Plays and storytelling, historical drama, modern dance, circus acts, stage combat, a controversially titled one-man show and two special performance events!
A robust and vibrant independent theatre community was on full display in one of the most diverse and intriguing programs ever produced in the 17 year history of the Festival of Independent Theatres. A record number of submissions has gave way to a variety-filled lineup that includes plays, storytelling, historical drama, modern dance, circus acts, stage combat, a controversially titled one-man show and two special performance events: jazz musician Caleb Veazey in a tribute to the legends of Dallas jazz and Kathryn Taylor Rose in a cabaret about the pitfalls of millennial dating entitled Love Me Tinder.
FIT founding member WingSpan Theatre Company returned with Shoe Confessions by Cynthia Salzman Mondell. This precursor to her documentary film Sole Sisters shares the inspirational stories of several real life women and their personal connection to the world’s most popular accessory. On the other end of the spectrum, fellow returnee Upstart Productions presented Sick F**k, a raw and searing portrait of one young man’s struggle with both the potential of death and the certainty of disillusionment, starring award winning leading man Joey Folsom.
A healthy dose of excitement and adventure wsa in store as first time participants the Circus Freaks blended circus performance with theatre in the haunting dreamscape Playthings, while Jeffrey Colangelo, the mastermind behind Prism, Co. offered Renaissance Fighters –an elaborate extravaganza of first rate fight choreography presented by the stage combat masters at SCDallas.
Finally, two of the Dallas areas’ newest companies made their FIT debuts: The In-Laws, fronted by former Austin-ites Spencer Driggers and Zenobia Taylor alongside Dallas stalwart Michael Federico, presented The Decline of Ballooning by late SMU alum Brian Torrey Smith, while Bert Pigg (of the Dallas Children’s Theater) joined forces with Angela Wilson (of Theatre Quorum) to answer one of the greatest riddles of both literature and religion in Gorilla Theatre’s production of And the Stones Will Cry Out.
Sponsored by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the 17th annual Festival of Independent Theatres ran from July 10 through Aug. 1 at the Bath House Cultural Center