Kevin Moriarty

2017-2018 for Dallas Theater Center

Next season, DTC has two world premiere plays, plus The Great Society with the Alley Theatre, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Hair and more.

published Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Photo: Karen Almond
Brandon Potter as LBJ in All the Way; he'll reprise the role in The Great Society


Dallas — The 2017-18 season for the Dallas Theater Center has been announced, and the seven-show subscription series (plus A Christmas Carol and the return of Public Works Dallas, which will be The Winter's Tale) has a few surprises.

Not a surprise is that there are two world premieres—but it is a shocker that neither is a musical. The season opens with the premiere of Boo Killebrew's Miller, Mississippi; the other premiere is Aaron Loeb's The Trials of Sam Houston. Both were commissioned by DTC.

It's also odd that there's only one musical on the season: The rock musical Hair. However, DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty says that there might be a musical added (not brand new, but new to Dallas) in the summer of 2018, and that it might become an annual tradition to have a summer musical.

Also on the season: Robert Schenkkan's The Great Society, his follow-up to All the Way, which will again be a co-production with Houston's Alley Theatre and star Brandon Potter as President Johnson; the regional premiere of Tanya Saracho's Fade; Nick Dear's adaptation of Frankenstein in a collaboration with SMU's Meadows School of the Arts Division of Theatre; and in what might be the most intriguing selection, Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour's White Rabbit Red Rabbit, in which there is a different actor for every performance, and the script is not seen by the actor until he/she goes on stage. Once an actor has done it, he/she can never do it again. The show has become a hit around the country, including in New York, where the stars included Nathan Lane and Patrick Wilson. It was first done locally by SMU students at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in 2013, and will be produced at Fort Worth's Amphibian Stage Productions later this month.

The season ends with the second Public Works Dallas, which, like this weekend's The Tempest, will feature five professional actors with about 200 community members and several organizations, of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

Also of note about 2017-18: It will be Kevin Moriarty's 10th season at DTC.

Oh, and there's cool news about the following season, 2018-19, which will open with the world premiere of Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton's Penny Candy, the first play DTC will have produced from its commissions of local writers several years ago (the others are Steven Walters and Matt Lyle). Penny Candy is based on Norton's experience of growing up in Pleasant Grove with family members who sold candy and other convenience store items from their apartment. Look for more about the 18-19 season, oh, about a year from now.


Here is the complete press release for 2017-18, which has dates and descriptions

Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty announced today full details for the 2017-2018 season, including the American love-rock musical Hair, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary; the terror-filled Frankenstein in a new collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts; The Great Society, a follow-up to the smash-hit All the Way and a co-production with Houston’s Alley Theatre; and two world-premiere plays, The Trials of Sam Houston and Miller, Mississippi. Productions will take place in the Potter Rose Performance Hall and the Studio Theatre at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek Boulevard. Full season subscriptions are on sale now.

“Our 2017-2018 season continues DTC’s commitment to producing new work that speaks meaningfully to our contemporary lives, unique productions that use the Wyly Theatre space in creative ways, collaborations with locally and nationally recognized artistic partners, and productions that will leave our audiences inspired and eager to engage in lively conversation,” said Moriarty. “I am thrilled to introduce Dallas to Boo Killebrew, the writer behind the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi who we are proud to have under commission for a future new work, as well; and Aaron Loeb, the writer bringing us the world premiere of The Trials of Sam Houston, which is a DTC commission. These world premieres, alongside our new, expanded collaborative production with SMU Meadows School of the Arts for Frankenstein and our co-production with the Alley Theatre for The Great Society, among others, will make for a thrilling season at DTC!”

Photo: Courtesy
Boo Killebrew

The full season will be presented as follows: in the Studio Theatre at the Wyly Theatre, the world-premiere play Miller, Mississippi (Aug. 30 to Oct. 1); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall at the Wyly Theatre, Hair (Sept. 22 to Oct. 22); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 22 to Dec. 28); in the Studio Theatre, Fade (Dec. 6 to Jan. 7); at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Frankenstein (Feb. 2 to March 4); in the Potter Rose Performance Hall, The Great Society (March 9 to April 1); at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, The Trials of Sam Houston (April 20 to May 13); in the Studio Theatre, White Rabbit Red Rabbit (May 30 to July 1); and finally, Public Works Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale (Aug. 31 to Sept. 2). A Christmas Carol and Public Works Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale are not included in season subscriptions. Dates are subject to change.



