News & Notes Page 1 of 126
Julie Andrews Coming to Winspear
The legendary actress appears in An Evening of Conversation with Julie Andrews at AT&T Performing Arts Center on June 26; tickets on sale Feb. 14.

published Monday, February 10, 2020
Photo: Elite Entertainment
Julie Andrews

DallasJulie Andrews, who is beloved for her stage and/or movie roles in such musicals as The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Victor/Victoria, will appear in a conversation format in An Evening of Conversation with Julie Andrews, happening June 26, 2020 at the Winspear Opera House.

It's important to note that she will not be singing. But you'll hear stories about her famous roles and the people she worked with. She'll be joined by her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, who co-wrote the new book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, with her mother.


Here's the news release about the event.

Elite Entertainment Inc. announced that ‘An Evening of Conversation with Julie Andrews’ comes to AT&T Performing Arts Center Winspear Opera House on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm. Public tickets go on sale Friday, February 14 at 10 a.m.

Ticket prices for ‘An Evening of Conversation with Julie Andrews’ range from $69 to $254 and can be purchased, beginning February 14 at 10 a.m., online at, by telephone at 214-880-0202 or in person at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Winspear Opera House Box Office at 2403 Flora Street. The Box Office is open 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and before performances – closed Saturdays and Sundays. For groups of 10 or more please call 214-978-2879.

A true legend in every sense of the word, Julie Andrews has entertained millions for more than half a century.  Ms. Andrews shares her extraordinary experiences from her early days of vaudeville in England to the popular projects and work she continues to create today.  Opening with a beautiful video montage of her work, ‘An Evening of Conversation with Julie Andrews’ is a unique and unforgettable visit with one of the world's most beloved icons. 

From the nanny we’d always wished for in Mary Poppins to mountain-top twirling nun-no-more Maria in The Sound of Music to a fabulous cross-dressing club crooner in Victor/Victoria, Julie Andrews has towered upon the big screen.  On Broadway, she won hearts with her iconic portrayals in My Fair Lady and Camelot. What stories she has to share! And share them she will during this special evening!  Julie will also be discussing her new book, "Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years”.  Joining Ms. Andrews is her daughter and co-author, Emma Walton Hamilton, who will facilitate questions from the audience.  Julie Andrews will not be singing in this performance.

TITAS Postpones Beijing Dance
The February visit by Beijing Dance/LDTX is postponed because of the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

published Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Photo: Ying Peng
Beijing Dance/LDTX



DallasTITAS/Dance Unbound has postponed the Feb. 28-29 performance of Beijing Dance/LDTX because of the Coronavirus outbreak in China. A replacement will be announced soon, but we can tell you that it will consist of three local companies in a preview of a to-be-announced festival of local talent that TITAS will present in late summer 2020, says TITAS Executive Director Charles Santos.

Dallas was to be the third U.S. stop on the Beijing Dance/LDTX tour, and because of the spreading virus, the group has canceled its international dates. "It's the responsibie thing to do," says Santos.

Santos says he expects the outbreak to be resolved by the time of the TITAS gala, in which the group is bringing in two artists from China.

Look for more info on the Feb. 28-29 performances coming on TheaterJones.

Read more about this announcement in the news release below:



TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND today announced that its upcoming presentation of BeijingDance/LDTX is being postponed due to travel restrictions caused by the Coronavirus outbreak in Asia. The entire North American tour has been postponed.

“While we are disappointed in the postponement, we are encouraged to learn that everyone in BeijingDance/LDTX is healthy,“ says Charles Santos, TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND

 executive director/artistic director. “This global health issue is changing every day, it was necessary and responsible for them to postpone the entire tour.”

BeijingDance/LDTX was scheduled to appear at Moody Performance Hall on February 28 & 29. TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND, its presenting partner the AT&T Performing Arts Center and other dance presenters in the United States have been monitoring the situation overseas and working to ensure they were following the recommendation of the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and City of Dallas protocols. They want to ensure the safety of the dancers, staff and patrons attending performances.

“We are certainly saddened that, this year, our Dallas audiences will not experience this amazing company from across the globe,” said Debbie Storey, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “TITAS and the Center are committed to bringing them back in a future season. This is a reminder of how connected we are to the global community and we send our best wishes to LDTX, the people of China, and to everyone affected by this health crisis.”

TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND also announced that it will be presenting three top local dance companies on those same dates, February 28 & 29, in the Moody Performance Hall. The three dance companies will be announced shortly. This presentation will replace the BeijingDance/LDTX engagement and will be a “preview” of a bigger new festival being developed by TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND. In the coming days, more details on the three companies and the new festival will be shared.

With the change of performing artists for the February 28 & 29 dates, all ticket holders for BeijingDance/LDTX will be directly contacted by the AT&T Performing Arts Center box office staff to explain the options regarding their performance tickets. If patrons have any questions, they are welcome to call the box office at 214.880.0202 or TITAS at 214-978-2855.

Hiltunen Leaves Fort Worth Opera
Tuomas Hiltunen, who was appointed General Manager of Fort Worth Opera in 2017, has resigned.

published Saturday, January 25, 2020
Photo: Courtesy Fort Worth Opera
Tuomas Hiltunen

Fort WorthTuomas Hiltunen, the Finn with a background in theater and opera who was appointed General Director of the Fort Worth Opera in 2017, resigned on Tuesday, Jan. 21. In an email to TheaterJones, Hiltunen only says that he stepped down "because of different visions of the direction and goals of the company."

A statement by the Fort Worth Opera was released late Friday night. The organization's 2020 festival begins in 2020, and includes the world premiere of the opera Zorro. Until a successor is appointed, board president Nelson E. Claytor, Ph.D. will take over the General Director duties.

The news release from FWO is below:


Fort Worth Opera’s Board of Trustees announced today that they have accepted the submitted resignation of General Director Tuomas Hiltunen. Mr. Hiltunen joined Fort Worth Opera in July of 2017. During his tenure, he established security and growth by streamlining expenditures, reducing administrative costs and overhead, and maintaining a balanced operating budget.

“Fort Worth Opera is grateful for Tuomas’ leadership over the past two seasons and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Nelson E. Claytor, Ph.D.Chair of the Board of Trustees. “As we move forward, our top priority is, and always has been, ensuring that the financial health of the company is secure for decades to come.”

Building upon his prior experience in the world of theater, Mr. Hiltunen was instrumental in establishing Fort Worth Opera’s Relaxed Performances program, which created a welcoming opera environment for audience members with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and learning disabilities. Presented in tandem with Fort Worth Opera’s Children’s Opera Theatre program, these modified performances offered a friendly, calming, and supportive environment for children with sensory differences to enjoy opera with their families. The company will continue to work with the Fort Worth ISD and local organizations throughout Tarrant County as this inspiring program evolves.  

Preparations for Fort Worth Opera’s thrilling 2020 Festival (April 17 - May 3) are well underway. This season features star-studded performances of Puccini’s romantic masterpiece La Bohème, a riotous Roaring Twenties comedy, Revenge of the Bat (Die Fledermaus), and the world premiere of swashbuckling adventure Zorro. The company is eager to announce the 2021 line-up for its exhilarating 75th anniversary season in the months ahead. Fort Worth Opera looks towards a bright future as it proudly forges ahead as the oldest continually operating opera company in the state of Texas.  

Until a successor is appointed, Nelson E. Claytor, Ph.D., has assumed the role and duties of Acting General Director.

Join Chris Laker and MAM
New York-based comedian Chris Laker opens Amphibian Stage's 2020 comedy series, and Thursday, Jan. 9 is a benefit for us.

published Monday, January 6, 2020



Fort Worth — This week, Amphibian Stage has its first comedy residency of the season, with New York-based stand-up Chris Laker. The comic, who just made his television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2017 (see video above), performs Wednesday through Saturday, Jan. 8 through Jan. 11, trying out new material.

On Thursday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m., the show is a benefit for Metropolitan Arts Media, which runs and is dedicated to preserving and expanding performing arts journalism in Dallas-Fort Worth. Tickets are $15, and you can make your reservations here. (If you go on Friday or Saturday, tickets go up to $20 and it will not benefit MAM.)

Chris was named a New Face at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in 2011, Chris’s sharp and edgy comedy has earned him a loyal following in New York’s alternative scene, where he’s hosted a variety of shows (The Show at The Creek and the Cave, The Laker Awards) and podcasts: This Week in Jackin’, Heteronormative, and Overslept. This past year Chris has been opening for Mike Birbiglia on his Working It Out and The New One tours. Chris’s debut stand-up album, Moments of Greatness (Comedy Dynamics), is available everywhere that sells music. Chris writes and acts too.

