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Molly Searcy as The Cook in DTC's 'Something Grim(m), scenic design and photo by John Slauson

Dallas Theater Center’s Outdoor Fairy Tale Poses Contemporary Questions


by Therese Powell 29 Mar 2021 9:20 PM

Comic strips, pop-up story books, as well as pre-recorded video and audio elements guide the story in DTC’s ‘Something Grim(m)’ Photo: Imani Thomas/Dallas Theater Center

The Dallas Theater Center is (yet again) changing the way theater is performed and presented in their newest work Something Grim(m).

Something Grim(m), through April 4, 2400 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201, Details

Last year, as theater companies shut down because of a worldwide pandemic, the DTC forged ahead and reimagined its annual holiday staple with a filmed play audiences could watch from home called In the Bleak Midwinter: A Christmas Carol for Our Time.

This time, DTC has created an outdoor theatrical experience patrons can walk through. Instead of in-person performances, the production uses comic strips, pop-up story books, as well as pre-recorded video and audio elements to tell the story.

Photo: Therese Powell

Conceived and directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene in conjunction with the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company, Something Grim(m) was inspired by a collection of classic fairy tales by Grimm.  The group poured over the iconic stories and created a new fairy tale –one that touches on modern moral issues.

The 40-minute immersive experience begins in the Wyly Theatre parking garage, where small, socially distanced, masked groups are guided around the exterior of the Wyly to hear the story of  a magical child born to a gardener and a maid. The Child has the ability to make wishes come true so The Gardener and The Maid wish to become King and Queen, but this causes a rift between their friends, the Farmer and the Cook, who are jealous the pair don’t share their wealth. How the clash unfolds becomes a story about individual power, how we use it, share it and how the choices we make impact the lives of others.

The production culminates in a graveyard located at the front of Wyly,  where audience members are asked to make a moral choice based on the impact of the fairytale they have just witnessed.

DTC Artistic Producer Sarahbeth Grossman says that recent issues make this a story for our time.

“The things that have become front and center for everybody now in terms of Black Lives Matter, anti-racist behavior, how people use their wealth and their power and how it impacts others– these are all things that have come to the forefront of our society during the pandemic. And this is a way make people think about those things in a different light and in a very sort of personal way, but also a very broad way in terms of humanity as a whole.”

‘Something Grim(m)’ culminates with a moral choice. Photo: Imani Thomas/Dallas Theater Center

Something Grim(m) happens nightly Thursday, April 1 through Sunday, April 4. Guests can purchase tickets at the Dallas Theater Center’s website. There will be a limited number of tickets available per time slot to allow for social distancing. Masks are required during the production.


Got a tip? Email Therese Powell at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter @TheresePowell13

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