Dallas Theater Center (DTC) presents the world premiere of The Trials of Sam Houston by Aaron Loeb at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Directed by Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty, the play begins April 20 and runs through May 13.
On the eve of the state’s secession in 1861, Governor Sam Houston is torn between loyalty to Texas and loyalty to the United States. Weighing the terrible choice he must make and the devastating cost of either path, Houston confides in his slave and office clerk, Jeff Hamilton. He remembers a time when he, and the Union itself, stood trial. Loeb’s thought-provoking drama presents the true story of some of America’s most famous leaders. Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key and John Quincy Adams are featured as Houston struggles with the meaning of bravery in the land of the free.
“The Trials of Sam Houston is one of the most exciting new plays we’ve developed at DTC,” said Moriarty. “It’s filled to the brim with colorful characters, fast-paced dialogue, interlocking plot lines and deeply resonant themes for today. At its center is the glorious, irascible, charismatic, troubled, contradictory character of Sam Houston himself. As a director, it’s a real joy to be immersed in this play and get to spend time with such entertaining and surprising moments from our Texas history, and to celebrate Aaron Loeb’s dynamic, smart playwriting in this world premiere.”
Cast members include Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company members Steven Michael Walters (The Christians, Deferred Action, All the Way) as Young Sam Houston; Ace Anderson (The Great Society, Hair, Inherit the Wind) as Young Jeff Hamilton/Joseph Vance/Henry; Kieran Connolly (Frankenstein, Inherit the Wind, All the Way) as George Chilton/Andrew Stevenson/Dr. Beanes; Liz Mikel (A Christmas Carol 2017, Miller, Mississippi, Inherit the Wind) as Lina Graves/John Quincy Adams and Alex Organ (Frankenstein, Miller, Mississippi, Inherit the Wind) as McKell/James K. Polk. Additional cast members include acclaimed stage, film and television actor Charlie Robinson (NBC’s Night Court, TBS’ Mom, Disney’s KC Undercover, among others) as Old Jeff Hamilton/Old Sam Houston/Andrew Jackson; David Coffee (The Great Society, Electra, Fly by Night) as Stanbery/James Wayne/Mr. Skinner/Mrs. Vance and Kate Wetherhead (Cabaret, It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman, Sarah, Plain and Tall) as Francis Scott Key/Young Francis/Patricia Caras/Louisa Adams.
Tony Award-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt (The Great Society, All the Way, A Christmas Carol) returns, alongside costume designer Jen Caprio (The Great Society, All the Way, A Christmas Carol); original music and sound design by Ryan Rumery (Frankenstein, Constellations, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure); lighting design by Tony Award-winner Jeff Croiter (A Christmas Carol 2017, Colossal, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and wig, hair and makeup design by J. Jared Janas (Hair, Bella: An American Tall Tale, Dreamgirls).
DTC’s Come Early will take place before every performance, and DTC’s Stay Late will take place after each performance. Come Early is a free, 30-minute informative talk designed to enhance a patron’s play-going experience. Given one hour before every performance, a member of the cast or artistic staff will share details about the play’s origins and context, as well as share insight into the creative process behind the production. Stay Late, presented by Wells Fargo, is a free, brief, post-show conversation with a member of the cast about the show. Patrons will engage with the artists, learn about the production and be able to share their insights about the play in a lively discussion.
The Trials of Sam Houston begins April 20 and runs through May 13. A Pay-What-You-Can performance will be Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Press Night will be Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets to The Trials of Sam Houston are on sale now at DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.
Support for The Trials of Sam Houston is provided by Presenting Sponsor The Moody Foundation, and Executive Producing Partners Edgerton Foundation and Laurents Hatcher Foundation.