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DCT to Co-Present A Kids Play About Racism
Dallas Children's Theater and 36 Theatre for Young Audiences organizations collaborate to stream the 30-minute play for free via Broadway on Demand. Extended through Aug. 7.

published Monday, July 27, 2020
Photo: Courtesy
Author Jelani Memory and Director Khalia Davis

 

This just in from Dallas Children's Theater:

Dallas — Dallas Children’s Theater joins a groundbreaking collaboration of 37 Theatres for Young Audiences (TYA) across the United States, led by the lead producing team of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. The collaborative will present the virtual premiere of A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM, a theatrical adaptation of Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism. Premiering free on August 1 and extended through August 7 on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand, the new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) cast and creative team from across the United States. The 30-minute production will be free to everyone, but a Broadway On Demand account is required. Interested persons can create their account now at https://www.broadwayondemand.com/signup. All links can be found here: dct.org/akidsplay

A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM will utilize theatre to offer young children and families a way to engage in meaningful conversation about race. As part of the production, educational materials developed by Seattle Children’s Theatre in collaboration with the Northwest African American Museum will extend the experience and enhance age-appropriate engagement. All 37 partnering theatres are members of Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), the national organization representing the field of theatre for children and family audiences.

“I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory's book A Kids Book About Racism into a theatrical piece for young audiences simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in these difficult conversations,” shared lead artist Khalia Davis. “This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them."

“When I wrote A Kids Book About Racism, I wrote it from my own kids. I never could have imagined it would have spread so far and wide to thousands of kids all over the world, or turned into a nationwide theatrical event.  I am excited to see what Khalia and these other amazing artists create,” offered Jelani Memory, whose book provides the inspiration for the production. A Kids Book about Racism is part of Memory’s children’s book publishing company A Kids Book About, which offers titles on a range of big topics to explore including feminism, belonging, gratitude, cancer, and many more. 

DCT actor, Isaiah Christopher-Lord Harris (Panic), is very excited to be a part of this national production! Recent/Favorite credits include DCT’s national tour: (Worm) Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly. Regional credits include: Frank-N-Friend and Jack Frost (Casa Mañana), Beauty and The Beast (DCT), Priscilla Queen of The Desert and Aida (Uptown Players), and Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration (Disney World). He also recently got cast in his first Short film 33 RPM.

According to Harris, “A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM addresses a conversation that needs to be had and it not only needs to be had with adults, but it needs to be had with kids. We have to have that conversation with an open heart because that’s the only real way we’re going to be able to listen to each other. I want it to bring up conversation and questions. I want there to be a dialogue because kids witness a lot, they hear a lot, they think about a lot more than we think. To be able to have a conversation with their parent and truly understand what’s going on is very special. That way when a child is in an environment where racism is happening, they can be able to point it out and say ‘Hey, that’s not right. You’re not supposed to do that. Just because that person is different doesn’t mean they’re wrong.’”

The scale and breadth of this co-production has been made possible in part through the network cultivated by TYA/USA, which connects organizations and artists across the country focused on theatre for young people and families. Through the last few months, TYA/USA has offered a range of programming to provide deep connections and resource sharing in response to COVID-19. Through this network, TYA theatres across the country have been able to come together to find ways to support each other and their audiences through new and innovative collaboration models.

A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM will be streaming for free on Broadway On Demand on August 1 and 2 along with accompanying interviews and educational videos.

On Friday, August 7 at Noon, Dallas Children’s Theater in partnership with Texas Instruments and Capital One will present a virtual Lunch & Learn Talkback Event.  Author Jelani Memory and Play Adaptor and Director, Khalia Davis will be featured speakers along with national cultural competence expert, Anthony Peterson.  To learn more about the speakers and get the link to the event, go to dct.org/akidsplay.

A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM is adapted and directed by Khalia Davis, with music composed by Justin Ellington and Costume Design by Ron McCann (California). It will be performed by Davied Morales (California), Angel Adedokun (California), Moses Goods (Hawaii), Rapheal Hamilton (Arizona), Isaiah Harris (Texas), Jessenia Ingram (Georgia), and Regan Sims (New York).

The work is produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre, in partnership with Adventure Theatre MTC, Arts on the Horizon, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Chicago Children's Theatre, Children's Theater of Madison, Children’s Theatre Company, Childsplay, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, Coterie Theatre, Dallas Children's Theater, Dare to Dream Theatre, Des Moines Performing Arts, Filament Theatre, First Stage, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Magik Theatre, Metro Theater Company, Nashville Children's Theatre, New York City Children's Theater, Oregon Children's Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orpheum Theatre Group, Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ReNew Productions, Rose Theater, Seattle Children's Theatre The Growing Stage - The Children's Theatre of New Jersey, The Gottabees, The Open Eye Theater, TheatreWorksUSA, Trike Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, and Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University.

 

About Dallas Children’s Theater

Dallas Children’s Theater features professional actors performing for an annual audience of 250,000 young people and their families through mainstage productions (9 in the 2019-2020 season), a national -touring company, and an arts-in-education program. As the only major organization in Dallas focusing solely on youth and family theater, DCT builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures, instilling an early appreciation of literature, art, and the performing arts in tomorrow’s artists and patrons. 

