Page 1


Over ten years ago, Matt Hune and I met for coffee, and he laid out a dreamscape for a creative space in Houston that would incubate new works and nurture local artists. We agreed Houston desperately needed a space like this and that we should create it. But, as is often the case with dreams, it got put on the back burner as we pursued other things that seemingly made more sense than a non-profit arts organization. Fast forward to today: Rec Room Arts is that space. Entering our third year, we are a professional, non-profit arts organization dedicated to developing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. In our short history, we have produced dozens of shows, cultivated a creative home in downtown Houston, and garnered the support and partnership of local businesses and cultural institutions. We have a passion and a knack for creating epic stories in small spaces. Whether those stories are told


through theatre, music, dance, opera, comedy, or performance art, we make them accessible, unique, and awe-inspiring. You will see things here that aren’t available anywhere else in our city. Houston needs Rec Room. We are the fourth largest (and ever-growing) city in America. Like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, our city should have a booming arts community. While the arts are certainly alive and thriving here, it can be a tough town for the little guys. Competition is fierce! But for Houston to be the cultural and creative hub it should be, we must support arts organizations of every size. We must offer bountiful and diverse creative opportunities for all artists. In order for our city to be truly progressive and world-class, it must create and participate in progressive art. Rec Room Arts works every day to be a part of that progression.



Of course, theatre cannot exist without an audience, and our mission is not only to cultivate innovative works of art, but to energize a new generation of audiences for the arts. Community is important to us, and, to that end, we encourage you to come early and stay late. When the show is over, there’s no need to rush out. Start a conversation about the show with fellow theatre-goers over a beer at the bar and mingle with the artists you just saw on stage. This is the unique opportunity our intimate space provides to Houston audiences. We want our scrappy little East Downtown space to be around for decades and to continue to be a part of what makes Houston awesome. Thank you for helping us make our dreams a reality.


Stephanie Wittels Wachs Executive Director 7

“Theatre can help us build our future rather than just waiting for it.” -Augusto Boal Brazilian Theatre Artist and Political Activist

Augusto Boal’s famous quote kept creeping up in my mind when I was putting together this season. As a theatre director and teacher, I find myself embodying many different roles throughout my day. One of the most vital roles that I play, however, and the reason I do what I do, is the role of activist. Harvey Milk said, “politics is theatre,” and if that’s the case then theatre is political.

As I considered the upcoming season and reflected upon themes that would lead to meaningful thought and dialogue for our audiences, guns and education seemed the obvious choices. These are two aspects of our society that are currently being ferociously debated and in need of platforms for constructive community debate and engagement.

We have come to a time in our history when the actions we take are viewed through the lens of political and social justice. Howard Shalwitz, a co-founder of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in D.C., recently said, “The theatre is a utopian enterprise that impacts our world by modeling a world that is better.”

All of the characters in the shows of the upcoming season are stuck in a mess and are desperately reaching out for something better. These stories are about the state of education in America; they are about guns in America; they are about how guns and education cross at a dangerous intersection; and they are about how Americans deal with problems. Three out of five of these shows are about schools and guns, which may seem heavyhanded and overwhelming, but so are our gun epidemic and public education system.

At Rec Room, my aim is to develop and nurture a theatre utopia in the plays that we choose, the people we hire, and the audiences we engage.


These are crazy times for sure. The world has become more baffling. Those with the loudest voices and most power spout what sounds to many like nonsense, not answers. The characters in these plays are all deciding whether “to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles.” That is the question and spirit of our season. I’m so honored to be premiering these exceptional shows for Houston. I’m also excited to announce that Rec Room will be partnering with local government leaders and non-profit organizations who are dedicated to addressing the problems facing our public schools and advancing reforms which will curb gun violence. Throughout our season we will donate a portion of our ticket sales to those associations. To some, Rec Room is small potatoes. There are people in Houston who have never heard

of us, and I get it. But to me, Rec Room is massive. It’s the place that provides Houston artists, the opportunity to share our heart, soul, and guts so that we can perhaps contribute to progress in our city, country, and world. For us at Rec Room, theatre is our platform, and maybe even our super power. We are small, but we have a mighty voice. I welcome you here and encourage you to tell your Rec Room story to the community. Spread the word so that this small, scrappy stage can become a place for critically epic performances. Let’s put Houston on the map as a utopia for innovative, new theatre. I’ll see you all at the shows.

