The Trials of Sam Houston
by Aaron Loeb
Originally produced at Dallas Theater Center, Dallas, TX
April 20 to May 13, 2018
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: The Trials of Sam Houston will be a searing world-premiere drama presenting the true events of some of America’s most notorious political figures – Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key, and John Quincy Adam, among others – and one man’s struggle with what it means to lead during a tumultuous and divided time in American history. The play is a historic snapshot of three political periods during the life of Sam Houston that explore political positioning and disruption. One such event occurs in 1832, when Houston brutally assaults Congressman William Stanbery with a hickory cane in the streets of Washington D.C. The attack comes in response to inflammatory accusations lodged by Stanbery at both Houston and President Andrew Jackson. Congress orders Houston’s arrest and, in a surprising but true-to-history twist, Francis Scott Key agrees to represent Houston at his trial before a congressional committee, who will effectively serve as prosecutors, judge, and jury.
Artistic Statement: Shortly after seeing the political, theatrical, funny and smart play Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party written by playwright Aaron Loeb, Dallas Theater Center commissioned a play from him. Loeb was interested in writing about Sam Houston, a mammoth figure in Texas history. His play The Trials of Sam Houston takes an entertaining but hard look at this Texas legend and a divided US government under a populist president. The play was workshopped in December 2016 and January 2017 and will debut in DTC’s 2017-2018 season.
Grant Statement: The Trials of Sam Houston will appeal to a broad audience who will be entertained, challenged, and inspired as momentous historical events brush up against current political, social, and economic discourse. The Edgerton Foundation grant supports additional rehearsal time which will heighten how the audience experience a prolific and provocative political figure in Texas and national history.
Director: Kevin Moriarty
Set Designer: Beowulf Boritt
Lighting Designer: Jeff Croiter
Costume Designer: Toni-Leslie James
Cast DTC's Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company members: Ace Anderson, Liz Mikel, Alex Organ, and Steven Michael Walters; with four roles to be cast.