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Dallas' Kitchen Dog Theater finds its forever home

Dallas' Kitchen Dog Theater finds its forever home

Kitchen Dog Theater presents A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett's Bequest
Kitchen Dog Theater's new season just opened with A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett's Bequest, but next season the company should be performing in its new home. Photo by Matt Mrozek

Dallas' theater dogs are homeless no more. Kitchen Dog Theater, which was left without a performance space when longtime home McKinney Avenue Contemporary closed last summer, has purchased property in the Design District.

The 10,000-square-foot building at 4774 Algiers St. will serve as KDT's permanent performance, office, rehearsal, and shop space. The company recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and opened its 26th season with A Stain Upon the Silence: Beckett's Bequest at Trinity River Arts Center. All remaining shows in the 2016-17 season are expected to be performed at TRAC.

Fort Worth firm Ibeñez Architecture will spend 2017 converting what's currently the home of Presidio Tile into a 140-seat performance space, company offices, and a rehearsal space that could also double as a cabaret. Target move-in date is 2018.

“Theater companies like ours around the country are challenged by the whims of local real estate markets, so we are extremely grateful to be able to put down permanent roots in our hometown,” says KDT co-artistic director Tina Parker in a release.

The Real Estate Council Community Fund, Communities Foundation of Texas, Harold Simmons Foundation, and private donors made the nearly $1 million purchase possible.

KDT joins Theatre Three, Dallas Children's Theater, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, and Amphibian Stage Productions as one of the few Dallas-Fort Worth theater companies that owns its space. The company spent this past season performing at the Green Zone, Undermain Theatre, and TRAC, and had previously been at the MAC since 1994.

Kitchen Dog Theater was founded in 1991 by Southern Methodist University MFA graduates, and is currently led by Parker, co-artistic director Christopher Carlos, and managing director Tim Johnson. It's a founding member of the National New Play Network — and the region's sole NNPN member theater — and hosts the yearly New Works Festival and PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest for young playwrights.

Says Parker, “This development gives us the financial and emotional security to continue our artist-driven mission — to provide a place where questions of justice, morality, and human freedom can be explored — for many years to come.”