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.
Next up: Denise Lee.
Most of the Faces of FIT are people who have performed and/or created work in multiple festivals, but Denise Lee—easily one of the most recognizable and beloved stage personalities in North Texas—has only participated in one. But it was a very memorable one.
It was Echo Theatre's 2010 production of Bible Women, a song cycle by Elizabeth Zwados with additional text by Dallas playwright Vicki Caroline Cheatwood. The work tells the stories of some of the Bible's famous women (Esther, Ruth, Sarah, Eve, Miriam), as well as some who are not as well known (the warrior Deborah, and Lilith, Adam’s first wife).
It was so popular that Echo is reviving it for FIT 2018, and Lee is again attached to the project. Always working, rehearsal of Bible Women overlap with the planning and performances of the Dallas Cabaret Festival, which Lee founded and this year moves to the underground space at the Bath House, July 5-7. (FIT opens the following weekend.)
Lee has performed with many local professional theaters, having just come off a hit run in Mamma Mia at Fort Worth's Casa Mañana.
In the video above, she shares her #MyFITStory about Bible Women, and also throws love to one of her favorite shows ever, 2017's Stiff, written by and starring Sherry Jo Ward.
» 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