 

About Khalia Davis: Khalia Davis(she/her) is a bicoastal multidisciplinary artist splitting her time between the San Francisco/Bay Area and New York. Directed and devised new works with prominent theaters such as Bay Area Children’s Theater, Atlantic Theater Company’s Atlantic for Kids, New York City Children’s Theater, Spellbound Theatre and more. Ms. Davis recently served as the Director of Inclusion and Education with Brooklyn Children’s Theatre restructuring their children’s musical theater programming through an anti-racism lens and currently teaches with New York City Children's Theater, the Atlantic Acting School, and for Disney Theatrical Group leading music and movement workshops and facilitating audience and community engagement. She is also an Artistic Associate for the nationally-known arts education organization The Story Pirates. As a performer, she has worked regionally and toured nationally on both coasts. Recently awarded the 2019 Emerging Leader Fellowship with TYA/USA and the NYCCT Leader Fellowship for 2019/2020. BA in Theater Arts from the University of Southern California. To learn more about Ms. Davis, check her out at www.khaliadavis.com.

 

About Broadway On Demand: Broadway On Demand is the premiere streaming service offering an extensive and wide-ranging library of video on demand content, exclusive livestream events, interactive platforms, and educational resources.  It is designed as a virtual performing arts complex offering not only Broadway shows and movie musicals but also, individual artists, concert series, performance venues, and theatres around the world. Additionally, using a unique licensing interface, approved middle school, high school, and college productions will have the opportunity to be streamed to a global audience.  Broadway On Demand fulfills Broadway’s long-held promise of being the ‘longest street in the world.’

DSM to Co-Stream Christopher Jackson in Concert
Dallas Summer Musicals joins in coillaboration to live stream the Hamilton star's Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side.

published Monday, July 27, 2020
Photo: Courtesy
Christopher Jackson

This just in from Dallas Summer Musicals:

DallasDallas Summer Musicals (DSM) announced today that it is one of a select group of nonprofit arts organizations participating in a livestream concert event, Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side on Saturday, August 15 at 7 p.m. CST. Jackson is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning songwriter/composer and a Tony Award nominated actor best known for originating the role of George Washington in the cultural phenomenon Hamilton. Tickets for Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side will go on sale Tuesday, July 28 at 11 a.m.

Tickets for Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side are $40 per household and are available via DSM's website. Tickets include access to the livestream performance plus an additional 72 hours of on-demand viewing of a video recording of the livestream, available beginning one hour after the live broadcast ends. Proceeds from ticket sales will support DSM’s mission to deliver the spirit of Broadway to North Texas audiences through educational programs and community outreach initiatives.

Accompanied by a live band, Jackson will be performing songs from his favorite musicals, pop standards, and some of his original material, and will share stories from his time affiliated with two of the most important musicals of the last decade In The Heights and Hamilton. Audience members will also be invited to text in questions, some of which will be answered during the live event.

“We are thrilled to offer DSM fans this opportunity to stay connected to the spirit of Broadway through this livestream special event. All of America has just gotten to know Chris Jackson via the recently released Hamilton movie and we are excited to hear more from this extremely talented man.” said Ken Novice, president of Dallas Summer Musicals.

Said Jackson, “Nonprofit arts presenters are the lifeblood of the performing arts industry and a pipeline for young talent.  Without them there is no Broadway.  While everything is shutdown during this terrible pandemic, I am delighted to be able to help spread some joy and help raise some much needed support for these deserving organizations.”

The livestream, which is a co-production of Dallas Summer Musicals and Entertainment Benefits Group, is being shared by a number of nonprofit arts presenters around the country.  The event will take place at New York’s New World Stages, the off-Broadway venue that has housed productions of Jersey BoysAvenue Q and many others.

 

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER JACKSON

Christopher Jackson is a Tony Award nominated actor as well as a Grammy and Emmy Award winning songwriter/composer best known for starring as George Washington in the critically acclaimed, award-winning musical, Hamilton, on Broadway. He can currently be seen starring in the hit CBS drama "Bull" and has recently finished Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway for a limited runHe also starred in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix mini-series When They See Us with Michael K. Wiliams, Vera Farmiga and John Leguizamo.

In December 2018, “One Last Time (44 Remix)” was released as a part of the Hamildrop series which featured Chris alongside President Obama and BeBe Winans. 

His Broadway credits include Holler if Ya Hear Me, After Midnight, The Bronx Bombers (Derek Jeter), In The Heights (Benny), Memphis (Delray Farrell) and The Lion King (Simba).  Off Broadway includes Bronx Bombers (Primary Stages), The Jammer (Atlantic Theater Co.), Lonely, I’m Not (Second Stage), In the Heights (37 Arts), and Cotton Club Parade (ENCORES at City Center). 

In film and TV, he has appeared in Freestyle Love Supreme (Pivot Network) Person of Interest, A Gifted Man, Fringe, Gossip Girl, Tracers, and Afterlife.

Christopher recorded an original song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for the Disney film Moana and was also the Composer/Songwriter for Sesame Street (6 Emmy nominations and 1 win), and co-Music Supervisor and Writer for The Electric Company (PBS). 

Chris won an Emmy Award for his song with Will.I.Am, “What I Am”.  In 2010 he released his first solo album titled, IN THE NAME OF LOVE with Yellow Sound Lab Records and is currently working on his 2nd album. Recently, Chris performed at Kennedy Centers Honors Gala celebrating Lin-Manuel Miranda. He also has several musical projects in development for the musical stage and has sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.

