Museum of Dysfunction Play Festival

A festival of new shorts from emerging and established writers nationwide.


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  • Shorts featuring emerging and established writers nationwide
  • Final twenty submissions produced by the professional actors and directors of Mildred's Umbrella Theater Co.
  • Showtimes: 8 PM, 6/29-7/1 & 7/6-7/8
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Museum of Dysfunction Play Festival

Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company and Wordsmyth Theatre proudly present Museum of Dysfunction IX: A SHOWCASE OF SHORTS. Now in its ninth year, this annual short play festival features new pieces by playwrights from across the nation and produced by the professional actors and designers in the Mildred’s Umbrella Company. The first group of nine plays will run June 28 - July 1 and the second group of ten will run July 6 - July 8.

“We love bringing new voices to Houston,” says MU Artistic Director Jennifer Decker, “and each year we get to pack in a bunch of them into two weekends. It’s a little chaotic and crazy, but it’s fun in the end.” The plays touch on several topics but all stay within the Mildred’s Umbrella aesthetic of quirky, dark, and edgy. Each play runs under fifteen minutes and features a minimal set, cast, and technical requirements to highlight the scripts’ strengths.




After selected date

Included Venues


1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX 77007, United States


  • Museum of Dysfunction Play Festival

    Reservations encouraged.

Our Mission:
Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company seeks to challenge audiences and theatre artists by creating and performing bold, innovative, and fresh theatrical works grounded in the best traditions of the dramatic arts. With a strong feminine presence in our artistic vision, we strive to feature the work of female playwrights, actors, and directors, which promotes the empowerment of women through the performing arts.

Our History:
Mildred’s Umbrella began in 2001 when local actress, Jennifer Decker, and playwright, John Harvey, brought together a group of artists and actors to create a collaborative theatrical piece written by Harvey and directed by Decker. Since then, the company has grown into a fixture of Houston’s performing arts community. Known for bringing edgy, new work to Houston and pushing the envelope of theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella uses the art form to explore our world and present audiences with thought-provoking works. Now in its thirteenth full season, the company has produced a variety of pieces including mainstage, full-length plays, theatrical works in conjunction with lectures at the University of Houston, Fringe Festival pieces, and a popular festival showcase of short originals (“Museum of Dysfunction”), currently in its ninth iteration. Mildred’s Umbrella’s recent seasons have been highly successful, with sold out shows for three regional premieres, one world premiere, and three original pieces presented by the company, earning quotes from the press, such as “fitfully fascinating” (Houston Chronicle – The Flu Season), “kicky, clever and utterly unpredictable” (The Houston Chronicle – Margo Veil), “strangely compelling and funny…glorious, absurd contours” (Houston Arts Week – Night of the Giant).


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