Van Quattro made an impact as a relative newcomer to the DFW theater scene, notably in \"Superior Donuts\" at Theatre Three

Hole Lotta Love

The Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum has spoken, and here's what we liked in the 2011-'12 season.

published Monday, September 10, 2012

On Saturday, Sept. 8, members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics met to hash out our yearly picks for the best productions, performances and other aspects of the 2011-'12 theater season. And, as usual, there were heated debates about the work we loved, or rather about the ones some loved and others didn't.

But all in all, it proved to be a good year for new work (there were several others besides the four below that were thrown into the ring for consideration), and certain theaters proved to have stronger seasons than others.

For instance, Theatre Three had one of its best seasons in recent memory, as suggested in the awards below. So did Stage West, although somehow when it came time for voting the Fort Worth theater came up short (several of us fought for Jerry Russell's production of New Jerusalem, among others). Actor Chuck Huber had a strong year, but there seemed to be the most consensus for his work in Stage West's The Real Thing.

And I'm still trying to figure out how Trinity Shakespeare Festival's production of The Merchant of Venice, which was rhapsodized over from a few of us, didn't make the final cut in several categories. Remember that we'll each have time for that in our individual year-end lists in our various publications and websites.

When it came time to pick a favorite emerging artist, this year we decided on one whose career is long enough to have emerged and re-emerged several times, but Van Quattro has definitely arrived on the DFW scene (he lived in L.A. for most of his life).

Below are the picks. Remember that there's no one winner here; we chose anywhere from six to 10 for the categories of direction and acting. Shows that opened between Sept. 1, 2011 and Aug. 31, 2012 were eligible.

Do you agree with our choices? What shows and performances did you love from last season? Tell us in the comments below the list.



Bruce R. Coleman: Superior Donuts, Theatre Three

Cheryl Denson: Oklahoma!, Lyric Stage

Tre Garrett: Topdog/Underdog, Jubilee Theatre

Patrick Kelly: The Birthday Party, Undermain Theatre

René Moreno: The Night of the Iguana, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas; August: Osage County, WaterTower Theatre and Coriolanus, Shakespeare Dallas

Jeffrey Schmidt: The Farnsworth Invention, Theatre Three

Michael Serrecchia: The Producers, Uptown Players and Avenue Q, Theatre Three



Diamond Dick: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 by Erik Ehn, Project X: Theatre

International Falls by Thomas Ward, Haven Productions at WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival

Mean by Matthew Posey, Ochre House

Ruth by Vicki Caroline Cheatwood, Kitchen Dog Theater



B.J. Cleveland: The Producers, Uptown Players

Kyle Cotton: Oklahoma!, Lyric Stage

Chuck Huber: The Real Thing, Stage West and The Merchant of Venice, Trinity Shakespeare Festival

Alex Organ: Coriolanus, Shakespeare Dallas and The Farnsworth Invention, Theatre Three

Christopher Dontrell Piper: Superior Donuts, Theatre Three and Free Man of Color, African American Repertory Theater

Van Quattro: Superior Donuts, Theatre Three

Terry Vandivort: The Night of the Iguana, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

Ashley Wood: The Night of the Iguana, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas



Emily Scott Banks: A Most Dangerous Woman, Echo Theatre

Erica Harte: Oklahoma!, Lyric Stage and Spring Awakening, WaterTower Theatre

Jenny Ledel: Twelfth Night, Shakespeare Dallas and Turn of the Screw, Kitchen Dog Theater

Ebony Marshall-Oliver: Pretty Fire, Jubilee Theatre

Barrett Nash: My Name is Rachel Corrie, Rite of Passage Theatre Co. at the Festival of Independent Theatres

Sally Nystuen Vahle: God of Carnage, Dallas Theater Center

Lulu Ward: The New Century, Uptown Players and Counting the Ways, WingSpan Theatre Company

Sherry Jo Ward: August: Osage County, WaterTower Theatre and International Falls, Haven Productions



August: Osage County, WaterTower Theatre

Oklahoma!, Lyric Stage

Avenue Q, Theatre Three

The Farnsworth Invention, Theatre Three

The Birthday Party, Undermain Theatre



Diamond Dick: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921, for the entire creative team at Project X: Theatre

Avenue Q, for Michael Robinson, Pix Smith and the Dallas Puppet Theater's puppet design and construction at Theatre Three

Mean, for Justin Locklear's music at Ochre House

Oklahoma!, for Ann Nieman's choreography at Lyric Stage

Superior Donuts, for David Walsh's set design at Theatre Three

The Tempest, for Beowulf Borritt's set design at Dallas Theater Center



American Idiot, Lexus Broadway Series/AT&T Performing Arts Center

Bring It On!, Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall at Fair Park

West Side Story, Dallas Summer Musicals at Music Hall at Fair Park

Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Performing Arts Fort Worth at Bass Performance Hall



To Nouveau 47 Theatre, for their commitment to the mission of developing and presenting new and original works



Van Quattro, who is at least emerging anew in the Dallas theater scene



  • Alexandra Bonifield,
  • Martha Heimberg, Turtle Creek News and
  • Liz Johnstone, Front Row/D Magazine
  • Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice
  • Elaine Liner, Dallas Observer
  • M. Lance Lusk, Front Row/D Magazine
  • Mark Lowry, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Perry Stewart,
  • Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News
  • Lindsey Wilson, Front Row/D Magazine
 Thanks For Reading


Topham Beauclerk writes:
Monday, September 10 at 10:03AM

Nice to see Emily Scott Banks getting some love for A Dangerous Woman. It was an outstanding performance.

Amy Martin writes:
Monday, September 10 at 3:33PM

I find it amazing that this many theater critics from so many different outlets can get together in one room and come to agreement. Can you give lessons to Congress please?

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Hole Lotta Love
The Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum has spoken, and here's what we liked in the 2011-'12 season.
by Mark Lowry

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