Theater Underground

Uptown Dallas theater banks on local writers with homegrown new season

Uptown Dallas theater banks on local writers with homegrown new season

Theatre Three presents I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Calvin Scott Roberts, Allison Bret, Janelle Lutz, and Trey West in the 2016-17 production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Photo by Linda Harrison

Less than two months after teasing it during Theatre Three's season announcement, Theatre Too's full 2017-18 season has also been revealed. And like its above-ground counterpart, the basement space will see a dramatic shift in programming during artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt's first year on the job.

We were previously promised new plays by local artists Matt Lyle and Jessica Cavanagh, along with a new work by local movement company PrismCo., and that's exactly what we're getting. This season will also see the final run of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, which has been a Theatre Too staple for the past 18 years.

All three of the new works have been commissioned by Theatre Three, proving with cold, hard, cash Schmidt's dedication to nurturing local talent.

"The arts scene in Dallas has an obligation to local artists including writers, and every organization should play a role in fostering their development from readings and workshops to full productions with professional actors," says Schmidt in a release. "I’m proud to include Theatre Three as part of the local resources writers have access to."

First up is a new play by Matt Lyle, whose hilarious Barbecue Apocalypse received a smashing world premiere by Kitchen Dog Theater in 2014. Titled Cedar Springs or Big Scary Animals, it centers on an older white couple from the country that unknowingly moves to "the gayborhood" to be closer to their granddaughter in Dallas. It has had multiple staged readings and is now "ripe and ready" for its premiere production. It will run September 7-October 1, 2017, with Schmidt directing. 

Lear, PrismCo.'s wordless interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear is next, using dance theater to focus on the relationship between the aging king and his daughters. This innovative company uses dance choreography, stage combat, mime, weight sharing, clowning, and simple, everyday actions to "plunge even further into the complex depths of the human subconscious, all without uttering a single word.” It will run October 26-November 19, 2017
Shifting forward a bit from its usual New Year's Eve opening, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will welcome back B.J. Cleveland to direct the final run of Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' crowd-pleaser. Theatre Too promises some surprises and special events to mark the occasion and help Dallas say goodbye to the long-running musical. It runs January 11-March 4, 2018.

Jessica Cavanagh has turned her unexpected real-life experiences into Self Injurious Behavior, a play about a woman raising an autistic son. This very personal account is a reminder that life never turns out the way you plan it, but that it can turn into a life you love. Marianne Galloway will direct, and Cavanagh plans to continue developing the play at Theatre Three in preparation for a production next spring. It runs May 17- June 10, 2018.

"In the coming years, patrons will have the opportunity to witness all phases of the creation process. It gets to the heart of the meaning behind Theatre Three’s name: actors, authors, audience," says Schmidt. "T3 is proud to claim some Pulitzer Prize winners amongst its alumni. It’s time to discover the next one."

Single tickets will be available for purchase at a later date, and subscribers get half off tickets to all Theatre Too shows.