Matt Hune Artistic Director




MATT HUNE scenic & lighting design by STEFAN AZIZI costume design by CLAIR HUMMEL directed by

REGIONAL PREMIERE From the award-winning writer of last season's SENDER, comes the no-holds-barred story of a Chicago public high school slated for closure at the end of the school year. The looming shut-down causes tensions in the school's already volcanic neighborhood to rise to the breaking point, but a small group of teachers launch a last minute battle to save their school. Over the course of the year, they put their careers, their futures, and their safety in the hands of a fast-talking administrator who comes on strong, but might actually have no clue what he's doing. This critically acclaimed play takes on the very topical issue of the rightful role of public schools vs charter schools. 13

OPERA Returning after last year’s sold-out run and critical acclaim, Rec Room Arts’ fresh holiday take on Humperdinck’s classic fairy-tale opera, HANSEL AND GRETEL. Set in a stunning wooded installation, audiences will experience world-class opera up-close as they follow the wayward siblings, Hansel & Gretel, through the wintery woods on their quest to find both home and independence. This micro-opera is an ideal Houston holiday tradition for adults and children over 8 years old.





directed by MATT HUNE conducted by MARK BULLER scenic & lighting design by STEFAN AZIZI costume design by CLAIR HUMMEL

ON THE EXHALE REGIONAL PREMIERE When a senseless act of violence changes her life forever, a single mother finds herself inexplicably drawn to the very weapon used to perpetrate the crime - and to the irresistible feeling of power that comes from holding life and death in her hands. Peering down the barrel of a uniquely American crisis, she begins to suspect that when it comes to gun violence, we're all part of the problem. A complex, compulsive, and visceral examination of our relationship to guns as we follow one bereaved mother who becomes consumed by grief.



directed by STEPHANIE WITTELS WACHS scenic & lighting design by STEFAN AZIZI costume design by CLAIR HUMMEL


February 20 - March 9


April 10 - 27



directed by BRANDON

WEINBRENNER scenic & lighting design by STEFAN AZIZI costume design by CLAIR HUMMEL

THE ROYALE REGIONAL PREMIERE Jay ‘The Sport’ Jackson dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it’s 1905 and, in the racially segregated world of boxing, his chances are as good as knocked out. Winner of two Obie Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award, THE ROYALE is inspired by the real-life story of Jack Johnson from Galveston, a boxer who - at the height of the Jim Crow era - became the most famous and the most notorious black man on Earth. Written by award-winning American writer Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy, Orange is the New Black).


July 17 - August 3


MATT HUNE scenic & lighting design by STEFAN AZIZI directed by


WORLD PREMIERE ADAPTATION Buchner's 19th Century play, widely regarded as the first truly "modern" drama, was based on the real-life case of a barber who stabbed his mistress in a fit of jealousy and was sentenced to death. Our version takes place today and is based on a real-life scenario that seems to be stuck in repeat: a mass shooting. This is a radical new production that plunges audiences into America's biggest fear and obsession. Please note, this production is for mature audiences and might not be suitable for those sensitive to violence.



Save up to 40% when you subscribe to our School Night Package (Wednesday/Thursday performances) and 20% on our Anytime Pass.


Subscribers do not pay any ticket service fees.


Reserve your seat before we sell out. Plus, be the first to know when tickets to special events are released such as STORYHOLE.


Join our VIP Opening Night Subscription and you are invited to have free champagne and appetizers at the after parties with the cast and creative team.


We get it, life’s busy and plans change. We’re happy to exchange your tickets for another performance of the same play at no extra cost.


As a Season Subscriber all you have to do is show up for showtime. No physical ticket required.


LAST SEASON’S CRITICAL ACCLAIM Don’t miss out on your chance to see why Rec Room is quickly becoming Houston’s fastest growing theatre company.


HOW TO BOOK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION Use our online booking form

Visit our website at for a fast and easy subscription.

Choose your package

Choose between our School Night, Anytime, or Opening Night VIP packages.

Use your code

After booking, you will receive a code that you will use to reserve your dates for each production. You can book all your dates now, or wait until you know your schedule closer to the performance. If you come across any issues our questions send us an email at or call the box office at 713-344-1291


PRICES *All subscriptions are flexible passes. Specific performance dates may be reserved at least 48 hours before a show. Dates may also be selected at the time of subscription purchase. **All tickets, subscription or otherwise, are general admission. †All Season Ticket Subscriptions include all 5 shows in our season.


‡Season Tickets do not include admission to our special added events, however subscribers receive priority booking and discounts on special events.


