HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A new production about the life of Lauren Anderson is set to premiere in Houston this fall. It portrays the story of ballet's first black principal dancer in a way never seen before.
The play will be at Stages. On Tuesday night, the theater hosted a community conversation with Anderson and the playwright, Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton. Houston's first black poet laureate and Houston Ballet's first black principal dancer collaborated to tell a story they said everyone could connect with.
Video from a previous workshop showed how they worked to combine ballet with text and music to share Anderson's story. She told the audience that it was therapeutic and empowering to talk about dance, love, heartbreak, and addiction in a deeper way than she's done before. Mouton also used the play to explore broad, human themes that all people can identify with. Plumshuga: The Rise of Lauren Anderson is a play they both said they ultimately believe will help people.
"There's hope, and there's a tragedy, and there's trauma, and there's drama, but there's hope. There's a way out of whatever you're in, or whatever you find yourself faced with," said Anderson.
"We know that we want this piece to go worldwide, but it made the most sense to start right here at home. Celebrate her at home, give her her flowers at home. I think there's something about making work in the place you live. To see it on stage where you live makes it accessible, and Houston has a big enough story to tell on the stage," Mouton said.
Previews begin on Oct. 7, and the play will debut here at stages on Oct. 13.
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