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How Kitchen Dog Theater’s New Works Festival Adds Up

Someone who knows a thing or two about producing new work told me last year that it’s a dangerous thing to put on a play for the first time. The development process of readings, notes, and rewrites can eventually become a crutch. You never have to worry about actually getting it right, because you’re always worrying about trying to get it right.

Kitchen Dog Theater has confronted—if not courted—that danger for the better part of two decades. It produced its first New Work Festival in 1999, a year after it helped found the National New Play Network with a group of like-minded theaters interested in confronting the necessary problem of giving life to the work of unknown authors. The risk is, of course, enormous: words on paper, still untouched and perfect, might not be able to support the weight of actors, lights, a set.

But every year, Kitchen Dog commits about 20 percent of its budget to a five-week festival that Tina Parker, co-artistic director, jokingly calls “death by art.” Here’s how it comes together.

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Our Productions Dallas Brings Something New to an Overstuffed Theater Scene

Our Productions Theatre Co. has produced family-friendly fare in Lewisville and Flower Mound for 23 years. But after artistic director Stephanie Riggs moved from Flower Mound to Dallas, she wanted to do something more appropriate for a city audience. She roped in Mark Mullino and Brad Baker as co-artistic directors and launched Our Productions Dallas in January.

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Elevator Project: How Smaller Companies Made It To the Arts District

David Denson, the programming manager at AT&T Performing Arts Center, approached Kyle Lemieux last April. Denson, who had recently taken over as artistic director of Upstart Productions, another roving theater group, asked Lemieux if he would be interested in an idea he was pitching: small, nimble companies producing a piece in an Arts District venue at a previously unheard-of price.

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Writer Will Power Talks New Musical Stagger Lee at Dallas Theater Center

The plot concerns folk heroes—two couples, Billy and Delilah, Frankie and Johnny—and the enigmatic specter of Stagger Lee, who pops up as the characters attempt to make their way in the world.

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5 Reasons to See The Flick at Undermain Theatre

The Flick is a time capsule of a play about three semi-adult movie theater employees, and it takes place in the movie theater in which they work. I think it’s only fair to tell you it’s three hours long. And when it premiered Off-Broadway, some people did not care for all the seeming inaction. But I also think I should tell you that it won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and when I read it (okay, when I made my entire book club read it) I found it touching and funny. Here are five other reasons to go see it.

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