By David Meglino
Now entering its third decade of innovative, ground-breaking theatre, The Festival of Independent Theatres is once again the place to find the city’s most diverse offering of summertime entertainment.
As is tradition, this year’s line-up includes eight independent theatre companies, some long-time participants and some fresh to FIT, performing eight one-act plays paired in two show blocks, plus two brand new cabaret performances by two divas of the Dallas music scene. Jodi Crawford Wright shares her memories of childhood in “Songs My Mama Taught Me” and Kathryn Taylor Rose returns to FIT with her new show “Nobody Knows What They’re Doing.”
Once again, this year’s line-up is anchored by FIT founding member WingSpan Theatre Company, making their twenty-first consecutive appearance. WingSpan presents “Jo & Louisa,” a conversation between the author of “Little Women” and her greatest creation, as imagined by acclaimed local playwright Isabella Russell-Ides. “Jo & Louisa” marks the fourth Russell-Ides work to have its premiere at the festival.
Also making return appearances are two beloved FIT companies, each known for their quirky, creative, comedic flair.
Matt and Kim Lyle star in the offbeat “Nerve” by Adam Szymkowicz for Bootstraps Comedy Theater while Audacity Theatre Lab presents Brad McEntire’s solo Victorian adventure tale, “The Beast of Hyperborea.” This year’s final returning company, Imprint Theatreworks, presents “Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel,” the standout of Imprint’s First Impressions Reading Series, by local playwright Cameron Casey.
New to the festival this year are Leos Ensemble, Lily & Joan Theatre Company, Flexible Grey Theatre Company and The Very Good Dance Theatre. In addition to the new pieces by Russell-Ides, McEntire and Casey, this year’s festival features the work of Dallas writer/creators Nicole Neely, Colby Calhoun and William Acker, as well as Austinite Lane Michael Stanley.
The 21st annual Festival of Independent Theatres runs July 12-August 3, 2019 at The Bath House Cultural Center.