 

ABOUT DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS:

For more nearly 80 years, the non-profit Dallas Summer Musicals Inc. (DSM) has presented the very best in Broadway to North Texas audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall at Fair Park, DSM promotes excellence in live musical theater with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to offer affordable ticket prices, preserve the beautiful historic theater, educate young audiences and develop impactful community programs.

DSM gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors, annual fund donors and corporate partners American Airlines, Texas Instruments, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA TV Channel 8. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Daniel Banks Wins Alan Schneider Award
Fort Worth-based Banks, of DNAWORKS, wins the Alan Schneider Director Award from Theatre Communications Group.

published Friday, July 17, 2020

 

Daniel Banks, who runs DNAWORKS and is currently based in Fort Worth, has won the 2020 Alan Schneider Director Award. You can read the news release below. An article in American Theatre magazine is here; and his acceptance speech is in the video above. Banks and DNAWORKS are working on a piece about the lynching of Fred Rouse in the 1921 in Fort Worth.

 

Here's the news release:

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, proudly announces that  Daniel Banks has been awarded the Alan Schneider Director Award. The Award was established in honor of Alan Schneider's significant contribution to theatre in the U.S. and his lifelong commitment to the development of career opportunities for freelance directors. It is designed to identify and assist exceptionally talented mid-career freelance directors whose achievements have been demonstrated through work in specific U.S. regions or territories, but who may not be known more widely or recognized nationally.

Photo: Lobsang Tenzin
Daniel Banks

“Daniel Banks exemplifies the civic and artistic leadership that will bring us through the pain of this pandemic to a more vibrant and just theatre ecosystem on the other side,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG. “His commitment to theatre as a path to healing and cultural exchange has touched the lives of so many here in the U.S. and globally.”

“Daniel Banks is inspiring and creating circles of inclusion,” said Ty Defoe, artist. “He models this movement not by uplifting the westernized, Eurocentric model of making American theatre; but instead, by truly stewarding a community of sharing, healing, and cross-cultural communication between actors, designers, and even the institution of theatre hosting.”

Daniel Banks’ acceptance speech, with an introduction from Ty Defoe, can be found here.

Recent recipients of the Alan Schneider Director Award include: May Adrales (2018), Kimberly Senior (2016), Liesl Tommy (2014), Bart DeLorenzo (2012), and Anne Kauffman (2010). For a full history of the award, click here.

Daniel Banks is a director and deviser with roots in movement theatre and new play development. Credits include: Jitney by August Wilson, National Theatre of Uganda (African premiere); Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz, Belarusian National Drama Theatre (Eastern European premiere);  Blurring Shine by Zakiyyah Alexander, Market Theatre Lab, South Africa; Tap Into Peace concept/choreography by Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli, Playhouse Square, Cleveland;  Deep/Azure by Chadwick Boseman, DC Hip Hop Theatre Festival at Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C;  Bosoms and Neglect by John Guare, Teatro Technis, London (UK premiere);  Hollow Roots b y Christina Anderson, South Dallas Cultural Center and KC MeltingPot (Kansas City);  The Real James Bond...Was Dominican  by Christopher Rivas, HERE Arts Center, NYC, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, and Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas; as well as productions at the Skirball Center, John Houseman Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park in NYC, among others. He worked as choreographer/ movement director at Shakespeare in the Park/NY Shakespeare Festival, Theatre for a New Audience, Maurice Sendak’s The Night Kitchen, Singapore Repertory Theatre, and La Monnaie (Brussels).

Daniel is the co-director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization dedicated to dialogue and healing through the arts, engaging topics of representation, identity, and heritage. He is currently working on  The Secret Sharer (recipient of the 2019 MAP Fund Award), an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella, considered an early LGBTQ+ text, exploring fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of danger. Daniel is founder of the Hip Hop Theatre Initiative, promoting youth self-expression and leadership.

Daniel served on the dramaturgical team for Camille A. Brown & Dancers ( Black Girl: Linguistic Play and ink). He is Associate Director of Theatre Without Borders and on the National Cabinet of U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). Daniel is editor of  Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater  and co-editor of Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative. 

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) exists to strengthen, nurture, and promote professional theatre in the U.S. and globally. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and nearly 10,000 Individual Members. Through its Core Values of Activism, Artistry, Diversity, and Global Citizenship, TCG advances a better world for theatre and a better world because of theatre. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 18 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its Member Theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre www.tcg.org .

Live Theatre League Offers Relief Fund
The Live Theatre League of Tarrant County adds fund to help theater artists and personnel affected by the pandemic.

published Friday, July 17, 2020

 

A relief fund has been established for area theatre artists and personnel who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All who are associated with the theatre arts including, but not limited to, directors, technicians, designers, choreographers, musicians, actors and support staff are encouraged to apply.

“The Live Theatre League of Tarrant County has a long tradition of our theatres working together and in support of each other,” says Joe Brown, president of the board of directors. “We are very proud of how well the theatres collaborate in resources.   We are a theatre family, and while our theatres are working through the artistic and financial challenges during this pandemic themselves, we are proud that we can  support the individual theatre artists, technicians and various staff that have lost financial resources during this time.”

The one-time grant is in the amount of $250 per applicant. Applicants will be screened and authorized by a panel consisting of producers from the Live Theatre League. Depending on the number of applicants, expected distribution of grants is between 5-7 business days.

Although seeded by monies from the Live Theatre League organization, more funds are required to provide financial assistance to the hundreds of local artists and staff who have lost work due the pandemic. Donations to the fund are tax-deductible, as Live Theatre League is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. A goal has been set to raise $125,000 for the fund.

