Dallas — Glancing at Theatre Three's five-show, 2020-2021 subscription season, it would appear as if the sheen of new(er) works has worn off. In every season since Jeffrey Schmidt took over as Artistic Director of one of DFW's longest running professional theaters, there has been at least one world premiere play on the mainstage series, and in the first two of those seasons, the other slots favored newer titles, as in works from the past decade or at least the 21st century — and musicals were becoming scarce.
That changes with Schmidt's fourth season, T3's 59th, which has no band-new works on the mainstage season, but includes two musicals (The Rocky Horror Show and The Music Man); an American classic play (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a co-production with Fort Worth's Circle Theatre); Oo-bla-dee, a 1999 play about jazz women from Dallas native and resident Regina Taylor, a playwright and Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated actress; and Ken Ludwig's 2017 adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express.
Nothing wrong with any of that, of course; it's just an interesting change in this current era of T3. The organization has a long of history of mixing classics, newer works, plays, and musicals, as repertory theaters do.
There will, however, be two works in development that are not on the subscription series: Dallas playwright Blake Hackler's adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe, and Nicole Neely and Clint Gilbert's musical Stede Bonnet: The Worst F*cking Pirate in the World (dates and details haven't been announced for either). And in the Theatre Too! basement space, a new sketch comedy revue from Matt Lyle, Murder on the Polar Express; and the returns of Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear's The Bippy Bobby Boo Show and a fundraiser musical revue called Imagine Broadway.
And with the classics like The Music Man, Schmidt and T3 Associate Artistic Director Christie Vela are promising new spins.
Read more about the season, with dates, descriptions and subscription information, in the news release below:
Theatre Three Artistic Director Jeffrey Schmidt continues to lead Dallas’s theatre-in-the-round in Uptown in a bold direction, favoring an eclectic mix of classic drama, exciting musicals, and his hallmark, a celebration of the local. Schmidt’s choices of the theatre’s 59th season are an egalitarian assemblage, with something particular to everyone’s interest.
“I don't think I could be more excited about Theatre Three's 59th season!” says Associate Artistic Director Christie Vela. “Jeffrey and I had a great time coming up with pieces that would engage and astound our audiences while challenging our incredible team of artists to shed new light on some familiar and beloved classics. We can't wait to see what we do! We hope you'll jump on board and take this ride with us.”
“Just as important as the shows we've picked is what we do with them,” says Schmidt. “Our mainstage season ranges from cult classics to wholesome Americana. What excites Christie and me the most about these shows is the opportunity to put Theatre Three's stamp on them with the ingenuity, creativity and sense of adventure that has come to define us in the recent years. We're gonna have fun and so will you!”
Opening the season, is the cult-classic rock musical, The Rocky Horror Show, a perfect fit for Halloween shenanigans in Uptown. For those in a non-Christmas mood, the holiday season will feature Murder on the Orient Express, adapted by by one of America’s preeminent comic playwrights Ken Ludwig from Agatha Christie’s beloved whodunit. Next up, is Oo-bla-dee, a tribute to the founding ladies of jazz, by Dallas’ favorite daughter, Regina Taylor. In a co-production with Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre, Edward Albee’s 1962 masterpiece Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will feature Theatre Three’s Associate Artistic Director Christie Vela as Martha and Cirle Theatre’s Artistic Director Matthew Gray as George. The season will close with a streamlined The Music Man, a fresh re-imagining of the bright and cheery American favorite, directed by Joel Ferrell and music directed by Vonda Bowling.
Committed to producing new works and nurturing local artists, Theatre Three will be producing an adaptation of Tartuffe by Blake Hackler and workshopping a new musical by Nicole Neely and Clint Gilbert titled Stede Bonnet: The Worst F*cking Pirate in the World. More information about these to come!
In addition to the production season, Theatre Three is inviting local arts groups to utilize both the Norma Young Arena Stage and the Theatre Too performance spaces. Rental arrangements can be made by contacting Sarah Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org and are subject to availability. Additionally, Theatre Too will continue to provide a home for Theatre Three’s Monday Playwright series, which provides local writers an opportunity to showcase their works-in-progress.
Theatre Too, the organization’s intimate basement space welcomes back the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group’s co-production of The Bippy Bobby Boo Show and Bootstrap Comedy Theatre’s co-production of a new comedy sketch show, Murder on the Polar Express.
Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season will go on sale June 1 and single tickets will be available August 1. Tickets can be purchased online at www.theatre3dallas.com, over the phone at 214-871-3300, or in person. Theatre Three is located at 2800 Routh St., #168, Dallas, TX 75201.
The Rocky Horror Show
October 1-November 1, 2020
by Richard O’Brien
Directed by Jeffrey Schmidt with Musical Direction by (TBD)
T3 owns the Halloween season with this cult classic--a deliberately kitschy rock 'n' roll sci-fi gothic musical! Ridiculously virtuous sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a kinky, yet endearing, transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including the mad Dr.’s latest creation: the perfect specimen of a man, Rocky. Dress for the Time Warp If You Dare! Expect Audience Par-tic-ip-a…tion!!!
