Andi Allen

How YOLO Can You Go?

Audacity Theatre Lab announces lineup for YOLO Solo Festival, happening around its production of The Last Castrato at the Margo Jones Theatre.

published Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Photo: Kennedy Waterman
Kennedy Waterman

Dallas — The lineup for the YOLO Solo Festival, presented by Audacity Theatre Lab at the Margo Jones Theatre, has been announced. The festival presents eight short solo plays by local writers in the second week of Audacity's run of Andy Eninger's The Last Castrato, a revival of a one-man show featuring Jeff Swearingen. The playwrights of YOLO, which stands for "you only live once," are Andi Allen, Bruce R. Coleman, Danny O'Connor, Kennedy Waterman, Natalie Gaupp, Ben Schroth, Kate Lowry and Brad McEntire.

The Last Castatro begins performances a week earlier, running Jan. 14-26. YOLO picks up on Jan. 21, with performances before and after Castrato.

Below is the news release, with descriptions of the shows and their performance times, followed by a complete schedule:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Eight new short plays by Dallas-area playwrights will have their world premieres at the first YOLO Solo Festival, Jan. 21-26 at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park (1121 First Avenue, Dallas, 75210). Each short one-act features only one actor. All the shows address the "you only live once" theme—some directly, some abstractly.

The six-day festival is being hosted by Audacity Theatre Lab, one of the resident companies at the Margo Jones. Audacity's production of Andy Eninger's The Last Castrato, a one-man play starring Jeff Swearingen, directed by Brad McEntire, will be performed each day of the fest. McEntire's latest script, I Brought Home a Chupacabra, will debut as one of the YOLO pieces (starring Lauren Moore).

"I believe in small theater. Small can be mighty and profound, you know," says Brad McEntire, artistic director of Audacity Theatre Lab. "The solo show format is about as small as it gets. Plus, the YOLO Solo pieces are all original and new and that totally fits with the Audacity mission."

Here's the lineup for the YOLO Solo Festival. NOTE that the curtain time is 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Showtimes for The Last Castrato are 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday, with YOLO plays performed before and after this show. All tickets are $15, available through or by calling or texting 214-888-6650.

YOLO Solo shows in the order of their debut performances, with playwrights' descriptions:

The Elephant in the Room written and directed by Bruce Coleman, starring LisaAnne Haram, 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 21; and 4:30 p.m., Sunday, January 26. Mrs. MacKye, Overton Middle School Vice Principal, teeters on the brink as apathetic parents and bureaucratic bullies tear her precious educational ideals to shreds. As she confronts the enemy head-on, she asks herself, "What would Jane Fonda do?" Coleman is a veteran playwright, director and designer in Dallas theaters including Theatre Three and Uptown Players.

Ostinato by Natalie Gaupp, performed by Katie Weekley, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 21; and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, January 26. With the poetry of Yeats as a persistent background motif (voiced by an actress portraying three distinct ages), a banal act (making mac and cheese) becomes a metaphor for a life devoured by futility. Gaupp is playwright-in-residence at UT-Arlington and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas, focusing on studies in playwriting and performance theory.

She Always Picked Me by Kate Lowry, starring Nick Ware, 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 22; and 4 p.m., Sunday, January 26. An inside look at a love between friends as a young man tries to figure out what went wrong in his relationship with a childhood bestie. Kate Lowry is a theater major at Collin College and works as a children's horseback riding coach and nanny. (Directing assistance by H. Nathaniel Israelson.)

Tyler's Mom by Ben Schroth, starring Betty Milligan, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 22; and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, January 25. Tyler is not really a morning person. He usually doesn't say a word. But Tyler's mom is up early and on the attack. She's ready to set you right on life and death. It's best not to argue or she'll go on all morning—unless she has laundry to do. Schroth is a longtime Dallas writer and actor, most recently onstage playing a theater critic in Pegasus Theatre's Rehearsal for Murder!

I Brought Home a Chupacabra by Brad McEntire, starring Lauren Moore, 7 p.m., Thursday, January 23; and 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 24. A young woman holds a press conference to explain a sticky situation involving a jilted boyfriend and the legendary South Texas goat-monster. McEntire has performed his one-man play CHOP at the NY Fringe Festival and Houston Fringe. He's a regular in Dallas' Festival of Independent Theatres, most recently in 2013 with Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train co-starring Jeff Swearingen.

Melva Tosti Attends Career Day written by and starring Andi Allen, directed by Arianna Movassagh, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 23; and 7 p.m., Saturday, January 25. What happens when an eccentric Italian opera diva known as La Diva Formaggio visits school students on career day? Expect mangled English, high C’s, and a lot of cheese when this not-so-fat lady singsand dishes some opera dirt. Andi Allen teaches theater in a charter school and has acted, directed and written plays for many Dallas theaters including Uptown Players, Pocket Sandwich Theatre and Level Ground Arts.

Allergic Me written by and starring Kennedy Waterman, directed by Jeff Swearingen, 7 p.m., Friday, January 24; and 2 p.m., Sunday, January 26. Says Waterman, "Peanuts and I have a complicated relationship. They're not only an allergy for me, but a way of life. Sometimes I get a little too close for comfort. But I do it on purpose. This is the story of my battle. The story of how I chose to fight." Waterman, 13, recently was named one of Dallas theater's best actresses in the 2013 DFW Theater Critics Forum awards. She's a regular onstage with Jeff Swearingen's Fun House Theatre and Film in Plano and has been acting since she was 6.

Bouncing Ugly written by and starring Danny O'Connor, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, January 24 and 25. "A play about humility, sacrifice and never giving up on your dreams. Or that year I worked as a bouncer at the ugliest bar in New York City, and the terrible tales therein." O'Connor performed his first solo show, Zero, in theaters and festivals in Dallas, Chicago and New York City.

The complete schedule from Jan. 21-26 is:

Tuesday, January 21:

  • 7 p.m. The Elephant in the Room
  • 7:30 p.m. Ostinato
  • 8 p.m. The Last Castrato

Wednesday, January 22:

  • 7 p.m. She Always Picked Me
  • 7:30 p.m. Tyler's Mom
  • 8 p.m. The Last Castrato

Thursday, January 23:

  • 7 p.m. I Brought Home a Chupacabra
  • 7:30 p.m. Melva Tosti Attends Career Day
  • 8 p.m. The Last Castrato

Friday, January 24:

  • 7 p.m. Allergic Me
  • 7:30 p.m. I Brought Home a Chupacabra
  • 8 p.m. The Last Castrato
  • 9 p.m. Bouncing Ugly

Saturday, January 25:

  • 7 p.m. Melva Tosti Attends Career Day
  • 7:30 p.m. Tyler's Mom
  • 8 p.m. The Last Castrato
  • 9 p.m. Bouncing Ugly

Sunday, January 26:

  • 2 p.m. Allergic Me
  • 2:30 p.m. Ostinato
  • 3 p.m. The Last Castrato
  • 4:30 p.m. She Always Picked Me
  • 4:30 p.m. The Elephant in the Room
 Thanks For Reading

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How YOLO Can You Go?
Audacity Theatre Lab announces lineup for YOLO Solo Festival, happening around its production of The Last Castrato at the Margo Jones Theatre.
by Mark Lowry

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