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Dallas Theater Center’s Next Season: Two World Premieres And The Sequel To ‘All The Way’


by Jerome Weeks 1 Mar 2017

The Dallas Theater Center will present two world premieres next season — including a drama about the civil rights struggle in Mississippi in the ’60s and another about Sam Houston’s decision, as governor of Texas, not to join the Confederacy and defend slavery. In addition, the DTC will stage ‘The Great Society,’ playwright Robert Shenkkan’s sequel to his popular, Tony Award-winning LBJ drama, ‘All the Way.”

The theater will also offer two local premieres, one by a writer of HBO’s ‘Girls’ — ‘Fade,’ about a young Mexican woman starting out as a TV writer in LA — and ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit,’ an unusual dramatic ploy by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, in which the actor has not seen the script until he starts the play. And Joel Ferrell will direct a stage adaptation by British playwright Nick Dear of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ – in conjunction with SMU’s theater department.

For ‘The Great Society,’ the DTC will once again join forces with Houston’s Alley Theatre – as they did for ‘All the Way’ – and the sequel will include most of the original cast, including Brandon Potter as President Johnson. This time, it’s Johnson’s attempt to fight the war in Vietnam and the War on Poverty simultaneously (plus push his other Great Society social programs) that tears at him and the whole country.

If some of this — the anti-war protests in “Hair,” the civil rights struggle, ‘The Great Society’ — reminds you of some of our current political turmoil, you’re not mistaken. DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty says, “We’re at a moment right now when the nation – both the right and the left – doesn’t trust the official voices of authority.  And in my adult lifetime, I’ve never experienced anything like this, and when I look to the analog, it seems to me to be 1968.”

But perhaps the season’s most significant show will be Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale.’ It continues Public Works Dallas. That’s the theater’s new project to bring  hundreds of ordinary Dallasites from different communities onstage with professional actors.

“Public Works represents a new, long-term commitment from Dallas Theater Center,” Moriarty says, “to embed ourselves in our community to collaborate with all of our citizens.”

The first play in the Public Works project will be ‘The Tempest’  this weekend at the Wyly Theatre.

The DTC also announced a single play for the following season: ‘Penny Candy’ by prize-winning Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton, whom the DTC commissioned for a new play in 2015. ‘Penny Candy’ is inspired by the playwright’s childhood in Pleasant Grove.

brandon-potter-and-cast-of-small-the-way-karen-almond

Brandon Potter in ‘All the Way.’ Photo: Karen Almond

DALLAS THEATER CENTER Announces Complete 2017-2018 Season Including

‘Hair,’ ‘Frankenstein,’ ‘The Great Society’ and Two World-Premiere Plays
Full Season Subscriptions On Sale Now!

DALLAS (March 1, 2017) – Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty announced today full details for the 2017- 2018 season, including the American love-rock musical Hair, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary; the terror-filled Frankenstein in a new collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts; The Great Society, a follow-up to the smash-hit All the Way and a co-production with Houston’s Alley Theatre; and two world-premiere plays, The Trials of Sam Houston and Miller, Mississippi. Productions will take place in the Potter Rose Performance Hall and the Studio Theatre at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek Boulevard. Full season subscriptions are on sale now.

The full season will be presented as follows: in the Studio Theatre at the Wyly Theatre, the world-premiere play Miller, Mississippi (Aug. 30 to Oct. 1); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre, Hair (Sept. 22 to Oct. 22); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 22 to Dec. 28); in the Studio Theatre, Fade (Dec. 6 to Jan. 7); at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Frankenstein (Feb. 2 to March 4); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, The Great Society (March 9 to April 1); at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, The Trials of Sam Houston (April 20 to May 13); in the Studio Theatre, White Rabbit Red Rabbit (May 30 to July 1); and finally, Public Works Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale (Aug. 31 to Sept. 2). A Christmas Carol and Public Works Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale are not included in season subscriptions. Dates are subject to change.