Look for an interview and more to come on TheaterJones.

Terry Loftis to Lead TACA
The philanthropist and Booker T. grad is the new executive director of The Arts Community Alliance.

published Thursday, October 10, 2019
Photo: Courtesy
Terry D. Loftis

DallasTerry D. Loftis has been named the new executive director of TACA, the philanthropic organization that funds arts initiatives in the Dallas area. Loftis will take over the position from Wolford McCue, who leaves the position at the end of 2019. Loftis, an accomplished singer in his right, has been a producer of Broadway musicals, is a longtime philanthropist, and is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts.


Read the complete news release below:

The Board of Directors of TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) announced today that community arts advocate, philanthropist and Tony-nominated Broadway producer Terry D. Loftis has been selected as the organization’s next Carlson President and Executive Director. Loftis will take the helm of TACA immediately and succeed Wolford McCue, who will continue in a consulting role through the end of the year.

“We are thrilled to announce that Terry Loftis has been chosen as our next Carlson President and Executive Director,” said Tara Lewis, TACA’s board chair-elect. “Terry embodies the character, arts experience, and vision that’s vital to our organization and our stakeholders. With Terry’s thoughtful leadership, TACA will continue its important transformative work in the Dallas arts community and provide critical resources for the arts and artists to thrive here.”

After a 25-year career in the advertising and marketing industry, Loftis served most recently as vice president of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund in New York, which co-produced two Tony Award-winning productions, Once on This Island and Hadestown. In addition, he was a co-producer of two acclaimed shows, Bandstand and the The Visit. The Dallas native is a graduate of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and has been actively engaged in the Dallas arts and nonprofit community for many years. He currently serves on the board of Black Tie Dinner and Resource Center. In addition, he sits on the President’s Council of the Advisory Board of Booker T. Washington. His past board service includes Friends of the Katy Trail, USA Film Festival, TITAS/Dance Unbound, and The Dallas Way. 

“I am honored and grateful to be selected by TACA’s Board of Directors as the organization’s next Carlson President and Executive Director,” Loftis said. “From dance to stage productions, music and the visual arts, we are experiencing a new era in programming and diversity across all art forms in Dallas. It’s an exciting time to be part of our city’s artistic growth, and I look forward to leading TACA at this time in our city. TACA will continue to be the gold standard in its support and advocacy for the arts, and we look forward to continuing to lead the way with critical funding to support the arts and artists through grant-making, capacity building and thought leadership.”

TACA Board of Directors Chair Michelle Thomas added, “We are fortunate to have an extraordinarily talented team in place at TACA as we transition to a new leader. Together, they are essential in ensuring that our operation is focused on developing new donors and supporters, elevating our brand to new audiences, and continuing our mission to serve the arts community. Please join me and our Board of Directors in welcoming Terry to TACA. He comes to TACA with a deep passion and commitment for the arts, and will be an amazing leader.”

TACA – The Arts Community Alliance – supports excellence and impact in the arts through grant-making, capacity building, and thought leadership. TACA envisions an innovative, inclusive, sustainable cultural sector recognized for its essential contribution to a vibrant, prosperous community. Since its founding in 1967, TACA has worked to establish North Texas’ cultural community as one of the strongest in the nation. TACA’s growing investment in the arts translates to new premieres and productions, impactful residencies and community initiatives, and more opportunities for artists and audiences to connect – all striving to make Dallas a dynamic city and a great place to live and work. 

Stage West Names Mainstage for Jerry Russell
The Fort Worth group's mainstage becomes the Jerry Russell Theatre, honoring the founder and longtime artistic director. Studio Theatre naming rights are available.

published Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Photo: Buddy Myers
Jerry Russell as Clarence Darrow

Fort Worth — Jerry Russell, the man who founded Stage West 40 years ago and is considered one of North Texas' great theatrical innovators, will have his name on the mainstage at the Fort Worth institution. The group's main performance space will be called the Jerry Russell Theatre.

Russell, a producer, director, and actor, died in 2013 at age 77. For years, the theater had been transitioning the organization's leadership; Dana Schultes, who was mentored by Russell, is now Executive Producer.

The group is also offering naming rights for its Studio Theatre, which is about to undergo renovation.

You can read more about it in the official news release from Stage West below:


Stage West is pleased to announce the theatre’s main stage space is being renamed the Jerry Russell Theatre, in honor of the organization’s beloved founder and long-time leader, Jerry Russell.

