If North Texas had lacked any history of daring dramas onstage, Katherine Owens would have invented it herself – in a leaky concrete cave. With no seats and no curtains. With little heat and a ceiling so low you could barely put up theater lights and not crack your head.
Owens helped create North Texas’ alternative theater scene and along the way, took her Undermain Theatre company to Europe and New York and commissioned world premieres from some of the country’s leading, out-on-the-edge playwrights. The 61-year-old Dallasite died Sunday of lymphoma. Since May, she’d been receiving chemotherapy treatments at the Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Center but eventually suffered kidney failure and pneumonia. The last production Owens staged at the Undermain was the final part of Matthew Paul Olmos’ trilogy, ‘so go the ghosts of méxico’ in April, but she needed help to finish it.