Theater Review: TeCo Theater’s New Play Competition mix of plays make for entertaining evening at Bishop Arts Theater Center

For the last four year’s I’ve promised TeCo Theater’s Executive Director Teresa Coleman Wash that I would visit their annual new play competition. I finally had a chance to make good on that promise over the weekend when I was able to take in the 7th Edition of the event.

The 2009 New Play Competition will run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through February 28th at the beautiful Bishop Arts Theater Center which was listed #10 on Dallas South’s most recent Top 10 Places to go in Dallas.  I wish I’d had a chance to recommend the competition as a Valentine’s Weekend destination, but since everyday should be Valentine’s Day then consider the six remaining show as date night opportunities.

This year’s competition features six one-act plays under the theme “The Best of Political Theater.” Mrs. Wash has invited six local playwrights to battle it out for a chance to win two roundtrip American Airline tickets and $1,000 cash. Audience members vote for their favorite one-act play each night and on closing night, votes will be tallied and cash and prizes awarded.

The plays featured in the competition offer varying views on the theme, from the hilarious Assassination of Nathaniel Isaiah Gary Gamarcus Anderson to the slightly morbid The Special Schedule. There are obvious political entries in I Only Need a Few –with a send up on President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton- as well as Son of A Immigrant (not misspelled) which of deals in the subject of illegal immigration.

Then there is The Valiant Never Tastes of Death But Once and Change which touch the political theme but tackle broader issues in entertaining and insightful fashion.

I have to say the production, lead by Stage Manager/Videographer David Kelting is flawless.  Even set changes performed by the cast from the previous play seem choreographed and an integral part of the show.  Each play is proceeded by a video clip which also make set changes move quickly.

Because of the brevity of the plays, it was nice to see some of the players appear in multiple acts.  Some of the plays end just as you start to get into the characters, but the reappearance of a few of the actors make up for the loss.

Going in, I thought that two hours may be a stretch for the hodgepodge of productions, but the evening flowed seamlessly and I would have been down for Act Two of a couple of entries.

The Bishop Arts Theater is a shining new jewel buried in the heart of Oak Cliff and the 2008 New Play Competition is a great chance to get acquainted with the new venue.

Bishop Arts Theater Center2009 New Play Competition

Buy Tickets Now!

215 South Tyler Street
General Admission, 8PM Nightly

All Seats $15 in advance, $20 at the door (plus service fee)
(Thursday, Friday & Saturday performances only)

Call the box office at 214-948-0716 for more information

All sales final.  No refunds or exchanges.

Change by Willie Holmes
President Obama has brought Black Love back in style
, but is it the change we need?

The Special Schedule by Barbara Macchia
Everyone loves a party, even if it is eleven years in the making

I Only Need A Few by Richard Carter
Special interest groups are always asking for favors but will the same rules apply to Main Street?

The Assassination of Nathaniel Isaiah Gary Gamarcus Anderson by lynuslynell
When racial stereotypes collides with political correctness and a funeral, the end result is a raucous journey into the souls of black folks

Son Of A Immigrant by Phillip Morales
One fateful day of protest signs, bullhorns and greasy chicken sandwiches test the bond between father and son

The Valiant Never Taste of Death But Once by Paula J. Sanders
A woman faces down the reality of her fragile mortality

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