Stage West was founded on October 18, 1979 by Jerry Russell, on Houston Street in downtown Fort Worth. The first space was a 65-seat storefront theatre next to Russell’s European Sandwich Shoppe. The success of the first production necessitated the merging of the two spaces into a modest dinner theatre seating around 100. Before the end of the second season, Stage West had formed a Board of Directors, and moved to a new 9,000 square foot space at 821 W Vickery, converting the former warehouse into a theatre with a spacious front area. The theatre would remain at this location for ten more seasons, growing its subscription base and professional status.

Investigating the possibility of owing its own space, Stage West eventually found its way to the old TCU movie theatre at the corner of University Drive and Berry Street. After ten exciting years, the theatre sold that building and moved to the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.  In time, the group discovered that its former space on Vickery was still available, and following a four-month renovation, Stage West opened its doors again at the Vickery location. And now, as of January 2018, Stage West officially owns its own building.

The spirit of Jerry’s original model is still in place.  And the group is now expanding and renovating its home to more fully reflect the legacy started by Jerry - a professional theatre destination serving Fort Worth, Dallas, and beyond with innovative and entertaining stories that entertain, inspire, and challenge us, and creating an indelible imprint on the cultural landscape of Fort Worth.

Temporary signage will be put into place near the entrance to the main stage space, and once the renovations for the current Setting the Stage for the Future are complete, a more permanent treatment will installed. With the naming of the Jerry Russell Theatre, Stage West would also like to announce that naming rights are currently available for the second space (currently known as The Studio) for $400,000.00. This space will undergo extensive renovations in the coming year, complete with state of the art equipment and a flexible seating area with up to 200 seats.

Dallas Opera Cancels Plácido Domingo
The Dallas Opera cancels a 2020 performance with the Spanish opera superstar after more sexual misconduct allegations.

published Thursday, September 5, 2019

Photo: File photo
Plácido Domingo

Dallas — On Thursday, the Dallas Opera made the following announcement regarding the March concert with Spanish opera superstar Plácido Domingo:

"In light of ongoing developments regarding allegations made against Plácido Domingo, The Dallas Opera has decided to cancel the March 11, 2020 gala, in which he was scheduled to perform. Information on future TDO special events will be announced at a later date."

In August, the famed tenor was accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Today, the Associated Press released a story stating that 11 more allegations have been made, including from Angela Turner Wilson, a soprano who is on the faculty at Texas Christian University. Several concert and other engagements by Domingo had already been canceled.

TACA Funds New Works and Residencies
Seven theater, dance and music organizations nab New Works grants; and four receive artist residency funds.

published Thursday, September 5, 2019
Photo: Courtesy
From left, visual artist Carmen Menza and playwright Gloria Bond Clunie


Dallas — The 2019 TACA New Works Fun and Artist Residence Funds have been announced. In the New Works category, which began in 2012, there have typically been three or four arts organizations sharing $100,000; this year that amount has been bumped up to $150,000, and is split between seven groups: Cry Havoc Theater Co., Dallas Children's Theater, Dallas Sympony, Dallas Theater Center, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Junior Players, and Undermain Theatre. Another $70,000 goes to Avant Chamber Ballet, Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, Dallas Symphony and Junior Players in the Artist Residency Fund.


Here is the complete news release from TACA:

TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) has announced the 2019 recipients of the TACA New Works Fund and the TACA Artist Residency Fund. A diverse group of nine arts organizations – representing dance, instrumental music, choral music and theater – will receive 11 grants totaling $220,000 to create new works or to support artist residencies in North Texas. 

Photo: Courtesy
Playwright Don X. Nguyen

“TACA is thrilled to announce a record $220,000 to support the creation of new works and fund artist residencies in North Texas,” said Wolford McCue, TACA Carlson president and executive director. “We offer our deepest gratitude to the Hersh Foundation, Sapphire Foundation, and Donna Wilhelm Family Fund for their support of the New Works Fund and the Bowdon Family Foundation and Rea Charitable Trust for their support of the Artist Residency Fund.”

“This year, we’re thrilled to be funding a record seven New Works Fund grant recipients, including first-time grantees Cry Havoc Theater Co., Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and Junior Players,” McCue added.  “We’re also increasing our distribution to the Artist Residency Fund to $70,000, a 40 percent increase from last year.   Avant Chamber Ballet and Dallas Symphony Orchestra are receiving the grant for the first time.”

