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But What Will Happen to Project X?

by Jerome Weeks 10 Dec 2012 11:59 AM

Project X theater company was a small part of a larger Design District plan by developer-philanthropist Claude Albritton III. But with that plan evolving, the question is: What about X?


Robert Wilonsky reported over the weekend in the News’ City Hall blog that Dallas philanthropist and McKinney Avenue Contemporary (MAC) creator Claude Albritton III is planning on developing a 1.7 acre plot of land in the Design District into something called “Lost Highway.” It’ll be an outside entertainment and recreation venue for live music and movies and such. The only thing on the land right now, Wilonsky writes, is this “garishly painted green box of a warehouse.”

Image from Google

But that’s not a garish green warehouse, that’s a garish green theater. It’s the Green Zone, aka the  home of Project X, something of a side project of Shakespeare Dallas director Raphael Parry. Perhaps Project X’s biggest success — just last month — was taking its premiere  of Erik Ehn’s Tulsa race-riot play, Diamond Dick, to La MAMA ETC, the venerable downtown New York home of avant-garde theater. The production was part of a 17-play festival, Soulographie: Our Genocides — with Project X proclaimed the stand-out company by the NYTimes.

Parry reports that he’s known all along of Albritton’s plans for the area — “He’s been very transparent on his goals for that property.” Those plans do include Project X. Originally, the idea had been for multiple theaters, but that proved too expensive. So in 2008, Project X took over what had been a stone-cutting shop as just an initial step and transformed it into a black-box experimental theater.

Long-term goals, Parry says, include a sculpture garden and outdoor moving screenings. But the Green Zone will remain as a seasonal project, he says, while Albritton develops the outdoor venue stuff. This, Wilonsky reports, can feature everything from dog parks to fireworks stands, depending on how long one talks with Albritton.

But Albritton has run into some opposition from local landowners, including former Dallas City Council member Ed Oakley. As a result, the project may not come to the council for a vote until February.