Dallas Theatre Scene – Can’t Miss Theatre Companies in Dallas-Fort Worth
When you think of great theatre cities, Dallas - Fort Worth is probably not at the top of the list. But while most notoriety probably goes to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and even Houston, DFW should not be treated as the wicked stepchild. In fact, the Dallas Fort Worth Theatre scene is alive and well and many local theatre companies are producing fantastic work. While traveling to DFW I was surprised at exactly how much the theatre community has grown since growing up there in the 60’s.
It used to be that a lot of actors migrated to the coasts as soon as they had the chance, however more actors are choosing to remain in DFW as the theatre possibilities have grown. So have the amount of production companies choosing to shoot in and around Texas 3 major cities. Actors are staying put and sharpening their skills in some of the cities best local theatres.
The story goes that Mathew McConauhey and Renee Zellweger cut their chops in D-Town and moved off after hitting it big. Lot’s of actors are following in their path and can be found on stage in many local theatres.
Circle Theatre in Froth Worth for example has a long history of producing great shows, 18 years to be exact. They are currently showing Art, by Yasmina Reza, which debuted on Broadway many years ago to much success. The show stars Jakie Cabe, David Ruitt and Paul Jung and is directed by Jaime Castenada. Circle Theatre is a company that continues to produce great in the Fort Worth Area.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre is unique in its own right and offers an experience unlike other theatres. Equipped with a full menu, Pocket Sandwich offers patrons the ability to enjoy light food, drinks and great entertainment. Taking full advantage of the space, Pocket Sandwich has a full season of mainstage productions that are mostly lesser known works, a full slate of late night comedy shows with some of the best troupes in town, and musical guests that grace the stage throughout the year. From Lugo and Long, the always-impressive Lollie Bombs, Dysfunctional Divas, Pavlov’s Dogs and a host of others, Pocket Sandwich is a great place to take in some of the local arts scene.
As with most other cities, urban sprawl has made towns that once seemed far away, now seem closer and more accessible than ever before. Just a short trip away from downtown Fort Worth, Plano has a booming theatre scene. Rover DramaWerks hosts a full season of great theatre. Playing regularly at the Cox Building, Rover DramaWerks has made a name for itself by producing great plays in an intimate setting.
On the other side of town in Garland, the Garland Civic Theatre has been in the theatre business for several decades. Always top notch productions and a first class theatre at the Granville Arts Center, Garland Civic Theatre is just a short trip out of town. Currently running at Garland Civic Theatre is The Beverly Hillbillies…Yes the Lovable Clampett family rides onto their stage for an evening of Hillbilly hilarity. The cast includes Terry D. Abshire as Mr. Drysdale, Janye Anderson as Granny, Martha Bellomy as Mrs. Stokely-Smythe, Cathy Browning as Pearl, Chad Brumit as Mr. Oglethorpe, Julie Covington as Mrs. Oglethorpe, Chris Edwards as Jethro, Arielle Engle as Elly Mae, Taylor Granlund as Miss Hathaway, Nicole Granville as Emaline, Beau McDermott as Turner, Emily Myrick as Groovy Monahan, Julie T. Penkava as Mrs. Drysdale, Kristin Stanford as Gloria, Dan Tillman as Jed, Renee Weldon as Frederika, Ben Westfried as Colonel Foxhall, and Joshua Winch as Lt. Richards.
Swinging back into the heart of downtown Dallas you’ll find Theatre Three. According to the website “Dallas-born Norma Young founded Theatre Three in 1961 with a $3,000 inheritance from a great-aunt she never knew. Ms. Young had worked as a teacher, as an actress, and as a stage manager in New York, and at the Alley Theatre in Houston. Eager to establish a professional theatre in her hometown, she attracted three additional co-founders to her vision (Jac Alder, Esther Ragland, and Robert Dracup) and began producing a wide range of dramatic literature. Plays were staged in-the-round (the first seven show season was at the just-opened Sheraton Dallas Hotel) and immediately met with critical and popular approval.” Theatre Three has been going strong ever since and for almost 50 years they have continued to put out fantastic work. With two stages, Theatre Three and Theatre Too, they offer a year round season of great plays, your favorite musicals and new works.
Dallas Fort-Worth has many other theatre and local companies ranging from the 20-seat theatre to large-scale productions at city theatres. Yes, there are other forms of entertainment to be had aside from the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks. And who knows, you may be watching the next big movie star.