Dallas — The Dallas Theater Center has announced two additions and three departures to the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company. Joining the ranks are Adam A. Anderson, who was seen in All the Way, and Tiana Kaye Johnson, who was in The Mountaintop. Johnson, who just graduated from Southern Methodist University with an MFA, is the fourth person to fill the slot reserved for an SMU graduate student, and she'll replace Brandon Potter in that role (he followed Abbey Siegworth and Tiffany Hobbs). Also leaving the company because terms are up, and for other opportunities, are original company members Hassan El-Amin (he's moving to the Northeast for a teaching post) and Christie Vela, who will continue to direct at DTC (she'll helm Branden Jacob Jenkins' Gloria in 2017) and around town.
Anderson and Johnson are both African-American, as is El-Amin. Vela is Latina and considering that Daniel Duque-Estrada left the Brierley last year for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, this now leaves the company with no Latino representation.
The new lineup is made up of original members Chamblee Ferguson, Liz Mikel and Sally Nystuen Vahle; plus subsequent additions Steven Michael Walters, Alex Organ and Kieran (Michael) Connolly. And now Anderson and Johnson.
For those keeping count: Out of eight, that's three women, five men; and three African-Americans, five Caucasians and zero Latinos.
Update: A DTC representative has just told me that, while details can't be announced yet, DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty has plans to make the company at least 50 percent actors of color by the fall of 2017, and that includes Latinos. More info on that to come.
Here's the complete news release from Dallas Theater Center:
Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty is pleased to announce two new members to DTC’s Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company. Adam A. Anderson and Tiana Kaye Johnson will be joining the Brierley Resident Acting Company for the 2016-2017 season.
“I am thrilled to welcome Adam and Tiana to our Brierley Resident Acting Company,” said Moriarty. “Directing Adam as Stokely Carmichael and David Dennis in All the Way earlier this season was a great joy for me, as he crafted a riveting performance that was intense, vulnerable and truthful. Similarly, Tiana left me and our audience in awe of her starring performance in The Mountaintop, where she demonstrated such charisma and power. I look forward to collaborating with each of them as company members in the coming season and fully immersing them in our work with the North Texas community.”
Anderson is a 2013 graduate of Southern Methodist University where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts. He most recently appeared in DTC’s co-production with The Alley Theatre of All the Way, where he played the role of Stokely Carmichael for both Houston and Dallas audiences. The Dallas Observer praised Anderson’s performance saying he, “[delivered] one of the play's most gripping monologues”. Anderson also performed in DTC’s production of King Lear in 2013. In addition, Anderson is the owner of The Striped Heart, a full service graphic design and photography company in Dallas.
“I believe we were all put on this earth to create. There’s no question about that,” explained Anderson. “The journey then becomes more about the people we get to create with while we’re here. I’m excited for the opportunity to create with the Brierley Resident Acting Company and to add this family to my artistic journey.”
Johnson played Camae in DTC’s production of The Mountaintop where D Magazine called her, “simply fantastic”. Johnson recently graduated from SMU with a Master of Fine Arts. She is the fourth SMU MFA graduate to join the Brierley Resident Acting Company for a two-year appointment. Abbey Siegworth was the first to fill the position, followed by Tiffany Hobbs and Brandon Potter. Potter will depart the Brierley Resident Acting Company at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season.
"I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of Dallas Theater Center's Brierley Resident Acting Company,” said Johnson. “I look forward to the new opportunities ahead and being challenged as an artist."
Moriarty formed DTC's Brierley Resident Acting Company in 2009 to develop and nurture professional actors within the community, expand DTC's artistic profile and create ongoing collaborative relationships with artists. Anderson and Johnson will be joining returning Brierley Resident Acting Company members Kieran (Michael) Connolly, Chamblee Ferguson, Liz Mikel, Sally Nystuen Vahle, Alex Organ and Steven Michael Walters. In addition to Potter, Hassan El-Amin and Christie Vela will be departing the Brierley Resident Acting Company to pursue new professional opportunities. El-Amin will be teaching at the University of Delaware, serving as their Artistic Associate and acting member of the Resident Ensemble Players. Vela will be directing DTC’s upcoming production of Gloria.