Dallas — In his first season as artistic director of Theatre Three, Jeffrey Schmidt showed that he wasn't afraid to introduce works by contemporary playwrights new to DFW (Anna Ziegler, Qui Nguyen), and more importantly, offer a place for local playwrights in T3's two venues, the upstairs Norma Young Arena Stage and the downstairs Theatre Too! The new works by locals were/will be mostly in Theatre Too.
For his second season, announced Tuesday night, he's making a bigger commitment to new works by local playwrights, by putting them on the mainstage, and turning Theatre Too into a venue devoted to development and readings.
The 2018-19 season includes the world premieres of Dallas playwright Matt Lyle's Raptured: A Sex Farce at the End of the World (Lyle was also represented in 2017-18, with his Cedar Springs, or Big Scary Animals in Theatre Too!); as well as a new musical by locals Ian Ferguson and Michael Federico, The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn. (Federico was part of the team that created the musical On the Eve, and also has a world premiere collabo, with Cameron Cobb and Max Hartman, Pompeii, coming up at Kitchen Dog Theater).
Additionally, Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton will head the second installment of the holiday show Solstice, to which he contributed in 2017, and was headed by Federico.) This year, Cherish Robinson and Janielle Kastner will join Norton on the project.
The season is bookended by pairings of one-acts. It opens with Heisenberg by Simon Stephens and Actually by Ziegler; and closes with two plays by Chicago-based Selina Fillinger, Clinched and Strapped.
Also in the season is the first locally produced staging of the 2011 musical Once, based on the 2007 film (the national tour of that musical has been to Dallas and Fort Worth). To boot, Theatre Three finally gives DFW a play by the rising national playwright Jen Silverman, with The Moors.
And finally, the only title from the 20th century, or for that matter from any decade aside from the current one, is Hume Cronyn and Susan Cooper's 1982 play Foxfire.
As for Theatre Too, it will be open for pitches by local playwrights for readings; and Schmidt's plan to give local writers more slots on the professional stage will extend to the 2019-2020 season, as he has commissioned local songstress Denise Lee to write a work tentatively titled Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro, under the mentorship of Norton.
Below is the complete news release with dates, descriptions and subscription information.
Theatre Three Artistic Director Jeffrey Schmidt has announced the 2018-19 season to be produced on the Norma Young Arena Stage. Theatre Three, Dallas’s 57-year-old theatre-in-the-round, is located in the Quadrangle in the heart of uptown at 2800 Routh Street, Suite 168, Dallas, TX 75201.
Under Schmidt’s artistic direction, Theatre Three will produce a variety-filled season of eight productions. Now in his second year as artistic director, Schmidt explains, “Our new season will be definitely be a busy one. We look forwarding to building on the foundation we laid last season through rewarding collaborations with local writers, directors, designers, artists and actors. By doubling-down on new works, we are aiming to attract more patrons to our theatre by introducing new theatrical experiences to them.”
New works on the 2018-19 season include a Theatre Three commissioned work by Matt Lyle and Matt Coleman entitled RAPTURED: A Sex Farce at the End of the World. Other new works include the musical The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn by Dallas’s Ian Ferguson and Michael Federico, Selina Fillinger’s The Armor Plays: Cinched and Strapped, Jen Silverman’s The Moors, and a season-opening double feature (Heisenberg by Simon Stephens and Actually by Anna Ziegler). Other season highlights include the Tony Award-winning best musical Once, a play with music by Hume Cronyn and Susan Cooper (Foxfire) and the return of Solstice in December. This year’s version, written by Jonathan Norton with contributions by Cherish Robinson and Janielle Kastner, will center around an epic Northpark adventure by last year’s favorite Solstice couple Stuart and Paulette.
Theatre Three performances run Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays – Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Season tickets (which range from $80-$256) will go on sale on Tuesday, May 15. 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.
For 2018-19, there are no plans to produce in the downstairs space, Theatre Too. Instead, the space will focus on fostering local playwrights and developing new works − starting with a new Monday Playwright series. Playwrights are encouraged to read, rehearse, develop and host staged readings of their new works over a two-day period. Available dates are April 15-16, April 22-23, May 20-21, June 3-4 and June 10-11. More dates will be available following the summer.
Additionally, Theatre Three has commissioned local actress and singer Denise Lee to write a play that will be presented as part of the 2019-2020 season. With a working title of Funny, You Don’t Act Like a Negro, the play examines the ways in which we teach, share and expose our biases without being aware. Through a series of vignettes, we observe everyday conversations and commentary that give us insight to our own thoughts and perceptions. Ms. Lee will be mentored by local playwright Jonathan Norton.
AUGUST 2 – 26, 2018
Does a person’s age affect the need for affection, love, and intimacy? Does gender? Does experience? These two plays are being produced together to spark a conversation as it relates to sex, desire, and the ages of man and woman (youth, middle-age, senior). People are shaped by past experiences. Together, these plays illustrate that in a thrilling way.
