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Main Street Theater (Houston, Tex.) | University of Houston Libraries

Name: Main Street Theater (Houston, Tex.)

Historical Note:

Main Street Theater was the first of several new theater companies established during the 1970's, and was founded to meet two needs: to offer Houston theatergoers a more varied and challenging selection of plays and musicals and to provide a venue for training, employment and exposure for the city's professional theater artists.

Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden enlisted a collection of theater professionals in a temporary home at Autry House, the Episcopal Diocese's community center on Main Street—hence, the new group's name. The first production under the name Main Street Theater was Noël Coward's Hay Fever in June 1975.

In 1981, Main Street moved to its present home in an abandoned dry-cleaning plant at 2540 Times Boulevard in University Village. In the 92-seat space, with little to separate actor and audience, Main Street Theater developed an intimate style, which is as suited to the grand scale of Shakespeare as it is to a one-person show. The company opened a second space with a 190-seat theater in February 1996. "Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market" houses a stage dedicated to the youth theater program, as well as to large-scale classics and musical theatre.

Note Author: Stacey Lavender

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