The world-premiere play Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew takes place in the South, where tradition is sacred and change is slow. When the Civil Rights movement comes to Jackson, Mississippi, it’s in for a brutal fight. Spanning the 1960s and 70s, Miller, Mississippi tells the story of one family that falls apart as the country attempts to come together. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans in the classic Southern Gothic tradition, this tragic new play will stun minds and break hearts, as the personal and political combine to bring about the Miller family’s undoing.

DTC lets the sunshine in with a fully-immersive, only-at-the-Wyly production of the groundbreaking classic rock musical, Hair. Fifty years after its premiere, Hair continues to assault the status quo, while shining a bright light on the power of love over hate, peace over war, freedom over repression and hope over despair. With book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot, Hair is relevant for a new generation of audiences today. Moriarty will direct the story that follows a group of young people as they navigate their relationships with their country and with each other.

“Our 2017-2018 season continues DTC’s commitment to producing new work that speaks meaningfully to our contemporary lives, unique productions that use the Wyly Theatre space in creative ways, collaborations with locally and nationally recognized artistic partners, and productions that will leave our audiences inspired and eager to engage in lively conversation,” said Moriarty. “I am thrilled to introduce Dallas to Boo Killebrew, the writer behind the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi who we are proud to have under commission for a future new work, as well; and Aaron Loeb, the writer bringing us the world premiere of The Trials of Sam Houston, which is a DTC commission. These world premieres, alongside our new, expanded collaborative production with SMU Meadows School of the Arts for Frankenstein and our co-production with the Alley Theatre for The Great Society, among others, will make for a thrilling season at DTC!”

Overflowing with free love, buzzing with youthful energy and pulsing with iconic rock anthems, DTC’s Hair brings the Age of Aquarius into the 21st century.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, when the family-favorite, holiday production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Wyly Theatre directed by Lee Trull. In this delightfully re-imagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic the audience is surrounded by the actors, with magical ghosts flying above, scary ghosts bursting out of the floor, and snow falling on everyone. Full of traditional Christmas hymns and songs in fresh, toe-tapping musical arrangements, joyful bursts of choreography, and eye-popping special effects, A Christmas Carol continues to be Dallas’ “must-see” holiday tradition. A Christmas Carol is available as an add-on to season subscriptions.

In Fade, Lucia is a young Mexican-born novelist who just moved cross-country to begin her dream career as a television writer in L.A. But when she gets there, she finds herself much more comfortable with one of the only other Latinos around, one of the janitors, than with anyone in the writers’ room. Directed by Christie Vela, this new comic-drama by Tanya Saracho, a writer for HBO’s Girls and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, poses tricky questions about identity and community, as Lucia struggles to bridge the distance between where she came from and where she’s going.

Directed by DTC’s Associate Artistic Director Joel Ferrell, and in collaboration with the Theatre Division of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Frankenstein will take place on the Kalita Humphreys Stage bringing to life a production that will include a mixture of students and professionals. When Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment goes horribly awry, he resolves to destroy the terrifying creature he has unleashed upon the world. But can he kill his own creation without becoming a monster himself? Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old tale of scientific advancement and human tragedy continues to challenge the limits of our imagination, asking if some things may be better left unknown. Widely regarded as the original horror novel, Frankenstein (and his infamous creation) comes to life in a bold new adaptation that was an award-winning, smash hit at London’s National Theatre, written by acclaimed British playwright Nick Dear.

“This co-production extends and deepens the SMU Theatre Division’s ongoing alliance with DTC,” said Theatre Chair Stan Wojewodski, Jr. “Unique in its conception and format, the production of Frankenstein will offer our students increased opportunities for the development of critical thinking, collaborative effort and technique in the service of a script that is intellectually stimulating, emotionally involving and theatrically compelling.”

Following the success of the 2016 production of All the Way, DTC and Houston’s Alley Theatre bring audiences the second part of Robert Schenkkan’s epic theatrical event, The Great Society, a co-production that continues the story of Lyndon B. Johnson’s turbulent presidency. While the president fights a “war on poverty” at home, his war in Vietnam begins to spiral out of control. Besieged by political enemies, President Johnson desperately fights to pass civil rights legislation and some of the most important social programs in American history, even while the country turns against him and descends into chaos. Directed by Moriarty, and filled with a cast of legendary characters from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon, The Great Society is an exhilarating examination of power, morality and change.

