“It’s death by art,” she grins, ruefully. Referring to her killer arts schedule as Kitchen Dog Theater’s Co-Artistic Director, Tina Parker welcomes Theatre Communications Group’s annual national conference descending this week on Dallas TX in stride. Multi-tasking? No problemo for this canny, creative, ‘wondrous’ woman….
She just opened two major productions at her unique theatre space at Dallas’ The MAC and is hosting the 15th Annual New Works Festival in conjunction with the National New Play Network as its current president. Between now and June 22, six new plays, whittled down from 400 submissions, get staged readings in front of discerning artists, directors and patrons along with readings of the five winning youth play submissions to Kitchen Dog’s 12th Annual Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest, co-produced with the leading Dallas youth organization Junior Players. All under Tina Parker’s guidance. On Wednesday night, June 5th, Tina will don her best party dress to preside over a sizzling Quincineara Celebration in honor of the New Works Festival and NNPN’s 15 years of successful national mentorship of new stage works. Getting into Dallas Wednesday before the TCG Conference starts? Trolley on over to Kitchen Dog to take in Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina in its NNPN Rolling World premiere and stick around for the champagne and cake, Texas’ own Shiner beer on ice and well-chilled Whispering Eye Vodka. You thought Dallas would be a sleepy town? Help indefatigable Tina Parker raise the roof in rollicking, high energy Dallas style, and get ready for the Theatre Communications Group Conference with nearly 1000 thespian leaders in attendance. Y’all make yourselves right at home now….
Want to experience some N. Texas regional theater while you’re in Big D? Here’s a range of opportunities (by no means exhaustive), some include ‘Dine Around’ options beforehand, with playwrights, directors and producers in conversation.
More Traditional options:
WaterTower Theatre – A.R.Gurney’s Black Tie through June 23, directed by leading regional AEA director René Moreno, featuring John S. Davies and Stan Graner.
Pleasing and educating audiences since 1996, with a subscriber base of over 2000.
www.watertowertheatre.org 972-450-6232 Addison Theatre and Conference Centre 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas 75001
Photo by Mark Oristano.
Dallas Summer Musicals – the North American Tour of SISTER ACT at the Fair Park Music Hall near downtown Dallas, June 4-16. Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM), in its 73rd year, is the preeminent non-profit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. TICKETS: http://www.ticketmaster.com. For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768)
Stage West – Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones through June 23. Features regional leading actors Jakie Cabe and Patrick Bynane. Directed by Stage West’s Founding Artistic Director Jerry Russell. Dinner service at the Old Vic Café by reservation, 90 minutes prior to curtain. Leading the N. Texas region with artistry, intelligence, and innovation for over 33 years.
http://www.stagewest.org (817) 784-9378 821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76104.
Jakie Cabe (left) and Patrick Bynane. Buddy Myers photo.
Theatre Three – Avenue Q, at Theatre Too, downstairs, with rotating cast. Directed by Michael Serrecchia. June 7 performance sing-along. Entertaining and illuminating the region since 1961. Theatre Three (in the Quadrangle) 2800 Routh Street, #168 Dallas, TX 75201 www.theatre3dallas.com 214.871.3300
Second Thought Theatre – Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Dallas Theater Center Associate Artist Joel Ferrell. Opens June 6. Bring cell phones, digital playbill. “Come as you are. There is no dress code.” Founded 2003. At Bryant Hall, a black box theater next to the Frank Lloyd Wright Kalita Humphreys Theater. 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd Dallas, TX 75219 http://secondthoughttheatre.com/tickets/
Undermain Theatre – An Iliad, adapted by Lisa Peterson and Dennis O’Hare. Through June 15, directed by Artistic Director Katherine Owens, featuring Bruce DuBose and virtuoso instrumentalist Paul Semrad. See their study guide — http://www.undermain.org/Iliad%20Study%20Guide.pdf Now in its 29th season. Dallas News’ Lawson Taitte says, “Undermain… continues to stage the most consistently exciting and unusual theatre in town.” In Deep Ellum near downtown, literally beneath Main Street. 3200 Main St., Dallas, Texas 75226http://www.undermain.org/ 214-747-5515
Kitchen Dog Theater – NNPN rolling world premiere of Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina, directed by Christina Vela, through June 22; and the world premiere cabaret One:Man.Show by Tim Johnson, directed by Tina Parker, through June 15. New Works Festival Staged Readings and the 12th Annual PUPFest (readings of high school playwrights’works). Founded in 1990 by five graduates of the MFA Theater Program at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Dedicated to “creating theater which asks difficult questions and challenges the beliefs and assumptions of the artist and the audience.” In Uptown at the MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary). 3120 McKinney Avenue, Dallas TX 75204 www.kitchendogtheater.org 214-953-1055
