The Dallas Theater Center has announced its new season, and six of the eight shows are area premieres or world premieres. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has this report.
KERA radio story:
Expanded online story:
The Theater Center will present its annual holiday show, A Christmas Carol -- for the last time, honest, in the Kalita Humphreys, next season it’s at the Wyly – and it will complete its four-year series of Shakespeare plays, which began in 2009 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Wyly Theatre opener. King Lear, the last in the series, will be a co-production with Trinity Repertory in Providence, Rhode Island. The Rep has had a long relationship with the DTC. Former DTC artistic director Adrian Hall ran both companies for several years, having founded the Rep nearly 50 years ago. And current artistic director Kevin Moriarty himself came up through the Trinity Rep Conservatory, eventually running its directing program.
But all the other DTC shows in the 2012-2013 season will be brand-new to North Texas, including three world premieres, which by definition, will be brand-new to the world.
One will be a comedy revue co-produced with Second City, the famous Chicago comedy troupe (DTC actors will go up there, get schooled in the legendary improv techniques; Second Citizens will come down here and get schooled in our secret, valet-parking techniques). There’ll be a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. And playwright Rajiv Joseph is creating a new musical updating of Peter Pan.
Moriarty says re-fashioning familiar tales like this has become a key approach for the Theater Center – as with this season’s musical version of Edna Ferber’s novel, Giant.
Moriarty: “We’re continuing to tell stories that people may have a relationship to but ripping them out of their original context. With Fly, Rajiv Joseph is taking J. M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan story and placing it in America today with a score that explodes open the story and the characters for all of us.”
[Conveniently, the excellent book, The Annotated Peter Pan, came out in October. And Alison Lurie has just written a thoughtful essay on our pandemic of ‘lost boys’ for the latest issue of The New York Review of Books.]
With several of these premieres, Moriarty says the theater is cultivating long-term collaborations with playwrights. Dracula reviser Aguirre-Sacasa, of course, penned the new version of It’s a Bird … It’s a Plane … It’s Superman! that the Theater Center presented two years ago. Kristoffer Diaz (above) — whose Pulitzer finalist, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, will be staged, wrestling-arena fashion, during the 2012-13 season — has been commissioned for two new plays by the DTC. Kim Rosenstock (left), whose comedy, Tigers Be Still, is currently running at the Wyly, is co-creating a new musical, Fly By Night, inspired by the infamous 1965 New York City blackout. Fly By Night will be presented next April at the Kalita Humphreys. Finally, coming up not in this season, maybe next, is a new musical based on the blues legend of Stagger Lee, created by Will Power, the playwright-performer that both SMU and DTC have been working with.
Moriarty: “What excites our audience the most and what connects us the most nationally to the theater community is when we tell stories in the most surprising, new way possible. And there’s no way to do that without writers being an active part of the creative process.”
The full release:
DALLAS THEATER CENTER Announces 2012-13 Season
DALLAS (March 29, 2012) – Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty announced today the theater’s 2012-13 season, which will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater. DTC’s 54th season will include three world premieres; two new musicals; the culmination of DTC’s four-year Shakespeare cycle; and several nationally acclaimed plays making their North Texas debut.
“With great plays and musicals, sensational performers and headline-worthy collaborators, the 2012-13season truly has something to offer everyone,” says Moriarty. “From Dracula to Peter Pan, from Mark Rothko to King Lear, the season is filled with unforgettable characters in plays and productions that are new, fresh and exciting. Our unique Wyly and Kalita Humphreys stages will be transformed into a wrestling ring, an artist’s studio, a magical island filled with awe-inspiring flying, and a castle in Transylvania in which good and evil face off in a thrilling battle.”
“The 2012-13 season showcases DTC’s commitment to producing vibrant new work by some of the most exciting playwrights currently working in the American theater,” says Moriarty. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (DTC’s It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman) returns to Dallas with the world premiere of The DRACULA Cycle, a fresh take on Bram Stoker’s vampire classic. Kim Rosenstock (Tigers Be Still) brings her new musical, Fly By Night, to DTC, written with Michael Mitnick and Will Connolly. Award-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph and composer Bill Sherman create a contemporary new musical version of the Peter Pan story, Fly. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will introduce Dallas audiences to the work of acclaimed playwright Kristoffer Diaz, who has also been commissioned by DTC to write two new plays for future seasons.
