Season Announcement

Uptown's Theatre Three expands artistic leadership in local-focused season

Uptown's Theatre Three expands leadership in local-focused season

Christie Vela and Jeffrey Schmidt
Christie Vela and Jeffrey Schmidt. Photo courtesy of Theatre Three

UPDATE: Theatre Three has added a holiday show, Gold, Frankincense, and Credit Card Debt: A Christmas Holiday December Sketch Comedy Show. This production is co-presented by Bootstraps Comedy Theatre and directed by celebrated local playwright Matt Lyle. It is written collectively by Matt Lyle, Nicole Neely, Jim Kuenzer, Jeff Swearingen, Matt Coleman, and Rachel Farmer, and will be performed December 13-28. Tickets are now on sale. 

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Three works penned by Dallasites — two of which are world premieres — are featured in Theatre Three's 2019-20 season, but that's not the only big announcement from the theater-in-the-round in the Quadrangle.

Local director and actor Christie Vela is joining T3 as its associate artistic director, and is already slated to direct the first show of the company's 58th season.

"Christie is a longtime colleague and friend," says T3 artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt, who is entering his third year in the role. "Her work both as a director and actor here in the Metroplex as well as regionally is impressive, to say the least. Many will remember when both Norma Young and Jac Alder were the artistic forces behind Theatre Three. I'm thrilled to see where Theatre Three will head by combining our aesthetics and visions."

Together with Michael Federico, who co-wrote last season's new musical The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn, Vela conceived a new adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, which will kick off the new season. Vela will direct (she also directed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from two seasons ago), with Federico writing the well-known Gothic horror tale from the perspective of through the eyes of the count's mysterious mistress, Mina.

It will play concurrently with The Bippy Bobby Boo Show, a haunting parody of 1960s musical variety shows co-produced by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. A roster of theatrical ghosts living in the basement Theater Too space bring the works of Pirandello, Pinter, Albee, and Beckett into their acts for an evening of glamorous, ghoulish entertainment. This "double scream Halloween" pairing runs October 10-November 3, 2019.

Michael Frayn's classic farce Noises Off brings its door-slamming slapstick to the holiday season (seems the beleaguered experiment that was Solstice has been put to rest after two seasons). Kara-Lynn Vaeni directs the onstage comedy that shows the backstage antics of an amateur traveling theater production as it puts the saying "the show must go on" to the test. It runs November 29-December 29, 2019.

As was hinted last year, Denise Lee's original play Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro is premiering under Vela's direction. Audience interaction seems like it will be encouraged during this world premiere, while will explore the pre-judgments we make on our neighbors, the biases we inadvertently pass on to our children, and how the simple act of talking to one another is being subverted by social media. It runs February 20-March 15, 2020.

Schmidt assumes the directing reins for The Elephant Man, Bernard Pomerance's biographical drama about medical marvel and social outcast John Merrick. Shunned by Victorian-era society due to his dramatically deformed body, Merrick finds compassion with a caring surgeon and longs to escape his "sideshow freak" status. It runs April 9-May 10, 2020.

Theatre Three has its own Hamilton ... Texas, that is. It's the setting for The Immigrant, Mark Harelik's based-on-a-true-story play about his grandfather, Haskell Harelik, and the changes the Russian-Jewish immigrant experiences over his 30 years in the town. Schmidt once again directs, and it runs June 4-28, 2020.

Noticing the lack of a musical in this lineup? T3 promises there will be one — sort of. A "special fundraising event" musical revue is planned for late January or early February, 2020, and will "scratch your musical itch with an evening jam-packed with Broadway's biggest hits."

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.

Season tickets (which range from $60-$225) will go on sale on May 14, 2019. Single tickets will be available at a later date. For ticket information, call 214-871-3300 or visit www.theatre3dallas.com.