Lee Trull

2014-15 for Kitchen Dog

Kitchen Dog Theater will do four mainstage productions, instead of five, but with longer runs. Also, a Wilde world premiere from Lee Trull.

published Friday, July 25, 2014

Photo: Courtesy
Lee Trull

Dallas — The 2014-15 season for Kitchen Dog Theater has been announced, and is most notable for the loss of one mainstage production. The K-Dogs usually have five in a season, including the main New Works Festival show. Next season, there will only be four (with the NWF), but the runs of each show are longer. Each now runs six weeks, compared to the previous four or five.

It's no surprise that all of the shows are regional or world premieres, even though one is about 60 years old and another is more than a century.

The older one is a world premiere adaptation by local playwright and director Lee Trull: Wilde/Earnest, a new take on what is arguably the English-speaking world's funniest play, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. The other is Alistair Beaton's new translation of Max Frisch's The Arsonists.

Also in the season are the regional premieres of Melissa Ross' Thinner Than Water and Meridith Friedman's The Firestorm. The latter is the New Works Festival mainstage production.

And although it's not part of the season, Kitchen Dog will host the first Dallas One-Minute Play Festival in August. See our listing here.


Here's the full news release and a description of the plays, followed by subscription information:

Fresh off the heels of its critically acclaimed 23rd season, Kitchen Dog Theater proudly announces a power-packed lineup for its 2014 -2015 season. The brand new season promises to be one of the best yet, featuring a schedule of four daring and dazzling mainstage productions – all of which will be premieres for the region. A staunch champion of new work in North Texas, KDT’s season will also feature the 17th year of its New Works Festival, featuring six premiere staged readings selected from over hundreds of submissions from around the globe and the 14th year of PUP Fest, its award-winning high school playwriting program co-produced with local youth organization, Junior Players.

"Our 24th Season is an exhilarating slate of plays designed to engage your mind while you’re laughing out loud, and leave you thinking long after you leave the theater”, says KDT Co-Artistic Directors Christopher Carlos and Tina Parker. “These actor-driven stories are a testament to the rich traditions of Kitchen Dog, bringing into sharp focus a mission statement that is still as vital to the present company as when it was founded."


Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2014-2015 season schedule is as follows:  

(All dates and programs subject to change)


THINNER THAN WATER by Melissa Ross  *Regional Premiere* 

“Intellectually a deft balance of generosity and toughness… tempering the raw moments with humor."  -The New York Times

Dates: September 19- October 27, 2014

Director: KDT Co-Artistic Director Christopher Carlos 

The Play: Martin is deep in debt, addicted to gambling, pissed as hell, and dying. His three estranged children couldn't care less. As the world around them crumbles, they argue with each other and with everyone around them in a desperate struggle to do the right thing and mend their rapidly deteriorating lives. THINNER THAN WATER is a blood-raw, wicked comedy-drama about fighting through the thick and thin of family.

The Playwright: Melissa Ross: Plays include Thinner Than Water, You Are Here, Do Something Pretty, A Life Extra Ordinary, The Allies, and Nice GirlThinner Than Water was originally produced by Labyrinth Theater Company and is included in the anthology “New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2011” by Smith and Kraus. It received its Chicago premiere in last spring at The Gift Theater. Melissa has had readings and workshops with The Amoralists, The Cherry Lane Theater, Dorset Theater Festival, The Juilliard School, Labyrinth Theater Company, LCT3, Manhattan Theater Club, Montana Rep, New York Stage and Film, The New Group, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and The Pacific Playwrights Festival. She is currently working on an Elizabeth George Commission for South Coast Repertory and a Sloan Commission for Manhattan Theater Club. Melissa is a graduate of Bennington College, was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School, a two-time recipient of the Le Comte Du Nouy Award, and is a proud member of Labyrinth Theater Company. 

The Cast: KDT Co-Artistic Director Tina Parker, KDT Artistic Company MemberLiza Marie Gonzalez plus Jeremy Schwartz, Jamal Gibran Sterling, Kenneisha Thompson, Drew Wall and Angela Wilson


THE ARSONISTS by Max Frisch, in a new translation by Alistair Beaton *Regional Premiere*

"Edgy and funny, and a reminder that Frisch's dazzling parable, written in 1958, has gained extra resonance in our apprehensive age."  -The Guardian

Director: KDT Artistic Company Member Tim Johnson

Dates: November 7 – December 13, 2014

**No Performance on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27*


The Play:  Fires are becoming something of a problem. But Biedermann has it all under control. A respected member of the community with a loving wife and a flourishing business, surely nothing can get to him. The great philanthropist, he is happy to meet his civic duty and give shelter to two new houseguests, and when they start filling the attic with gasoline drums, he’ll help them wire the fuse. Frisch’s parable about accommodating the very thing that will destroy you is given its regional premiere at KDT and will feature live original  music by Jon Schweikhard.