Launched in 2012, the TACA New Works Fund was established to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance, and theater in Dallas County. To date, the New Works Fund has provided $900,000 in grants to support 28 new works including Everest by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer at The Dallas Opera and Chasing Home by Albert Drake and Joseph Thalken at Bruce Wood Dance. 


2019 New Works Fund


Cry Havoc Theater Co. - $25,000

H2O, by Mara Richards Bim


Dallas Children’s Theater - $25,000

Last Stop on Market Street, by Gloria Bond Clunie, Matt de la Peña, vickie washington, M. Denise Lee, and Robyn Flatt


Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $15,000

Negotiating Dialogues, by Carmen Menza, Mark Menza, Eric Farrar, Joel Olivas, and musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; as part of the DSO’s Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival


Dallas Theater Center - $20,000

The Supreme Leader, by Don X. Nguyen


Photo: Courtesy
Playwrights Erin Burdette and Michael Federico will create a work for Junior Players

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance - $25,000

PETE: A New Dance Musical, by Joshua L. Peugh


Junior Players - $15,000

Junior Players Presents: The Aftermath, by Erin Burdette and Michael Federico


Undermain Theatre - $25,000

He’s Born, He’s Borne, by David Rabe


“In our upcoming documentary/verbatim piece, H2O, the teens of Cry Havoc and I will collect interviews from across the country and from across the political spectrum on the pressing issue of climate change. The immediacy of the topic and the resulting outcry of youth from across the globe makes this project particularly relevant at this moment,” said Founder Mara Richards Bim.  “Creating new work like H2O takes time and resources and champions like TACA and the funders who support the New Works Program.  I'm profoundly grateful for their vision and dedication to the development of new work and for their support of this project.”

“The grant from the TACA New Work Fund will allow our vision and our impact to expand, giving our community more opportunities to see their stories reflected on stage; for them to feel, experience, and participate in the practice of art-making in their own classrooms and neighborhoods,” stated Chadi El-Khoury, executive director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance.

“Junior Players is excited for the opportunity to expand their artistic repertoire by nurturing the voice of our youth and community artists.  Thanks to TACA and their generous donors, Junior Players will be able to create a new work that expounds on the topics and conversations highlighted in our recently piloted initiative titled: Junior Players Champions and Challenges - a broadcast journalism program,” said Junior Players’ Rosaura Cruz, Executive Director. “This production, The Aftermath, focuses on local stories that reflect our everyday lives.  You will embark on a journey of turning points, choices, decisions from the lens of the next generation of change agents. These stories are not a vehicle of answers, but a request to question and create social change. Inevitable, universally meaningful, and illuminating, this is The Aftermath.”

In 2015, TACA developed the TACA Artist Residency Fund in response to the 2014 TACA Perforum symposium when the local arts community expressed a need for greater support of unique artist-community engagement opportunities. To date, the fund has distributed $370,000 to 17 residencies including Jamal Story’s residency with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and playwright Jonathan Norton’s current residency at Dallas Theater Center.  The fund supports the development of innovative artistic residency programs in Dallas County while fostering meaningful interaction among arts organizations, artists, and the greater community.


2019 Artist Residency Fund


Photo: Lynn Lane
Choreographer Jennifer Mabus

Avant Chamber Ballet - $15,000

Residency of choreographer and dance artist Jennifer Mabus


Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas - $10,000

Residency of Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!, Orpheus Chamber Singers, cellist Gayane Manasjan and her string quartet, and storyteller DeeCee Cornish


Dallas Symphony Orchestra - $13,000

Residency of musician and composer Julia Wolfe


Junior Players - $32,000

Residency of Shelby Doroshow, Shannon Hart, Yolanda Williams


"Avant Chamber Ballet is honored to receive the Artist in Residency grant for the first time. The funding will not only fund the creation of a new work by Jennifer Mabus for Women's Choreography Project but also fund her residency with local youth non-profits. The new work will be a true collaboration of our dancers, musicians, choreographer and the community, " said Katie Cooper, Artistic Director. 

“We are honored to be a first-time recipient of the TACA Artist Residency Fund,” said Kim Noltemy, Dallas Symphony Orchestra President & CEO. “This award will support the work of our Composer-in-Residence Julia Wolfe. The DSO is a co-commissioner of Wolfe’s new work, Fountain of Youth, which will receive its Dallas premiere in January 2020 with Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi. She will also play a central role in this April’s Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, both in performances of her works and in educational opportunities with Dallas students. We are grateful to TACA for their visionary leadership in bringing new work and thought-provoking performances to the Dallas community.”

