Dallas Area Theaters Stage a Return to Live Performances

Dallas Theater Center, WaterTower Theatre, Second Thought Theatre and Kitchen Dog Theater announce live and virtual programming

Dallas Theater Center Working Cast
Imani Thomas

Theater-lovers rejoice: live performances are returning. As Shakespeare Dallas continues its outdoor summer season with Hamlet Project, Theatre Three opens its outdoor production of The Music Man, and Dallas Summer Musicals prepares to welcome a touring Broadway production of Wicked to the Music Hall at Fair Park in August, several theaters are announcing plans for live and virtual performances.

The Dallas Theater Center altered its spring schedule, postponing Tiny Beautiful Things and Cake Ladies until the 2021-2022 season and canceling War of the Worlds.

To finish out its 2020-2021 season, the Tony Award-winning theater will present an outdoor production of Working: A Musical at Strauss Square in the Dallas Arts District July 7-18.

The musical is based on Studs Terkel’s book and features original songs by Stephen Schwartz, Lin-Manuel Miranda and James Taylor, among others.

Lawn seating at Strauss Square in the Dallas Arts District
Nate Rehlander
Working will be performed at Strauss Square in the Dallas Arts District.

The show highlights the teachers, waiters, truck drivers and essential workers whose efforts are often taken for granted.

Working is a glorious exploration of why humans strive to do a good day’s work each and every day - even during a pandemic. Simply put, we strive to build upon our parent’s dreams, to build our own dreams, and to build a future for our children’s dreams,” Sarahbeth Grossman, Dallas Theater Center’s Artistic Producer, said.

The theater’s Public Works Dallas will present A Little Less Lonely as the program’s first film adaptation and it will be available for audiences in August.

Learn more: https://www.dallastheatercenter.org/

WaterTower Theatre in Addison will wrap up its twenty-fifth anniversary season with Simone Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (July 14 – 25) and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (Sept. 1 -11).

Both shows will be performed for a socially distanced live audience on the Terry Martin Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Center.

The theater had to make a significant staffing change A Raisin in the Sun: Phyllis Cicero, the show’s original director, died in February. Natalie King, an actor, director, and teacher, will make her WaterTower Theater directorial debut with this show.

“When discussing Natalie King, we saw the same love of theater and passion for molding future artists, that reminded me so much of Phyllis. I have no doubt that this production will be beautifully realized under Miss King’s leadership,” Shane Peterman, Producing Artistic Director, said. 

The show will be dedicated in memory of Cicero.

WaterTower Theatre Season logo
Emily Holt
WaterTower Theatre's 2021-2022 season begins in October.

WaterTower Theatre’s 2021-2022 season begins this fall.

“October will mark the start of our 26th Season, and with the return of live theater, we look toward a rebirth of what it means to be a community.  A Renaissance Reimagined.  New Works, New Voices, and New Light.” Peterman said.

The five-show subscription season features Lauren Gunderson’s The Taming (Oct. 13 –24); Ella’s Swinging Christmas, a Christmas show conceived by Elizabeth Kensek and based on Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960’s “Swinging Christmas” (Dec. 9 -12); Neil Simon’s classic comedy, The Odd Couple (March 3 – April 10); and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the Tony Award-winning musical with book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak (July 20 – 31).

The season also includes a mystery show, scheduled for early 2022. The theater is teasing the world premiere as an exciting opportunity born out of adversity.

According to the press release, “While the title must remain a mystery for now, the show centers around the story of a famous female character whose story has been only written by men until this moment.”

Learn more: https://watertowertheatre.org/

New work is the focus for Second Thought Theatre’s three-play 2021 season. The first season under new artistic director, Carson McCain, is a mix of streaming and live productions.

“These plays are about the tension between what we want and what we have,” McCain said. “They all share that deep pain that unites us; the pain of knowing where we want to be, and not being there yet. Together, we will breathe again, through the pain we’ve experienced in this last year. This season, we will ask ourselves what price we are willing to pay for our jobs, our art, our relationships? What should it cost us to live a life we enjoy? And is the price ever too high?”

The season begins with a streaming version of Matt Harmon’s Goat Song (July 2-17). Starring the theater’s Director of Operations, Drew Wall, the play attempts to reconcile the tension between the past and the present.

Second Thought Theatre Libra Season artwork
Evan Michael Woods
Libra Season was developed during the pandemic.

Later this summer, the theater will produce E.E. Adams’ Libra Season as a live performance, streamed each night. Second Thought Theatre commissioned Libra Season as part of its S.T.E.P. program during the pandemic. The play is a comic digital meditation on 2020.

Janielle Kastner’s Sweetpea was originally scheduled for 2020 and is anticipated to be performed as a live performance this fall. The world premiere play explores themes of intimacy and the absurdity of sharing space. McCain will direct.

Learn more: http://secondthoughttheatre.com/

Digital programming will continue as theaters navigate this new phase of the pandemic. Kitchen Dog Theater’s twenty-third annual New Work Festival and PUP Fest 2021 are online.

The Dallas theater transformed its New Works Festival Staged Readings Series into In the Works Commissions Reading Series. In the Works features four BIPOC playwrights: Ruben Carrazana (Dallas, TX), Tara Moses (Seminole Nation, OK), Erin Malone Tuner (Dallas, TX) and Haygen-Brice Walker (Philadelphia, PA).

Kitchen Dog Theatre New Works Festival 2021
Kitchen Dog Theater
Kitchen Dog Theater's In the Works Commissions Reading Series and PUP Fest will be online this month.

PUP Fest 2021 will feature six world premiere virtual readings mentored and developed through playwrighting workshops with local playwrights Erin Ryan Burdette and Haley Nelson.

In the Works and PUP Fest 2021 will be on Zoom June 4 – 26.

Learn more: https://www.kitchendogtheater.org/

As pandemic conditions evolve, contact theaters directly to learn more about safety protocols as well as date and venue changes.

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