The Playwrights: Max Frisch is considered one of the most influential Swiss writers of the 20th century. In his creative works, Frisch paid particular attention to issues relating to problems of human identity, individuality, responsibility, morality, and political commitment. Born in Zurich in 1911, Frisch made his living as a novelist, playwright, diarist, and essayist. At Zurich University, he studied literature, art history, and philosophy; the ideas of Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche can be found in his writing. Surviving on freelance work for newspapers, Frisch traveled extensively in eastern and southeastern Europe. Following his father’s death, he decided to give up writing and become an architect. Frisch finally overcame his writing obstacles as he wrote his first drama, Santa Cruz, in 1947. With this play, he introduced the structure that he would later name the “dramaturgy of permutation,” describing the ways in which his characters attempt to rewrite or re-envision their lives. Frisch began life as a conservative, but his experiences of the war, Nazi Germany, and marriage slowly liberalized him until he became extremely left-wing. Frisch’s works for the stage include: Nun singen sie wieder (1945);Santa Cruz (1947); Die Chinesische Mauer (1947, The Chinese Wall); Als der Krieg zu Ende war (1949, When the War Was Over); Graf Öderland (1951);Biedermann und die Brandstifter (1953, Firebugs, THE ARSONISTS); Don Juan oder Die Liebe zur Geometrie (1953); Die Grosse Wut des Philipp Hotz (1956);Andorra (1961); Biografie (1967); Tryptichon. Drei szenische Bilder (1978); andJonas und sein Veteran (1989). In addition to plays, Frisch wrote several novels that explored problems of alienation and identity in modern societies. Max Frisch died of cancer in 1991 in Zurich.

Alistair Beaton is regarded as one of Britain’s top political satirists. Credits for the stage include the hit West End play Feelgood, which won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award in 2001; the anti-war satire Follow My Leader; The Ratepayers’ Iolanthe; The Metropolitan Mikado, the musical Small Expectations, co-written with Ned Sherrin; and the satirical comedy King of Hearts. In 2007, his translation of THE ARSONISTS by Max Frisch was staged at the Royal Court Theatre. His new version of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector was staged at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in 2008. His most recent play, Caledonia, a co-production between the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Scotland, was staged at the Kings Theatre Edinburgh in 2010.

The Cast: KDT Artistic Company Members Rhonda Boutté, Michael Federico, Max Hartman, Jenny Ledel and Karen Parrish plus Ian Ferguson, Jason Kane, Michael Krietzinger and Chris Sykes


WILDE/EARNEST by KDT Artistic Company Member Lee Trull, a new adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, *World Premiere*

Dates: March 13 –April 18, 2015

Director: KDT Artistic Company Member Lee Trull


The Play: Wilde/Earnest is a sexy and effervescent remix of Oscar Wilde’s most famous and successful play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Freely adapted by KDT Company Member Lee Trull with original music by Dallas songwriter Jencey Keeton (Smile Smile and French 75), this highly physical exploration of today’s hipster culture follows four would-be lovers as they bounce between locations, shifting identities, and actual trampolines.  Complete with roller skating, elaborate cocktails, Nutter Butters, perfect playlists, and a range of other mercurial obsessions, Wilde/Earnest is, to borrow Oscar Wilde’s own subtitle, “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.”

The Playwrights:  Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet, and author of the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. His works for the stage include The Importance of Being EarnestAn Ideal Husband,Salomé, and Lady Windermere's Fan. As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labor after being convicted of "gross indecency.” After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for the Continent. He never returned to Ireland or Britain, and died in poverty.

