Dallas, Texas — Soul Rep Theatre Company, a resident company at the South Dallas Cultural Center, will kick off its SOUL POWERED 11th SEASON of plays with a dynamic New Play Festival “South Side Stories” featuring ten 10 minute plays written by area playwrights. The festival will run for two weeks – August 4 – 6 & August 11 – 13 – at the South Dallas Cultural Center, located at 3400 S. Fitzhugh Avenue, across from Fair Park.
The plays explore a myriad of compelling “South Side Stories.” They include
- “Father Brown’s Vitality Tonic”, based on Father J. Von Brown, the unconventional South Dallas preacher and fearless activist from the 1950’s;
- “The House Special”, set at Wah Wah Chinese, a celebrated “hole in the wall” Chinese restaurant that’s operated for decades in the heart of the ‘hood;
- “Sunny South”, a explores South Dallas’ Jewish heritage;
- “Praying With Your Legs”, a slice of life from community activist, Diane Ragsdale’s story;
- “Ndidiniwe (fed up)”, inspired by interviews with Julia Jordan, a long-time South Dallas historian, teacher and pioneer who passed away recently;
- “Capital”, based on the tragic DART rail murder of a 19 year old by a group of 12 and 13 year old boys;
- “Liberty Street”, set in 1918 exploring the life of William Sidney Pittman, the first renown African-American architect who called Dallas his home an, and who designed the Pythian Temple in Deep Ellum;
- “Communion” explores the issue of homelessness in South Dallas’ tent city;
- “Black Boy Groove”, is inspired by an early hip hop group in the area; and
- “Juan Y Maria”, to be performed in Spanish and English, is the story of a current immigrant family residing in South Dallas.
Eight area playwrights including IV Amenti, Laneedra “Lulu” Cornelius (an alum of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts), Anyika McMillan-Herod, Chris Herod, Tonya Davis-Holloway, Emir Price (a student at BTWHSPVA), Keith Price, and dianne tucker, were commissioned to write the ten minute plays.
An ensemble of 15 local actors will perform the pieces that will be directed by IV Amenti, Anyika McMillan-Herod, Jiles King, Natalie King, Rene Miche’al, Dee Smith, and Jordan Story, a recent graduate of BTWHSPVA.
“This year, we’re digging deeper than ever into ourselves, our community, and our craft,” explains Guinea Bennett-Price, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Soul Rep. She now shares the Artistic Director role with Tonya Davis-Holloway, a co-founder of the 20-year-old company and project manager of the New Play Festival. “We reemerged four years ago to lend a more permanent, public and united voice to the social and political issues that impact the black community today. We have always believed in James Baldwin’s assertion that “artists are here to disturb the peace” and in Augusto Boal’s concept that “theatre itself is not revolutionary: it is a rehearsal for the revolution.” Even with limited resources, we continue to pull inspiration and direction from Baldwin and Boal, knowing that the art Soul Rep produces is for life’s sake!” This unique festival, inspired by the history, myths, folk heroes, and present day happenings of the South Dallas community and Augusto Boal’s “theater of the oppressed” techniques, is sponsored in part by a generous Cultural Vitality Project grant from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.
FREE OUTDOOR POP UP PERFORMANCES IN SOUTH DALLAS
On Thursday, August 3, the company will feature six of the new plays at two FREE “pop-up” performances at two locations in South Dallas — beginning at 7 PM at the back parking lot of the Forest Theater, located at 1918 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, and 7:45 PM at Opportunity Park, located at 3105 Pine Street at Malcolm X Boulevard.
Tickets to the festival are $20, with the exception of the FREE Preview “pop-up” performances scheduled for August 3rd. starting at 7PM on the parking lot of Forest Theater and at Opportunity Park on Malcolm X.
Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.
Please visit www.soulrep.org or Facebook for tickets, more information, and details on the “pop-up” performances.