From playwright Aaron Loeb comes The Trials of Sam Houston, a searing, world-premiere drama directed by Moriarty. On the eve of the state’s secession in 1861, Governor Sam Houston is torn between loyalty to Texas and loyalty to the United States. As he weighs the terrible choice he must make, certain of the devastating cost of either path, Houston tells Jeff Hamilton (his office clerk and slave) of a time when he, and the Union itself, stood trial. The Trials of Sam Houston presents the true story of some of America’s most famous leaders – Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key and John Quincy Adams, among others – and one man’s struggle with what it means to be brave in the land of the free.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit has been called a play, but it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. Its award-winning playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, is Iranian. His words have escaped censorship and are awaiting the audience. Slyly humorous and audaciously pointed, this ‘theater entertainment meets social experiment’ is unlike anything, and will make you question everything. The actor about to perform has never seen it. In fact, there is a new actor every performance, and they’ve only been told what is absolutely necessary.

Public Works Dallas returns for the second year with William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Public Works Dallas is a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. The Winter’s Tale will feature 200 cast members, only five being professional actors, in the classic tale of loss and redemption. The Winter’s Tale is not a part of season subscriptions and FREE tickets will be offered to the public at a later date.

DTC’s full seven-play season subscriptions are on sale now and include Miller, Mississippi; Hair; Fade; Frankenstein; The Great Society; The Trials of Sam Houston and White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Prices start at $140. To reserve the best seats at the best prices, subscriptions can be purchased online at DallasTheaterCenter.org or by calling the AT&T Performing Arts Center Box Office at (214) 880-0202.

For those who want to take their theater-going experience to the next level, DTC’s membership program, [email protected], offers patrons a variety of exclusive benefits, including premium seats, a VIP intermission lounge, special behind-the-scenes invitations, complimentary drinks, free parking and much more. Visit DallasTheaterCenter.org/Friends or email [email protected] for more information.

DTC will continue the Come Early, sponsored by Wells Fargo, and the Stay Late programs in 2017-2018. Come Early is a free, 30-minute informative talk designed to enhance a patron’s play-going experience. Given one hour before every performance, a member of the cast or artistic staff will share details about the play’s origins and context, as well as share insight into the creative process behind the production. Stay Late is a free, brief, post-show conversation with a member of the cast about the show. Patrons will engage with the artists, learn about the production and be able to share their insights about the play in a lively discussion.

THE FULL LINE-UP:

WORLD PREMIERE
MILLER, MISSISSIPPI……………………………………………………………………………………………. Aug. 30 – Oct. 1 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Studio Theatre
By Boo Killebrew
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans

In the South, tradition is sacred and change is slow. So when the Civil Rights movement comes to Jackson, Mississippi, it’s in for a brutal fight. Spanning the 1960s and 70s, Miller, Mississippi tells the story of one family that falls apart as the country attempts to come together. In the classic Southern Gothic tradition, this tragic new play will stun minds and break hearts, as the personal and political combine to bring about the Miller family’s undoing.

HAIR………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Sept. 22 – Oct. 22 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Potter Rose Performance Hall
Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado
Music by Galt MacDermot

Directed by Kevin Moriarty

DTC lets the sunshine in with a fully-immersive, only-at-the-Wyly production of the groundbreaking classic rock musical. 50 years after its premiere, Hair continues to assault the status quo, while shining a bright light on the power of love over hate, peace over war, freedom over repression, and hope over despair. At once emblematic of its era and relevant for a new generation of audiences today, the story follows a group of young people as they navigate their relationships with their country and with each other. Overflowing with free love, buzzing with youthful energy, and pulsing with iconic rock anthems, DTC’s Hair brings the Age of Aquarius into the twenty-first century.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL………………………………………………………………………………………….. Nov. 22 – Dec. 28 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Potter Rose Performance Hall
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Kevin Moriarty

Directed by Lee Trull

‘Tis the season to be jolly, when the family-favorite, holiday production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Wyly Theatre. In this delightfully re-imagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic the audience is surrounded by the actors, with magical ghosts flying above, scary ghosts bursting out of the floor, and snow falling on everyone. Full of traditional Christmas hymns and songs in fresh, toe-tapping musical arrangements, joyful bursts of choreography, and eye-popping special effects, A Christmas Carol continues to be Dallas’ “must-see” holiday tradition. A Christmas Carol is available as an add-on to season subscriptions.