HEISENBERG By Simon Stephens
Directed by Jeffrey Schmidt
“If you watch something closely enough you realize you have no possible way of telling where it’s going or how fast it’s getting there…” Enter Georgie, a 40-something American motormouth. Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, she spots Alex, a 75-ish Irish butcher. In a brash moment she plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and unexpected entanglement. Written by Simon Stephens, the Tony Award-winning Playwright of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time). A One-Act Play
ACTUALLY By Anna Ziegler
Directed by Katy Tye
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Anna Ziegler’s ACTUALLY dives deep into the murky waters of sexual ethics, evidence and determining the truth. Amber and Tom are fumbling to find their way at Princeton, as most Freshmen do, when they meet one night at a party that forever alters the course of their lives. They agree on the drinking, they agree on the attraction, but consent is foggy. With lyricism and wit, ACTUALLY investigates gender and race politics, our crippling desire to fit in, and the three sides to every story. A One-Act Play
SEPTEMBER 13 – OCTOBER 7, 2018
Book by Enda Walsh • Music and Lyrics Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Directed by Marianne Galloway • Musical Direction by Scott Eckert
A truly original experience, ONCE is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams...not living in fear...and the power of music to connect all of us. Featuring an ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, the musical centers around a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes an interest in his haunting love songs. As their chemistry grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, and their connection turns deeper and more complex than an everyday romance. 2012 Tony Award-winning Best Musical
OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 18, 2018
By Jen Silverman
Directed by TBA
Two Victorian era sisters (Agatha and Huldey) and their languid mastiff live out their lives in a manor house on the bleak English moors. Like any apt Gothic tale, they dream of forbidden love, power, and notoriety. The arrival of a hapless governess, the pointed schemes of a scullery maid, and the musings of a moorhen set this odd assembly on a strange and dangerous path. A cleverly crafted dark comedy about love, desperation, and visibility, THE MOORS is a brilliant new work by Jen Silverman, a fresh new voice who takes chances. A Play with Music
SOLSTICE: A New Holiday Adventure
DECEMBER 6-30, 2018
By Jonathan Norton with contributions by Cherish Robinson and Janielle Kastner
Directed by TBA • Musical Direction by Cherish Robinson
The days are getting shorter…the nights are getting longer…which means it’s almost time for the return of SOLSTICE. This December, Theatre Three will again capture the meaning of the holiday season by featuring the return of last year’s favorite mischievous SOLSTICE characters – the beloved Stuart and Paulette. The couple’s adventures continue this winter through story and song and is fittingly set – it is Christmastime in Dallas after all - in Northpark. This new holiday piece by Jonathan Norton is definitely not your mother’s Christmas Carol but it does feature the most lovable drug-addled grandparents Big D has to offer.
THE MANUFACTURED MYTH OF EVELINE FLYNN
JANUARY 31 – February 24, 2019
Music and Lyrics by Ian Ferguson • Book by Michael Federico
Directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni • Musical Direction by Vonda Bowling
A brand-new musical by Dallasites Michael Federico (co-creator, On The Eve) and Ian Ferguson (Booth, On The Eve) follows a young woman named Eveline Flynn whose very birth signaled a great change in the world! Oh yes, a momentous, paramount, epic change… at least that’s what she tells us. In actuality, as Eveline loses her connection to her family and friends, her grasp on reality slowly slips away. With songs spanning styles from contemporary musical theater to Abba-esque disco pop to intergalactic punk, THE MANUFACTURED MYTH OF EVELINE FLYNN takes you along for the ride with Eveline’s comedic and sometimes heartbreaking saga, as the boundaries between her waking life and her far-flung reveries fall away. A New Musical
MARCH 14 – APRIL 7, 2019
Book and Lyrics by Susan Cooper and Hume Cronyn • Music by Jonathan Holtzman
Directed by TBA
Annie Nations, an indomitable Appalachian widow of 79, lives on her North Georgia mountain farm with the acerbic ghost of her husband Hector. Her tranquility is threatened by a brash real estate developer who wants to turn her land into a vacation resort, and by concern over her son Dillard, a country singer who has come home with two stranded children because his wife ran away. Annie's battle to decide her future takes her through some funny, touching and magical flashbacks to her life with Hector. Based on the Foxfire anthology chronicling the oral history, traditions and folklore of the dwindling Appalachian Mountain descendants. A Play with Music
RAPTURED: A Sex Farce at the End of the World
APRIL 25 - MAY 19, 2019
By Matt Lyle and Matt Coleman
Directed by Jeffrey Schmidt
The End Times are upon us! It's about time. The congregants of the Third Baptist Church of Uncertain, Texas are only certain about two things; the rapture is DEFINITELY happening sometime in the next two hours (the Bible Math checks out), and two hours is not enough time to squeeze every single drop of life from this wicked, wonderful world. But some of them will try. RAPTURED is a fresh farce—part Boeing, Boeing, part The Last Picture Show—full of love triangles, mistaken identities, a puckish youth pastor, a Preacher on a dubious mission, lots of doors, and, of course, deeply irrevocable existential longing. When the clock is ticking, sometimes who you are and what you really want is the greatest revelation of all. A New Play Commissioned by Theatre Three
THE ARMOR PLAYS: CINCHED AND STRAPPED
JUNE 6-30, 2019
By Selina Fillinger
Directed by Leslie Swackhamer
Two one acts by another young female playwriting talent round out the 2018-19 season. Paired together, the plays explore gender and rebellion by examining the past and exploring the future. The first, Cinched, is set in during a 19th century high-class, noble dinner party. Fast forward several centuries to Strapped - the second piece which introduces hardened warriors in a dystopian future. Together, Fillinger’s The Armor Plays examine the ever-evolving roles of men and women and question which will lead the way in the future. Two New One Acts