Dallas — Soul Rep Theatre Company has announced its 11th season, and we're thrilled to see that Dael Orlandersmith's Pulitzer-finalist Yellowman is on the schedule. If memory serves, it would be the area premiere of this 2002 play. The season kicks off with the annual New Play Festival, except this year the focus is on plays about local stories. The roster also includes a revival of the company's Re-Tales, and Ramona King's farce Steal Away.
Let's point out that except for a few of the short new plays, all of the works in the season are by women. (Re-Tales is by Guinea Bennett Price and her husband Keith.)
“We are breaking new ground this season AND revisiting one of our classic works,” says Artistic Director, Guinea Bennett-Price. “There’s something for everyone!”
All performances are at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Below is the schedule and descriptions.
10TH NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
Aug. 3-6 & Aug. 11-13
“SOUTH SIDE STORIES” is the theme for the company’s tenth festival of new works. Eight area playwrights were commissioned to write ten minute plays exploring the South Dallas community’s history, myths, folk heroes, and present day happenings.
The plays are: Father Brown’s Vitality Tonic, based on Father J. Von Brown, the eccentric South Dallas based preacher and activist from the 1950’s; The House Special, set at Wah Wah Chinese, a celebrated “hole in the wall” Chinese restaurant that’s operated for decades in the heart of the ‘hood; Sunny South, a piece that explores South Dallas’ Jewish heritage; Praying With Your Legs, a slice of life from renown activist, Diane Ragsdale’s story; Ndidiniwe (fed up), inspired by interviews with Julia Jordan, a long-time South Dallas resident and pioneer who passed away recently; Capital, based on the tragic DART rail murder of a 19 year old by a group of 12 and 13 year old boys; Liberty Street, a piece set in 1918 exploring the mercurial William Sidney Pittman, the first renown African-American architect who called Dallas home for most of his life; Communion explores the issue of homelessness in South Dallas’ tent city; Black Boy Groove, is inspired by an early hip-hop group in the area; and Juan Y Maria, to be performed in Spanish and English, is the story of a current immigrant family residing in South Dallas.
November 30 – December 3 & December 8 – December 10
An original musical for the entire family, is written by Soul Rep’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Guinea Bennett-Price and her husband, Keith Price. The production will be Co-Directed by Guinea Bennett-Price and Daylene Carter. RE-TALES is a colorful “re-telling” of classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes with an urban and R&B twist. It includes charming and imaginative stories such as “Little Red Rides the ‘Hood”, “Pinnochi-Toe”, and “Sherry Perry”, takes on “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Pinnochio,” and “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.” This delightful piece was originally produced as “Rep Tales” in 2000 but has since been reworked with new music and characters.
February 1 – 4 and February 9 – 11
The 2002 Pulitzer Prize-nominated play by Dael Orlandersmith, will be directed by Ed Smith. Set in South Carolina, this dramatic two person play, explores colorism and its effects on the decade long friendship between Alma and Eugene, who mature and fall in love. Through searing poetry and rich storytelling, the play illustrates the beauty and depth of Gullah culture and the destructiveness of self-hatred.
April 5 – 8 & April 13 – 15
A farce written by Ramona King, will be directed by Soul Rep company member, Dee Smith. Set in 1930’s Chicago, the play evolves around five upstanding church ladies who raise funds to send young Black women to college by holding bake sales and the like. As they aspire to offer more scholarships to promising women in their community, they begin to seek out bank loans for their noble quest. They soon, however, get fed up with the banks and decide to rob one, taking matters into their own hands!
Season performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Pay-As-You-Can nights are the first Thursdays at 8 p.m. Season tickets are on sale.
Also, an encore performance of Regina Taylor’s TRINITY RIVER PLAYS, directed by Co-Founder, Anyika McMillan-Herod, will take place Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 at the Irving Arts Center at 2 and 7 p.m. The production is being hosted by the Irving Black Arts Council.