To apply for relief or to donate to the fund, visit www.livetheatreleague.org.

 

About the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County  

Established in 1992, the mission of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County is to ensure the future of live theatre as a cultural asset to the community through promotional, collaborative and educational endeavors. Live Theatre League of Tarrant County is run by a volunteer-based board of directors, consisting of producers, presidents and lead staff of 17 Tarrant County theatres, universities and organizations, as well as members-at-large. More information can be found at www.livetheatreleague.org.

Dallas Arts and Culture Reopening Guidelines
No dates have been set, but 51 organizations in the Dallas nonprofit arts and cultural community have agreed on guidelines for reopening.

published Friday, July 17, 2020
Photo: Anyika McMillan-Herod
Soul Rep Theatre Company's 2019 production of Dot at the South Dallas Cultural Center

 

 

Dallas — Below are two news releases, from the Dallas Arts District and about the general Dallas arts and cultural community, about guidelines for the reopening of venues and organizations. No dates have been set, yet, because there are still too many unknowns as cases of COVID-19 continues to surge in Texas. But this is a start.

 

From Dallas Arts District

Despite many organizations having unknown re-start dates, the Dallas arts community is preparing for a safe reopening of facilities so they can resume bringing live, in- person cultural experiences to North Texas.

A task force of Dallas arts leaders has developed a series of safety guidelines designed to reopen cultural venues during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 51 organizations across the city adopting the standards. The guidelines, which were reviewed by a top infectious disease expert, were created to assure patrons, staff, artists, and volunteers that effective and thoughtful strategies and best practices are being implemented when doors are reopened to the public.

“The Dallas arts community has worked collaboratively during this unprecedented crisis so we can practice our art forms and serve our community while minimizing the risk to our guests, artists, and staff," said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President and CEO of the Dallas Symphony and board chair of the Dallas Arts District, which assembled the task force. “We think these guidelines let everyone know what to expect when we reopen our doors, our exhibitions, and performances to the Dallas community."

The reopening guidelines include:

  • Building on policies, protocols, and requirements set by the CDC, State, City, and County officials.
  • Requiring the use of face masks.
  • Utilizing social distancing as a core principle in determining the number of visitors, ticketing, seating, and when mapping the patron experience.
  • Creating a Code of Conduct that patrons must agree to, which outline key expectations including mask use, social distancing, staying home if experiencing symptoms, and treating staff, patrons, volunteers, and artists with patience and respect. Those that don't comply will be asked to leave.
  • Pre-reserved or timed entrances and exiting processes when dealing with large audiences.
  • Working towards “low-touch” or “touch-free” ticketing and transactions.

In May and early June, Governor Greg Abbott published safety protocols to allow the reopening of museums and fine arts performance spaces. These include capacity limits to allow for social distancing. Task force members took those, along with strategies and best practices being implemented across the country to develop their guidelines. These were then reviewed by Dr.

Trish Perl, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and her recommendations were incorporated.

“These guidelines are helping us carefully reopen, so people feel good about coming back - in person – to enjoy the magic of the arts,” said Lily Weiss, executive director of the Dallas Arts District. “Despite the hundreds of creative digital offerings that the cultural community has developed during this disruption, we know our audiences yearn for live cultural experiences, for everything from entertainment to inspiration to healing.”

The groups vary in size, art forms, genres, ethnic and cultural focus, and geographic location within Dallas. The organizations agree to use these guidelines as a baseline and will build on them to further enhance safety measures unique to their art forms, venues, audiences, and experiences.

While these guidelines provide a path, the timing of reopening is still uncertain. Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in North Texas, many have paused their plans to reopen.

“We all have a laser focus on doing this safely,” said Weiss. “So if it means we have to wait a bit longer, that is fine. Meanwhile, the guidelines are solid and we are all working now to put them into place.”

 

 

Re: Dallas Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Community

As Texas works to reopen from its COVID-19 closures, members of the Dallas nonprofit arts and cultural community have created guidelines to resume operations once authorized to do so. The standards capture overarching safety principles and risk mitigation practices in our industries that will guide the policies and strategies unique to each organization’s art form, audiences, artists, and venues. This is a living document. We will regularly assess the evolving status of the pandemic in North Texas and will, in alignment with the latest scientific and medical recommendations, make changes accordingly. These guidelines have been reviewed by Dr. Trish Perl, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center and her recommendations have been incorporated.

 

Background

Arts and culture define the identity of Dallas. It's an industry which, before COVID-19, had an annual economic impact of close to $1B supporting 33,000 jobs. Each year, the economic impact generated by these small businesses produce more than $45M in local tax revenues (that stat comes from the 2015 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, City of Dallas, Americans for the Arts). Our diverse, growing cultural community has supported our reputation as a creative, vibrant city helping to attract talent, jobs, and corporate relocations to Dallas. They create economic, cultural, tourism, and quality-of-life ripple effects touching every corner of our city. To resume operations, we are adopting reasonable measures as a roadmap to reduce risk moving forward while providing a safe, welcoming, and respectful patron experience.

 

Guiding Principles for Reopening to the Public

Each organization will determine risk mitigation factors for external and internal conditions that will allow for its reopening and ongoing specific operating procedures. This builds on the guidance from the Governor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and City and County health and public safety authorities.

