We all wish we had better news about this shortened past season. I regret to report that here in the Houston area, even if we count the world premieres that were canceled or postponed, we had three fewer full-length plays and musicals premiering this past season than the previous one. Queensbury Theatre, which last year produced or co-produced two comedies and a musical, no longer produces (though it still offers its two stages for rental). Still, we did experience wonderfully entertaining, dangerous, poignant, illuminating and transformative works by some wild and wildly talented dramatists. Take a look below.
Suffer a Witch by DG member DONNA LATHAM. The Company OnStage, Houston, May 2019.
The Man with the Plan: Filmmakers from Outer Space by Bryan Maynard. Cone Man Running Productions, Houston, June 2019.
The Hiding Place, based on the eponymous autobiography by Corrie ten Boom and adapted by A.S. Petersen. A.D. Players, Houston, September-October 2019.
Call Me Ann: The Ann Richards Rock Opera by Jake Goldstein and The Call Me Ann Collective. Houston Fringe Festival at Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston, November 2019.
Pulsate: A Vampire Musical by Faith Fossett. Prohibition Theatre, Houston, November 2019.
More Than Christmas, book and lyrics by DG member CELESTE BEDFORD WALKER, music and lyrics by Stephanie Blue. The Ensemble Theatre, Houston, November-December 2019.
Tea Stories by Trevor B. Cone, Melissa Flower, Joanna Hubbard, Sara Iqbal, Sabah Iqbal, Pin Lim, Rachel Ollagnon, Clara Ploux, and Dianne Webb. Luciole International Theatre Company at MATCH, December 2019.
Dreamgirl: Deferred by Vincent Victoria. Vincent Victoria Presents at Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston, February-March, 2020.
Separating the Art by DG member DAVID L. WILLIAMS. Cone Man Running Productions Studio, Houston, March-April, 2020, canceled.
Lady of Agreda, a Mystical Journey, book by MARLEY SINGLETARY, music and lyrics by Cynthia Jordan. ladyofagreda.com at Queensbury Theatre, Houston, March-April, postponed until August-September 2020.
Pure Country, based on the eponymous film starring George Strait, book by DG member REX MCGEE, music by Steve Dorff, lyrics by John Bettis. Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), April 2020, canceled. Technically, this play had a 2017 world premiere in Dallas, but it had been in development since, apparently significantly changed enough for all involved to call the cancelled production a world premiere.
Some great news: CHISA HUTCHINSON’s Amerikin, originally slated to start early May 2020 at the Alley Theatre and at first canceled, will be performed October-November 2020. After the reading of this play early last year at the Alley All New Festival, the audience responded with a standing ovation.
On a separate topic, this is my last report after seven-and-a-half years as your Houston regional rep. When Gary Garrison asked me to step up and serve, I agreed because I didn’t want to fail Gary, who is an inspirational force of nature, or the Dramatists Guild, which had already provided me indispensable advice. Years in, I continued because I didn’t want to fail Tina Fallon, who remains a tireless advocate for us all, or the Dramatists Guild, which supports us now in so many new ways, or my Houston colleagues and regional reps and ambassadors, whom I’ve come to know and love. But it’s time for someone else to have this enriching opportunity.
Houstonians, I hope I’ve served you well and, if you think not, I hope you can forgive me my limitations. I’m still here for you whenever you need me. You are talented, sensitive dramatists, and I’m forever one of your peeps.