A panel of local and national artists and arts managers narrowed applicant organizations through a competitive application and review process followed by interviews by local nonprofit and arts experts.  Panelists selected the recipients based on the innovativeness and merit of their project, the inclusion of artistic collaborations, and the quality of engagement of target audiences.

In addition to these two funds, TACA provided $750,000 in general operating grants to 48 performing and visual arts organizations in January 2019. Since its founding in 1967, TACA has distributed more than $29 million to over 160 arts organizations.



2019 TACA Artist Residency Fund Jurors

Adam Adolfo – Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, Bishop Arts Theatre Center

Laura Barbee – Dance Teaching Artist, Texas Christian University

Ariel Bradler – Executive Director, Theatre Puget Sound

Sam Brukhman – Artistic Director, Verdigris Ensemble

Lily Cabatu Weiss – Executive Director, Dallas Arts District

William George-Twyman – Head of Choral Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Leonard Hayes – Head of Piano Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Brea Heidelberg – Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director, Drexel University

Denise Lee – CEO Denise Lee Onstage and Change the Perception

Carmen Menza – Artist, Menza Art Studio

Rachel Naomi Wade – Director, Arlington Heights Dance Department, Fort Worth ISD

Ilknur Ozgur – Founder, Artstillery

Suzanne Smith – Founder and CEO, Social Impact Architects

Alex Turrini – Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Southern Methodist University

Anna Wittstruck Gottlieb – Director of Orchestra, University of Puget Sound


2019 TACA New Works Fund Jurors

Matthew Albert – Chair of Chamber Music, University of Michigan

Susan Douglas Roberts – Professor of Dance, Texas Christian University

Emily Ernst – Professor of theatre, University of Nebraska

Erica Felicella – Owner, Cella Arts

Danielle Georgiou – Artistic Director, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group

Leah Harris – Director of Community Engagement, Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Dr. Samuel Holland – Dean and Professor of Music, Southern Methodist University

Parisa Khobdeh – Principal Dancer, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company; Artistic Director and Choreographer, Parisa Khobdeh Dance Company

Peter Kupfer – Associate Professor of Musicology, Southern Methodist University

Bridget L. Moore – Artistic Director, B. Moore Dance

Clint Riley – Nonprofit Arts Executive

Liz Sankarsingh – Program Manager, Ignite Arts Dallas, Southern Methodist University

Joanie Schultz-Milioto – Theater Director

Audra Scott – Head of Opera Studies, Booker T. Washington HSPVA

Regina Taylor – Writer, Actor, Director, Producer

Christopher Treviño – Assistant Technical Director, University of Texas at Dallas

Corinne Woods – Director of Programs, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York

New Stages in Irving
Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas is getting a new facility for productions, rehearsal space and storage; will continue at Irving Arts Center as well.

published Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Photo: Courtesy
Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas\' new home


Later this year, one of DFW's largest community theaters, Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas, will open the doors on a new home. The new space will replace the former Ruddy Seppy Rehearsal Studio that the organization has maintained for years.

The new home will have rehearsal space, indoor and outdoor stages, and more storage. The company will continue to produce a five-show subscription season at the Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theater; the new home will allow for additional programming.

Speaking of the new season, the 2019-20 season of MainStage Irving-Las Colinas at the Irving Arts Center includes The Royal Dilemma, a co-production with ThinkIndia Foundation (September 12-28), A Chorus Line (November 1-9 in Carpenter Hall), Have Yourself A Broadway Little Christmas (December 12-14), Pride & Prejudice (January 25-February 8), Inherit the Wind (March 20-April 4), Disaster! The Musical (May 8-23), and How The Other Half Loves (July 17-August 1). Programing at the new MainStage 222 will be announced at a later date.

More about the new space is below, from the news release:


It’s almost show time in downtown Irving! The Heritage District will soon be abuzz with song, dance and more with new stages recently leased by the city’s premier theater group – MainStage Irving-Las Colinas. Adopting the former Texas Musicians Museum at 222 East Irving Blvd, MainStage Irving-Las Colinas will now manage the venue as MainStage 222. The non-profit organization’s new home will feature indoor and outdoor stages as well as rehearsal space, storage, and a scenic-building facility. The theater company will continue its traditional production series at the Irving Arts Center. The new space will allow the organization to increase its production offerings with a variety of performances to be presented in downtown Irving.

