The post-apocalyptic wilderness was never funnier! Follow the adventures of Zetta Stone, a traveling performer, and her companion Dog (a young man undergoing a voluntary species demotion) as they wander through the former northeastern United States. Zetta, Dog and their little vaudevillesque troupe are on their way to a gig in China, assuming they can find it. A theatrical, darkly comic variation on the classic doomsday genre that hysterically and poignantly celebrates the need for language and stories when civilization has fallen into chaos. Recommended for mature audiences due to profanity, violence, and adult situations.
Houston audiences will have a wonderful opportunity to sample Liz Duffy Adams’ work when the Alley Theatre offers the world premiere of her newest play, Born with Teeth, around the same time as Main Street’s production of Dog Act.
Notes from the Artistic Director
The times we live in and the Pandemic we’re still living through make post-apocalyptic stories seem more plausible than ever. Over the last two years I have been thinking a lot about society’s breakdown, and this play seems timely to me. Just think about the events of January 6, 2021. As I watched the events unfold on television, I believed then that there was a real possibility that the mob might be successful in some way. Ten years ago we couldn’t have imagined anything like that. Now we’ve seen it unfold in real time.
In Dog Act there has been great devastation and total breakdown of what we now would consider normal. These characters are generations removed from whatever events transformed the world, but they are doing their best to forge new systems and hang on to the memory of what is important to them. If you know the party game of “Telephone”– in which a word or phrase is passed one by one around a circle until it returns to the beginning completely transformed — you’ll see the parallel here: language has become altered over time, memories are misremembered and the words to the beloved songs are unrecognizable from the original, but the shape or sense of the originals are still there. The way fragments from the Bible, from Shakespeare, from popular songs and literature are all intermingled is really brilliant, in my opinion. I think it’s great fun to trace these references.
There are only two literate characters in the play, Vera and Dog. They had been living in a former walled (and therefore protected) college campus. They had access to the books and knowledge of the before times, so their speech is clear, without the convolutions of the other characters. Yes, the Scavenger class is profane and basically without vocabulary except for curses. Their ethos – reuse, recycle, repurpose – is more about survival than quality of life. They know they need a leader, whom they call ‘The Wendy,’ a barely remembered fragment from the Peter Pan story. They are the lost boys grown into feral men. They need structure, rules to live by, and they find it in Wendy. But the heart of the play is Zetta, whose memory is capacious and whose imagination is unrestrained. Zetta, the storyteller, the repository of memory and knowledge (however convoluted) will go on with the show, keeping the stories, the history and the connections alive for the next generation.
-Rebecca Greene Udden, Main Street Theater Artistic Director
Patrons will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test result (within 48 hours). A vaccination card may be shown in lieu of the test. Photocopies or a photo on your phone of medical records will be accepted. Masks are strongly recommended but not required. All protocols remain subject to change.