Horse Head Theatre Company aims to create dynamic theater experiences while presenting each play of their 2017 season in a different and diverse location.
“We’re not nomadic because we have to be. We’re nomadic because we want to tell stories in unique and non-traditional spaces. We want to activate the audience beyond the role of being an observer,” says Horse Head publicity manager Tasha Gorel.
Premiering next Monday is MJ Kaufman’s Sensitive Guys, which deals with sexual assault on a college campus. Members of the cast play dual roles, both a male and a female character. The Rec Room (100 Jackson Street) provides the stage and the staged reading begins at 7:30 pm.
“The play doesn’t represent an LGBTQ experience but rather deals with topics and subjects that are common to that experience,” says Gorel. “Gender neutral people are playing both men and women.”
Horse Head Theatre networks with other non-profit organization like AFTER (American Foundation for Transgender Excellence and Recognition).
“They’re not a political activist group, they’re not a lobbying group,” says Sensitive Guys’ director Jacey Little. “They are an awareness and support group. They engage conversation from those outside the transgender community and within it.”
Other plays on the Horse Head schedule include Church by Young Jean Lee. Running August 4 through 20 the production takes place in an actual church, The 1891 St. John Church maintained by The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park.
On Monday, September 18, Horse Head stages a reading of Bernardo Cubría’s Neighbors at MECA (1900 Kane Street).
“Bernardo is a Houston native. We’re doing plays this season that make some very strong statements,” explains Little. “Neighbors is an allegory about Mexico and the United States. There’s one white character named Joe and one Mexican character named Jose. They share a property line. They go into business together on a handshake. Things do not go as planned.”
The Horse Head 2017 season concludes with Toshiki Okada’s The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise: Youth Is Not The Only Thing That’s Sonic, running November 3 through 18.
“The play deals with concepts of self,” says Little. “We have an ensemble of five representing two characters – one male and one female. Yet the ensemble plays the characters fluidly. No one actor is representative of the character.”
Of the many theater groups in Houston, from Stages to Main Street to Catastrophic Theatre, Horse Head Theatre wants to be known as a place where “artists can be artists.”