“We are also continuing our emphasis on collaboration,” says Moriarty. New initiatives include a partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art centered around Red, the TonyAward®-winning play about legendary artist Mark Rothko, and collaborations with The Second City in Chicago and Trinity Repertory Company in Providence. “This season, members of DTC’s Brierley Resident Acting Company will collaborate with their nationally recognized peer actors from across the country, allowing Dallas audiences to experience the artistry of new actors on our stage and introducing some of Dallas’ finest actors to new collaborators.”
Additionally, as part of its audience outreach initiatives, DTC is expanding one of its most popular programs, Stay Late, which invites audience members to stay after the play and discuss the production with members of the cast. “This season we will launch a complementary new program, Come Early, that will invite audiences to learn about the play before it begins,” says Moriarty.
Also new this season, DTC is offering supporters an affordable membership program, for those interested in receiving access to unique, behind-the-scenes opportunities and special benefits.
The season will be presented as follows: In the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre – TheSecond City Does Dallas (Aug. 29 – Oct. 6); The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Oct. 19 – Nov. 25); and King Lear (Jan. 18 – Feb. 17). In the Kalita Humphreys Theater – Red (Feb. 8 – March 10). In the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre – The DRACULA Cycle (March 15 – April 18). In the Kalita Humphreys Theater – Fly By Night (April 26 – May 26). In the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre – Fly (July 2 – Aug. 18). DTC will also produce Dallas’ favorite holiday tradition – A Christmas Carol (Nov. 20 – Dec. 23) – its final year at the Kalita Humphreys Theater before moving to the Wyly in 2013.
In the 2012-13season, DTC will collaborate with legendary improvcomedy troupe The Second City for TheSecond City Does Dallas – a comedy revue about Dallas that will touch on everything from politics to class to big Texas hair. Two members of our own Brierley Resident Acting Company will team up with four Second City members to create an evening of comedy and cocktails with the Dallas skyline as the backdrop.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will put patrons ring-side, as the spectacle (and politics) of the wrestling world unfolds before them. Chad Deity was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and will introduce North Texans to the voice of playwright Kristoffer Diaz, from whom DTC has also commissioned two new plays. Texas native and Texas Christian University graduate Jaime Castañeda will return to North Texas to direct this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.
Completing DTC’s four-year Shakespeare cycle is King Lear, directed by Kevin Moriarty. In a major collaboration with the Tony Award®-winning Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, members of the two theaters’ acting companies will come together to create a bold new production of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.
Red, which won six honors at the 2010 Tony Awards®, will invite patrons into the studio and the mind of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. DTC Associate Artist Joel Ferrell will direct this startling snapshot of a brilliant artist at the height of his fame. DTC and the Dallas Museum of Art will invite audiences to learn more about Rothko’s life, work and the historical context of the play through a series of auxiliary experiences at the DMA, the Kalita and online.
The work of playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (DTC’s It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman; HBO’s Big Love and FOX TV’s Glee) will return to the Wyly stage with The DRACULA Cycle. Based on the novel by Bram Stoker and directed by Kevin Moriarty, The DRACULA Cycle will take audience members on a chilling journey from Transylvania to London as they witness what happens when the forces of good make their final stand against the forces of evil.
Conceived by Kim Rosenstock, the playwright of Tigers Be Still, and written by Rosenstock, Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick, Fly by Night is a charming and comic rock musical that takes place during New York’s 1965 blackout. This acclaimed new show that the San Francisco Chronicle calls “breathtakingly good” will be directed by Bill Fennelly.
Making his directorial debut is three-time Tony Award®-winner (Rent, Grey Gardens, In the Heights) Jeffrey Seller with the hip, new musical Fly. Written by Rajiv Joseph, the acclaimed playwright of the hit Broadway playBengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, and Bill Sherman, the orchestrator of In the Heights, this musical is filled with breathtaking flying, action, longing and remorse, and offers a unique spin on the classic Peter Pan tale.
Full season subscriptions are on sale now for as little as $105; or design your own theater-going experience for as little as $45. Subscriptions can be purchased online at DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 252-3927.
For those who want to take their experience to the next level, DTC’s new program, Friends@DTC, offers patrons a variety of exclusive benefits, including premium seats, a VIP intermission lounge, backstage access, complimentary drinks, free parking and much more. Visit DallasTheaterCenter.org/Friends or email Friends@DallasTheaterCenter.org for more information.
ABOUT DALLAS THEATER CENTER:
One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 90,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas; and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Heather M. Kitchen, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; and community outreach efforts including leading the DFW Foote Festival and recent collaborations with the Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Opera, and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men (directed by Adrian Hall) in 1986, and recent premieres of Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson, The Trinity River Plays by Regina Taylor, the revised It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson.
Dallas Theater Center gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors: Texas Instruments; Haynes and Boone, LLP; American Airlines; Lexus; The Dallas Morning News and WFAA.
