On Tuesday night at the Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District, a group of theatermakers and arts lovers gathered to see the first 2019 event for the fledgling outfit Flexible Grey Theatre Company. The organization has a mission to give voices to LGBTQ+ playwrights and artists, as well as from other underrepresented communities.
The event, called Cheers to New!, was two-fold. It was the first of a monthly series FGTC will host featuring a reading of a new(ish) work. On Tuesday, it was Rachel Lynett’s funny, thoughtful Well-Intentioned White People, directed by Whitney LaTrice Coulter. Intermission brought something the audience also came to see: The announcement of the group’s second season.
For a small, new theater group working on a broken-shoestring budget, and considering the chilly weather, that fact that there was a respectably sized crowd at an outdoor performance says something about the excitement for Flexible Grey and its mission. Note to anyone thinking of starting a grassroots arts organization: Get your name out there by producing events, even if they are not full productions.
Before we get to the three-show season, which is titled “Finding Your Tribe,” follow Flexible Grey on Facebook to find out about the upcoming Cheers to New! happenings. In February, the play will Bixby Elliot’s Abraham Lincoln Was a Faggot at 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Wild Detectives. The group will also take part in the Dallas Museum Art’s Late Nights Pride event on June 21.
As for the three mainstage productions, the first title is Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries. The second show is a workshop production of Austin-based Alice Stanley’s comedy Lipstick, which was given a staged reading in Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2018 New Works Festival; and the third is the second edition of the show that brought FGTC notoriety in 2018, Bridges: LGBTQ+ Then and Now. In this verbatim work, older members of the LGBTQIA community were interviewed by younger generations. The second edition is Bridges: Multiracial Connections, with the same concept except the interviews will be conducted with LBGTQ+ people of color.
Here’s the season breakdown:
Gruesome Playground Injuries
By Rajiv Joseph
Arts Mission Oak Cliff
By Alice Stanley
June (dates TBA)
Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre, Dallas
Lipstick is a silly, sweet farce with a heart of gold and a drawer full of sex toys. Anna has invited Kelly over for dinner, but is it a date? Or just hanging out? How could Anna know?! Is Kelly even gay?! Kelly wears earrings AND boots! Just in case that wasn’t confusing enough, a cavalcade of visitors crashes their evening - an ex-girlfriend, a nebby bestie, a handyman, a mom, and a parade of potential suitors. Hijinks, of course, ensue, in this play-shaped love letter to the queer community."
Bridges: Multiracial Connections
Devised by Flexible Grey Theatre Company
Latino Cultural Center, Dallas
Bridges is back, this time highlighting the multiracial community. We've asked multiracial individuals within the Millennial generation for questions they might have for the older multiracial generation. Using these interviews, Flexible Grey has created a performance where the stories from the older generations are brought to life by the younger generation as a way of bridging the gap between the two.