Festival Dates: July 8-30, 2016
The Festival of Independent Theatres returns with six new companies and two festival founders joining forces for a four-week run of summertime entertainment at the Bath House Cultural Center this July. Presented just a stone's throw from the shores of White Rock Lake, FIT offers eight different one-acts, presented in rotating pairs, by eight of North Texas' most notable theatre companies and is sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
This year's festival is shaping up to be one of the most unique in recent memory as it blends long-time participants WingSpan Theatre Co. and Echo Theatre with six new companies for its usual mixture of sophisticated storytelling and upstart theatrical events
Making their eighteenth consecutive appearance in the festival, Susan Sargeant's WingSpan Theatre Co. is known for its definitive productions of the classical cannon. This year's entry will be no exception as WingSpan presents Play, an otherworldly rumination on infidelity and existentialism by theatrical giant Samuel Beckett. "I'm tremendously excited to see this piece performed under Susan's guidance," says the festival's managing director David Meglino. "Wingspan is the model of consistency when it comes to quality work, and it is truly a privilege to be able to work with them year after year."
Fellow founding company Echo Theatre has spent almost two decades promoting the female voice while delivering some of the most unique and diverse material on Dallas stages. "They've been with us since the very beginning and have been responsible for some of our most exciting productions over the years," adds Meglino. Brittany Willis' Blisters, a quirky yet insightful look at love, loss and letting go, marks Echo's sixteenth appearance in the festival.
The remaining participants make their FIT debuts, presenting three world and three regional premiers which explore a diverse range of issues including politics, murder, sexual assault, mental health, materialism and missed opportunity.
A complete list of this year's participating companies including play titles and authors appears below:
Cry Havoc Theater Company: Good Kids by Naomi Iizuka - Cutting edge teen theatre Cry Havoc presents Naomi Iizuka's searing investigation of the Steubenville rape case and its aftermath.
Echo Theatre: Blisters by Brittany Willis - This entry from Echo's "Big Shout Out 2" playwriting contest tells the offbeat tale of one lonely, broken man and the two friends who bring him back from the edge.
Frieda Dunkelberg & Company: Hospit(al)able by Frieda Dunkelberg - Originally workshopped at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School at NYU, Frieda Dunkelberg and her eponymous company make their Dallas debut with a haunting devised piece centered on the intoxicating power of memory.
Fun House Theatre and Film: Rush Limbaugh in Night School by Charlie Varon - Acclaimed Dallas youth theatre Fun House Theatre and Film brings their season of Politics through the Proscenium to the Festival of Independent Theatres. This sharp, biting satire is sure to feature healthy doses of Fun House's signature intellect and irreverence.
House Party Theatre: Wealth Management by Ted Gwara - House Party Theatre brings acclaim and an electrifying energy to this sordid look at the excess and indulgence that created the global financial crisis.
L.I.P. Service: The Good Thief by Conner McPherson - L.I.P. Service's reputation for quality, considered storytelling is the perfect fit for this haunting tale of violence and redemption by masterful Irish storyteller Conner McPherson and directed by Dallas' own Alexandra Bonifield.
Proper Hijinx Productions: Missed Connections by Stefany Cambra - Proper Hijinx follows up the success of Two Rooms and this season's The Dead Guy with a charming look at the struggle to find love in the big city and how our biggest obstacle is often all in the timing (or a lack thereof.)
WingSpan Theatre Company: Play by Samuel Beckett - Susan Sargeant directs an all-star cast in this classic Beckett piece in which three disembodied heads probe the romantic foibles of their former lives.