Dallas — Major news for the North Texas theater community: The Dallas Theater Center has won the 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award. This makes it the second theater in Texas to have won that award (Houston's Alley Theatre won in 1996), and one of the few theaters in the South to have won in the award's 42 years.
The award is selected by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, after recommendations from the American Theatre Critics Association.
The Dallas Theater Center was founded in 1959 and was originally led by the innovative theatermaker Paul Baker in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphrey Humphreys Theater, its major home for 50 years. During that time, artistic directors included Adrian Hall, Ken Bryant and Richard Hamburger. Current Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty was hired in 2007 and helped the theater transition to its new home at the Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The company still uses the Kalita as well.
In that time Moriarty has not only transformed the organization and its relationship to the community, but he has played a big part in Dallas' growing national theater recognition and in bringing the theatrical community closer. The upcoming 2017-18 season will be his 10th season with the company.
Dallas Theater Center's current production is the outdoors promenade-style production of Sophocles' Electra, and its next will be a revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit the Wind, a play that had its world premiere in Dallas at the predecessor to DTC, regional theater pioneer Margo Jones' theater, in 1955. Inherit will be performed at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.
Moriarty and Managing Director Jeffrey Woodward will accept the award at the Tony telecast on June 11.
The Tony Award nominations will be announced on May 2.
Look for a separate story with interviews with Kevin Moriarty and others coming on TheaterJones.
For now, here is the complete press release from the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The Tony Awards® Administration Committee announced today that it will present the 2017 Regional Theatre Tony Award to Dallas Theater Center (DTC). The 2017 Tony Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 11.
One of the most prestigious and coveted honors in the entertainment industry, the Regional Theatre Tony Award is presented each year to honor a non-profit professional regional theatre company in the United States that has displayed a continuous level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theatre nationally. It is awarded based upon a recommendation by the American Theatre Critics Association.
Founded in 1959 under the artistic leadership of Paul Baker, DTC is one of the country’s oldest regional theatres. For close to 60 years, DTC’s innovative, dynamic programming has made a significant mark on the Dallas community as well as the American theater at large, highlighted by its sustained focus on producing new works, supporting a resident acting company, utilizing theatrical space in surprising ways and engaging deeply with the diverse Dallas community. Under the direction of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Jeff Woodward, Dallas Theater Center currently produces a vibrant season of new plays, classics, and musicals, including recent world premieres by Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flinn, Kirsten Childs, Samuel D. Hunter, Will Power and many others. The Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company demonstrates DTC’s abiding commitment to supporting a core group of resident artists. DTC annually serves an audience of more than 100,000 North Texas residents, is a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District, and is a member of the League of Resident Theatres.
“The Tony Award is one of the most coveted honors in the American theater, and receiving it is a cause for great celebration throughout Dallas,” Moriarty said. “This award is in recognition of DTC’s nearly sixty years of achievement. It’s a testament to the artistry of the theater’s previous artistic directors, Paul Baker, Adrian Hall, Ken Bryant and Richard Hamburger. It’s an honor for the many talented artists whose work has graced our stages. It’s an acknowledgement of the deep relationship between DTC and our community here in North Texas, for whom we produce plays that inspire meaningful conversations. It’s a tribute to the diversity of artists who seek to create art that mirrors the glorious diversity of our community. And it’s a validation of our city’s shared belief that a great city requires great art to bring us together, ask vital questions and inspire us to build a more perfect union.”
“This is a unique Tony Award because it does not honor a single play, performance, director, or design, it honors a body of work over a number of years,” said Woodward. “This award honors our terrific and talented staff and our dedicated board of trustees led by Julie Hersh and Jeff Bragalone. It honors our adventurous audience, especially our subscribers. It honors the strong and consistent support we receive from our donors, and it honors the great city of Dallas.”
This season Dallas Theater Center 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 over 200 Dallas citizens performing a Shakespeare play.
DTC’s commitment to education is highlighted by the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning Project Discovery, that provides in-depth theater experiences for thousands of teens from 30 North Texas high schools. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Project Discovery has allowed over 265,000 students and teachers to experience and study the finest in live, professional theater. DTC has ongoing educational partnerships with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, and has established community collaborations with many institutions throughout Dallas, including North Texas Food Bank, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas Museum of Art and The Sixth Floor Museum. With equity, diversity and inclusion as a core value, DTC is dedicated to expanding access and breaking down barriers for all people in its diverse North Texas community.
Dallas Theater Center gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors: Texas Instruments, American Airlines, Lexus, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Time Warner Cable and WFAA. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or call (214) 880-0202.