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New Plays Find Their Ways to Dallas


by Lee Trull 5 May 2009

Guest blogger Lee Trull is Associate Artist with the Dallas Theater Center and a member of the Kitchen Dog Theater Company. Recently, Kitchen Dog Theater announced the slate for its 2009 – 10 season. It is jammed packed with new work. Each play is bold, funny and appealing. Each writer, save the many years dead […]

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Guest blogger Lee Trull is Associate Artist with the Dallas Theater Center and a member of the Kitchen Dog Theater Company.

Recently, Kitchen Dog Theater announced the slate for its 2009 – 10 season. It is jammed packed with new work. Each play is bold, funny and appealing. Each writer, save the many years dead and canonized Anton Chekov, is under 40 and hot on the current national market. Completing my first year as lit manager for Dallas Theater Center and fourth year reading scripts for KDT’s New Works Festival, I have been lucky enough to get to know and admire the work of these artists.

boom, by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, had an explosively popular production at Woolly Mammoth last year, and had you been at KDT’s New Works Festival last year (which you weren’t!) you would have seen it first. Slasher, written by KDT company member Allison Moore, is a play that just received its world premier at the mother of all New Works festivals, Humana. I was lucky to catch that production. Blood, comedy, horror, half nakeds, and rampant ultra feminism abound – it’s a hell of a play! Those of you who had a chance to catch KDT’s production of Mr. Marmalade (and you did!) are already familiar with Noah Haidle’s twisted sense of humor. Vigils will raise the bar for his fans. Long Way Go Down is one of my favorite plays I’ve read all year. KDT produced Zayd Dohrn‘s play Sick at last year’s festival, and it was a massive success. This play is even better. The topic (illegal immigration) is explosive, and the play is brutal. And, of course, we have The Seagull, which will get all the firepower KDT’s company can throw at it — which should be plenty.

It has been an extraordinary year for new plays. Many of the plays that have come across my desk have already received top-shelf productions in New York: Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute, Pulitzer-winner Ruined by Lynn Nottage, The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (which world premiered here at DTC), and my favorite, Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo. Other hot writers have already been produced here in Dallas this season. Water Tower’s season alone has seen work by Sarah Treem, Kenny Finkle, Adam Bock and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. At DTC, we’ve seen plays by Itamar Moses (whose play Yellowjackets at Berkeley Rep blew me away), Tracey Scott Wilson and Julia Jordan. This month, KDT will start the torrent of new plays with Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes by Yussef El Guindi. It is the headliner of a festival that features a dozen readings of new plays. Each chance you have to see new plays is a chance for you to see a Chekov, a Miller or a Pinter in infancy.

New Work is happening in Dallas. Join us.

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