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: Sherry Jo Ward.
Ward's story has been well documented. on this site and elsewhere. She was an actress and educator whose life changed in her 40s when she was diagnosed with the rare neuromuscular disease Stiff Person Syndrome, which causes sudden immobility due to muscles seizing up.
She started writing about this life change, with the idea for a one-woman show, and then met director Marianne Galloway. The result was the hit show Stiff, produced by Risk Theater Initiative at the 2017 Festival of Indpendent Theatres. She has since performed it at Stage West in Fort Worth and booked it at theaters around the country. She even performed it for a group of neurologists at Southwestern Medical Center.
“When you’re looking at what you think is the end of your professional career, because not only was it getting to where I couldn’t audition anymore, because I’m on disability, I couldn’t do administrative work anymore,” she says.
“Being here at FIT, there was an energy that you don’t find anywhere else.”
She talks more about her journey with Stiff in the video above.
“I am going to do this show as long as a physically can.”
» The shows in the 2018 Festival of Independent Theatres and a grid schedule are below. You can read descriptions and see a full schedule 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