At Ochre House Theater, Young Lovers Try to Escape Robot World in Flower in the Machine

Categories: Theater

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Ochre House Theater

Across Dallas stages, a long ignored genre of theater seems to have taken center stage. Science fiction, with all its robots, aliens, and future societies has been seen in its intellectual (Tomorrow Come Today at Undermain Theatre) and its campy (Rocky Horror Show at Dallas Theater Center). This weekend, Ochre House Theater ships a cast of characters off into dystopia for Flower in the Machine, a new play by Kevin Grammer about a young couple trying to escape a world managed by machines.


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Cara Mia and Prism Co. Play in the Sand Together with the Mythic Teotl: The Sand Show

Categories: Theater

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Can Turkyilmaz

In the center of an abandoned warehouse, carpenters put the final screws into a sandbox big enough for a giant. Near the front of the box, a woman buries a man in the sand. She's wearing a black leotard and a mask reminiscent of the reptilian birds from Labyrinth, he's wearing little more than a loin cloth and lines of beige paint. It's clear that at some point he will emerge from the sand, but first he must be buried.

Just West of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Cara Mia Theatre Co. collaborated with Prism Co. to fabricate an archaeological dig for the show, Teotl: The Sand Show, a movement-based piece that excavates a rivalry between two Aztec gods. The building, 500 Singleton Blvd., used to house an ironworks. Now it's owned by the group developing Trinity Groves, which loans it to artist groups for performances and events. It's been an exhibition space for Dallas Biennial 14 and the final resting place of performance artist George Quartz. Now it's filled with 20 tons of sand.

"Like other Prism Co. shows, we started with the material and said, 'Gee wouldn't sand be fun?' Which leads us to questions like, what happens if you try to drink sand or dance with it?" says Jeffrey Colangelo, Prism Co's founder and Teotl's writer and director. "Then we dug into the mythology to give ourselves something raw to work with."

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Bonnie & Clyde Cast Hold Up YouTube With Music Video to "Bang Bang"

Categories: Theater

"Criminals have more fun" could've been the subtitle of the musical, Bonnie & Clyde, currently on stage at WaterTower Theatre. History's law-breaking power couple certainly have a better time than the rest of their family in the Depression-era story. And it seems the actors playing them are having a damn good time themselves. Earlier today, the cast put out this Youtube video of them lipsyncing the apropos lyrics to the Top 40 Jessie J song "Bang Bang."

See Bonnie & Clyde through November 2. Tickets available at WaterTowerTheatre.org.

How Seth & Shawn Magill, of Home by Hovercraft, Spiced up Shakespeare's Sonnets

Categories: Theater

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Yes. Collage Art by Shawn Magill. Original Art by Sarah Magill. Photography by Paul Westlake, Styling by Pan & The Dream.

Three years ago, Shakespeare Dallas launched a project called, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." The gist was simple: Over five years, the company's actors would recite every single word Shakespeare ever wrote in a monthly series of staged readings. This includes plays and poetry. According to the Folger Shakespeare Library, that's 884,647 words and 118,406 lines.

It's a huge undertaking that has been received with surprisingly large, attentive audiences (I mean, c'mon, Shakespeare plays are long even when they're edited down). They've performed uncut versions of many of popular works, like Taming of the Shrew, which has an opening scene often left out, which reveals Shakespeare originally intended it to be a play within a play. This week, the monthly series presents its first attempt at combining a few sonnets with music orchestration, provided by local band Home by Hovercraft.

With original music written by the band's front-couple Seth and Shawn Magill, setting the sonnets to the orchestrations like lyrics. They'll perform six of the "Sonnets with Sundry Music," along with The Phoenix and the Turtle. Shawn's also incorporated visual elements, with the help of local artists, turning this into what promises to be the most visually stimulating edition of Complete Works yet.


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Sundown Collaborative Theatre Tries Their Hand at Shakespeare, With Help From Sigur Ros

Categories: Theater

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Sundown Collaborative Theatre

Shakespeare seems to be on the minds of Dallas theatre-makers this month. Last weekend, there was a staged reading of Romeo and Juliet at the Wyly Theatre, Shakespeare in the Bar at Wild Detectives, and of course, Dallas Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Now, Sundown Collaborative Theatre is taking their stab at the Bard with their adaption of The Winter's Tale.

