Dallas — The lineup for the 18th annual Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) has been announced. This year's FIT includes longtime participants Echo Theatre and WingSpan Theatre Company. WingSpan, the only company that has been in every FIT, will take on Samuel Beckett's Play (check out this filmed version of Play from the terrific 2001 series Beckett on Film). Echo premieres a work by Brittany Willis, called Blisters.
What's cool about the other six groups as that they're all FIT virgins. Making their first appearance at the event are local companies Cry Havoc Theatre Company, Fun House Theatre and Film, House Party Theatre, L.I.P. Service and Proper Hijinx Productions. The other group, Freida Dunkelberg & Company, is making its Dallas debut.
A few stats about this year's groups and plays:
- Premiere works: Four (yay!)
- Works by women: Four (half!)
- Productions that will be directed by women: Six
- Groups run (or partially run) by women: Six
- Works by local (or formally local) writers: Three
- Groups that highlight youth performers: Two (cool!)
- Works by Irishmen: Two, Conor McPherson and Samuel Beckett
- Works by writers of color: One, Naomi Iizuka, who is Latina/Japanese (let's work on that)
Here's the complete news release:
The Festival of Independent Theatres returns with six new companies and two festival founders joining forces for a four-week run of summertime entertainment at the Bath House Cultural Center this July. Presented just a stone's throw from the shores of White Rock Lake, FIT offers eight different one-acts, presented in rotating pairs, by eight of North Texas' most notable theatre companies and is sponsored by the City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs.
This year's festival is shaping up to be one of the most unique in recent memory as it blends long-time participants WingSpan Theatre, Co. and Echo Theatre with six new companies for its usual mixture of sophisticated storytelling and upstart theatrical events.
Making their eighteenth consecutive appearance in the festival, Susan Sargeant's WingSpan Theatre, Co. is known for its definitive productions of the classical cannon. This year's entry will be no exception as WingSpan presents Play, an otherworldly rumination on infidelity and existentialism by theatrical giant Samuel Beckett. "I'm tremendously excited to see this piece performed under Susan's guidance," says the festival's managing director David Meglino.
"Wingspan is the model of consistency when it comes to quality work, and it is truly a privilege to be able to work with them year after year."
Fellow founding company Echo Theatre has spent almost two decades promoting the female voice while delivering some of the most unique and diverse material on Dallas stages. "They've been with us since the very beginning and have been responsible for some of our most exciting productions over the years," adds Meglino. Brittany Willis' Blisters, a quirky yet insightful look at love, loss and letting go, marks Echo's sixteenth appearance in the festival.
The remaining participants make their FIT debuts, presenting three world and three regional premiers which explore a diverse range of issues including politics, murder, sexual assault, mental health, materialism and missed opportunity.
A complete list of this year's participating companies including play titles and authors appears below:
Cry Havoc Theater Company
by Naomi Iizuka
Cutting edge teen theatre Cry Havoc presents Naomi Iizuka's searing investigation of the Steubenville rape case and its aftermath.
by Brittany Willis
This entry from Echo's "Big Shout Out 2" playwriting contest tells the offbeat tale of one lonely, broken man and the two friends who bring him back from the edge.
Frieda Dunkelberg & Company
by Frieda Dunkelberg
Originally workshopped at Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU, Frieda Dunkelberg and her eponymous company make their Dallas debut with a haunting devised piece centered on the intoxicating power of memory.
Fun House Theatre and Film
Rush Limbaugh in Night School
by Charlie Varon
Acclaimed Dallas youth theatre Fun House Theatre and Film brings their season of Politics through the Proscenium to the Festival of Independent Theatres. This sharp, biting satire is sure to feature healthy doses of Fun House's signature intellect and irreverence.
House Party Theatre
by Ted Gwara
House Party Theatre brings acclaim and an electrifying energy to this sordid look at the excess and indulgence that created the global financial crisis.
The Good Thief
by Conor McPherson
L.I.P. Service's reputation for quality, considered storytelling is the perfect fit for this haunting tale of violence and redemption by masterful Irish storyteller Conner McPherson and directed by Dallas' own Alexandra Bonifield.
Proper Hijinx Productions
by Stefany Cambra
Proper Hijinx follows up the success of Two Rooms and this season's The Dead Guy with a charming look at the struggle to find love in the big city and how our biggest obstacle is often all in the timing (or a lack thereof.)
WingSpan Theatre Company
by Samuel Beckett
Susan Sargeant directs an all-star cast in this classic Beckett piece in which three disembodied heads probe the romantic foibles of their former lives.
The Festival of Independent Theatres enters its eighteenth season and runs July 8-30, 2016 at the Bath House Cultural Center. Festival passes and individual tickets are available and will go on sale in mid-June. Festival passes Visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.com or call us at 800-617-6904 for more information.