Cover artwork of the Season in review 2020/21: A group of friends open a time capsule labelled 2020.
Houston Season in Review 2020/21
  • Houston Banner for Season in Review 2020/21
    Artwork by Bekka Lindstrom, Drawings by Ian Sklarsky
  • Houston Theatre District
    Houston Theatre District

The Governor of our State, Greg Abbott, on March 2, 2021, has lifted the COVID-19 quarantine protocols, including the Mask Mandate. He proposes that all businesses, schools, and retail centers are 100% open. Now, how will this affect the theatre arts community? I am not sure. But we know that the Houston theatre community will do its best to keep our patrons and theatre-goers safe. This year many of our regional and local theatres have just announced their seasons. The Alley Theatre is celebrating its 75th year, and artistic director Rob Melrose has a diverse production season opening with the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lynn Nottage, Sweat, and a world premiere musical by Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow, Noir, closing out the season in the summer of 2022. They are also bringing back the Alley All New Theatre Festival and the return of the play Amerikin by Chisa Hutchinson, which was cancelled due to the pandemic in March 2020. TUTS is somehow doing a do-over for their 2021-22 season. They are presenting the musicals Rock of Ages, Sister Act, Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, and True Country.

Local regional theatres like Stages and Main Street Theater are continuing to present content, but they are also doing some more COVID-friendly events within the community, like drive-in theatre. A.D. Players has started to open their theatre for more concerts and music events, but they continue to have a season for 2021 virtually, starting with the world premiere of Johnny and the Devil Box by Douglas Waterbury-Tieman, which is a part of the Virtual Metzler New Works Festival starting this May. Even our community theatres, like Catastrophic Theatre, Dirt Dogs Theatre, and Rec Room have been innovative by trying to do more theatre content which is outside of the box. Cone Man Productions have been doing a lot of audio plays, and most theatres, instead of closing their doors for good, have found a renaissance with Zoom readings and performances. It is true of the old saying that “the show must go on,” even during a pandemic.

There are also new productions and theatre works that are going straight to virtual; Vincent Victoria’s Blaque Tcheire: The Movie will premiere on Juneteenth. The challenge for Houston theatre, since the death of George Floyd and the rise of Anti-Asian violence in our country, is to create new works and musicals that reflect the cultural diversity of our country. Will the City of Houston follow the course? We shall see.


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Eric C. Jones
Eric C. Jones

is a composer, lyricist, librettist, actor, and director. Eric is a Medford, Massachusetts-born, Minnesota and Texas-raised artist. He has been involved with the Christian theatre circuit since 1995. He is also the DG Regional Rep for Houston, TX.