As 2016 comes to a close, we at Audacity look back at the past year with pride. It wasn't a super-busy year, but it was filled with transformation. And we did do some good, original work.
Last January, we World Premiered Jeff Hernandez and Brad McEntire's NIGHT OF THE TARANTUBEARS at the Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas. With a great cast and a nice positive review the year was off to a fun start.
In June we put on the 3rd Annual Dallas Solo Fest. The location in Fair Park offered some obstacles, but the festival went over pretty well. Eight solo performers from around the country converged on the DFW area for two weekends of one-person shows.
The summer was used for development. Artistic Director Brad McEntire was accpeted into both the Kathy George Indie Artists residency in Ashford, Orgeon as well as Will Power's Dallas Playwrights Workshop at Southern Methodist University.
This summer, Audacity removed itself from Partnership at the Margo Jones Partnership at the Margo Jones Theatre. Brad McEntire and Ruth Engel also removed themselves from the Board of Directors of that organization. Since 2013, when Matt Tomlanovich brought Audacity over to the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park, the members of ATL worked hard to help facilitate the space. While we felt we helped get the theatre into working operation after the passing of Mr. Tomlanovich in 2014, the work load became prohibative. We were spending a lot more time running another theatre and facilitating a venue rather than creating original theatre (which is, after all, our mission).
More problematic, Fair Park, while a great location on paper, presented a hundred and one logistical impracticalities for producing theatre in a serious and consistent way. It was and is hard to get audiences to the space, the events at the Margo Jones Theatre are often overshadowed by any other event in the Park, parking becomes an issue, the physical structure is in need of some real and pressing repairs and renovations, and the lines of communication of what else is happening at any given time in Fair Park are less than ideal. This was extremely apparent during the Dallas Solo Fest this year.
We at ATL actually communicated quite extensively with staff at Fair Park, but that did not prevent major disruptions occurring that threatened to envelope and ruin the DSF (from fireworks and noise pollution from Taste of Dallas to live bands literally in front of the theatre for Fair Park's 80th Celebration). In order to grow and mature as a company of artists, we at ATL felt it was time to move on from the Margo Jones.
ATL parted amicably with the rest of the MJP board and we will probably use the space in the future for small projects like readings, salons and workshops. It is just not a place for really ambitious work. Here's the blurb we had on the Margo Jones Theatre website (for posterity)...
Audacity Theatre Lab is a small, nimble theatre collective based in Dallas, Texas. Originally operating as Audacity Productions from 1999-2006, then setting up under the banner of Audacity Theatre Lab since 2008, ATL is interested in the individual artist as the center of theatre creation. Each artist at ATL is an instigator, developing and helming his or her own individual projects. The single artist sees this personal project through from the first germinating ideas to the final finished production. The artist is encouraged to take the project to other cities and other venues to expose the work to wider audiences. The traditional lines between actor, director, writer, producer and designer blur here. The usual hierarchies are cast aside. There is no “house style” or unifying company aesthetic. Instead, several unique and individual voices each make his or her own kind of theatre. Audacity acts as an umbrella of sorts, or a joint-studio, a laboratory for idiosyncratic theatrical expression.
Although ATL produces a considerable amount of its projects at venues and festivals around the country, Audacity is pleased to have made the Margo Jones Theatre its Dallas homebase since 2013. ATL is especially pleased to share the Margo Jones Theatre with other small, forward-thinking groups who are intent on creating new, exciting theatre.
Visit: facebook.com/audacity.theatrelab www.audacitytheatrelab.com
In November we held our 2016 Autumn Solo Salon. Mikey Abrams, Stefany Cambra and Isaac Young all presented solo pieces in progress.
The year has not been as action packed as some in the past, but it has been filled with change. And change is a good thing in the theatre.