2012-2013 Season Lineup
Production information subject to change
THE SECOND CITY DOES DALLAS Aug. 29 – Oct. 6
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
Dallas gets barbecued, Chicago style.
Hilarity hits town with a bang when the Windy City’s great comic performers and members of our own Brierley Resident Acting Company take on all that’s great (and not so great) in Big D. How will our fair city fare beneath the satirical scrutiny of The Second City? With theWyly’sglass walls open wide, downtown Dallas becomes the literal backdrop for this outrageously funny show.
DTC acknowledges the support of Assistant Producing Partner Jackson Walker L.L.P.
THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DIETY Oct. 19 – Nov. 25
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
Behind every winner there’s a great loser.
This no-holds-barred satirical smack down slams together big character with thrilling spectacle–and transforms the Wyly into a wrestling arena. You’ll have a ringside seat for an invigoratingly over-the-top championship tale that masks a sly allegory about race, class and power.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Nov. 25 – Dec. 24
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Richard Hellesen
Music by David de Berry
Directed and Choreographed by Joel Ferrell
Kalita Humphreys Theater
Scrooge up your holidays.
From tiny tots to young-at-heart seniors, for a lot of North Texans it just wouldn’t be the holidays without DTC’s festive production of the Dickens classic. It’s a lot like Christmas itself. Magical, moving and colorful, filled with laughter and song (including favorite carols and newer originals).
KING LEAR Jan. 18 – Feb. 17
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kevin Moriarty
A co-production with Trinity Repertory Company
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
“The wheel is come full circle.” – William Shakespeare, King Lear, 5.3.176
A father rejects his daughter. A king neglects his people. The cosmos revolts. With this sweeping tragedy of a leader and his children, of love tested, relationships broken, and a kingdom divided, Dallas Theater Center culminates its four-year Shakespeare cycle–a much heralded demonstration of how relevant the Bard’s great works are for our generation.
DTC acknowledges the support of Associate Producing Partner Gibson, Dunn &Crutcher LLP.
RED Feb. 8 – March 10
Directedby Joel Ferrell
A collaborationwith the Dallas Museum of Art
Kalita Humphreys Theater
How would you handle a brush with genius?
New York, 1958. Mark Rothko–uncompromising, volatile, brilliant–undertakes a new commission. His newly hired assistant challenges the master’s theories. This production turns the intimate Kalita Humphreys Theater into Rothko’s studio for a thrilling bio-drama as vivid as any primary color.
THE DRACULA CYCLE March 15 – April 28
By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed byKevin Moriarty
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
A night to remember–if you live through it.
From the writer whose credits include Big Love, Glee and DTC’s 2010 revival of It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman comes an epic new retelling of Bram Stoker’s vampire masterpiece in three terrifying acts. Act 1 – A young Englishman arrives in Transylvania to do business with a mysterious count, unaware that he is intended to become a gift for Dracula’s three brides. Act 2 – The captain of a London-bound schooner finds his ship besieged by an unspeakable creature, Nosferatu. Act 3 – With Dracula settled into English society, the forces of good make their last stand against the forces of evil… and not everyone will survive the night.
FLY BY NIGHT April 26 – May 26
Conceived by Kim Rosenstock
Music by Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick
Directed by Bill Fennelly
Kalita Humphreys Theater
Sometimes it takes a blackout to see the light.
A star-crossed prophecy.Two charming sisters and a luckless sandwich maker.A lot of music.Just not a lot of light. Conceived by Kim Rosenstock (Tigers Be Still) and written by her with songwriters Will Connolly and MichaelMitnick, this darkly comic and rock-musical romance follows a trio of young New Yorkers as they pine for love, and grope for flashlights, in the epic blackout of 1965.
FLY July 2 – Aug. 18
Based on J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
By Rajiv Joseph
Score by Bill Sherman
Music Supervision by Alex Lacamoire
Choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler
Directed by Jeffrey Seller
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
Forget the walls, forget the floor, forget the Pans you’ve seen before.
Forget the ground, forget the sky, ‘cause the more you forget the higher you will FLY!Fly, a new musical where Peter Pan flies Wendy and John on an action-packed journey to Neverland that is both funandscary, exciting and sad. With a new sound and score by BillSherman and Rajiv Joseph, Fly shines a whole new light onJ.M. Barrie’s classic novel… It’s not just for kids anymore.
DTC acknowledges the support of Assistant Producing Partner Vinson & Elkins LLP. A presentation of the Kimberley and Scott Sheffield Musical Theater Series.