Keefe on All Night Long, and a dazzling, Butoh-inspired Macbeth.  Undermain’s commitment to cutting-edge playwrights led to productions of work by Mac Wellman, Lynn Alvarez, Suzan Lori-Parks, Young Jean Lee, Jeffrey M. Jones, John O’Keefe, Erik Ehn, Len Jenkin, Dario Fo, Lenora Champagne, Samuel Beckett, Caryl Churchill, and Octavio Solis, among many others.

Performing in Macedonia

Performing outdoors in Macedonia

In 1995, during the siege of Sarajevo, Undermain was invited to tour a neighboring Balkan country, Macedonia, where it performed to capacity crowds in Roman amphitheaters and on the steps of orthodox cathedrals.  Along with the continual seasons of plays produced in its Dallas home, since 2000, Undermain has broadened its scope to produce six plays in New York, culminating in its recent original adaptation of Neil Young’s Greendale.

Undermain is always expanding its organization and artistic capacities.  As a result of a strategic plan, Undermain began its first capital campaign in 2007, with Angus Wynne and Ashley Kisner as its co-chairs, and it has nearly reached its goal.  Undermain’s expert design-team of Steve Woods, Giva Taylor, and Robert Winn has now been joined by Tony-award-winner John Arnone.  Brilliant veteran directors like Stan Wojewodski and Patrick Kelly have come to Undermain to mount stunning original and classic productions on its stage.  New literary initiatives, such as an acclaimed reading series at the Dallas Museum Of Art and a growing literary department, have allowed Undermain to broaden its artistic domain and deepen its commitment to the significant writers of our time.

Looking to the future, Undermain’s program to develop emerging artists furnishes the theatre-makers of tomorrow with valuable experience in the field, as they collaborate in every area of the organization.  Undermain seeks to build on its status as Dallas’ “most daring and accomplished theatrical troupe” (Dallas Morning News) and an “American treasure” (Backstage Magazine).

Undermain produces exciting, original plays and acclaimed international works. Undermain stirs emotions and inspires the imagination.