Miller, Mississippi

by Boo Killebrew

Wyly Theatre/Studio Theatre

Directed by Lee Sunday Evans

Aug. 30-Oct. 1

The world-premiere play Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew takes place in the South, where tradition is sacred and change is slow. When the Civil Rights movement comes to Jackson, Mississippi, it’s in for a brutal fight. Spanning the 1960s and 70s, Miller, Mississippi tells the story of one family that falls apart as the country attempts to come together. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans in the classic Southern Gothic tradition, this tragic new play will stun minds and break hearts, as the personal and political combine to bring about the Miller family’s undoing.



Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado; book by Galt McDermot

Wyly Theatre/Potter Rose Performance Hall

Directed by Kevin Moriarty

Sept. 22-Oct. 22

DTC lets the sunshine in with a fully-immersive, only-at-the-Wyly production of the groundbreaking classic rock musical, Hair. Fifty years after its premiere, Hair continues to assault the status quo, while shining a bright light on the power of love over hate, peace over war, freedom over repression and hope over despair. With book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and music by Galt MacDermot, Hair is relevant for a new generation of audiences today. Moriarty will direct the story that follows a group of young people as they navigate their relationships with their country and with each other.

Overflowing with free love, buzzing with youthful energy and pulsing with iconic rock anthems, DTC’s Hair brings the Age of Aquarius into the 21st century.


A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickets/Adapted by Kevin Moriarty

Wyly Theatre/Potter Rose Performance Hall

Directed by Lee Trull

Nov. 22-Dec. 28

‘Tis the season to be jolly, when the family-favorite, holiday production of A Christmas Carol returns to the Wyly Theatre directed by Lee Trull. In this delightfully re-imagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic the audience is surrounded by the actors, with magical ghosts flying above, scary ghosts bursting out of the floor, and snow falling on everyone. Full of traditional Christmas hymns and songs in fresh, toe-tapping musical arrangements, joyful bursts of choreography, and eye-popping special effects, A Christmas Carol continues to be Dallas’ “must-see” holiday tradition. A Christmas Carol is available as an add-on to season subscriptions.


Photo: Courtesy
Tanya Saracho


by Tanya Saracho

Wyly Theatre/Studio Theatre

Directed by Christie Vela

Dec. 6-Jan. 7

In Fade, Lucia is a young Mexican-born novelist who just moved cross-country to begin her dream career as a television writer in L.A. But when she gets there, she finds herself much more comfortable with one of the only other Latinos around, one of the janitors, than with anyone in the writers’ room. Directed by Christie Vela, this new comic-drama by Tanya Saracho, a writer for HBO’s Girls and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, poses tricky questions about identity and community, as Lucia struggles to bridge the distance between where she came from and where she’s going.



By Nick Dear; adapted from Mary Shelley

Kalita Humphreys Theater

Directed by Joel Ferrell

Feb. 2-March 4

Collaboration with SMU Meadows School of the Arts Division of Theatre

Directed by DTC’s Associate Artistic Director Joel Ferrell, and in collaboration with the Theatre Division of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Frankenstein will take place on the Kalita Humphreys Stage bringing to life a production that will include a mixture of students and professionals. When Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment goes horribly awry, he resolves to destroy the terrifying creature he has unleashed upon the world. But can he kill his own creation without becoming a monster himself? Mary Shelley’s 200-year-old tale of scientific advancement and human tragedy continues to challenge the limits of our imagination, asking if some things may be better left unknown. Widely regarded as the original horror novel, Frankenstein (and his infamous creation) comes to life in a bold new adaptation that was an award-winning, smash hit at London’s National Theatre, written by acclaimed British playwright Nick Dear.

