Theater Critic Picks
These are the 8 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for June
UPDATE: As of June 3, "fine arts performance halls" are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Jubilee Theatre's live production has since been added to the below list.
Those in the performing arts keep innovating. You can still watch a livestreamed production, but now there are also drive-in performances, Zoom audiences, and recordings of works from the archives.
These Dallas-Fort Worth theater companies have definitely found creative ways to still deliver their programming, and some are even free (though we highly suggest donating the ticket price — or more — if you're in a position to do so).
Here are eight local shows to watch this month:
The Savage Seconds
Undermain Theatre and Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, streaming June 4-12
Conceived by Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear, this experimental opera centers on a young girl — sent home from boarding school during a great plague — whose coming of age is hijacked by her powerful but absent parents, malicious siblings, and the surreal confusion of sexuality. Exploring the genre of tragédie en musique and the concepts inherent in the Greek tragedies of Oedipus and Medea, The Savage Seconds looks at the effects of obsession and celebrity in a world catapulted into disarray by disease and political turmoil. Tickets can be purchased here, and the audience is encouraged to wander wander through the layers of the multi-media website created especially for the show, to deepen their curiosity, and bond with the story — you just might end up in the show.
22nd Annual New Works Festival
Kitchen Dog Theater, live on Zoom, June 6-28
The NWF is going completely digital this year, with KDT offering a series of six virtual readings as well as the 19th year of PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest, in collaboration with Junior Players. Showcasing some of the newest and most exciting voices and visions in contemporary theater, the winning plays are selected from almost 500 annual submissions from around the globe and will feature a strong cadre of DFW's most accomplished actors and directors. Tickets to the NWF can be purchased here, and free reservations to PUP Fest on June 6 can be made here.
Theatre Three, streaming, June 15-28
Mark Harelik's play is getting an experimental streamed production, with a full cast, set, costumes, lighting and projection — all safely within social distancing guidelines, T3 promises. Streaming is limited to 200 for each of the 10 viewing opportunities, which begin at the published time and must be accessed within 30 minutes of the start time. The most widely produced play in the country in 1991, The Immigrant gently grapples with the thorny questions that plague the U.S.: who deserves to belong here, and what do we owe each other? Streaming access codes are $15 and available to purchase here.
How I Got Over
Jubilee Theatre, June 19-July 19
Premiering on the theater company's 39th birthday, Nate Jacobs' musical celebrates the legendary Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, and other gospel greats in the style of a revue. Note: Audience sizes will be limited to 50 percent capacity, and temperature screenings and face masks are required for all attendees.
Everything Will Be Fine
Prism Movement Theatre, drive-in at the Latino Cultural Center's parking lot, June 26-27 and July 11-12
Packed into 45 minutes and designed to be enjoyed from your car, Everything Will Be Fine is about a woman learning how to deal with a new world and her well-meaning (if slightly clueless) friends after experiencing an unthinkable loss. Once guests arrive, they will be directed to their assigned parking spots and instructed to tune in to a specific radio station to hear the show's electronic/rock music underscoring. Tickets are $30 per car and can be purchased here.
Junior Players, June 26-28
This exploratory piece fuses together the concepts and stories from Junior Players' 2019 broadcast journalism project with playwriting, movement, and acting to manifest as a live production. This timely piece interweaves stories about gender identity, family pressures, power, and determination to create a zany series of events, based off challenges and experiences from the day-to-day lives that North Texas teens are currently facing. Pay-what-you-can tickets can be purchased here.
Stage West, streaming now
Designed to help cure those corona blues, each installment in this online series features a bite-sized story performed by local artists. Watch all productions for free here.
Smile, Smile Again
Ochre House Theatre, streaming now
Written and directed by artist-in-residence Justin Locklear and performed in 2017, this original work is a thought-provoking tale of man's inhumanity toward his fellow man. There will also be a video-conference discussion with cast and crew to reflect on your experience, and how the show's impact has become relevant considering the current awareness of Black Lives Matter. You can watch for free on Ochre House's YouTube channel.