Before reopening, each organization will develop its own risk mitigation plans for its unique venues and art form that will address:

  1. Patrons and guests
  2. Artists, lecturers, visiting companies and back-of-house staff
  3. Docents, ushers, volunteers, concessions and front-of-house staff
  4. Contractors (i.e. security, parking, concessions, etc.)
  5. Office staff
  6. Equity and accessibility

To reassure the public, our staff, and our artists, we will work to achieve the following safety and risk mitigation measures:

  • Maintain social distancing as a core principle in determining the number of public visitors in our venues and in creating our patron flow and experience models. This includes seating and ticketing maps, alongside reduced numbers of visitors in spaces and highly encouraged advance ticket sales for museums.
  • Require patrons to bring and use their own face coverings in our venues.  The venue will supply masks to those who neglected to bring them. Requirements may vary for outdoor spaces.
  • Create a Code of Conduct for staff, artists, volunteers, and patrons that:
    • Outlines key expectations including mask use, personal temperature checks, social distancing, and respect for others.
    • Requests they do not come to the facility if they are feeling ill or have other symptoms such as fever or loss of smell.
    • Asks patrons to check this box in the ticketing purchase path (if technology supports.)
    • Patrons who do not comply with these guidelines may be asked to leave the premises.
  • Require face masks and good hand hygiene for all staff who engage with the public and, where necessary, face shields.
  • Map the patron experience to reduce or eliminate points of contact or create social distancing.
  • When and where possible, create “touch-free” or “low-touch” entrances, exits, money transactions, ticket scanning, etc.
  • Provide alcohol hand sanitizer and stations to facilitate good hand hygiene practices.
  • Institute enhanced cleaning protocols, including frequent disinfection of “high-touch” door handles, elevators, and restrooms. Provide multiple sanitizing stations.
  • Monitor public spaces to facilitate social distancing.
  • When large attendance numbers are expected, work to achieve a balanced arrival, entry, and exit process through timed tickets, pre- reserved entry and exit times, or other means to achieve this purpose.
  • Develop strong strategies, both pre-arrival and onsite, that clearly communicate policies in place, health and safety measures taken, and what to expect in the patron path during their visit.
  • Consider the use of acrylic screens, face shields, or similar protective barriers at key customer contact points in the patron path.
  • No docent-guided tours will be allowed in the opening phase.
  • Self-parking will be encouraged with updated protocols and training for parking employees, contractors, and volunteers.
  • Work to support infection tracking efforts by local health officials when the situation warrants.
  • Work with the facility's engineering team to maximize air circulation and filtration systems where possible.
  • With the government’s social distancing capacity limits as the legally allowed base, individual organizations may determine that a higher capacity must be reached to reopen in a safe and fiscally responsible way unique to their art form, venue, and experience.
  • Create ticketing and seating strategies to ensure appropriate social distancing between individuals or parties while providing a good performance experience.

 

Theaters, Lecture Halls, and Concert Halls

  • Develop strategies to achieve social distancing in backstage spaces to protect artists and technical crews before, during, and after performances.
  • Encourage the artists/producers to choose or adapt creative content, and develop staging strategies that mitigate the risk to artists, crews, and technicians during performances.

This document represents the consensus view of the organizations listed below and is not intended to be binding on any of them. None of the organizations involved in the preparation of this document will have any liability to any person for a failure, inadvertently or intentionally, to follow, implement or enforce any of the policies and procedures described herein, and no person may rely on the policies or procedures as a basis for asserting any claim against any organization.

 

Participating Dallas Cultural Organizations

  • Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico 
  • American Baroque Opera Company 
  • AT&T Performing Arts Center 
  • Avant Chamber Ballet 
  • Beckles Dancing Company 
  • Bishop Arts Theatre Company 
  • Bruce Wood Dance
  • Chamber Music International 
  • Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas 
  • City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture 
    • Majestic Theatre 
    • Moody Performance Hall 
    • South Dallas Cultural Center 
    • Latino Cultural Center 
  • Creative Arts Center of Dallas 
  • Crow Museum of Asian Art, University of Texas at Dallas 
  • Cry Havoc Theater Company 
  • Dallas Arts District Foundation 
  • Dallas Bach Society 
  • Dallas Black Dance Theatre 
  • Dallas  Chamber Symphony 
  • Dallas Children’s Theater 
  • Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park 
  • Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum 
  • Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture 
  • Dallas Museum of Art 
  • The Dallas Opera 
  • Dallas Summer Musicals
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra 
  • Dallas Theater Center 
  • Dance Council of North Texas 
  • Danielle Georgiou Dance Group 
  • Echo Theatre 
  • Fine Arts Chamber Players 
  • Indique Dance Company
  • Junior Players
  • Klyde Warren Park
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
  • Lyric Stage
  • Ollimpaxqui Ballet
  • Orchestra of New Spain
  • Orpheus Chamber Singers
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • Shakespeare Dallas
  • Soul Rep Theatre Company
  • Texas Ballet Theater
  • TITAS/Dance Unbound
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • Undermain Theatre
  • Uptown Players
  • Verdigris Ensemble
  • The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
Theaters Form BIPOC Arts Coalition
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Cara Mía Theatre, Soul Rep Theatre and Teatro Dallas have formed an alliance, with recommendations for the city and the philanthropic community.

published Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Photo: Photo Noire | Richard Bailey | Linda Blase | Anyika McMillan-Herod
Productions from the BIPOC Arts Coalition, clockwise from top left: Loving and Loving at Bishop Arts Theatre Center,
Villa at Teatro Dallas, Swimming While Drowning at Cara Mía Theatre, and The Monarch at Soul Rep Theatre

 

Dallas — This just in from the newly formed BIPOC Arts Coalition, a union of four Dallas theaters that serve BIPOC communities: Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Cara Mía Theatre, Soul Rep Theatre, and Teatro Dallas.

