If you want to know about the Dallas theater scene in the past 30 years, Raphael Parry is a good place to start. After working with the Alley Theatre in Houston, Parry moved to Dallas to pursue acting in the late '70s. In a production of Lysistrata, he met Katherine Owens, and the two founded Undermain Theatre, which at the time was one of several spots for experimental and avant-garde theater in Dallas. It still is, although there are fewer companies doing that kind of work than when Parry and Owens began.
Parry is now the artistic director of Shakespeare Dallas (which has a fall production of Hamlet currently open, in which Parry plays Polonius); and founded Project X: Theatre, which operates the Green Zone in the Design District, a space that also hosts independent companies like Upstart Productions.
In this two-part interview conducted by Thomas Riccio, Parry discusses his beginnings in Dallas, co-founding Undermain Theatre, and what he has noticed as the scene has grown and changed in the past three decades. He has some interesting insight about our can-do spirit and why some new theater companies start out strong and then lose their way. He also talks about upcoming projects, including a collaboration with Erik Ehn.
Riccio is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, a playwright, director, world traveler and theater-maker. In the spring of 2010, he wrote a series of essays for TheaterJones about his experience with making theater in Ethiopia in 2009. The first of those, which links to the others, is here. He also recently started his own theater company, Dead White Zombies.
With this series of interviews, Riccio is hoping to get at the idea of a Dallas or North Texas theater aesthetic. The others are below in our new AudioCasts section.
Click each link below and it will open a player in a new window, so you can listen while you do other stuff on the Internet (preferably on our site). And if you get a message that a plug-in is needed, it's because your browser needs a Flash plug-in.