Jeff Talbott's The Submission Premieres in Houston, TX, Jan. 11

By Adam Hetrick
11 Jan 2013

Playwright Jeff Talbott
Playwright Jeff Talbott
Photo by Stephen Kunken

Jeff Talbott's racially charged dark comedy The Submission, about a playwright who gambles his own identity in order to score the break of a lifetime, receives its Texas premiere Jan. 11 at the BlackLab Theatre in Houston.

Black Lab artistic director Jordan Jaffe stages the play that runs through Jan. 27 at the Frenetic Theatre in Houston, TX. The Submission earned Talbott the inaugural Laurents-Hatcher Award. The play received its world premiere Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in 2011.

Ross Bautsch portrays playwright Danny with Candice D'Meza as Emilie, Matt Benton as Pete and Darcy Cadman as Trevor.

Here's how it's billed: "After years of rejection letters, frustrated playwright Danny Larsen has written a complex new drama about an African American family trying to get out of the Projects, and it has just been selected for the nation's preeminent Humana festival. Problem is: Danny, a young white gay male, submitted the work under the pen name 'Shaleeha G'ntamobi' in the hopes of increasing his chances for success. To cover his deception, Danny hires Emilie, an African American actress, to impersonate the nome de plume. What starts as a terrible idea becomes more and more terrible as Danny drags Emilie, his boyfriend, and his best friend down a long and dirty path of lies, revelation, and betrayal. A fiercely controversial and intelligent new comic drama about the words we use to describe each other, The Submission addresses the things we'll do to get what we want."



The production has lighting design by Alex Jainchill, scenic design by Claire A. Jac Jones, costume design by Macy Perrone, sound design by Yezminne Zepeda and properties by Kendahl Atkinson.

The world premiere of The Submission was directed by Walter Bobbie in an Off-Broadway staging that starred Rutina Wesley, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Will Rogers and Jonathan Groff. Samuel French publishes the play, which also won the 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for new work. It is currently having its West Coast premiere by New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco.

Read the fall 2011 Playbill magazine feature about The Submission.

The Black Lab Theatre, which was founded in 2011, performs at various venues throughout Houston. The company's season also includes Boom and Chinglish. Black Lab dedicates its programming to socially conscious works. 

For tickets visit blacklabtheatre.com.