Matt Tomlanovich

Margo Jones Theatre Back on Track

The historic space in Fair Park is now being run by Matt Tomlanovich, who has six resident companies involved, including Audacity Theatre Lab, a revamped Nouveau 47 Theatre and the return of Soul Rep Theatre Company.

published Thursday, September 26, 2013
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Photo: Robert Hart/TheaterJones
Matt Tomlanovich

Dallas — After some big shifts with Nouveau 47 Theatre, the company that formed two years ago with the intent of developing new works in the historic Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park, the space is now being run by new management, with some exciting changes in store.

In the spring, director and voice coach Matthew Tomlanovich took over rent of the space, which is overseen by the Friends of Fair Park. This happened after Nouveau 47 Theatre's production of She Creatures. Tom Parr IV, the co-founder and former artistic director of Nouveau 47, is no longer involved; the company is now being run by Donny Covington.

Tomlanovich has announced that the space will be a shared residency with five performance companies: Nouveau 47 Theatre, Brad McEntire's Audacity Theatre LabStyling Diva Productions, Tomlanovich's own VoiceGeek Dallas, and a most welcome return from a company that produced great work in the late '90s and early 2000s, Soul Rep Theatre Company. Also involved is the marketing and PR firm RED iD Agency

Tomlanovich says his goal is for the Margo Jones Theatre to be an incubator space for new works and to help small companies that can't find affordable spaces around town.

"I want the companies to be self-dependent," he says. "The idea is that they outgrow the space and hopefully have another, more permanent space to go. We can seat about 100 people if we needed to. It's a place where they can come and not lose their shirt."

As for the partners, "they're putting in sweat equity and get cheaper rates," he adds. "They might get first choice of slots, and won't pay rent when not using it, but they're there as a caretaker as a tenant."

So the six resident companies will have first choice of scheduling in the space, and are indeed the bulk of the first season in this new phase. The season, which begins after the State Fair of Texas closes, also includes work by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (DGDG), a new outfit called Mint Presents (which looks to be a new incarnation of Triple J Productions) and burlesque troupe the Lollie Bombs.

There will also be a return engagment of John Michael's solo show John Michael and the Order of the Penix (which is going to the New Orleans Fringe Festival in November), and Nouveau 47 Theatre is bringing back something that used to be a hit for the much-missed Ground Zero Theatre Company: a holiday presentation of 10-minute plays. Also, Audacity Theatre Lab is producing a solo performance festival in 2014.

Special one-night series include Voces Frescas (staged readings), Margo's Contra-Bands and Mystery Flavor (a free-for-all).

Margo Jones was, of course, the resident theater pioneer who started the landmark Theatre 47 in this space in 1947. She was a champion of new work, and along with the bigger names she produced there—Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit the Wind and Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke premiered at her theater—she gave a home to many unknown writers. Her goal was to have a place where actors and artists could work as professionals, and be paid for it, outside of the major theater hubs of New York and Chicago.

Our website is named for her, and you can read more about her on our About Us page. Both Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Texas Woman's University in Denton have theaters named for Margo Jones.

We'll have more about the resident companies in the coming months on TheaterJones, but for now, here's the news release from the Margo Jones Theatre, which has the announcement for the 2013-14 season and helpful tips about parking and how to use the space.




The Margo Jones Theatre (MJT), in the Magnolia Lounge is proud to announce its official re- launch under the new management partnership of artists and friends of the arts. These partners are individuals of companies that are in residence in the space and will act as stewards.

Keeping in the tradition of presenting new works and artists, the MJT will be a space available to performance and visual artists on a low-cost basis. We are all dedicated to creating a welcoming space where emerging artists are able to take risks without the consequence of high rental fees hanging over their heads. This is a place where new ideas can be seen, discussed and developed and is open to anyone who wishes to work in this way.

Usage of, and prices for, can range from a full traditional theatrical run with a low negotiated price to a one night split of the box with no upfront costs. The space comes with seating, lights, sound, insurance and technical help. Special, private and corporate events are also welcome to contact us for usage.


Margo Jones Theatre 2013-14 Schedule



Audacity Theatre Lab

Nov. 3 @ 7 p.m. Kate Mura's SUBURBAN TRIBE (a touring solo show in a one-night engagement)

Nov. 16, 23, 30 and Dec. 7 @ 2PM Brad McEntire’s RASPBERRY FIZZ Solo performance from one of your favorites and one you may not know yet!


ANGELS, INC. by Jon Christie

Mint Presents

Nov. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 16 @ 8 PM

Choices are a part of life; but for angels and demons, it's their job. Alex, a young angel in training, goes toe to toe with Desiree, a demon veteran, to convince a young boy to take their advice. But how far are they willing to go to win? Take a look at the corporate side of heaven and hell. It's not just good and evil—it's business.