Lee Trull has been a company member at KDT since 2006. Favorite shows at KDT include: Fat PigEnd TimesThe Pillowman, Sick,and Debbie Does Dallas The Musical. Work at other theaters includes: Dallas Theater Center (DTC); Trinity Repertory Company; Classical Acting Company; Theatre Three; WaterTower Theatre; Stage West; Dallas Children’s Theater; and Shakespeare Dallas. His directing credits include the upcoming A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Hardin Simmons University, Fall 2014) and A Christmas Carol(DTC, Winter 2014); as well as Barbecue Apocalypse (KDT); The Midwest TrilogyDying City (Second Thought Theatre); It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman  (DTC, Assistant Director). His plays include Huck FinnThe Gift of the Magi (CAC) and Puppet Boy(Stage West). Mr. Trull is the Director of New Play Development and a former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company at DTC. He is also an artistic consultant for Second Thought Theatre, and serves on the National New Play Network’s Ambassadors Council.


THE FIRESTORM by Meridith Friedman  *Mainstage of the 2015 New Works Festival*

Dates: May 22 – June 27, 2015

Director: KDT Co-Artistic Director Tina Parker

The Play: When a racially charged prank from a gubernatorial candidate's past emerges in the media, his African-American wife is thrust to the forefront of his campaign. Charged with defending her white husband against accusations of racism and saving the campaign from collapse, she begins to have serious questions about the very foundation of her marriage. 

The Playwright: Meridith Friedman was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her BA from Connecticut College, and her MFA in Writing for the Stage & Screen from Northwestern University. Her plays have been developed and performed at The Kennedy Center, Curious Theatre Company, the NNPN National New Play Showcase, New Repertory Theatre, The Lark, The Greenhouse Theatre Center, Actor's Express, Kitchen Dog Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Stage Left, Samuel French OOB Play Festival, and New Mexico State University/The American Southwest Theatre Company.  She was the NNPN Playwright-in-Residence at Curious Theatre Company for their 2010-2011 season, a 2012-2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow, and the recipient of a 2013-2014 Downstage Left Playwriting Residency at Stage Left Theatre. She was recently awarded the 2014 NNPN Annual Commission to write and develop a new play with Curious Theatre Company. She has taught playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University, Kenyon College, Curious Theatre Company, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Currently, she is the Communications Manager at The Civilians, an Obie award-winning investigative theatre company.




Dates: May 30 – June 20, 2015

In association with the critically acclaimed National New Play Network, KDT is delighted to announce its 17th annual celebration of the newest and most exciting voices and visions of the American Theater. In addition to the mainstage anchor production, this year’s festival will also feature six staged readings of plays chosen from hundreds of submissions from across the country, as well as our annual PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest, an afternoon of short plays written and performed by some of the Metroplex’s finest youth talent, co-produced with Junior Players.



A KDT Season Subscription is $100. Subscription benefits include: advance seating at performances, advance invitations to special Kitchen Dog events, such as the killer HOOCH-N-POOCH fundraiser party, complimentary ticket exchanges, a free single-use guest pass  for productions ( if subscribed bySeptember 1, 2014), email reservations and discounts on other events at The MAC and NNPN theaters nationwide. A  FLEX 4 PASS, which gives a patron four single-use admissions to use however they want throughout the season, is $125. Kitchen Dog will also continue to offer an “easy-pay” subscription, where the customer can pay for their subscription by credit card in three monthly installments. KDT is also continuing last season’s wildly successful budget-friendly package this year: First Timer ($150  regular or  $162.50 FLEX 4), where patrons who have never been prior KDT season ticket holders can buy one regular subscription and get a second subscription for half price.

Single ticket prices range from $20-$40 for all productions. Discounts are available for members of The MAC, TCG, KERA, STAGE, DART, ArtsCard, students and senior citizens/65+ (all with proper ID). Group rates are also available. All performances will be held at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (the MAC) at 3120 McKinney Avenue. Pay-What-You-Can performances are available for the first 25 walk-up tickets on Wednesday & Thursday evenings.“Talk- Backs” with the director and cast follow the Sunday matinee performances. Seating for all performances is general admission.

Subscription tickets are available for purchase as of July 25, 2014. Single Tickets for all individual shows will go officially on sale August 15, 2014. For subscription and/or ticket information, please call the Kitchen Dog Theater box office at 214-953-1055 or check on our website: www.kitchendogtheater.orgThanks For Reading

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2014-15 for Kitchen Dog
Kitchen Dog Theater will do four mainstage productions, instead of five, but with longer runs. Also, a Wilde world premiere from Lee Trull.
by Mark Lowry

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