The Dallas Theater Center was set to premiere a new work the same week Dallas County declared a public health emergency.
The cast and crew of “American Mariachi” poured their heart and soul into a dress rehearsal of a show they thought no one would ever see. But while audiences never came to the co-production with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, they can still catch the play online.
“It was the strangest thing to do a curtain call with basically no one in the audience,” DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty says.
Moriarty says the theater couldn’t let months of work go unseen, especially during a time when people are yearning for connection. The company tapes all its dress rehearsals for its archives but never shares them due to licensing and union rules. American theater companies — especially LORT companies (League of Resident Theatres, the 75 biggest companies in the U.S.) — negotiated new policies for limited streaming.
So this time, the DTC could make the footage available online. Through this Sunday, April 5, people can buy a link for a pay-what-can range of $15 to $100. The DTC’s website spells out the various ways people can access the video — via Roku, AppleTV, etc.
The feminist play – with a live band onstage – takes place in the ’70s, when women still struggled to break into mariachi music. The main characters are on a quest to form an all-woman band, hoping to reconnect with family.
“They’re also on this journey to connect with an art form and a tradition that they dearly love,” Moriarty says, “but which in the moment may not have official space for them.”
Things have changed since then. The women of Mariachi Imperial — a Dallas-based mariachi group — are a highlight of the play. And “American Mariachi” would’ve marked the group’s live theater debut.
You can buy tickets to a digital performance of “American Mariachi” through April 5th. The one-time stream will be available for up to two weeks.