 

FOUR DALLAS THEATRES FORM THE BIPOC ARTS COALITION: WE ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO FAIL

“Since our inceptions, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) arts organizations and artists have provided grassroots support to our communities, distinguishing ourselves from the arts groups simply asking for relief funds to keep producing. BIPOC artists provide services that support Public Safety, Health, Mental Health, Youth Development, Academics, Education, Cultural Competency and Community Building. Simply stated: We are too important to fail.”

 

The BIPOC Arts Coalition announces its formation to support BIPOC communities that have been historically underserved and under- resourced – the very communities that today are disproportionately affected by COVID- 19, in terms of both community health and economic impact.

The goals of the BIPOC Arts Coalition are to provide a vision and advocacy platform for antiracism, equitable funding and structural support for culturally-specific artists and performance groups in Dallas. Although the entire arts ecosystem has experienced losses during COVID-19, BIPOC arts groups and artists have historically suffered from underfunding, like the communities we represent. Our BIPOC arts organizations and artists therefore run the risk of continued underfunding at this time. Nevertheless, BIPOC arts organizations and artists are the most prepared to support communities most affected by COVID-19 and systemic racism.

In order to sustain our work with the communities we serve, the BIPOC Arts Coalition recommends the following actions to support the work of BIPOC artists and arts organizations.

From the City of Dallas, the BIPOC Arts Coalition recommends:

  • For the City of Dallas’s Fiscal Year (FY) 20-21, fully fund the neighborhood City of Dallas Cultural Centers serving BIPOC communities
  • Maintain FY 19-20 funding levels of BIPOC arts organizations into FY 20-21 in the Cultural Organization’s Program (COP)
  • Due to the overwhelming response to a recent City of Dallas grant program for ALAANA or BIPOC artists, increase FY 20-21 funding levels for neighborhood arts programs from FY 19-20 in order to increase service to BIPOC communities in need and support the growing number of BIPOC working artists seeking City support. (These programs include Pop-up cultural centers, CAP and ArtsActivate among other new initiatives. Funding and contracts should go primarily to BIPOC-led organizations and artists.)
  • Funding support for facilities for BIPOC Arts Organizations that own or manage buildings.

From the philanthropic community, the BIPOC Arts Coalition recommends to:

  • Rectify historic underfunding of BIPOC artists and arts organizations
  • Provide multi-year funding and investment into endowments of BIPOC arts organizations
  • Provide funding support for BIPOC Arts Organizations that own or manage buildings
  • Provide funding support for Health Insurance for BIPOC individual artists and staff at BIPOC arts organization

"Research has shown that national distribution of arts funding flows disproportionately to large institutions, which puts culturally specific organizations at a disadvantage. Culturally specific organizations are affected by the same structural racism and inequities that affect the people and communities they serve."

— Zannie Voss, Director of SMU DataArts and Jill Robinson, CEO of TRG Arts from the study, “In It for the Long Haul” (https://bit.ly/SMUDataArtsLongHaul)

 

BISHOP ARTS THEATRE CENTER’S MISSION

To cultivate a diverse and vibrant arts community while creating sustainable opportunities for local and emerging artists through performances and education.

 

CARA MÍA THEATRE’S MISSION

To inspire and engage people to uplift their communities through transformative Latinx theatre, multicultural youth arts experiences and community action.

 

SOUL REP THEATRE COMPANY’S MISSION

Soul Rep Theatre Company exists to provide quality transformative Black theater that enlightens the imagination, the spirit, and the soul.

 

TEATRO DALLAS’ MISSION

Teatro Dallas is committed to the cultural empowerment of the Latinx community by representing our varied experiences, voices, and artistic expressions. Through high quality theatrical programming Teatro Dallas employs the power of theater to celebrate our diverse traditions while strengthening our community.

Black Lives Matter
We stand with the revolution and recognize that white supremacy in the performing and visual arts, and in arts journalism, must be dismantled.

published Thursday, June 11, 2020

North Texas — The Metropolitan Arts Media board of directors and the staff of TheaterJones stand in solidarity against police brutality and the murders of Black people.

We say the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Manuel Ellis, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean and all whose lives ended violently and unjustly.

From our founding in 2009, TheaterJones has insisted on championing culturally specific arts organizations run by BIPOC administrators and artists in our coverage of an expansive arts scene in a large, diverse market. We have made efforts to include Black and brown writers on our team, and on our board of Trustees when we formed the nonprofit organization Metropolitan Arts Media in 2018. We recognize that we still have work to do in these areas, and vow to find more BIPOC contributors to cover not only culturally specific arts, but all work being created on local stages.

We pledge to look deeper into arts organizations in North Texas and encourage efforts to move beyond tokenism and surface diversity, equity and inclusion promises. Discussions of producing work by minority writers, composers and choreographers must be more than lip-service; and a mere nod to color-blind casting is unacceptable. True representation must include hiring BIPOC artists behind the scenes and in staff and leadership positions, and appointments to boards of directors. It’s time to dismantle systemic racism in the arts industry and in society.

