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Cool Theater News For A Hot Day

by Jerome Weeks 20 Jul 2018 9:45 AM

A musical version of Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ is the next Public Works Dallas show – with community groups onstage and free tickets to the public.

'The Tempest' at the DTC in 2017

In its ongoing project to “deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members,” the Dallas Theater Center announced its second Public Works Dallas production, a musical adaptation of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ – opening Aug. 31 and presented in collaboration with SMU’s Meadows School of the Art and AT&T Performing Arts Center. The five performances are free and open to the public and tickets will be available beginning next week at the first of seven locations throughout Dallas – as well as online, starting Aug. 21, at or by phone at 214-880-0202. The first Public Works Dallas project was ‘The Tempest’ (pictured above), directed by Kevin Moriarty last year.

The full release:

DALLAS (July 20, 2018) – Dallas Theater Center (DTC), in collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts and AT&T Performing Arts Center, announced complete details for the production of Public Works Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale, a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. Directed by Kent Gash, The Winter’s Tale will run for five performances from Friday, Aug. 31 to Sunday, Sept. 2 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to The Winter’s Tale are free to the public and available at several community locations noted below. Tickets will also be available online at or by phone at 214-880-0202 beginning Aug. 21.

The musical adaptation of The Winter’s Tale will feature 200 actors and community members, only five being professional actors. Starring as Leontes/Autolycus is J.D. Mollison, who has performed in theaters across the country in productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally. Joining him are Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company Members Tiana Kaye Johnson (White Rabbit Red Rabbit, The Great Society, Hair) as Hermione; Liz Mikel (Hairspray, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, The Trials of Sam Houston) as Antigonus; and Sally Nystuen Vahle (White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Miller, Mississippi, Electra) as Paulina. Cara Mía Theatre Artistic Ensemble Member Ivan Jasso (Deferred Action) will play the role of Polixenes. Making up the majority of the cast are community actors from Public Works Dallas’ five community partner organizations: Bachman Lake Together, City of Dallas Park and Recreation, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Literacy Achieves and Literacy Instruction for Texas. The Winter’s Tale will feature cameo performances by Dark Circle Contemporary Dance Company, Michelle Gibson and her Brass Band, and Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Additional cameo performances will be announced at a later date.
Written by William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale features adaptation, music, and new lyrics by Todd Almond. Shakespeare’s tale of mystery and magic is brought to life as never before and will explode with authentic performances that come together to tell the beloved fable of hard-won joy and the promise of renewal.

Tickets to The Winter’s Tale are free to the public, two per person, and will be distributed onsite at each partnering
community organization. A mobile box office will be distributing a limited number of tickets at:

  • Jubilee Park and Community Center (917 Bank St., Dallas, Texas)
    July 25 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  July 26 from 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Janie C. Turner Recreation Center (6424 Elam Rd., Dallas, Texas)
    July 31 from 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Beckley Saner Recreation Center (114 W Hobson Ave., Dallas, Texas)
    Aug. 2 from 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Bachman Lake Together Family Center (9607 Overlake Dr., Dallas, Texas) Aug. 7 from 2 – 4 p.m.  Aug. 8 from 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Literacy Instruction for Texas (1610 Malcolm X Blvd., Dallas, Texas)  Aug. 15 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Aug. 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Literacy Achieves (6329 Ridgecrest Rd., Dallas, Texas)
    Aug. 22 from 4 – 8 p.m.
  • SMU Meadows (6101 Bishop Blvd., Dallas, Texas)
    Aug. 23 from 1 – 3 p.m.

Tickets will be available online at and by phone at 214-880-0202 beginning Aug. 21. Public Works Dallas is affiliated with Public Works, an ongoing initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Public Works presented ‘The Tempest’ in 2013 in New York, directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet, who was awarded the SMU Meadows Prize in 2015 to bring the program to Dallas, and is a collaborator on the Public Works Dallas project. DTC, SMU Meadows and deBessonet began to develop Public Works Dallas during her Meadows Prize residency. A key initiative of Ignite/Arts Dallas, led by Clyde Valentín, the Meadows Prize is an award and residency given to pioneering artists and creative professionals that allows students to interact with artists at the top of their fields and integrates the Meadows School more deeply into the community. Public Works Dallas launched in 2017 with the production of ‘The Tempest’ at the Wyly Theatre.

Mayte Natalio, who recently performed on NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ joins the Public Works Dallas creative team to choreograph the musical adaptation of The Winter’s Tale. Joining her is Set Designer Jason Sherwood, who most recently designed the set for singer Sam Smith’s world tour. The creative team is complete with Costume Designer Mari Taylor, Lighting Designer Dawn Chiang, Sound Designer Andrea Allmond and Music Director Vonda K. Bowling.