Murder on the Orient Express
November 27-December 20, 2020
Adapted by Ken Ludwig, based on the novel by Agatha Christie
Directed by Christie Vela
The exotic Orient Express is about to go off the rails! With a luxury locomotive full of suspects (speaking in a host of over-the-top European accents) and an alibi for each one, it’s the perfect mystery for detective Hercule Poirot, n’est-ce pas? Wax your mustache and hold on to your passport—from Agatha Christie’s masterpiece comes this slick and comic adaptation by Ken Ludwig! A glittering entertainment that takes you on an exotic, daring ride aboard the legendary Orient Express! A Funny, Suspenseful, Fast-Paced Thrill Ride!
February 11-March 14, 2021
Written by Regina Taylor
Direction by (TBD) with Musical Direction by (TBD)
As one of Dallas’ most accomplished theatrical exports, Regina Taylor is known for her luscious, ripe language and exhilarating poetry. With a background beat of be-bop, she combines realism with lilting lyricism to tell the tale of Gin Del Sol, a young saxophone player who joins an all-black, female jazz quartet. Set in the post-war era, Taylor’s tribute to the ladies of jazz chronicles the struggles of musicians trying to make sweet music over the intrusive societal noise of pervasive sexism and racism. Powerful! Eclectic! A Jazz Lover’s Experience!
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
April 8-May 2, 2021
by Edward Albee
Directed by Jeffrey Schmidt
Albee’s 1962 masterpiece, an escalating, perversely erotic dance of booze, anger and resentment, remains as relevant as the day it was written. Late one evening, after an alcohol-fueled university faculty party, a middle-aged couple, Martha and George, receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as late evening guests. They draw them into their bitter and frustrated marital love-hate ambivalence and pummel each other senseless in a verbal slugfest. Grotesque games-playing until dawn is ultimately uplifting and cathartic as illusions are shed and the bitter truth comes to light. Intensity. Darkness. Complexity. Ambiguity.
Meredith Willson’s The Music Man
June 3-July 4, 2021
Book, Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Based on a story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Joel Ferrell with Musical Direction by Vonda Bowling
One of the most cherished American classics, The Music Man, merrily marches onto the T3 stage! Called “one of the sunniest musicals ever” by the New York Times, this family-friendly story should be joyfully shared with every generation. This is a timeless story of the fast-talking salesman, Harold Hill, who cons the good folks of River City, Iowa, into believing that he can teach their children to play in a marching band. Before the fraudulent teacher can skip town with the loot, Harold’s got trouble when he falls for the quick-witted, not to mention beautiful, small town librarian, Marian. A slice of Americana you won’t want to miss!
SECOND STAGE SEASON
Stede Bonnet: The Worst F*cking Pirate in the World
Written by Nicole Neely
Music and Lyrics by Clint Gilbert
Directed by Jeffrey Schmidt with Musical Direction by (TBD)
A brand new swashbuckling musical, STEDE BONNET: THE WORST F*CKING PIRATE IN THE WORLD is a hilarious, touching tale based on the true story of the Gentleman Pirate. Stede, depressed and exhausted of his luxurious life, chooses to leave everything behind and become the best pirate in the world! One problem… he’s utterly clueless and painfully oblivious. After a run-in with the dramatic and conniving Blackbeard, Stede wonders if he’s made a terrible mistake. Getting its “sea legs” with the help of the Monday Night Playwright program at Theatre Three in 2019, this new work is ready to set sail! Come aboard as we workshop the production in-house, preparing it for a fully-produced voyage! Mishaps! Mayhem! Piracy! Depression… Puppets!
Written by Blake Hackler, an adaption of Moliere’s Tartuffe
In keeping with Theatre Three's rich history of producing French farces, we are proud to announce a new adaptation of Moliere's Tartuffe. Theatre Three has commissioned award winning playwright Blake Hackler to adapt the play for the 60th Season. Set in South Texas in the 1950's, the delicious characters of Tartuffe, Elmire and Orgon will find themselves on a sprawling cattle ranch owned by a wealthy Hispanic family.
The Bippy Bobby Boo Show
October 15-31, 2020
A Co-Production with Danielle Georgiou Dance Group
Written and directed by Danielle Georgiou
Dazzling with glitz and glamour of a 1960s musical variety show, THE BIPPY BOBBY SHOW returns to Theater Too, the delightful downstairs space at Theatre Three Dallas. Bippy Bobby, the crooning, cocktail-toting ne’er-do-well, hosts this late-night limited engagement featuring performances by the six ghosts living in the belly of the uptown basement. Inspired by the plays they saw performed by Norma Young, Esther Ragland, Robert Dracup, and Jac Alder, the ghosts of Theater Too bring the works of Pirandello, Pinter, Albee, and Beckett into their acts. Come on down to the Boo Show Lounge, and enjoy the music, dance, and hilarity of this fall’s swankiest night of theater! A haunted holiday experience!
Murder on the Polar Express – A Sketch Comedy Show
December 11-26, 2020
A Co-Production with Bootstraps Comedy Theatre
Written and directed by Matt Lyle
Death. Mayhem. Fear. Mirth. Joy. And cute little outfits. The holidays can be downright terrifying. Matt Lyle and the sketch comedy hooligans at Bootstraps Comedy Theater will face that fear for you and celebrate the courage and resiliency of the human spirit. Or they will literally die trying.
Imagine Broadway: Theatre Three Musical Revue
Step inside the swanky Manhattan apartment of a Broadway composer for an evening of song and dance bubbling with elegance, fun and dishy theater gossip! Overflowing with panache and pizzazz, four of Dallas' top vocal talents will perform a concert showcasing Broadway's best musicals, including some familiar favorites from our theatre's history. All proceeds to benefit T3’s programming.