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The Best Theater to See in Dallas in October

Categories: Theater

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Kelsey Leigh Ervi
Bonnie & Clyde at WaterTower Theatre

Theater season is in full swing. Here are a few picks for your month.


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More Shakespeare and More Beer, Please!

Categories: Theater

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Happy, drunken Shakespeare.

This morning, KERA's Jerome Weeks commented on my Facebook check-in at Shakespeare in the Bar last night with a link to a New Yorker article about Drunk Shakespeare, pointing out that New York did it first. I squinted at the screen, rubbed my aching head and thought, damn it, it's only Tuesday.

Sure, it's not technically a new thing. But when was the last time you were hungover after a night of Shakespeare? In spite of the ubiquitous high school English teacher assuring all of her students that The Globe theater was a rowdy, crowded place where the audience talked during the performance, threw garbage at the performers and drank to their heart's delight, very few American experiences with the Bard see this sort of revelry.

Even the casual, often dumbed-down Shakespeare in the Park productions are watched in sober silence (unless you've learned to plan ahead with numerous bottles of wine, like this woman). Last night, on the patio of Wild Detectives, something wonderful happened when a group of actors staged the first Dallas version (in recent memory) of Shakespeare in the Bar.


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Looking for Monday Night Plans? Try Shakespeare in the Bar

Categories: Theater

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Some rebellious theater kids take over The Wild Detectives tonight for the first-ever rendition Shakespeare in a Bar. Well, we're pretty sure we've heard some drunken actors (maybe even some of these guys) reciting lines of iambic pentameter over a double whisky on the rocks. Now it's just a bit more premeditated and slightly less slurred.

At 7:30 p.m. tonight they'll post up on the back patio at the Oak Cliff bookstore/coffee shop/ bar to recite a loosely rehearsed version of Twelfth Night (you know, the one with the cross dressing and the love triangles... OK, OK so that's a lot of Shakespeare's plots).

It's the perfect night to grab a brewski, take in some theater and heckle a few actors -- just like Shakespeare would've wanted.


Body-Hopping, Science Fiction and Avocados: Gordon Dahlquist on Tomorrow Come Today

Categories: Theater

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Undermain Theatre
Vanessa DeSilvio and Montgomery Sutton might be playing the same character....

It's little wonder Gordon Dahlquist's newest play is science fiction. The first words of the upcoming Undermain Theatre world premiere,Tomorrow Come Today, were penned at a 10-day silent retreat in West Texas.

"It's not just not talking," the Brooklyn-based playwright explains over lunch at All Good Cafe. "It was eight-and-a-half days of no gesturing, no eye contact, really no communication. Everyone there does this together."

The playwriting retreat, led by Erik Ehn, another playwright familiar to Undermain, approaches the words on the page with an almost Buddhist or Zen mentality. For Dahlquist, who's spent much of his career in science fiction, this was the perfect milieu for creating a futuristic dystopia where the affluent can upload their existence into a digital cloud, hop from body to body, avoiding -- at all costs -- death.

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2013-14 DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards Include Big Wins for New Work

Categories: Theater

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Second Thought Theatre
The new play, Booth, was one of this year's Forum winners.

It's rare that one of the more difficult categories to choose for the DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards is "Best New Play or Musical." But with Dallas Theater Center leading the charge and the smaller companies rising to the occasion, this year in Dallas/Fort Worth theater featured numerous new plays and musicals, which is something to celebrate.

Every September, the city's working theater critics meet to deliberate on the good, the bad, and the ugly in Dallas theater. There are the occasional unanimous nods when a member nominates a show, but mostly it's a morning spent debating (and sometimes fighting for) the shows we think deserve recognition. The final list contains the shows, actors, designers, etc., which received a quorum vote from the dozen critics on the forum. But what we unanimously agreed upon was that this year was a great year in Dallas theater.


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