COVID-19 Reporting and Information • HEERF I & II

Backdoor Playhouse

The Season         

English Department presents the Tech Players’

66th season in the Backdoor Playhouse.

Autumn 2020

The 30th Annual Dorothy Printz Pennebaker Memorial Production.


Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

by Moisés Kaufman

Directed by Mark Harry Creter

November 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

November 19, 2020 at 10:00 p.m.

November 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

Streaming Performances: November 19, 20, 21, 2020.

In order to safely distance the audience from one another we will only be accommodating 32 people in the auditorium per performance.


GROSS INDECENCY uses trial transcripts, personal correspondence, interviews and other source materials to tell the story of the downfall of the great man of letters whose artistic genius has long been overshadowed by the scandal surrounding his imprisonment. "His style was his umbrella, his armor, his all-purpose defense system, and for many years it seemed to shelter Oscar Wilde most effectively. There came a moment, however, in 1895 when the playwright was betrayed by his own wit, after which he would never again be able to gain control of his life. 

"A triumph…truth, purity, and simplicity suffuse [this] thoroughly engrossing new play…sweeps away cobwebs and distortions, allowing complex, credible human beings to emerge from history." —Washington Post.               

               Oscar Wilde

Winter 2021. The Kurt Eisen-Essential Playwright Series.


by Eugene O’Neill

Directed by Joe Clark

Featuring Mark H. Creter as "Erie" Smith

Ryan Steele as a Night Clerk

James Lyle Alder as the Narrator

February 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.

February 18, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

February 20, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

Streaming Performances on February 22, 23, 2021.


Hughie is one of Eugene O’Neill’s last works. It was originally intended as part of a series of short plays, but it became the lone survivor when O’Neill destroyed the others. Set in the lobby of a seedy Time Square hotel early one morning, the characters are the hotel’s gray, withdrawn night clerk and “Erie” Smith, a penny-ante gambler who has spent most of his last fifteen years at the hotel between periods of drunkenness.

"Mr. O’Neill can keep us captivated with a single character and the power and persuasion of language." -The New York Journal-American.

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service, Inc.



Spring 2021.  The 31st Annual Dorothy Printz Pennebaker Memorial Spring Production.


Directed by Mark Harry Creter

April 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.

April 15, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

April 17, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

Streaming Performances on April 19, 20, and 21, 2021.


By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead-expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Tuneful songs, and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River, before their time unexpectedly runs out. A magical, musical fable where, in the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual’s successes or failures.

“A wholly wonderful show that is profound, yet at the very same time whimsical beyond all imagining.”

-Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun Times


Produced by Special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.



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