HOUSTON – Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company continues its 2016-2017 season with the world premiere of A HEROINE FREE SUMMER by local poet, playwright and University of St. Thomas English professor Dr. Janet Lowery. Directed by Chesley Krohn, the play centers on four sisters as they relive memories, address past traumas and learn to heal.
Set amidst a family vacation at an idyllic lake house in upstate New York, A HEROINE FREE SUMMER examines what happens when a family becomes divided – the result of two teenage sons confessing to drug use. As the adult sisters struggle to determine where their allegiances lie, one must decide whether to save the clan or let it fracture, a decision with epic consequences in this explosive new drama.
“After hosting a reading of the play’s initial draft in 2015, we embarked on a journey with Dr. Lowery and Chesley to bring the full production to our stage,” said Artistic Director Jennifer Decker. “We’re excited to premiere this powerful work about family, addiction, and healing and so happy to be working with Dr. Lowery, who taught many of our company members – including myself and our board chair – while we attended the University of St. Thomas. It’s like bringing a family back together.”
Chesley Krohn, who has been selected to direct the production, had this to say, “Janet Lowery has written an engaging and thought provoking play about four sisters at their annual lakehouse retreat. We are moved to both laughter and tears as the characters wrestle over sweeping space, spoons (yes, spoons), and who gets to steer. But, as with all families, this one also has its secrets and denials, specifically a history of addiction. Lowery's characters battle over two teenage nephews, who, like far too many youth, have fallen victim to drug abuse. It is a battle that will require honesty, forgiveness, and compassion from all concerned.”
A faculty member at the University of St. Thomas for more than 20 years, Dr. Lowery’s poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and literary reviews such as Endless Mountains Review, Poetry East, Greensboro Review, Concho River Review, Fideles, Pennsylvania English, 13th Moon, and elsewhere. Her collection of poetry based on women from Greek mythology called Traffic in Women was published in 2008 by Odonata House; the trilogy of plays TRAFFIC IN WOMEN I, II, III—Educating Athena, A Grief Group in the Underworld; and A Retrial of the Danaids, respectively, was produced 2006-2008 on the University of St. Thomas campus. She recently completed a manuscript of translations from the Spanish of Miguel de Unamuno.
A HEROINE FREE SUMMER runs March 30 through April 15, 2017, at Studio 101 at Spring Street Studios, in the heart of the Washington Avenue Arts District. Tickets are on sale now at www.mildredsumbrella.com. For more information, call 832-463-0409 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A HEROINE FREE SUMMER BY JANET LOWERY (MARCH 30 – APRIL 15, 2017)
Directed by: Chesley Krohn
Where: STUDIO 101 – 1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX 77007
When: March 30-April 1, April 6-8, and April 13-15 at 8 pm
Matinee on April 9 at 3 p.m.
Pay-What-You-Can night on April 10 at 8 p.m.
Cost: Regular admission: $25; Students, Seniors & Arts Industry: $15; Group rate: $15/ticket