This season for Kitchen Dog Theater, its milestone 30th, looks a little different than last year's. The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down, and as such theater companies like KDT are pivoting to "theatrical experiences" instead of traditional productions.
That's the idea for the 2020-21 season, as well as its official theme: celebrating playwrights of color. Within the lineup are two world-premiere plays, as well as the 23rd anniversary of the New Works Festival and the 20th year of PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest, co-produced with Dallas ISD and Junior Player.
In addition to its regular season schedule, KDT will also present some digital and alternative socially distanced pop-up events.
It all starts with the world premiere of Last Ship to Proxima Centauri by Greg Lam, directed by KDT's co-artistic director Tina Parker. The filmed theatrical experience is set when the earth has become uninhabitable. The last escape ship from Earth (Seattle, to be exact) arrives to its new home centuries after all the others. The passengers are not prepared for what they find there: a planet full of unimpressed people of color who are not happy to see them. It runs February-March, 2021.
Another world premiere is next: Good Latimer by Dallas-raised Angela Hanks. Directed by KDT co-artistic director Christopher Carlos, this mainstage production of the New Works Festival will be presented in June 2021 (in a format to be determined). Ravinia is a woman woke out of love with her partner of 35 years, Good. And Good? He is trying his darnedest to win her back — even as the sky rains armadillos and Dallas has an earthquake. The play is about misconstruing what love is and what love can be, and how a city's landscape changes as it approaches newer modernity.
To celebrate its 30th anniversary season and to heed 2020's call to reimagine what is possible, Kitchen Dog Theater will transform its 23rd annual New Works Festival Staged Reading Series into the New Works Festival: In the Works Commission Series. Over the first six months of 2021, Kitchen Dog's artistic staff will work hand in hand with four incredible playwrights as they create brand-new digital scripts. These plays will be performed by KDT friends and alums from across the country in a variety of virtual and/or non-traditional formats.
As for the pop-up events, the first begins this coming Saturday. Get Up, Stand Up: A Drive-In Celebration of Democracy is a COVID-safe, drive-in outdoor concert series with changing nightly lineups of local artists and celebrities performing protest/freedom songs from throughout history. Patrons will park in a designated parking spot and tune in to the show's audio via their car stereos, as the live, socially distanced show is happening on a raised parking lot stage in front of them.
"As our nation ramps up for another election cycle, Kitchen Dog seeks to celebrate democracy as well as amplify the voices of our local artist community, who have recently struggled to be heard during the pandemic with traditional venues closed for the unforeseeable future," says the release.
The concerts are happening October 17, 24, 31 and November 3.
Additional pop-up and special events are currently TBD and will be announced later on.
Season tickets are $50 for the two mainstage productions and all of the New Works Festival events. KDT subscribers will also receive subscriber-only discounts on all 2020-21 pop-up performances and special events. KDT also offers a $40 season ticket for both student and senior (65-plus) citizens.
Single concert tickets to Get Up, Stand Up: A Drive-In Celebration of Democracy are $30 per car/driver, plus $15 per additional passenger. A Vote, Dawg pass to all four events is $100 per car/single occupant, plus $40 per additional car occupant.
These concerts will take place on the parking lot behind the new Kitchen Dog Theater Compound, located at 4774 Algiers St. in Dallas.
Season tickets are available for purchase now, with single tickets going on sale one month prior to each scheduled event. For season ticket and/or ticket information, please call the Kitchen Dog Theater box office at 214-953-1055 or check the website.