Mother Courage leads her offspring through a battle-scarred landscape loaded with death and devastation. Steering a wagon of wares, the family sells provisions to make ends meet. They manage to profit from the effects of war but soon discover that every conflict has a price.
Houstonians soon will join this trek as the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance presents “Mother Courage and Her Children” by Bertolt Brecht and adapted by Tony Kushner. Directed by Keith Byron Kirk, the play runs Oct. 26 – Nov. 5 in UH’s Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre (Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard).
Show times and dates are as follows:
- 8 p.m., Oct. 26 and 27, Nov. 1 and 2
- 2 p.m., Oct. 28 and Nov. 4
- 10 a.m., Nov. 2
Tickets are $20, $15 for faculty, staff and alumni and $10 for students. For more details on performances and tickets, visit the School of Theatre & Dance’s website.
While Brecht’s original work placed Mother Courage in war-torn Europe, UH’s production is set in Great Depression-era America. A live folk score – composed by Houston artist Miriam Daley – will be performed onstage.
“The play poses questions that many of us ask ourselves everyday,” Kirk said. “The characters engage the world and ask how they fit in. It’s about the human condition and our place in it.”
Brecht’s original work was written in 1939 as Germany invaded Poland. It premiered two years later in Zurich, Switzerland and has remained one of the playwright’s most prolific plays.
Kushner’s adaptation premiered in 2006 at New York’s Public Theater and starred Meryl Streep in the title role.
“Many people forget that Kushner was a historian,” Kirk said. “He has a historian’s way of looking at how history and events resonate. He doesn’t comment on things but rather comments through them.”
The UH School of Theatre and Dance produces professional plays, dance concerts, studio productions, a new play festival and school shows through the Theatre for Young Audiences program. The school performs in the Wortham Theatre and the Quintero Theatre. The Houston Shakespeare Festival is a professional project of the school, which is produced each summer at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor’s and master's degrees in theater and teacher certifications in dance and theatre. Its graduate program consists of a Master of Arts in theatre and Master of Fine Arts in theatre with specializations in acting, directing and design. Faculty includes Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee, Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow and Tony-nominated designer Kevin Rigdon. Among the greats who have taught at the school in previous years are Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.