The Dallas Theater Center announced its next season early today, and two major factors stand out:
First, the new season shines a light on local black playwrights. Dallas writer Jonathan Norton gets a world premiere with ‘Penny Candy.’ It’s a drama about growing up in Pleasant Grove in 1988. Also on the season is a 2010 off-Broadway drama by the DTC’s playwright-in-residence, Will Power. Called ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man,’ it was inspired by the unlikely friendship between Muhammad Ali and Stepin Fetchit. He’s the black comic actor known for his demeaning Hollywood roles.
But second, this is also, almost overwhelmingly, a season of women. There’s ‘Sweat,’ the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about hard-working, steeltown women losing their jobs. There’s the exciting off-Broadway play, ‘The Wolves’ by Sarah DeLappe, about hard-hitting young women on a high school soccer team. There’s the return of ‘Real Women Have Curves.’ The Theater Center first staged the coming-of-age comedy about Latina textile workers back in 1994.
And of course, the new season even opens with ‘Steel Magnolias,’ the popular, comic, melodrama about Southern women bonding in their beauty parlor.
As for the rest of the programming: There’s ‘A Christmas Carol,’ another Shakespeare (‘Twelfth Night’), another summertime musical-to-be-announced and speaking of summer, next summer (2019), Public Works will be back with another massive, community-involvement staging.
The full release:
Dallas Theater Center Announces 2018-2019 Season
Subscriptions Are On Sale Now Featuring ‘Steel Magnolias,’ ‘Sweat, ‘Twelfth Night,’ ‘Real Women Have Curves’ and More!
DALLAS (Feb. 1, 2018) – 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award recipient Dallas Theater Center (DTC) announces titles for the 2018-2019 season, including the heartwarming, southern comedy ‘Steel Magnolias’; the critically-acclaimed Broadway play and winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, ‘Sweat’; William Shakespeare’s delightful comedy, ‘Twelfth Night’; the acclaimed comedy, then film, ‘Real Women Have Curves’; a world premiere play set in Dallas, ‘Penny Candy;’ a new play fresh off the New York theater season, ‘The Wolves,’ and a fascinating play about the relationship between Muhammad Ali and Stepin Fetchit, ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man.’ Productions will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Full season subscriptions are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.
“Our 2018-2019 season is filled with exciting new productions and much-loved classics,” said Kevin Moriarty, DTC’s Enloe/Rose Artistic Director. “I’m thrilled to introduce Jonathan Norton’s play, Penny Candy, to the American theater, where I’m certain it will have a lasting, national impact. I’m overjoyed to welcome the work of DTC’s Playwright-in-Residence, Will Power, to our stage. I’m honored to introduce some of the most acclaimed plays of the past year to Dallas audiences in their regional premieres, and I’m eager to laugh alongside our audiences with a trio of feel-good classic comedies.”
The full season will be presented as follows: in the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre, Steel Magnolias (Sept. 28 to Oct. 21); in the Studio Theatre at the Wyly Theatre, Fetch Clay, Make Man (Dec. 5 to Jan. 6); in the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Sweat (Feb. 8 to March 3); in the Studio Theatre, The Wolves (March 6 to April 7); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, Twelfth Night (March 29 to April 28); in the Studio Theatre, Penny Candy (June 5 to July 7) and in the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Real Women Have Curves (June 28 to July 21). A Christmas Carol (Nov. 21 to Dec. 30) in the Potter Rose Performance Hall is not included in season subscriptions, but will be available as a holiday add-on. Also available as a subscription add-on is a summer musical for all ages that will be announced soon. Finally, information about Public Works Dallas will be released at a later date. All titles, dates and venues are subject to change.
To many Southern women in the 1980s, there are few institutions on earth more important than the town beauty parlor. In Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias, neighborhood women gather at Truvy Jones’ salon in Chinquapin, La., to swap stories, share gossip, and of course, style their hair. When tragedy strikes, the community comes together in a bond more powerful than 10 coats of hairspray. Steel Magnolias is a hilarious, heartwarming portrait of the strength and beauty of female
DTC’s Playwright-in-Residence Will Power brings audiences Fetch Clay, Make Man. His name is Cassius Clay, but you know him as Muhammad Ali. His name is Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, but you know him as Stepin Fetchit. Or, do you really know either of these men at all? Loosely inspired by the pair’s real-life friendship, this daring script brings these two iconic figures together to shape their legacies against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. A powerful exploration of what it is to be a black man in America, Fetch Clay, Make Man pulls no punches.
