Original Score, New Vision at Heart of UH Production of ‘The Good Woman of Setzuan’

Three gods are searching for one good person. They think they've found one in kindly prostitute Shen Te, but is goodness enough to survive in a modern world? That's one of many questions posed in a new production of Bertolt Brecht's classic stage allegory "The Good Woman of Setzuan."

Presented by the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, "The Good Woman of Setzuan" takes the stage at UH's Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre Feb. 15 - 16 and 22 - 24.

Written between 1939 and 1943, Brecht's play has been hailed as a shining example of epic theater. Thanks to an ambitious vision from visiting director Kim Weild, the production is transplanted from a Chinese province into a post-catastrophic world. Augmenting this setting and Brecht's themes will be an original score composed by and performed live by Houston string ensemble Two Star Symphony.

"We've brought this play into the future," Weild said. "Brecht wrote this as he fled Nazi Germany, so we had to make the production speak to contemporary audiences. It's a very physical production with song, dance and dream sequences."

Two Star Symphony is no stranger to creating or performing live scores. The Houston-based trio has earned raves for music composed for screenings of the silent horror classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," as well as works created for New York's American Ballet Theater and Houston's DiverseWorks.

"We are attracted to creating new music," said Two Star violinist and percussionist Debra Brown. "We love working with theater groups, and this is our most challenging project to date."

General admission tickets are $15; $12 for UH faculty, staff and alumni; $10 for seniors or groups of 10 or more; and $7 for students. Ticket information can be obtained by calling the Wortham Theatre box office at (713) 743-2929. For more information about the UH School of Theatre, visit the Web site www.theatredance.uh.edu. To learn more about the Mitchell Center, visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

WHAT: "The Good Woman of Setzuan"
WHEN: 8 p.m., Feb. 15, 16, 22, 23; 2 p.m., Feb. 24
WHERE: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts/Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre
University of Houston - Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204
WHO: UH School of Theatre & Dance