Photo: Chuck Marcelo
John Michael and the Order of the Penix


Nouveau 47 Theatre

Nov. 12, 17 @ 8PM

From Dallas Monologuist John Michael must cut his PENIX to fit into the New Orleans Fringe Festival! Special fundraising performance on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. Visit



Soul Rep Theatre Company

Nov. 20, 21, 22, 23 @ 8PM and 24 at @ 2PM

Dallas’ Soul Rep Theatre Company returns after a 10 years hiatus with one of its signature productions-The Freedmans. True and imagined tales of those who lived and died in the historic Freedman’s Town. Directed by Ed Smith, Choreograhed by LaHunter Smith. Featuring Soul Rep company members Keith Price, Dee Smith, Monique Ridge, Douglas Carter, Yolanda Davis and more. There will also be an excerpt of this show performed at the Freedmans Cemetery at Lemmon Avenue and Interstate 75 at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.


MANY FACES OF WOMEN by Stephanie Haynes

Nouveau 47 Theatre and Styling Diva Productions

Nov. 27, 29, 30, 12/1, 6, 7 @ 8 PM

"Many Faces of Women" is a play of 9 monologues spoken by 9 women from a current “snapshot” of their lives. Each woman struggles with where they are now, where they want to be and how (or if) they can change their situation. Is your reflection in any of these “faces”?



Nouveau 47 Theatre

Dec. 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 @ 8PM and Dec. 22, 29 @ 2PM

Ten 10-minute plays with a holiday theme from playwrights whose words have been heard due to Nouveau 47’s new works missionary zeal. So if you are rooting for Tiny Tim to die in this one or are tired of whiney Macy’s Elves com spend your holiday with the merriest line-up in town!A Nouveau 47 Theatre production.



SugarCone Studio Productions 

Jan. 30, 31, 2/6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 @ 8PM

A tart vaudevillian multimedia variety show from the creators of the LollieBombs and Grotesque Burlesque! Live music, dance, singing and more! Visit

Photo: DGDG
Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear in a performance by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group


DIRTY FILTHY DIAMONDS by Danielle Georgiou

Danielle Georgiou Dance Group

Feb. 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, March 1

DFD is a new collaboration between choreographer Danielle Georgiou and DGDG, along with writer Justin Locklear. DFD presents a surreal and grotesque view of human nature through dance and storytelling. If you were lucky enough to have been crammed in the Margo Jones this past August to see her work, you will be back. A DGDG Production



Nouveau 47 Theatre and VoiceGeek Dallas, a co-production

March 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22 @ 8PM

Alexy journeys into hell after the son he abandoned in the woods grows up to be the Antichrist and a TV executive. Storytelling of mythic mirth, Alexy is here to reveal the true apocalyptic absurdity of Earth's future in "Heaven, Hell and that Burning Place of Fire"-the last great saga to be told. Visit



Audacity Theatre Lab

May 14-25

A lone actor takes the stage as the lights dim and then...who knows? Local, regional and national solo performance artists will solo in Dallas without a net.


Getting to, entering and free parking

The Margo Jones Theatre is located at 1121 1st Ave. in Fair Park. Always check ahead of time if there are other events at Fair Park that will impact traffic (concerts, festivals, marathons, etc.). The DART drops you off right in front of the park. If you wish to drive, gate 5 is always open, but other gates can be used (Gate 4 is open depending on need and other events). Parking is always free at the MJT as long as you let the parking attendants know you’re there for an event. You must mention either the Margo Jones or the Magnolia Lounge. Parking is best in lots 5 (A or B), in Lot 4 next to the Music Hall (if there is not a show going on) and on 1st Ave. between the MJT and the Old Mill Inn. Gate 5 is open 24 hours a day.


What Goes On Here?

Risk and imagination. Ongoing programs include Sunday and Monday pay-what-you-can events:

Margo’s Contra-Bands, a stripped down music series on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 8 pm(when not bumped by production needs). Curated by Akron Watson and Conner Farrall (of Goodnight Ned).

Voces Frescas, the continuance of the commitment to new plays and playwrights that the MJT has been known for on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at 7:30 pm (when not bumped by production needs). The readings will feature local and national playwrights and local actors. Feedback sessions will follow with the playwright.

Mystery Flavor, a mix of performance types and artists that can include comedy, performance art, dance, story-telling, visual arts, slam, poetry, whatever. Like the Dum Dum sucker, you never know till you experience it.

In house and guest productions, productions by the companies in residence and from the Dallas community at large will keep the space active, vibrant center for emerging arts and artists.

Workshops and education, many of the artistic partners are also educators. We have a commitment to sharing our knowledge and reaching out to the neighborhood and the artistic community.


How to use the space

The website,, has an event calendar and links to the artists/companies. It also has parking directions and other information about the Dallas Arts scene. If there is interest in using the space for performance or events there is contact info and request forms for further information.

Contact Matthew Tomlanovich, 214-725-8101 or email Thanks For Reading


Robbie writes:
Saturday, September 28 at 3:46PM

Awesome! Love the Margo and am so glad to see such a full schedule for such an awesome facility!

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Margo Jones Theatre Back on Track
The historic space in Fair Park is now being run by Matt Tomlanovich, who has six resident companies involved, including Audacity Theatre Lab, a revamped Nouveau 47 Theatre and the return of Soul Rep Theatre Company.
by Mark Lowry

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