In Sweat, it’s the year 2000 in the steel town of Reading, Penn., and the only things best friends Tracey and Cynthia need are their steady factory jobs, their favorite bar and each other. As years pass and a recession hits, hard times at the factory threaten their livelihoods and test the limits of their friendship. Written by acclaimed playwright Lynn Nottage, Sweat is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play. Sweat takes an unflinching look at life in the industrial working class that has been hailed as “the first theatrical landmark of the Trump era.”
The Wolves showcases drive, ambition, endurance and precision. We’re not talking about any high school girls’ soccer team, but a pack of female warriors, determined to score. This elite squad of nine teenage girls meets every Saturday to stretch before their games. High school gossip rapidly evolves into mature meditations on the girls’ understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Breakout playwright Sarah DeLappe writes these girls “as soccer players — not as daughters, not as girlfriends, not as sexual objects, but as athletes.” A 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Wolves is a fierce and unexpected play that has been taking the theater world by storm since the moment the girls took the field.
“If music be the food of love, play on!” William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night begins with Viola, who lost everything in a shipwreck, including her twin brother. She finds herself on the shores of Illyria, a place she’s never been, and in order to get work, she disguises herself as a man. When hired as a servant to Duke Orsino, she encounters yet one more problem: she’s totally in love with him. Unable to express her feelings without blowing her cover, Viola sets out to fulfill the Duke’s orders, which includes wooing another woman. One of Shakespeare’s finest comedies, Twelfth Night will whisk audiences away to a world filled with singing, laughter and romance.
Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton’s world premiere of Penny Candy is set in Dallas’ own Pleasant Grove in 1988. Growing up in a candy house sounds like every kid’s dream, but for 12-year-old Jon-Jon, helping his father run Paw Paw’s Candy Tree out of their run-down one-bedroom apartment isn’t a dream come true. As their neighborhood sees a surge of violence fueled by epidemic drug use and an increasingly hostile police presence, the business begins to fail and danger looms immediately outside Jon-Jon’s front door. Penny Candy follows one family as they seek to balance their responsibilities to their community and to one another.
In the beloved, warm-hearted comedy Real Women Have Curves by Josefina López, Ana just graduated from high school, and though she dreams of going to college and becoming a writer, for now she is stuck working in her sister’s garment factory in East L.A. The hours are long and the pay is low, but Ana grows to appreciate the strength, passion and dedication of the women she works beside. While the ladies of Real Women Have Curves struggle with things as personal as body image and as consequential as the threat of deportation, they still find joy, humor and beauty in their relationships with one another, and within themselves.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, when the family-favorite, holiday production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Wyly Theatre. In this delightfully reimagined 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 the summer of 2018 and 2019, DTC will produce family-friendly musical productions as part of a new commitment to summer programming for audiences of all ages. Subscribers will have the first opportunity to purchase single tickets to these productions as an add-on to their season subscriptions. Titles and production details will be announced at a later date. Finally, Public Works Dallas will return for the third year during the summer of 2019. 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 production will feature 200 cast members, with only five being professional actors. Public Works Dallas is not a part of season subscriptions. Production details, as well as 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 Steel Magnolias; Fetch Clay, Make Man; Sweat; The Wolves; Twelfth Night; Penny Candy and Real Women Have Curves. Prices start at $140. To reserve the best seats at the best prices, subscriptions can be purchased online at www.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, Patron Perks, offers patrons a variety of exclusive benefits, including special behind-the-scenes invitations, complimentary drinks, free parking and much more. Memberships start at $75. Visit www.DallasTheaterCenter.org/PatronPerks or call (214) 252-3915 for more information.
DTC will continue Come Early and Stay Late in the 2018-2019 season. 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. Stay Late is presented by Wells Fargo.