Individual general admission tickets are sold throughout the year and are based on availability. The grid below shows the non-subscription prices. Ticket prices may be adjusted based on real-time market demand, and without notice.

FAQS What does a season Ticket Subscription at Rec Room get me?

Our 2018/2019 Season Ticket Subscription consists of tickets to all 5 shows in our season. Not only will you save up to 40% off the regular ticket price, but you will also receive priority booking and discounts on all special events.

How do I ensure I get the best seat?

Rec Room is completely general admission. We are a small theater (that’s our thing!) so we feel that there is no bad seat in the house. However, to ensure your favorite spot next to your friends, come early and get your seat. Our bar will be there for you to enjoy as well!

Do I need to select performance dates for every performance at the time of subscribing?

No. Our subscriptions are flexible. When you purchase season tickets, you will be given a code. That code will allow you to reserve dates to all of the specific performances when you are ready. Keep in mind, if you order our School Nights Package, you are only allowed access to our Wednesday and Thursday performances and the Saturday Matinee for Hansel and Gretel.

What if my plans change and I can no longer attend the date I selected? As a subscriber, you receive complimentary exchanges. So you can easily change your dates if they become unsuitable, subject to availability. (Please note: Rec Room must receive tickets at least 48 hours prior to the booked performance in order to process an exchange. We cannot exchange tickets on the day of the performance.)

Can I offer my ticket to someone else if I cannot use it? Of course. If you cannot make the show, you can pass your ticket on to a friend or family member.

Can I book Preview and Opening Night performances with my subscription?

Generally, Preview performances are invitation only. On the rare occasion we open Previews to the general public. Season subscriptions are not able to be used to book Preview performances. Wednesday Opening Nights are reserved for the Opening Night VIP subscription.

Do I need to specify any accessibility requirements I have when subscribing?

Yes please. You may call the box office at 713-344-1291 to leave a message or email Please leave your name and any specific information that you feel will help us accommodate you. We’ll do all that we can to make your experience accessible and pleasant.

Still have questions?

Don’t hesitate to contact or call our box office at 713-344-1291. Email is best for us.


2018/2019 SEASON Performance Times

Wednesday - Thursday 7:30pm Friday - Saturday 8:00pm HANSEL & GRETEL Saturday Matinee (12/22) 2:00pm *Performance times and dates are subject to change.

EXIT STRATEGY | September 26-October 13 Preview (invitation only) September 25 Opening Night Reception September 26 Closing Night October 13

HANSEL & GRETEL | December 6-22 Preview (invitation only) December 5 Opening Night Reception December 6 Matinee (2pm) December 22 Closing Night (8pm) December 22


ON THE EXHALE | February 20-March 9 Preview (invitation only) February 19 Opening Night Reception February 20 Closing Night March 9

THE ROYALE | April 10-27 Preview (invitation only) April 9 Opening Night Reception April 10 Closing Night April 27

WOYZECK | July 17-August 3 Preview (invitation only) July 16 Opening Night Reception July 17 Closing Night August 3


GENERAL INFORMATION Rec Room 100 Jackson Street Houston, TX 77002 Box Office | 713-344-1291


Box office opens one hour before showtime on performance days. Non-show days, please email


Rec Room provides a range of accommodations to ensure the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our events and facilities for all audience members. If you have specific questions, please contact our Administrative Offices at or call our box office at 713-344-1291.


Accessible seating is available in the front two rows of the Main Stage Theater. If you need additional assistance or would like to reserve an accessible seat, email


For guests who wish to transfer to a seat from their wheelchair, we will store your wheelchair in our lobby during the performance. The House Manager will make arrangements to return the wheelchair to you at the end of the performance or any other time of your choosing.



Street parking after 6:00 pm is free. There are paid lots surrounding our building and are open to the public for a fee. Rates vary between lots. Please allow extra time to park during Astros home games.


Lyft and taxis are always good choices if you plan to drink. METRORail lines are reasonably close. RED LINE (12 min walk / 0.6 mile): Use the Preston stop. Walk northeast on Main St. towards Congress Ave. Turn right onto Congress Ave. Turn left (NE) onto Jackson St. Rec Room will be on your left at Franklin St.


You may lock your bike on the gate outside Rec Room’s front doors at your own risk. You may also bring your bike inside and a staff member will store your bike indoors depending on availability.


