100 Dallas Creatives: No. 39 Literary Framer Karen Weiner

Categories: 100 Creatives

Kevin Todora

When Karen Weiner opened the Reading Room in Dallas, she turned a new page for the gallery scene, creating a project space unlike anything else that exists here. Her snug little spot in Exposition Park hosts everything from book swaps to art exhibitions to readings, with topics running the gamut from history to the current exhibition that makes a case for the mailman with clever, hand drawn post cards.

Weiner's background is in bookmaking and photography, and she spent years running the UTD artist residency program with Rick Brettel, which was originally in the South Side at Lamar building. (Now the residency program is known as CentralTrak and is right down the street.) Both Weiner and her Reading Room are two staples on the Dallas arts scene, equally charming and intellectually stimulating. Words and art collide regularly, but with the Reading Room, Weiner found a way to collapse them - to frame them.

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Tales from the Borderlands and the Drafthouse Deliver a Social Gaming Experience without Fragging

Categories: Gaming

Courtesy of Telltale Games

The premiere of Telltale Games' and Dalla-based Gearbox Software's Tales from the Borderlands showcased something unique, even in this modern age of lifelike graphics, complex gameplay and being called a "fag noob" by a 11-year-old New Zealander who just fragged your virtual ass.

The new graphic adventure showcased Tuesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson is well written, smart and damn funny, and that's just the first episode. (Audience members got to watch and make suggestions as players maneuvered onscreen through the first of a planned five episodes of the game.)

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Dead White Zombies' Immersive Theater Is Reborn with Karaoke Motel

Categories: Theater

Thomas Riccio
The Zombies are back. The back-alley-crawling, crack house-dwelling immersive theater company currently inhabits an abandoned ice house, and they've redecorated it to look like a motel designed by Norman Bates - basement and all. Karaoke Motel is creepy choose-your-own adventure theater with a disjointed narrative about what it means to be alive.

If you've never been to a Dead White Zombies show before, this is a good place to start. Unlike T.N.B., last year's performance set in a former drug house in West Dallas, there are no gunshots fired here (blanks, of course) and no simulated rape. Karaoke Motel is meant to be the third in a series about death, the afterlife and rebirth, respectively. But having not seen the first two, I can attest this to be just as fun as a single entry -- a museum of theatrical oddities that you're encouraged to explore mostly unguided.

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4 Ice Rinks to Skate at in (or around) Dallas

Categories: Dallas Stories

Panther Island Ice

It can be hard to get that holiday feeling. Once you've switched your radio to KLUV, and you've tried gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, stringing lights, and braving the malls, you might want to lace up those ice skates from your childhood. There aren't many places to skate this holiday season, but here are a few in and around Dallas.

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24 Hours at CentralTrak, Exposition Park's Artist Residency Program

Categories: Dallas Stories

At 1 p.m. last Friday, I arrived at CentralTrak in Exposition Park for a next level sleepover. I would spend 24 hours at the artists' residency of The University of Texas at Dallas, and get to know its eight current residents. How do they live? How do they work? What is it like to be that cool? These were the principle questions I sought to answer, and I did so with some apprehension. I had no idea what to expect. Would I, a relative novice in the field of visual art, have the language to discuss it with people who make and study it around the clock? Or would I feel like I was trapped in the art museum scene in Woody Allen's "Manhattan," scratching my head at talk of steel cubes and negative capability?

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Six Thanksgiving Week Events

Categories: Events


The Thanksgiving holiday is rapidly approaching, and most of us are still trying to figure out exactly what we're going to put on the table for the big meal. Sure, the food is going to be awesome, but there's much more to this holiday than just sitting around a table with your weird relatives, watching the Cowboys lose, and going to sleep early so you can shop on Black Friday.

If you're used to staying around in your eatin' pants during the Thanksgiving holidays, consider walking off a few hundred calories at one of these Thanksgiving week events. Who knows, maybe you'll even be able to get in a little Christmas shopping without having to punch someone in the face while waiting in line at Macy's.

Nasher Sculpture Center Is Open Monday
Monday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The last time you were in the Arts District on a Monday, you might've been perplexed by the emptiness. So much so, in fact, that you find yourself avoiding the whole neighborhood at the beginning of the week. But your in-laws arrived early for Thanksgiving and you're banging your head on the refrigerator wondering what to do with them all week, which might be why the Nasher opened its doors today. For this Monday alone, you, the weary in-law entertainer, can take your perfectly wonderful mother-in-law to see one of the city's finest art institutions. Hours today are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is just $10, and there's a lovely cafe where you can hide out while your family explores the Heatherwick and Anna Bella Pappexhibitions. You've already seen them, and there's wine in the cafe.

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15 Things We're Thankful For in Dallas Culture

Categories: Dallas Stories

If we've been cynical, forgive us. We love Dallas. In this season of gratitude, let us pause and be thankful for a few things in Dallas culture. Ahem, here goes.

The Texas Theatre.

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100 Dallas Creatives: No. 40 Festival Orchestrator Anna Sophia van Zweden

Categories: 100 Creatives

In front of a piece by Jessica Warboys at an art fair in New York.
Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order.

Earlier this year, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra unveiled its secret weapon. While Jaap van Zweden builds a top level orchestra, his daughter has been at work behind the scenes helping him strategize how to bring in younger audiences. She's chaired the annual gala, planning a fun after party that stretches late into the night. And it was announced in April that she will serve as the Director of Festival Advancement for the Soluna Festival, which is set to launch in May 2015.

Her multi-disciplinary background, primarily in visual art and museum studies, has allowed her to approach the festival in an inclusive way, pairing international visual artists with the DSO, inviting dance companies to participate, and working the Dallas Museum of Art to program performance art. And that's just a tiny piece of what's to come. We're excited to see how it all comes together, but with Anna Sophia orchestrating its first year, we're expecting great things.

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The New Borderlands Game Will Get a Premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse

Categories: Gaming

Video games are so powerful these days that they are practically on par with movies in terms of story, graphics and production. That might sound like a step forward until you realize that means that Adam Sandler may one day get to make his own game.

There's actually been a movement away from stories in games as the big studios just deliver more and more virtual killing machines that people can play until their eyes melt. Telltale Studios, however, has tried to make story the reason you play their games and they teamed up with local Gearbox Studios to make a graphic adventure version of their popular Borderlands game to deliver a brand new story called Tales from the Borderlands.

It's so close to a movie that it's even getting a flashy, red carpet premiere this Monday at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.

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Bob's Prop Shop in Dallas Gets Reality Show Treatment on the Reelz Channel

Categories: Film and TV

A car shop that only builds screen-accurate reproductions of famous cars like The A-Team van and Doc Brown's DeLorean from Back to the Future sounds like a much more interesting target for a reality show than a group of white trash, beauty pageant freaks without a moral compass.

Apparently executives at the Reelz Channel agree with us.

Robert Moseley, owner and operator of Bob's Prop Shop in Flower Mound, says Reelz will debut Screen Machines, a reality show based around his movie car business, Tuesday, Dec. 2nd. The series will also get its first public screening at a special premiere on the same day at the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.

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