African-American Repertory Theater (AART) – AART “produces engaging, culturally diverse theater, while educating the community on African American history and the arts.” In its 5th year, AART presents August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Fences, directed by Vicki Washington and featuring celebrated stage and film actor Tyrees Allen. Through Sunday, June 9, at the DeSoto Corner Theatre, 211 E. Pleasant Run, DeSoto, Texas. www.aareptheater.com (972) 572-0998
Jubilee Theatre – Knock Me a Kiss by Charles Smith, directed by Artistic Director Tre Garrett. Features Christopher Piper and Whitney Coulter. Through June 16. “This is my first time working with Tre and I give him really high marks as a director. Every time I see shows at Jubilee (and I’ve seen about every one this season) the theatre’s been sold out or close to it.” (Dennis Raveneau, cast member, senior regional actor and educator) Founded by Rudy and Marian Eastman in 1981, Jubilee Theatre is the “original home of African-American theater in North Texas.” 506 Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102 http://www.jubileetheatre.org/ 817.338.4411
Cara Mía Theatre – The Dreamers – A Bloodline Part one of a trilogy on immigration created by Cara Mía’s artistic ensemble, based on interviews with Salvadoran immigrants in the N. Texas region. Through June 15. Directed by Cara Mía’s Artistic Director David Lozano with original music and accompaniment by S-Ankh Rasa. Features celebrated Aztlan-based actor/director Rodney Garza. Founded in 1996, Cara Mía Theatre Company’s mission is” to broaden appreciation and understanding of Chicano and Latino culture through theater, literature and educational programs, assuring Latino audiences that their bilingual and bicultural experiences are represented regularly on Dallas stages.“ Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St.Dallas TX 75204 www.caramiatheatre.org 214-516-0706 Photo: Fabián Aguirre.
Artes de la Rosa – Regional premiere of 2008 Tony Award-winning In the Heights, featuring a high-energy cast including regional professionals and dedicated university students. Through June 9. Directed by Artes’ Artistic Director Adam Adolfo Yzaguirre with choreography by Elise Lavallee. “Artes de la Rosa was founded in 2000 to preserve, promote, and present Latino Arts, Culture, History and Lives in North Texas. It operates the historic Rose Marine Theater and its adjacent Gallery. Nationally Recognized for its Youth Educational Program winning awards from the Kennedy Center and the White House.” Artes de la Rosa at Rose Marine Theatre 1440 North Main St., Fort Worth, Texas 76164 www.artesdelarosa.org (817) 624-8333
Edgy, Off the Wall, Beyond Category:
The Ochre House – Good Nuts, written and directed by ‘core artist’ Kevin Grammer. Through June 15. Adult material. “You’ll laugh till you blow beer through your nose.” Longtime film and stage actor Matt Posey presides over this tiny hole-in-the-wall performance space in Deep Ellum. Is he a mad genius or a genius gone mad?http://www.ochrehousetheater.com (214) 826-6273
FunHouse Theatre & Film – The Daffodil Girls, an original parody of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross by Artistic Director Jeff Swearingen, featuring the young ladies (ages 7 -14) of this unique youth acting troupe. Through June 8, a return engagement. “Not only is this spoof of Mamet brilliantly clever in how it mocks both its source and the cutthroat world of scout troop cookie peddling, it’s a slick showcase for some of the best actors under 16 in all of North Texas.” (Dallas Observer)
Located at Plano Childrens’ Theatre, 1301 Custer Rd, Suite 706, Plano, TX 75075 (Rear of Albertson’s Center behind Tuesday Morning)
Festival of Independent Theatres – Eight 50 minute plays, rotated in pairs, through June 22, with special rates for TCG attendees. Now in its 15th year of celebrating nontraditional creativity on stage with novice original and Tony award-winning playwrights’ works, featuring some of the best performances in the region. At the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake,521 E. Lawther Dr. Dallas, Texas 75218 www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org 800-617-6904
Dead White Zombies – T.N.B., written and directed by international performance artist Thomas Riccio, through June 22. “ A site-specific performance installation”. “T.N.B., inspired by indigenous healing rituals, is keeping it intimate, really real, audiences limited to 20 per performance. Witnesses a “healing in the hood” in a former west Dallas drug stash house.”
319 Poe Street, (west) Dallas TX 75215 www.deadwhitezombies.com
David Jeremiah, Rhianna Mack: Alisa Levy photo