“This co-production extends and deepens the SMU Theatre Division’s ongoing alliance with DTC,” said Theatre Chair Stan Wojewodski, Jr. “Unique in its conception and format, the production of Frankenstein will offer our students increased opportunities for the development of critical thinking, collaborative effort and technique in the service of a script that is intellectually stimulating, emotionally involving and theatrically compelling.”


The Great Society

By Robert Schenkkan

Wyly Theatre/Potter Rose Performance Hall

Diercted by Kevin Moriarty

March 9-April 1

Following the success of the 2016 production of All the Way, DTC and Houston’s Alley Theatre bring audiences the second part of Robert Schenkkan’s epic theatrical event, The Great Society, a co-production that continues the story of Lyndon B. Johnson’s turbulent presidency. While the president fights a “war on poverty” at home, his war in Vietnam begins to spiral out of control. Besieged by political enemies, President Johnson desperately fights to pass civil rights legislation and some of the most important social programs in American history, even while the country turns against him and descends into chaos. Directed by Moriarty, and filled with a cast of legendary characters from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon, The Great Society is an exhilarating examination of power, morality and change.

Photo: Courtesy
Aaron Loeb


The Trials of Sam Houston

By Aaron Loeb

Kalita Humphreys Theater

Directed by Kevin Moriarty

April 20-May 13

From playwright Aaron Loeb comes The Trials of Sam Houston, a searing, world-premiere drama directed by Moriarty. On the eve of the state’s secession in 1861, Governor Sam Houston is torn between loyalty to Texas and loyalty to the United States. As he weighs the terrible choice he must make, certain of the devastating cost of either path, Houston tells Jeff Hamilton (his office clerk and slave) of a time when he, and the Union itself, stood trial. The Trials of Sam Houston presents the true story of some of America’s most famous leaders – Andrew Jackson, Francis Scott Key and John Quincy Adams, among others – and one man’s struggle with what it means to be brave in the land of the free.


White Rabbit Red Rabbit

By Nassim Soleimanpour

Wyly Theatre/Studio Theatre

May 30-July 1

White Rabbit Red Rabbit has been called a play, but it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. Its award-winning playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, is Iranian. His words have escaped censorship and are awaiting the audience. Slyly humorous and audaciously pointed, this ‘theater entertainment meets social experiment’ is unlike anything, and will make you question everything. The actor about to perform has never seen it. In fact, there is a new actor every performance, and they’ve only been told what is absolutely necessary.


The Winter's Tale

By William Shakespeare

Public Works Dallas

Wyly Theatre/Potter Rose Performance Hall

Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Public Works Dallas returns for the second year with William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Public Works Dallas is a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. The Winter’s Tale will feature 200 cast members, only five being professional actors, in the classic tale of loss and redemption. The Winter’s Tale is not a part of season subscriptions and FREE tickets will be offered to the public at a later date.



DTC’s full seven-play season subscriptions are on sale now and include Miller, Mississippi; Hair; Fade; Frankenstein; The Great Society; The Trials of Sam Houston and White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Prices start at $140. To reserve the best seats at the best prices, subscriptions can be purchased online at or by calling the AT&T Performing Arts Center Box Office at (214) 880-0202.

For those who want to take their theater-going experience to the next level, DTC’s membership program, Friends@DTC, offers patrons a variety of exclusive benefits, including premium seats, a VIP intermission lounge, special behind-the-scenes invitations, complimentary drinks, free parking and much more. Visit or email for more information.

DTC will continue the Come Early, sponsored by Wells Fargo, and the Stay Late programs in 2017-2018. Come Early is a free, 30-minute informative talk designed to enhance a patron’s play-going experience. Given one hour before every performance, a member of the cast or artistic staff will share details about the play’s origins and context, as well as share insight into the creative process behind the production. Stay Late is a free, brief, post-show conversation with a member of the cast about the show. Patrons will engage with the artists, learn about the production and be able to share their insights about the play in a lively discussion. Thanks For Reading

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2017-2018 for Dallas Theater Center
Next season, DTC has two world premiere plays, plus The Great Society with the Alley Theatre, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Hair and more.
by Mark Lowry

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