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: Kurt Kleinmann and Leslie Patrick.
Kleinmann is a bona fide legend of Dallas theater, having started Pegasus Theatre in the 1980s, running in its Deep Ellum home through 2002. Pegasus was the first local theater to do plays by ridiculous-loving Charleses: Ludlam and Busch; and become famous for its Living Black and White plays, inspired by the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films. The idea: put a black-and-white film on stage, with all of the sets, costumes and make-up in shades of gray.
Pegasus lost its space in 2002, and Kleinmann produced his shows in New York a few times. They started reviving the Black and White shows at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, and in an effort to offer more product, created Churchmouse Productions.
"It was a branding thing, an effort to make our audiences aware that we do more than black-and-white shows," Kleinmann says.
Patrick has served as Kleinmann's assistant for years, and often appears in Pegasus and Churchmouse shows. The other folks instrumental in this team are Kleinmann's wife Barbara Weinberger for Pegasus, and Chad Cline for Churchmouse.
At FIT, Churchmouse has done works by Dallas playwright Matt Lyle, David Mamet and Carson Kreitzer. They've stopped using Churchmouse and have returned Pegasus to a full season that does a new works festival and full productions at the Bath House Cultural Center. They don't have a FIT show this year, but in August, Pegasus will produce the world premiere of A Proper Man by Dallas playwright Steven Young.
In the video above, Kleinmann and Patrick look back at some of the more memorable moments from Pegasus/Churhmouse's FIT productions.
» 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