Socially conscious Dallas teen theater company closing after 8 years
Unconventional youth theater company Cry Havoc will cease creating new productions beginning in September 2022.
Founder and artistic director Mara Richards Bim shared the news in an email to subscribers, stating that an upcoming out-of-state move to be closer to family and nature is the main reason for the closure.
"When I launched Cry Havoc in the fall of 2014, I intended to devote a season of my life to it before embarking on other endeavors," Bim writes. "I hoped that Cry Havoc would inspire young artists to embrace devised theater as a way to create important conversations within the community and would be something they would carry with them long after leaving the organization. And I hoped that Dallas audiences would be challenged to see art created by young people in a whole new light.
"I am immensely proud of the work we (the many professional and teen artists of Cry Havoc) have accomplished over the last 8 years. We have exceeded all hopes and expectations, we have opened minds and hearts in Dallas and beyond, and we have raised the bar nationally for what youth theater can look like. It has been a very beautiful season."
Bim also noted that the decision to close was a natural one between her and the board of directors, given her impending relocation.
Cry Havoc's body of work includes 14 original theater pieces, all devised and/or created by its young artists with assistance from professionals. The productions tackle challenging issues like gun control, gender roles, and immigration, with the idea that new, younger voices and perspectives might inspire change in the community.
In 2018, Babel received two DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards and in 2019, Crossing the Line received three more.
During its final season, Cry Havoc will present four shows:
- Maya: The Illusion We Live, a collaboration with Indique Dance Company that is part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's 2021-22 Elevator Project. Cry Havoc’s portion is choreographed by Emily Bernet. The show will run April 14-16, 2022, at the Studio Theatre.
- Women of Troy, directed by Sheridan Singleton, retells the story of The Trojan Women against the backdrop of SB8, also known as "the heartbeat bill." Women of Troy, in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Greater Dallas, will play July 7-17, 2022, at South Side on Lamar.
- The Art of Broken Things, directed by Bim, explores the mental health challenges facing young people today. It is presented in partnership with Okay to Say, an award-winning public awareness campaign from Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and will play in late July in the Dallas Arts District (dates and exact location to be announced soon).
- Endlings, also directed by Bim, explores climate grief and our connection to the natural world. In the spring of 2020 as the pandemic raged, Bim and the teens of Cry Havoc collected interviews with indigenous peoples, climate scientists, and climate activists on our relationship to the natural world. Endlings was then released as a radio play, but has never been produced live. In partnership with Dallas Children's Theater, Cry Havoc will rework, rewrite, and finally present Endlings live in February 2023 as its last show.
To learn more about Cry Havoc Theater Company and its remaining shows, visit the website.