FADE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Dec. 6 – Jan. 7 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Studio Theatre
By Tanya Saracho
Directed by Christie Vela

When Lucia, a young Mexican born novelist, begins her dream career as a television writer in L.A, she finds herself much more comfortable with the only other Latino around, one of the janitors, than with anyone in the writers’ room. This new comic-drama by Tanya Saracho, a writer for HBO’s Girls and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, poses tricky questions about identity and community, as Lucia struggles to bridge the distance between where she came from and where she’s going.

FRANKENSTEIN………………………………………………………………………………………………… Feb. 2 – March 4 Kalita Humphreys Theater
By Nick Dear
Adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley

Directed by Joel Ferrell
In Collaboration with the Theatre Division of SMU Meadows School of the Arts

When Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment goes horribly awry, he resolves to destroy the terrifying creature he has unleashed upon the world. But can he kill his own creation without becoming a monster himself? Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old tale of scientific advancement and human tragedy continues to challenge the limits of our imagination, asking if some things may be better left unknown. Widely regarded as the original horror novel, Frankenstein (and his infamous creation) comes to life in a bold new adaptation that was an award-winning, smash hit at London’s National Theatre, written by acclaimed British playwright Nick Dear.

THE GREAT SOCIETY………………………………………………………………………………………… March 9 – April 1 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Potter Rose Performance Hall
By Robert Schenkkan
Directed by Kevin Moriarty

A Co-Production with Houston’s Alley Theatre

Following the success of DTC’s 2016 production of All the Way, The Great Society continues the story of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s turbulent presidency in the second part of Robert Schenkkan’s epic theatrical event. While the president fights a “war on poverty” at home, his war in Vietnam begins to spiral out of control. Besieged by political enemies, Johnson desperately fights to pass civil rights legislation and some of the most important social programs in American history, even while the country turns againsthim and descends into chaos. Filled with a cast of legendary characters – from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bobby Kennedy and Richard
Nixon – The Great Society is an exhilarating examination of power, morality and change.

WORLD PREMIERE
THE TRIALS OF SAM HOUSTON…………………………………………………………………………….. April 20 – May 13 Kalita Humphreys Theater
By Aaron Loeb
Directed by Kevin Moriarty

On the eve of the state’s secession in 1861, Governor Sam Houston is torn between loyalty to Texas and loyalty to the United States. As he weighs the terrible choice he must make, certain of the devastating cost of either path, Houston tells Jeff Hamilton (his office clerk and slave) of a time when he, and the Union itself, stood trial. This searing, world-premiere drama presents the true story of some of America’s most famous leaders – Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key, and John Quincy Adams, among others – and one man’s struggle with what it means to be brave in the land of the free.

WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT………………………………………………………………………………….. May 30 – July 1 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Studio Theatre
By Nassim Soleimanpour

White Rabbit Red Rabbit has been called a play, but it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. Its award-winning playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, is Iranian. His words have escaped censorship and are awaiting the audience. Slyly humorous and audaciously pointed, this ‘theater entertainment meets social experiment’ is unlike anything, and will make you question everything. The actor about to perform it has never seen it. In fact, there is a new actor every performance, and they’ve only been told what is absolutely necessary.

THE WINTER’S TALE……………………………………………………………………………………………. Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – Potter Rose Performance Hall
By William Shakespeare

Public Works Dallas returns for the second year with William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Public Works Dallas is a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. The Winter’s Tale will feature 200 cast members, only five being professional actors, in the classic tale of loss and redemption. The Winter’s Tale is not a part of season subscriptions and FREE tickets will be offered to the public at a later date.

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