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Looking Forward to 2012: Julia Dyer and a Film Two Decades in the Making


by Stephen Becker 28 Dec 2011

This week, we’re taking a look at people in North Texas arts worth keeping an eye on in 2012. Today, we talk with Julia Dyer about her upcoming film, The Playroom.

CTA TBD

This week, KERA’s Art&Seek will look at people in North Texas arts worth keeping an eye on in 2012. Today, we talk with Julia Dyer about her upcoming film, The Playroom.

KERA Radio story:


Online version:

The story behind the making of The Playroom is epic enough to deserve its own movie.

The script was written in 1990. Since then, it’s received a public reading and been turned into a 10-minute short. Filming it as a feature almost began in 1998, 2001 and 2007.

“Obviously we didn’t foresee that it would be this long of an odyssey before we actually made the film,” says Julia Dyer, who directed The Playroom.

It was written by her sister, Gretchen, who died in 2009 after a 20-year battle with heart and lung disease. Her script has been championed by many, but for a variety of reasons, the productions came apart before the movie could be made. Dyer also took a break to make Late Bloomers, a hit at the Sundance Film Festival.

Finally, in 2009, Julia shot The Playroom locally with people she’s known in the biz for years. It follows a group of kids who find refuge in their attic as their parents take part in some very grown-up activities downstairs.

And now she’s putting the finishing touches on the film.

“I think it’ll be a big turning point for me to finish this film,” she says. “This is a project that I’ve been working on off and on for two decades. It’s certainly probably the film my sister Gretchen and I were most attached to. And I’ll be really glad to bring it out into the world.”

Dyer plans to enter the film in festivals around the country this spring. And she promises it will play in Dallas to reward those who have stuck by the project.

“After all the ups and downs, and all the different ways we tried to make the movie, I realty loved the fact that we made the movie here at home with my friends basically … that was really a pleasure to get a chance to all get together and do our best work together.”

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