Trouble in Mind
By Alice Childress
1957. Rehearsals begin on what everyone hopes will be Broadway’s next big hit. But social norms and prejudices collide, and so Wiletta Mayer, a gifted Black actress, will finally get to play the lead role in a Broadway show if she’s willing to compromise her principles. Funny, moving, and ultimately a shattering look at racism, identity, and ego in the high-stakes world of New York theatre. This 1955 comedy-drama—planned for Broadway but canceled when the playwright wouldn’t tone down its message—finally made its triumphant premiere in 2021.
“With an engrossing history, a superlative cast, and a message that cannot be ignored, Main Street Theater’s “Trouble in Mind” is not simply a period piece from the 1950s, but a riveting commentary on race, art, and power that will leave you thinking long after the show is over.” Houston Chronicle review
“Main Street Theater should be lauded – again (as with their regional premieres of Coast of Utopia, Wolf Hall, Light in the Piazza) – for their prescience in bringing this lost masterpiece to Houston. Trouble in Mind is glorious theater.” Houston Press review
“This is a powerful production of a fine play. However much it may at times unsettle, it is a troubling of the mind much to be desired.” Conroe Courier review
More about the play’s history:
Before it opened Off-Broadway in New York in 1955, one of the white, male producers made playwright (and director) Alice Childress change the ending, which she did – though she knew it was wrong – and of course, the end is the one part of the show the New York Times didn’t care for. Then the play was optioned for Broadway IF Ms. Childress rewrote it to be more palatable for white people. For 2 years, she worked on it, trying to please the producers. But after reaching a point where she couldn’t even recognize her own play anymore, Alice Childress stopped. And the play never made it to Broadway… UNTIL last year at the Roundabout Theatre in New York when Trouble in Mind made its glorious Broadway debut. Now Main Street Theater is honored to give the play its regional premiere.
PERFORMANCES AND TICKETS
Sept 17 – Oct 16, 2022
Previews: Sept 11, 15, & 16, 2022
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm
Tickets: $35 – $59
(Previews: $15 – $20)
Sunday, Oct 2, 2022 at 3pm
Open “in-sync” Captioned Performance
Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with one intermission.
Please note: no outside food/snacks are allowed at the theater. You may purchase concessions at the show.
Children under the age of 9 are not allowed in the theater.
Special opportunities for each of the MainStage productions to help you connect with the work at MST in new ways.
PART OF THE ART Series Events for Trouble in Mind
Tuesday, August 23 at 6:45pm: Join us for a free, first read-thru of Trouble in Mind at our Rice Village location, 2540 Times Blvd. You get to be a fly on the wall for the very first rehearsal, hearing the cast read the play aloud for the first time together. To RSVP, please click here. Following the CDC’s current recommendations while taking into account that Houston is currently at a High Community Risk Level, masks are recommended.
Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30pm: Join us for our next DEBI Discussion (Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion) moderated by Tamara Siler, professional actor and Deputy Director of Admission, Access and Inclusion at Rice University. Panelists include local artists S. Denise O’Neal, Crystal Rae, Steven J. Scott, and Manning Mpinduzi-Mott. We’ll explore the ways BIPOC artists navigate the Houston theater landscape. The event is free and open to all artists. Just register here: bit.ly/MSTDEBISept
Thursday, October 9: Join us for a pre-show Happy Hour with the one and only Carmina Vavra!
Sunday, October 9: Join us for a post-show discussion featuring some of Houston’s outstanding Black actresses: Tamara Siler, Rachel H. Dickson, Tené Carter, Ansonia Jones, Sloane Teagle, and Michele Harrell.
Free Beer Fridays, sponsored by Saint Arnold’s! Have a beer on us after the show!