By Kayla Webb
The the-at-ter: the place to definitely be. And in Texas, everything is bigger, including its theatre scene. If you find yourself in Dallas with an empty night, consider the music of the night, hearing the people sing (and maybe sing along with them), and hopefully be so entertained that you forget tomorrow is only a day away. With an array of independent and mainstream theatres, Dallas has everything from big stages and black-boxes, tragedies and comedies, Shakespeare and start-ups, improv and adaptations, new content and old favorites. Get all dolled up to see some of the world’s most iconic characters at the Winspear Opera House or go out to meet new characters at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre; either way you’ll be artistically inspired, challenged, and delighted.
The best place to start for any theatre-goer (the new or the seasoned) is the AT&T Performing Arts Center (ATTPAC). With eleven indoor and outdoor stages and a variety of year-round programs, including Broadway, touring performances, dance, and music, the AT&T Performing Arts Center literally has a show for everyone.
Built on the ten acres of ATTPAC, Winspear Opera House is a traditional ‘horseshoe’-shaped opera house and hosts many of the Broadway, musical theatre, opera, ballet, and contemporary dance shows in Dallas. If elegance is what you seek, the opulent performances set on the classic stage at Winspear Opera House are a dream come true.
Dallas City Performance Hall is a multi-disciplinary center that hosts many of Dallas’s productions of cultural performances by emerging artists. This performance hall will have you singing “I’ve just met a girl named Maria” as they introduce you to their discoveries of the next generation of great artists and blossoming arts organizations. Many of Dallas’s Off-Broadway shows are also staged here.
Hamon Hall, located inside the Winspear Opera House, is a smaller venue with only 200 seats. If you’re an accustomed thespian or literature geek, play on: Hamon Hall presents Shakespearean staged readings amidst its other staged programs.
Theatre Three, a small nonprofit theatre, doesn’t just cause a commotion, it is a commotion. With original plays, comedy favorites, traditional classics, spass-tastic musicals, holiday staples, and up-and-coming noteworthy plays, Theatre Three specifically chooses pieces that focus on exploring human experience.
Wyly Theatre is the home of Dallas Theatre Center, notably one of the best theatre companies in Dallas. At the Wyly Theatre expect Shakespeare and other popular works by noteworthy playwrights as well as productions of newly published plays. Twas written in the stars that you would have an entertaining night here.
THE POCKET SANDWICH THEATRE
“If you’re a theatre-goer from the Elizabethan age and/or have a strong need to throw food at the performers, the Pocket Sandwich Theatre should be your first stop for the night. Self-proclaimed “the most fun you can have in a Dallas theatre”, this theatre encourages audience participation and popcorn throwing during its spoofs, comedies, melodramas, musicals, and dramas. There aren’t any empty chairs at empty tables here.
THE MAJESTIC THEATRE
Built in 1921, the Majestic Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Dallas. If you have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth, the Majestic Theatre has a show for you. The Majestic Theatre focuses on showcasing national and local nonprofit art organizations and a variety of concerts, performing arts, and comedy shows.
KITCHEN DOG THEATRE
Are you woke? (If you know what woke means, then you probably are.) Do you seek art that is challenging, thought-provoking, and politically educational? If yes, then make sure a show at the Kitchen Dog Theatre is at the top of your to-do list. The Kitchen Dog Theatre seeks “to provide a place where questions of justice, morality, and human freedom can be explored” through classic, contemporary, and new plays. After the show, don’t forget to ask what a kitchen dog is!
And if you’re in Dallas during the summer, be sure to check out the Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park where the hills literally come alive with the sound of music.