Dallas Theater Center has added two new members to its resident acting company: local favorite Alex Organ and newcomer Daniel Duque-Estrada. They will join the Brierley Resident Acting Company this upcoming season and appear in several DTC shows.
We recently spoke to both actors about their appointments, and each expressed gratitude and excitement about becoming a steady part of Dallas’ arts community.
Rhode Island transplant Duque-Estrada is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Brown University/Trinity Rep. He auditioned for DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty and director of new play development Lee Trull while the company was in Providence last season for King Lear, a joint production with Trinity Rep.
“Art in Dallas doesn’t exist in a bubble,” says Daniel Duque-Estrada. “There’s a flow, with ideas and support coming in and out between DTC and the city.”
As he was preparing for his graduate showcase in New York City, he received a phone call from Moriarty, asking him to come to Dallas for a callback.
“It was a whirlwind weekend,” Duque-Estrada recalls. “But I noticed immediately how welcoming Dallas is to its arts community, and how much a part of the city Dallas Theater Center is. The Arts District, especially, is incredible.”
Duque-Estrada is planning to move from Rhode Island to Dallas in October, and he says he’s looking forward to the work he’ll also be doing with DTC’s education and community outreach program.
“Art in Dallas doesn’t exist in a bubble,” he says. “There’s a flow, with ideas and support coming in and out between DTC and the city. Being a part of that community was very appealing to me.”
Organ, a Houston native, might be a more familiar face to Dallas audiences, who have enjoyed his work with DTC in A Christmas Carol and last season’s hit musical Fly By Night. The Abilene Christian grad and Yale Drama School-trained actor has also appeared at Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Three, WaterTower Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, Lyric Stage and as an associate artist at Second Thought Theatre.
Organ will next be seen in the world premiere of Profanity at Undermain Theatre, opening September 12. He says that joining DTC’s resident acting company means, above all, stability.
“Consistency is something actors struggle to find,” Organ says. “That burden is lifted by knowing you have work lined up and don’t have to spend so much energy looking for acting jobs. That’s a real, rare treat for an actor.”
Organ says that this upcoming season, which features works both new and classic, is a chance to grow and expand with the theater company.
“Dallas Theater Center’s reputation is stellar,” he says. “Both of my experiences have been the utmost in professionalism and creative output, and it will be nice to have that standard as an artistic home.”
Duque-Estrada noted that he’s looking forward to DTC’s production of Oedipus El Rey, Luis Alfaro’s adaptation of Sophocles' Greek tragedy set in South Central Los Angeles.
“Being Latino, I’m looking forward to injecting that viewpoint into the season,” he says. “I was actually called in for the world premiere of this play at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, but I ended up not being able to make it to the audition, and that broke my heart. This is work I’ve never been able to do but I’ve always wanted to.”
Organ, meanwhile, is already excited about the repertory productions of A Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park that DTC will be presenting in September and October. Even though he’s not involved onstage with these shows, he observes that the importance of the works, paired with the casts DTC has assembled, is significant.
“One is a great American play and the other is one of the smartest scripts I’ve read in years,” Organ says. “I’ve actually never seen a live production of Raisin, so it will be impressive to see it with this extraordinarily strong cast of DTC company members and local actors.”
Both actors are ready to tackle DTC’s new version of A Christmas Carol, which will use a new adaptation by director Kevin Moriarty and be performed in the Wyly Theatre, a large change after years of being presented at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.
“I was in Trinity Rep’s version of A Christmas Carol recently, and I’m excited to be a part of DTC’s version” Duque-Estrada says. “It’s a show that the entire community comes out to see. Families, young people, lifelong theatergoers — everyone comes to A Christmas Carol.”
“It’s a brand-new version that Kevin is adapting, Joel [Ferrell] is choreographing and Lee [Trull] is associate directing,” says Organ. “It’s like a whole family project, and we’re all going to figure it out together.
“A strong resident acting company template is what I was raised to emulate, and I’ve trained to become that kind of actor, the kind who can do all different styles of theater. I love musicals, I love Shakespeare, the American classics, new works. At Dallas Theater Center you can do all of these.”