“MainStage Irving-Las Colinas’ 50+ year success demonstrates the incredible amount of support Irving contributes to our thriving local arts scene,” IrvingMayor Rick Stopfer states. He continues, “I’m thrilled to see this local organization not only make use of this terrific facility, but to see how they create new performance opportunities for our residents to enjoy and participate.”

A ribbon cutting and open house event will officially open MainStage 222 on Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The community is invited; entertainment and light refreshments will be provided.

Clayton Cunningham, president of the MainStage board of directors states, “We are so excited to move in to our new home and make it a place for which the Irving community can enjoy a variety of great performances.” Board member and long-time Irving resident Tom Ortiz continues, “I’ve lived in Irving all my life and I can’t wait to introduce our theater to more residents of our great city. MainStage is honored to play a role in contributing to the downtown Irving scene. We look forward to welcoming everyone at 222 East Irving Boulevard.”

Now providing arts and entertainment on four Irving stages in two locations, MainStage will not only expand their live arts events, but will also offer the MainStage 222 as a rental facility for outside theatres, musicians, meetings and events. MainStage is excited to partner with the City of Irving to support local community outreach opportunities like the Irving Main Street Festival, Independence Day Parade, and much more.

For tickets and information to MainStage Irving-Las Colinas’ productions, visit  MainStage Irving-Las Colinas is an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and is funded in part by the City of Irving through the Irving Arts Board.

Chita and Kelli Join DSM Gala
The Dallas Summer Musicals Gala in November will feature Chita Rivera, Kelli O'Hara and Amber Riley. Tickets go on sale Friday.

published Monday, July 8, 2019
Photo: Courtesy
Kelli O'Hara



Dallas — The annual gala for Dallas Summer Musicals has been announced, and much like its 2018 gala, the 2019 edition is filled with bigtime Broadway stars, notably legend Chita Rivera, and Tony-winning Kelli O'Hara. Joining them is Amber Riley, best known for playing Mercedes in the TV show Glee.

The event is Nov. 1, 2019 at the Music Hall at Fair Park, and tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, July 12.

Below is the complete news release from Dallas Summer Musicals:


Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) announced today that single tickets for An Evening with the Best of Broadway, the highly anticipated concert finale to the 2019 DSM Gala, will go on sale Friday, July 12, 2019 at 10 a.m.

On November 1, DSM will celebrate the magic of musical theatre and the culmination of a successful annual Gala by bringing an extraordinary trio of award-winning women to the Music Hall at Fair Park for one night only. The evening’s lineup includes Tony Award® winner Kelli O’Hara and Olivier Award winner Amber Riley, and will be hosted by Tony Award® winner and Kennedy Center Honoree Chita Rivera. In continuation of DSM’s newest Gala tradition, surprise special guests will also be making appearances throughout the evening.

Single tickets for An Evening with the Best of Broadway start at $25 (pricing subject to change) and are available at or by phone at 800-982-2787. They can also be purchased in person at the Music Hall at Fair Park Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (214) 426-4768 or emailing

Photo: Laura Marie Duncan
Chita Rivera

Rivera, who will serve as the evening’s emcee, is one of the most decorated performers of all time. Throughout her career, she has earned 10 Tony Award® nominations, won twice and in 2018 received the special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre. Rivera was a 2002 Kennedy Center Honoree, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and was honored as a Living Landmark in 2018. Rivera had starring roles in many Broadway productions including Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman, but is best known for originating the role of Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story. Most recently, Rivera starred in The Visit on Broadway. 

O’Hara is one of Broadway’s most respected and admired leading ladies. She has received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her roles in The Pajama Game, South Pacific, Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Bridges of Madison County, and won the 2015 Tony Award® for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the Broadway revival of The King and I. Most recently, O’Hara received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her starring role in the 2019 Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate. In addition to her work on the stage, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her role as Katie Bonner in the hit web series “The Accidental Wolf.” O’Hara’s other film and television credits include Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Sex and the City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Blue Bloods and Numb3rs.

Riley received the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as “Effie White” in the West End premiere of Dreamgirls. She is best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in the hit television show Glee, which became a cultural phenomenon earning four Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes, including Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical in 2010. In 2013, Riley won the coveted mirror ball trophy as the season 17 champion of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars alongside her partner Derek Hough. She also starred in NBC’s The Wiz Live! with Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige, and most recently Riley appeared as Kali in Tyler Perry’s 2018 film, Nobody’s Fool.

