Dallas — The 2018-19 theater and speaker series for Bishop Arts Theatre Center has been announced, and it kicks off with the regional premiere of Amy Evans’ play The Champion, which is about Nina Simone. Interestingly, that overlaps with the first play of Jubilee Theatre’s season, which is also about Nina Simone.
BATC’s theater season brings back the holiday hit Black Nativity and the fourth Down for #TheCount play festival, which presents new plays by women. The group will also present the Dallas premiere of La Llorona by Kathleen Culebro, the co-founder of Fort Worth’s Amphibian Stage Productions, which has presented this play. The season closes with a one-weekend one-man show written and performed by Christopher Rivas, called The Real James Bond was Dominican.
The speaker series brings in Baldo creator Hector Cantú, author Sanderia Faye, and women empowerment experts Rose Colarassi & Darlene Ellison. In November, there will be a Día de los Muertos event co-produced with Teatro Flor Candela.
Below is the complete season with dates and descriptions.
By Amy Evans
October 11 - 21, 2018
Inspired by untold events in the life of music legend Nina Simone, The Champion is set in 1962 North Carolina where she and her band are held up by a snowstorm in a greasy spoon. As tempers flare and secrets surface, it seems the waitress at this small-town diner will soon be the only witness to a historic meltdown. Suddenly, the door swings open, and the famous outsiders discover they’re truly in unfriendly territory. A sharply drawn, exciting new play by Amy Evans that intimately portrays a cultural icon in the turbulent era during which she rose to fame.
By Langston Hughes
December 6 - 23, 2018
This holiday Gospel celebration has captured the hearts of our audience that it returns for its 15th Anniversary as part of our season. Spoken word, song, music, dance, and theatre combine to create this one-of-a-kind Christmas pageant that has become one of the holiday traditions our community revels in. Hughes’ retelling of the Nativity Story encourages audiences to find joy and asks us all to look inward and find the wonder in life itself.
La Llorona: A Love Story
By Kathleen Anderson Culebro
February 7 - 24, 2019
Tradition, superstition, & love collide in this story of American executive, Jeffery, and his pregnant wife, who find themselves in Mexico City moving into the home of Carlos and Irma who have been forced to rent it in order to support themselves. Jeffrey loves his wife and is willing to do anything to make her happy. Irma loves her husband, so she ignores the warnings of La Llorona, who cautions of dire consequences for her family. La Llorona navigates this haunting love story with humor and suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat! Join us on Valentine’s Day for a special “Amor” performance for you and your special someone. Special Couples priced tickets for the evening’s event.
Down for #TheCount
A Female Playwright One Act Play Festival
March 21, 2019 - April 7, 2019
Back for a fourth year, BATC’s Down for #TheCount is a one-act play festival featuring six dynamic female playwrights from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds articulating the strong female voice in this #MeToo movement! This staged event breathes life into their compelling, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories. True to BATC’s mission, Down for #The Count is a vital platform for the perpetuation of innovative theatrical productions where a variety of female voices may be heard. Down for #TheCount is suitable for audiences ages 18 and above.
The Real James Bond Was Dominican
Written and Performed by Christopher Rivas
May 16 - 18, 2019
What happens when a Dominican boy in Queens with an imagination far beyond his shell, who won't go anywhere without his nerf gun and is obsessed with James Bond, finds out that the real James Bond was Dominican? This is a true story about Porfirio Rubirosa, Ian Fleming’s inspiration for Bond and how this discovery set off a whole tragi-comic journey for a young, Dominican actor-to-be. The Real James Bond Was Dominican is a young man’s guide to love, sex, color, code-switching, white-washing, success, fake-it-till-you-make-it, and the roller coaster of finding one’s true self.
SPEAKER SERIES SEASON
An Afternoon with Baldo & Friends
January 26, 2019
Hector Cantú, co-creator of the Baldo newspaper comic strip, published by nearly 200 newspapers across the United States, leads a panel of creators to discuss characters that connect with today’s audiences. Hector Cantú was a guest earlier this year on National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered’ to talk about the character Cruz coming out as a ‘Dreamer,’ and is among the 21 Latino comic authors & artists featured in the book Your Brain on Latino Comics.
Rose Colarassi & Darlene Ellison
Women’s world: A Practical Guide
to Success and Happiness
June 29, 2019
International Business & Life Strategist, Rose Colarossi, with Award-Winning author Darlene Ellison take to the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage to discuss women’s empowerment issues in the new #MeToo era. Join us as these powerful and successful women share their journey and how they found themselves evolving to a new definition of success and happiness in their personal and professional lives
August 3, 2019
Sanderia Faye, the author of Mourner’s Bench, joins us for a very special speaker series event. She serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University and a professional speaker and activist. Her novel, Mourner’s Bench, is the winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in debut fiction and The Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for fiction. She is co-founder and a fellow at Kimbilio Center for Fiction, and her work has appeared in the anthology Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas. Faye moderated the grassroots panel for the Arkansas Civil Rights Symposium during the Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary and is coordinating the first AWP African Diaspora Caucus.
A Day of the Dead Celebration
In Partnership with Teatro Flor Candela
November 1 - 2, 2018
Part ritual, part environmental theatre, RITUALÉ is a celebration of the Día de Muertos Mexican holiday. The multi-day celebration focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember those who have died and help support their spiritual journey. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars, or ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras (skulls), marigolds, favorite foods of the departed, and visiting their graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves. Join us for this one of a kind artistic endeavor that only develops and grows with the audience.
A 25th Anniversary Festival
July 13, 2019
Come home to the Bishop Arts Theatre Center! Mark your calendars for this day-long party bringing to a close the 25th Anniversary season and celebrate with us all afternoon long with discussions, performances, and art. This FREE family event will unfold onstage, in our halls, and even spill out on to the street where you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat from food trucks. All the hallmarks of what you’ve come to expect from Bishop Arts Theatre will be on full display as we reflect on how far we’ve come and ready ourselves for the next 25 years to come!
Bishop Arts Theatre Center’s 25th Anniversary Season is made possible by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Embrey Family Foundation, State Fair of Texas, Frost Bank, Dallas Tourism Improvement District, Dallas Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Mary Kay, & Wells Fargo.
All performances are presented at the Bishop Art Theatre Center located at 215 South Tyler, TX 75208. Show times vary per production, please visit www.bishopartstheatre.org to verify dates and times. General Admissions fees are $18 to $30. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more and may be purchased by calling (214) 948-0716.
About Bishop Arts Theatre Center (BATC)
Nestled in the heart of Dallas’ Oak Cliff community, the Bishop Arts Theatre Center is an award-winning, multicultural, multi-discipline theatre company. Founded in 1993, the mission of the organization is to cultivate a diverse and vibrant arts community while creating opportunities for local and emerging artists through performances and education. The BATC offers a full season of theatre performances, jazz concerts, a speaker series and year-round arts education programs. Each year, the theatre impacts nearly 30,000 people nationwide.