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From the Artistic Director: Subscribe Now for 2017-2018

by Mandi Hunsicker-Sallee on April 11, 2017


Mission Date: 2017-2018.

My favorite movie as a small child was a sci-fi wonder called Fantastic Voyage.  In the film, a team of scientists in a submarine-like vessel are shrunk and then injected into the bloodstream of a dying diplomat. Their mission: to eradicate a hideous virus that threatens the man’s life, and by extension, all life on the planet! Along the way they encounter any number of spectacular adventures, including a stunning sequence where they travel through the man’s heart. I must have seen this film 30 times, returning to the theatre over and over again with my brothers. I look back now and I realize the film contains everything I adore in storytelling: suspense, imagination, intelligence, history and a bold eye on the future. And some big surprises, too!

In fact, surprise is my favorite element of storytelling, and I promise that the shows in our 2017-2018 Season will offer many a surprising moment!  Channeling the spirit of adventure that has inspired Stages for 40 years, in October, we’ll present the World Premiere of Balls, a co-production with New York’s amazing One Year Lease Theater Company. This unique theatrical event re-creates the famous 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, set alongside a fantastical collage of 1970s pop culture. This summer, the Texas premiere of the world-renowned hit Woody Sez celebrates the life and music of one of America’s greatest troubadours, Woody Guthrie. We’ll also offer the regional premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s searing drama We Are Proud to Present…in which a corporate seminar on a forgotten genocide leads to shocking results. Sally Edmundson returns to the stage as indomitable Texas Governor Ann Richards in the acclaimed one-woman show Ann. And three of Stages’ most popular all-time fan favorites—Panto Cinderella, The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Always…Patsy Cline—return in honor of our 40th Anniversary Season!

With a goal of elevating and expanding our connections to Houston’s richly diverse communities, we will offer the first in an annual festival of new plays by Latina/o writers from our region. This program also will feature the Texas premiere of Philip Boehm’s play Alma en venta, which questions the price an artist must pay to create work in the modern age; and the World Premiere of Josh Inocéncio’s Purple Eyes, which explores the shifting male identity through four generations of Mexican men. And to close out the season, we have a magnificent sci-fi World Premiere by acclaimed television writer Mickey Fisher. In Replica, a woman allows herself to be cloned, only to have second thoughts when her double begins to behave in increasingly alarming ways.

Taken as a whole, the entire season is one fantastic voyage! From the beloved classics of Stages’ past through thrilling world premieres to a stunning new science fiction masterwork, the 2017-2018 Season is spectacular. And you MUST come along! By subscribing, you become a pioneer making thrilling theatre possible. Our journey together will traverse the human heart in ways that are both familiar and bold. We’ll sing, we’ll grow and we’ll expand our minds into the unknown. And who knows, we may just save all life on the planet in the process. Don’t blame me for dreaming big; I’m the kid who thought six miniature people inside a needle was the coolest thing ever imagined!

So now you have your mission: Adventure on. Subscribe. And imagine more.

I look forward to seeing you in the theatre.