Prior to the public performance, Dallas Summer Musicals will host its annual 2019 DSM Gala – An Evening with the Best of Broadway, co-chaired by Helen & Brendan McGuire and Calvert Collins-Bratton & Vince Bratton, which celebrates DSM and the magic of musical theatre. Participation in the 2019 DSM Gala will support the nonprofit DSM in its mission to bring the very best of Broadway to North Texas, develop appreciation of musical theatre among diverse audiences and foster meaningful arts experiences for children and families in our community. Since 1941, DSM has contributed to the rich cultural history of Dallas and North Texas bringing award-winning musical theatre productions to the region. DSM has received countless accolades and holds a special place in the hearts of the nearly twenty-five million patrons it has entertained.

DSM’s remarkable 2019-2020 season lineup, featuring Dear Evan Hansen and Disney’s Frozen, provides opportunities for meaningful and significant education and community programming for children and families. Each year, DSM continues to build upon its community impact through the DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards (in national partnership with The Broadway League), Seats for Kids, Seats for Vets, Kids Club and Hear Us Now. The Gala will benefit these programs as well as DSM’s growing portfolio of diverse, innovative and immersive education programming to engage our neighbors – people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Gala guests will enjoy an incredible culinary experience, a silent auction featuring luxury items, valet parking and meet-and-greet opportunities prior to and following the An Evening with the Best of Broadway performance. This will be a wonderful opportunity to indulge in everything patrons love about Broadway and DSM at the historic Music Hall at Fair Park.

Gala giving opportunities are available here or by contacting the DSM Development Department at 214-426- 6333 or


Photo: Courtesy
Amber Riley

About Dallas Summer Musicals:

For more than 75 years, the non-profit Dallas Summer Musicals Inc. (DSM) has presented the very best in Broadway to North Texas audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall at Fair Park, DSM promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to offer affordable ticket prices, preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and develop impactful community programs.

DSM gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors, annual fund donors and corporate partners American Airlines, Texas Instruments, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA TV Channel 8. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at


About Chita Rivera:

A theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

A versatile actress/singer/dancer, she recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway, the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can- Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes.

Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In 2019, Chita performed her solo concert at London’s Cadogan Hall; in 2018 she was honored as a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy; in 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.


About Kelli O’Hara:

Stage and screen star Kelli O’Hara most recently starred in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate for which she received a 2019 Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in A Musical. Kelli received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series “The Accidental Wolf”. On Broadway, Kelli’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics and Oliver nominations.

She then reprised her Tony Winning role while making her West End debut this past summer for which The Times hailed her as “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen” adding “Kelli O’Hara does not just play Anna, she owns the part”. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (City Center Encores), Sunday in the Park with George (Reprise), and My Life With Albertine (Playwright’s Horizons).

Kelli received a 2018 Webby nomination for her role in the hit web-series thriller The Accidental Wolf and appears in the second season of Netflix’s series 13 Reasons Why. Other film and television credits include All The Bright Places, Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Showtime’s Masters of Sex, CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, Alexander Hamilton, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk. In 2015, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow. She returned to the opera this past spring as Despina in Così fan tutte.

Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from New York’s Carnegie Hall all the way to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Along with two Grammy Award nominations, her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World are available on Ghostlight Records.


About Amber Riley

Actress and singer Amber Riley is best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in the Golden Globe Award-winning musical comedy, Glee. She recently played the role of Kali in Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s Fool which premiered fall 2018. The film also stars Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, and Whoopi Goldberg. Riley recently wrapped a year-long run in her West End debut of the revival production of Dreamgirls in the iconic role of Effie White. The production marked the UK premiere of the award-winning production. Riley won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. In 2013, she won season 17 of ABC’s hit competition series Dancing with the Stars alongside her partner Derek Hough. Additional recent television appearances include a starring role in the UPtv original movie, My One Christmas Wish and a starring role alongside Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige and newcomer Shanice Williams as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in NBC’s live production of The Wiz. Riley’s numerous theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. In November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center’s Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade.

Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl Second Thought Theatre Hans and Sofie Cliburn Festival 2020 Undermain Theatre Madame Bovary One Man Two Guvnors Stage West Children Theatre Arlington Raisin in the Sun Don Carlo Dustbowl
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