Jack Westin, executive director of the College of the Mainland Arena Theater, has announced Richard Greenberg's Night and Her Stars as its Southwest premiere for 1998. Opening June 4, it will run through June 28.
The College of the Mainland Arena Theater, located in Texas City, TX, a small metropolis halfway between Houston and Galveston, calls itself "The Biggest Li'l Theater in Texas."
With good reason.
Every year this 26-year-old community theater pulls off a major coup with its annual Southwest premiere, either by outmaneuvering professional companies in the area (such as The Alley Theatre or Stages Repertory Theatre) to secure the rights to important contemporary works or by rising to the challenge of mounting "intimidating" texts that others have passed up.
In 1995, the College of the Mainland Arena Theater presented the Southwest premiere of Richard Schenkkan's Kentucky Cycle. In 1996, it was Jane Anderson's Baby Dance. In 1997, Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary had its regional debut here. Examining the infamous "Twenty-One Quiz Show" scandal, Night and Her Stars was originally produced in 1995 at the American Place Theater in New York.
"I chose Night and Her Stars," Westin explained, "because it has mind-bogglingly good writing in it. It's hard to believe that no other theater in the Southwest has done it." Westin considers it tighter and tauter, more poetic and more trenchant, than Greenberg's best-known work, Eastern Standard.
The College of the Mainland Arena Theater is located in Texas City. For information, call 1-888-258-8859.
-- By Peter Szatmary