Southern Fried Politics
Addison theater becomes first in DFW to partner with national streaming service
Many theater companies turned to streaming options in the wake of the pandemic, but WaterTower Theatre is the first in Dallas-Fort Worth to partner with national streaming service Broadway on Demand.
Founded in 2020, Broadway on Demand offers "an extensive and wide-ranging library of video-on-demand content, exclusive live stream events, interactive platforms, and educational resources."
The Addison-based WaterTower Theatre is presenting its current production of The Taming by Lauren Gunderson, which is directed by Cheryl Denson and stars Kimberly Michelle Thomas, Leslie Collins, and Jenna Caire.
It was performed in-person October 13-24, and will stream on-demand through October 31.
"We are so proud to have this opportunity to share the work of this incredible cast, production team, and creative team with a national audience on Broadway On Demand, and a huge thank you to Lauren Gunderson for allowing video streaming for this title," says WTT associate producer Elizabeth Kensek. "To be the first theater in DFW to have access to a national platform like this is incredible, and for a piece that I especially wanted to be a part of our 26th season is humbling."
Loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, The Taming follows the reigning Miss Georgia, Katherine Chelsea Hartford (Thomas), as she kidnaps Patricia (Collins), a Republican senator’s campaign manager, and Bianca (Caire), a liberal activist fighting to protect the endangered pandashrew, and holds them hostage in her hotel room the night before the Miss America pageant. Why? Because she has just ditched her original Miss America platform (sunglasses for babies) and changed it to "rewriting the American Constitution."
“Rarely are shows so perfect for the moment in time, but this show is perfect for this exact moment," says Collins. "The political discussion in the show is exactly what is happening in the here and now, yet it spins the conversation in such a hilarious and delightful way that you can actually sit and listen to people talking about politics and not cringe and — maybe, actually — laugh at it all."
"I am fascinated by history and politics, and this piece dives into both with a great sense of humor, poking fun at all sides of the aisle, and cleverly questioning what the original signers of our Constitution actually did intend by having the actors play James Madison, George Washington, and Charles Pinkney at the top of the second act," says Kensek.
The video also features the option to add closed captioning, which is something that Kensek says she and WTT producing artistic director Shane Peterman fought to keep in place for any shows that we are able to stream.
Patrons can click on the CC button on the bottom right of the Broadway On Demand video player, and then select English, then the closed captioning will appear.
"Filming live theater is not a simple thing, and Alex Vorse and Travis Beverly at Shiny Box Pictures have been incredible collaborators, making sure that the director’s vision is fully represented in this theatrical capture," says Kensek. "Cheryl and I loved working with them during the editing process, and knew that the production was in very good hands."
You can reserve your streaming ticket here through October 31.