Dallas — Theatre Three's new artistic director, Jeffrey Schmidt, has made his vision clear with the selection of his first season at one of North Texas' oldest theaters. It still follows the basic blueprint of a T3 season, with regional premieres, classics, a musical and new works, but they are decidedly edgier (an overused descriptor to be sure, but it fits here) than what late co-founder Jac Alder often programmed.
With the exception of the modern-classic play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, all of the titles are from the 21st century. Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde isn't, of course, but this adaptation by adapter-extraordinaire Jeffrey Hatcher is. The season also includes the regional premieres of the plays The Minotaur by Anna Ziegler and She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, who won the 2016 Steinberg award for his play Vietgone.
There's also the local professional premiere of the terrific musical Adding Machine, based on the 1923 play by Elmer Rice.
And, in a big move for Theatre Three, there are a number of new works by local writers. They include new plays by Matt Lyle and Jessica Cavanagh in Theatre Too (the title of Lyle's play hasn't been released yet; Cavanagh's is Self Injurious Behavior, which we wrote about when it was in development), a new work by local movement company Prism Movement Theater, and on the main stage, the professional premiere of the locally written The Last One Nighter on The Death Trail, which was the final production from the much-missed outfit Our Endeavors Theatre Company, originally performed in 2005 at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas.
In his statement below, Schmidt hints at restructuring future seasons. Proof: This will be the last season for the long-running musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Don't cry for it—Change had a long run and will surely be picked up by other local theaters.
Below is the complete news release from Theatre Three, with dates, descriptions and ticketing info.
Newly-appointed Theatre Three Artistic Director Jeffrey Schmidt has announced the 2017-18 season for productions on the Norma Young Arena Stage. Theatre Three, Dallas’s 56-year-old theatre-in-the-round, is located in the Quadrangle in the heart of Uptown.
The main stage season includes regional premieres of The Minotaur by Anna Ziegler, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher and She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, new productions of the musical Adding Machine and the classic play Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the professional world premiere of local work The Last One Nighter on the Death Trail starring The Disappointment Players.
Schmidt has also revealed that the company’s downstairs studio space, Theatre Too, will become an incubation space for developing new works from local artists and companies. Tentatively, works being prepared for the Theatre Too season include new plays by Matt Lyle and Jessica Cavanagh, a work of physical theatre by Prism Movement Theater, the final production of Theatre Too’s annual hit I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Further details and show dates will be announced at a later time.
SEASON VISION STATEMENT FROM JEFFREY SCHMIDT, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
“Selecting this season has been a lot like making new friends in that you shouldn’t put so much stock in first impressions…oh, who the hell am I kidding? First impressions are everything. This season is the groundwork for my relationship with patrons, artists, donors, etc. I want to let them know who I am, what I’m about and where I see the theatre heading in the future. The good news is the current structure of T3’s season gives me 7 opportunities on the main stage plus the programming downstairs in T2 to give a thorough introduction. So, there’s the first thing. The structure of T3’s programing won’t change, at least for the coming season. The timing of my appointment prevented any significant restructuring.
“In the coming years, I want to strike a balance between innovative challenging work and classic American theater. I want good juicy roles for actors to sink their teeth into. My aesthetic has always incorporated inventive design, so I want to have exciting opportunities for designers as well. New work development by local writers and companies is also part of the equation. Part of the mandate I gave my self was to select shows that fit in the theatre’s spaces. Casts will be on the smaller side and lavish Broadway style productions will be avoided. T3 will never be avant-garde, but it can be innovative and relevant. I don’t think a theater of this size has the luxury of producing only one kind, style, or genre of theater. Good writing? Of course. Relevance? Definitely. Classics? Yes. Provocative? Please. Campy and cheesy? Not really, but there are always exceptions to the rule!”
by Anna Ziegler
August 3 – 27, 2017
Who controls your life’s narrative? Just because the chorus says “That is how things should be,” does that mean you must abide it? A present-day version of a classic Greek myth, The Minotaur is a contemporary take on love, honor, and human connection. With refreshing originality and wit, it explores how we break out of history to shape new stories for ourselves.
Music by Joshua Schmidt, Lyrics by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt from the play by Elmer Rice
September 28 – October 22, 2017
Darkly comic and heartbreakingly beautiful, Adding Machine, a musical adaptation of Elmer Rice's incendiary 1923 play, tells the story of Mr. Zero, who after 25 years of service to his company is replaced by a mechanical adding machine. In a vengeful rage, he murders his boss. An eclectic score gives passionate and memorable voice to this stylish and stylized show, which follows Zero's journey to the afterlife in the Elysian Fields where he is met with one last chance for romance and redemption.
Solstice: Stories & Songs for the Holidays
November 24 – December 17, 2017
Let some of Dallas’ best actors tell you a story! The winter solstice has inspired storytellers for thousands of years from cultures all over the world. Celebrate the beginning of winter and the shortest day in the northern hemisphere snuggled up inside Theatre Three with your favorite beverage. We hope to start a new family tradition filled with celebration, stories and songs performed by professional actors and musicians.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
January 18 – February 11, 2018
A new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror. On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll's experiments with exotic "powders and tinctures" have brought forth his other self—Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. The many facets of Hyde’s personality are portrayed by different members of the cast.
She Kills Monsters
by Qui Nguyen
March 8 – April 1, 2018
A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy, laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
The Last One Nighter on The Death Trail starring The Disappointment Players
Book by Christie Vela and David Goodwin, Songs by Our Endeavors Theater Collective
April 26 – May 20, 2018
Presenting the professional world premiere of the musical The Last One Nighter on The Death Trail developed by local artists Christie Vela, David Goodwin and Our Endeavors Theater Collective. In the early 20th century, Elm Street in Dallas, Texas, was lined with vaudeville houses and movie theatres. In this fun and raucous story, a troupe of vaudevillians in the early ‘30s wait behind a theater in Dallas for their opportunity to go on stage. They’re the disappointment act and only go on if someone else cancels. It questions what is and isn’t art and why it is necessary. Watch out, though. It’s the prohibition era in the Bible Belt and the cops are cracking down on all unseemly behavior!
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
by Christopher Hampton
June 14 – July 8, 2018
Who’s in the mood for a little sex and treachery? You may know it as Dangerous Liasons, the title of the film adaptation. A tale of seduction set in France among aristocrats before the revolution, this is a classic drama for exploring decadent sexuality, morals and manipulation played as the ultimate game with tragic results. Christopher Hampton adapted the play from the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and was nominated for a Tony in 1987.
Season tickets (which range from $70-$224) will go on sale on Tuesday, May 16. Single tickets will be available at a later date. For ticket information, call the Theatre Three Box Office at 214-871-3300 x1 or visit www.theatre3dallas.com.