There is a bar located in the Rec Room lobby that serves a selection of local beer and wine. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early and stay after the performances to take advantage of the bar. Drinks are allowed into the theater. Food is allowed in the bar and lobby. No food is allowed inside the theater space. There are a range of restaurants in the downtown area for you to choose. Here are some Rec Room favorites:


MKT BAR | $$


NINFA’S | $$

417 Travis Street 713-225-5656

22 N Chenevert Street 713-222-0767

2704 Navigation Blvd 713-228-1175

209 Jackson Street 713-224-2400

1515 Texas Avenue 713-221-6666



LOCAL FOODS | $$ 420 Main Street 713-227-0531

We do not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects (such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact


Best when used outside of the theatre. Please respect our audiences and artists by silencing phones during performances.

1001 Austin Street 832-360-2222


701 Avenida De Las Americas 713-357-9697


2379, 2001 Commerce St 713-227-8688


We are active on social media. Stay connected with us daily. We’d love for you to be part of our online community. Sign up for our newsletter for news and offers. /recroomhtx @recroomhtx @recroomhtx recroomhtx

XOCHI | $$$

1777 Walker Street 713-400-3330


The lounge is open for your enjoyment on performance days 6:30pm -midnight.


SUPPORT US Rec Room Arts is a nonprofit! As a contributor, you get it. You get us. You understand the resources necessary to maintain a dynamic performance space, while presenting incredible established and emerging actors, musicians, dancers, performance artists, designers, directors and more. Thanks to you, we give artists a platform and a place to present exceptional work. Your gift is tax deductible, sure, but that’s not your only inspiration. We wouldn’t be able to deliver the quality arts programming you expect without your support. We can’t do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to.

LEADERSHIP MATT HUNE Artistic Director STEPHANIE WITTELS WACHS Executive Director STEFAN AZIZI Director of Design and Production TASHA GOREL Company Manager

For more information on how to give, visit



Abigail Koenig Ryan Leach Evan Wildstein Chelsea Viles

Own a business? Consider partnering with Rec Room through sponsorship! It’s an awesome way to increase visibility for your company while supporting our mission. Thank you, and we can’t wait to see you at 100 Jackson Street! For more information on corporate sponsorships, visit or email *Rec Room Arts is a registered 501(c)3 organization and all contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

SEASON PARTNERS 8th Wonder Brewery Caspian Enterprises, Inc. City of Houston Eureka Heights Brewery Everytown for Gun Safety Hollister/Clagett Family Foundation Houston Arts Alliance Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Alley Theatre Catastrophic Theatre Ensemble Theatre HSPVA Stages Reperatory Theatre Texas Gallery


SUPPORTERS $10,000+ City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance $5,000-$9,000 Vince Foster Hollister/Clagett Family Foundation Maureen & Ellison Wittels $1,000-$4,999 JS Greene Memorial Foundation Ostdiek Family $500-$999 Jonathan Grenader Ryan Leach Dena & David Linda Nora Nickel Singleton Family Steven Wachs Wayne Wilson Aimee Woodall Mark & Nancy Wozny $150-$499 Scott Allen Sandra Barrash Susan Baum Deborah Best Bostick Family Bob Singleton & Joe Boyd Elissa Brown Angela Eleuterius & David Chase Jan Cohen Martin & Terry Cominsky Chelsea Cutler Stefani & Christian Eckman Joyce Fadem Dana Harrell Pamela Hoffer Kristina Hulten

Janis & Paul Jarosz Abby Koenig Chesley Krohn Henry Liu Brannon Lloyd Matt Marcus Kathy & Gary Marks Sommer Stash Joyce Baier Steensrud Todd Waldman Eileen & Richard Westerman Evan Wildstein $50-&149 Natasha Azizi Deborah Best Meredith Allison & Liam Bonner Brendan Bourque-Sheil Linda Boyko Eric Bradley Harriet Choice Alene Coggin Jan Cohen Marc Corman Stefani & Christian Eckman Perry Edwards John Eymann Cece Fowler Marris Goldberg Elizabeth Gonzalez Harold Hardaway Thomas Janowski Kenny Kelley Karin Knapp David Lake Caroline Leech Nan Lefforge Sue Marsh James A. Miller Donna Palmer Lynette Pebernat

David Senior Claudia Soroka Shelby Strudler Judith Switek Jennifer Touchet Alice Youngbar

100 Jackson Street Houston, TX 77002 phone 713-344-1291 email web 33

Profile for recroomarts

Rec Room Arts 2018/19 Season Catalogue  

A guide to our productions.

Rec Room Arts 2018/19 Season Catalogue  

A guide to our productions.