We firmly support the #WeSeeYou initiative, and acknowledge that white supremacy has not only plagued the discipline of theater, but also dance, classical music, opera, visual art, the literary arts – and arts journalism.

This is a critical moment for our nation and the arts. As a media organization with a mission to explore and shine a light on the local arts, we are committed to being a part of the solution.

 

Black Women Matter. Black Men Matter. Black Children Matter.

Black Trans Lives Matter. Black Queer Lives Matter.

Black Artists Matter. Black Creatives Matter. Black Audiences Matter.

Black Administrators Matter. Black Board Members Matter.

Black Businesses Matter. Black Voices Matter. 

Black Ideas Matter. Black Dreams Matter.


Black Lives Matter.

 

 

 

» To learn more about #WeSeeYou, read this and sign the petition.

Intermission for Equity Theaters
Video: 18 DFW Actor's Equity Association theaters have formed an alliance to promote awareness about COVID-19 safety standards for artists and patrons.

published Tuesday, May 5, 2020

 

Last month, 18 professional Equity DFW theatres formed an alliance in an effort to support each other, come together to manage the crisis facing all arts organizations as a result of COVID-19, and to lead our industry in setting safety standards for patrons and artists alike.  We are much stronger together than we are as individual theaters. This video was a joint effort and will be communicated simultaneously by all 18 organizations on Tuesday, May 5th at 10am as part of North Texas Giving Day Now.  It illustrates the economic and community impact our combined 18 organizations have and signals to artists and audiences alike that we are working together to safely get our stage lights on as quickly as possible. This is just an intermission.

The theaters, in alphabetical order, are as follows, listed with the person(s) who are featured in the video: Amphibian Stage (Kathleen Culebro), Bishop Arts Theatre Center (Teresa Coleman Wash), Cara Mía Theatre Co. (David Lozano), Casa Mañana (B.J. Cleveland), Circle Theatre (Matthew Gray), Dallas Children's Theater (Robyn Flatt and Sandra Robertson), Dallas Theater Center (Kevin Moriarty), The Firehouse Theatre (Derek Whitener), Jubilee Theatre (Wambui Richardson and Christie Howard), Kitchen Dog Theater (Tina Parker), Lyric Stage (Christopher Deaton), Second Thought Theatre (Carson McCain and Alex Organ), Shakespeare Dallas (Raphael Parry), Stage West (Dana Schultes), Theatre Three (Christie Vela and Jeffrey Schmidt), Undermain Theatre (Bruce DuBose), Uptown Players (Jeff Rane), and WaterTower Theatre (Shane Peterman).

 

Blake Hackler Wins a Fulbright
The Dallas-based director, playwright and educator has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars grant to teach and research in Romania for four months in 2021.

published Thursday, April 30, 2020
Photo: Jordan Fraker
Blake Hackler

This just in from Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts:

 

Dallas — Actor, director and playwright Blake Hackler, associate professor of theatre at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars grant to conduct teaching and research for four months in Romania. Hackler will work with the University of Craiova and the National Theatre-Marin Sorescu in the city of Craiova. The residency will tentatively begin in the spring of 2021, depending on the continued impact of COVID-19. His project, “Embodying Shakespeare: A 21st Century Approach to Classical Acting,” will include teaching Shakespeare at the university and observing and working with actors at the National Theatre.

The two institutions have a close relationship, Hackler said, and the theatre is known for its bold, physical productions. “The Sorescu is also the producing institution for the acclaimed International Shakespeare Festival, which provides unparalleled access to work by many of the world’s most acclaimed interpreters of Shakespeare,” said Hackler. “The National Theatre actors, immersed in Russian physical theatre methodologies and exposed over the past decade to a variety of international Shakespearean performances, provide me with an indispensable laboratory to explore alternate theories about classical actor training outside of the American model.” He is also exploring opportunities to conduct masterclasses at institutions in Bucharest and other cities in the country.

This is the second Fulbright award Hackler has received. In 2015, he was named a Fulbright Scholar to Bulgaria, where he conducted teaching and research in the capital city, Sofia. He was also awarded a prestigious MacDowell Fellowship in 2018. Hackler joined the Meadows School faculty in fall 2011 and serves as head of acting. He also holds a teaching appointment at Yale University, where he earned an M.F.A. in acting.

As an actor, Hackler has appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the country, working with such acclaimed directors as Michael Mayer, Scott Ellis, Alex Timbers and Mike Alfreds. In New York, he worked with theatres including Playwrights Horizons, York Theatre, The Ohio, and Roundabout. In Dallas, he was just named a Brierley Resident Acting Company member of the Tony-winning Dallas Theater Center. He is also a company member at the nationally recognized Undermain Theatre, and he has appeared at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Second Thought Theatre and Theatre Three. 

He is a member of the esteemed BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Program and is an award-winning playwright whose works have been seen across the U.S. His recent play What We Were was a winner of the Ashland New Play Festival and a finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference in 2018, and received its world premiere in 2019. His adaptation of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People was named Best Play of 2018 by the Dallas Observer.

Hackler has directed for Theatre Three, Trinity Shakespeare, Second Thought Theatre and the Undermain, as well as numerous productions at SMU.

 

About the Fulbright Program

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Under its umbrella, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers opportunities for American scholars, artists and professionals to conduct research, lecture and/or consult with other scholars and institutions abroad. The U.S. Scholar Program offers approximately 470 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries worldwide. For more information, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.

