Dallas — To celebrate two decades of the Festival of Independent Theatres, the organization has launched a #MyFITStory campaign, and is highlighting the 20 Faces of FIT. These are 20 people, or groupings of people, who have made a significant impact on the festival—as the festival has had on them. Each made a video focused on their FIT story at a media day event on June 5.
TheaterJones is showcasing one of the Faces each day through the beginning of the festival, which runs July 13 to Aug. 4 at the Bath House Cultural Center. The videos were shot by FIT.
We begin with the husband-wife team of Jeffrey Schmidt and Lydia Mackay. She was not at the media event, but Schmidt tells his FIT story in the video above.
Schmidt and Mackay were already both established as theatermakers and educators in North Texas, but they founded the Drama Club to adapt Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata, and it was the group's first show, performed at the 2008 FIT. The Drama Club followed that with shows in the two more FITs, the original works The Old Woman in the Wood and The Muse. The group has since produced two non-FIT shows at Bryant Hall: an adaptation of Faust and Wild, Wicked, Wyrd: Fairytale Time.
The Drama Club loves puppetry, mask, compelling visuals and great stories.
Schmidt says the Drama Club will produce again in the coming years, but right now he's busy with his latest gig as the artistic director of one of North Texas' longest-running theaters, Theatre Three. Mackay is on the faculty at Texas Christian University and performs on stage and film, and is currently in Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Theatre Three.
They are not involved in this year's FIT; but no doubt the event helped them launch their adventurous theater group.
» The shows in the 2018 Festival of Independent Theatres and a grid schedule are below. You can read descriptions here.
Camp Death Productions: Jimmy Pine by Ben Schroth
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group: Just Girly Things by Danielle Georgiou, Justin Locklear, Ruben Carrazana, Trey Pendergrass and Cory Kosel
Eccentric Bear Productions: The Book of Gabe by Isaac Young
Echo Theatre: Bible Women by Elizabeth Swados and Vicki Caroline Cheatwood
Imprint Theatreworks: Suckers by Devin Berg
Laughter League: Where Do I Sit? by Dick Monday
Prism Movement Theater: BruNO and lOUIe by Jeffrey Colangelo
WingSpan Theatre Company: Landscape by Harold Pinter
The 20th Festival of Independent Theatres
July 13- August 4, 2018
Bath House Cultural Center,
521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas
Tickets and passes go on sale in late June
Call 800-617-6904 or visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org