Blake Hackler and Molly Searcy Join DTC Company
The Southern Methodist University professor and student are the latest additions to the Brierley Resident Acting Company at Dallas Theater Center.

published Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Photo: Courtesy DTC
Blake Hackler and Molly Searcy

 

This just in from Dallas Theater Center:

Dallas — 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award® Recipient Dallas Theater Center announces two new actors, Blake Hackler and Molly Searcy, to join the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company, for its 2020-21 season. Dallas Theater Center audiences will see Blake Hackler in Tiny Beautiful Things, The Sound of Music and as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Molly Searcy has signed on to appear in High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest, A Christmas Carol and The Sound of Music.

“Blake and Molly have each given brilliant performances as guest artists on our stage in the past, and we are looking forward to welcoming them to our professional company of resident actors to create high impact, award-winning theater for our community next season,” said Kevin Moriarty, Enloe/Rose Artistic Director, Dallas Theater Center. “As the appointment of these two actors demonstrates, Dallas Theater Center’s partnership with SMU is a source of artistic strength and inspiration for both of our institutions and for Dallas audiences.”

Hackler and Searcy have deep connections to SMU Meadows School of the Arts, where Hackler is the Head of Acting and Searcy is a 2020 graduate of its MFA acting program.

“We are proud of our long partnership with Dallas Theater Center,” said Samuel S. Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are grateful for the opportunities Dallas Theater Center has provided over several decades to our students, alumni and faculty and for the chance to give back to the Dallas arts community through this special relationship.”

Blake Hackler has appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the country. Hackler currently serves as the Head of Acting at Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the esteemed BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Program and is an award-winning playwright. He has twice been named a Fulbright Scholar, to Bulgaria and Romania, and was a 2018 MacDowell Fellow. Hackler holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama.

Hackler’s previous work at DTC has included the role of Andrew Aguecheek in Moriarty’s 2019 production of Twelfth Night, as well as featured performances in Frankenstein and A Christmas Carol. “Blake is widely respected as one of the leading theater artists in Dallas,” said Moriarty. “He’s a great collaborator and an inspired man of the theater whose artistry will strengthen our company and thrill our audiences. I can’t wait to collaborate with him.”

“It's a great honor to be invited to join the Dallas Theater Center family and this group of esteemed artists - some who are long-time friends, some who are former students, all who are extraordinary,” said Blake Hackler. “It's my hope that I can continue to contribute to the mission of Dallas Theater Center to create theater that tells a multitude of stories and honors a diversity of voices in our vibrant community.”

Molly Searcy will graduate next month from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with an MFA in acting. Searcy has appeared on stage in Theresa Rebeck’s world premiere of Enlightened at the Alley Theatre All-New Festival, and in Gordon Dahlquist’s world premiere of Red Chariot at Undermain Theatre. While at SMU, she portrayed lead roles in Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, and Eurydice. Searcy is also a voice actor for Sentai Filmworks, FUNimation, and Sound Cadence Studios. She is best known as the voice of Akame in Akame ga Kill! on Cartoon Network and Netflix, Isuzu Sento in Amagi Brilliant Park, Mako Reizei in Girls und Panzer (Netflix), and Hilda in Saint Seiya (Netflix). Molly is a native Houstonian, with a background in ballet.

“We are thrilled to welcome Molly Searcy to our company as the Linda and Bill Custard SMU Meadows actor for our 2020-21 season,” says Moriarty. “For the past decade, our company has been enriched by the presence of a graduating student from SMU’s MFA acting program, providing the emerging artist with professional artistic opportunities and inspiring our veteran actors with fresh approaches to collaboration and artistry.” Searcy’s most recent performance at DTC was in last season’s acclaimed production of The Wolves. “Molly is a talented actor, accomplished in her craft and a positive collaborator in the rehearsal process. We are very pleased that she’ll be joining us next season.”

"I am so excited to be a part of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and for this opportunity to give to my community through performance. As artists, I believe our job is to evoke, reflect, challenge, and create a space for embodying life's complex, exhilarating, terrifying moments,” said Molly Searcy. “My hope is that by participating in work that offers catharsis or comfort or a challenge, I am making a contribution. This hope is what drew me to Dallas Theater Center and its mission.”

In addition to Hackler and Searcy, the 2020-21 Brierley Acting Company will include returning members Ace Anderson, Tiana Kaye Blair, Tiffany Solano DeSena, Liz Mikel, Alex Organ, Christopher Llywyn Ramirez, and Sally Nystuen Vahle. (Ana Hagedorn rotates out as the previous SMU Meadows actor; and so does Kieran Connolly, who was an SMU professor.)

 

ABOUT DALLAS THEATER CENTER:

One of the leading regional theaters in the country and the 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award® Recipient, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 100,000 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. DTC is one of only two theaters in Texas that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, the largest and most prestigious non-profit professional theater association in the country. Under the leadership of Enloe/Rose Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Jeffrey Woodward, 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 the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning 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 many community collaborations. In 2017, in collaboration with SMU Meadows, DTC launched Public Works Dallas, a groundbreaking

community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and community members, culminating in an annual production featuring more than 200 Dallas citizens performing a Shakespeare play. 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, adapted by Adrian Hall, in 1986; and recent premieres of Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew; Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn; Bella: An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs; Clarkston by Samuel D. Hunter and Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical by Robert Horn, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. Dallas Theater Center gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors: Texas Instruments, American Airlines, Lexus and NBC 5.

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