Two-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields as Prospero in Musical Adaptation of THE TEMPEST, the Inaugural Production of Public Works Dallas at DTC through March 5th

André De Shields as Prospero in the musical adaptation of THE TEMPEST, the Inaugural Production of Public Works Dallas at DTC through March 5, 2017. Photo Credit: @AceShotThat
André De Shields as Prospero in the musical adaptation of THE TEMPEST, the Inaugural Production of Public Works Dallas at DTC through March 5, 2017. Photo Credit: @AceShotThat.

Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields has returned to the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) to lead the cast of the Musical Adaptation of The Tempest as Prospero through Sunday, March 5, 2017 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. De Shields last appeared in the 2014 production of The Fortress of Solitude.

The Tempest, the inaugural production of Public Works Dallas/Dallas Theater Center (DTC) and Ignite/Arts Dallas at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, in collaboration with AT&T Performing Arts Center and in affiliation with New York City-based The Public Theater’s Public Works, is a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. Remaining performances are  Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m and 8:00p.m. and Sunday at 2:30p.m. Tickets to The Tempest are FREE to the public and are available by phone at (214) 880-0202 and online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org.

Helmed by DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty, the 90-minute musical adaptation of The Tempest will feature 200 actors and community members, only five being professional actors. In addition to Joining De Shields, who is best known for his show stopping performances in six legendary Broadway productions: Impressionism; Mark Medoff’s PrymateThe Full MontyPlay On!Ain’t Misbehavin’ and as the title role of The Wiz;  are Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company Members Ace Anderson (A Christmas Carol 2016, All the Way, King Lear) as Trinculo; Liz Mikel (A Christmas Carol 2016, Bella: An American Tall Tale, Romeo and Juliet) as Ariel and Alex Organ (A Christmas Carol 2016, Constellations, Dreamgirls) as Caliban. Returning to the DTC stage is former Cara Mía Theatre Artistic Ensemble Member Rodney Garza (Deferred Action, Oedipus el Rey) as Stephano. The cast is completed with community actors from Public Works Dallas’ five community partner organizations Bachman Lake Together, City of Dallas Park and Recreation, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Literacy Instruction for Texas and Vickery Meadow Learning Center along with cameo performances by Rickie Rush’s Living Sound Choir from Inspiring Body of Christ Church, Sam Lao, Townview High School Big D Drumline, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Northlake Children’s Chorus, Inner City All-Stars Brass Band and Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Aztec Dancers. Mayor Mike Rawlings will have a cameo performance on March 3 and will be rotating the role of wedding officiant with Councilman Adam McGough, Councilman Adam Medrano and Voice of the Dallas Cowboys Brad Sham.

Written by William Shakespeare, The Tempest features adaptation, music, and new lyrics by Todd Almond. Marooned and left to die on a remote island, Prospero can command spirits, create apparitions and manipulate the elements. By using his magic, he assembles his enemies to take revenge on them, and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love.

The Tempest will bring together 200 people from across this great city to engage in meaningful dialogue and the joyful act of creating theater together,” said Moriarty. “Public Works Dallas will change our city forever, welcoming collaborators, partners and friends into DTC’s home at the Wyly Theatre and blurring the line between professional artists and the talented community members of Dallas.”

Tickets to The Tempest are FREE to the public, two per person, and a limited number are available by phone at 214-880-0202. Tickets will be available online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org beginning Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Public Works Dallas is affiliated with Public Works, an ongoing initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Public Works presented The Tempest in 2013 in New York, directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet, who was awarded the SMU Meadows Prize in 2015 to bring the program to Dallas, and is a collaborator on the Public Works Dallas project. DTC, SMU Meadows and deBessonet began to develop Public Works Dallas during her Meadows Prize residency. A key initiative of Ignite/Arts Dallas, led by Clyde Valentín, the Meadows Prize is an award and residency given to pioneering artists and creative professionals that allows students to interact with artists at the top of their fields and integrates the Meadows School more deeply into the community.

“Public Works Dallas represents the aspiring spirit of this city to be more inclusive and collaborative, across a diverse array of institutions and citizens alike,” said Valentín. “The power of theater – and the arts in general – is well positioned to foster these relationships in our city for years to come. The success of Public Works Dallas thus far exemplifies this fact.”

Ann Yee, currently choreographing the Broadway production of Sunday in the Park with George, joins the Public Works Dallas creative team to choreograph the musical adaptation of The Tempest alongside Set Designer Russell Parkman, Costume Designer Jennifer Ables, Lighting Designer Alan C. Edwards, Sound Designer Brian McDonald (The Christians) and Music Director Vonda K. Bowling (The Christians).

ABOUT PUBLIC WORKS DALLAS:
Public Works Dallas is produced by Dallas Theater Center, in collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, Ignite/Arts Dallas and AT&T Performing Arts Center. Public Works Dallas is a groundbreaking community engagement and participatory theater project designed to deliberately blur the line between professional artists and Dallas community members. Public Works Dallas is affiliated with Public Works, an ongoing initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Public Works presented The Tempest in 2013 in New York, directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet, who was awarded the SMU Meadows Prize in 2015 to bring the program to Dallas, and is a mentor for the Public Works Dallas project. Public Works Dallas is one of two pilot sites to be affiliated with Public Works, along with Seattle Repertory Theatre. Public Works Dallas is the recipient of a 2015 TACA Bowdon & Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund grant and a City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Cultural Vitality Program grant.

ABOUT Dallas Theater Center:
One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 100,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. DTC is one of only two theaters in Texas that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, the largest and most prestigious non-profit professional theater association in the country. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Jeffrey Woodward, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and South Oak Cliff High School; and community collaboration efforts with the Sixth Floor Museum, the City of Dallas, North Texas Food Bank, the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas Opera, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and leading the DFW Foote Festival. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, adapted by Adrian Hall, in 1986, and recent premieres of Deferred Action by Lee Trull and David Lozano, Clarkston by Samuel D. Hunter; Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical by Robert Horn, Brandy Clark, and Shane McAnally; FLY by Rajiv Joseph, Bill Sherman and Kirsten Childs; Fly by Night by Kim Rosenstock, Michael Mitnick and Will Connolly; Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson; The Trinity River Plays by Regina Taylor; the revised It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams; Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn; Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin; and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson. Dallas Theater Center gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors: Texas Instruments, American Airlines, Lexus, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Time Warner Cable and WFAA. For more information visit www.DallasTheaterCenter.org

ABOUT SMU MEADOWS SCHOOL OF THE ARTS:
Meadows School of the Arts, formally established at SMU in 1969 and named in honor of benefactor Algur H. Meadows, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, corporate communication & public affairs, creative computation, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre. The goal of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, as a comprehensive educational institution, is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and change. Meadows is also a convener for the arts in North Texas, serving as a catalyst for new collaborations and providing critical industry research.

The Meadows Prize is awarded as a key part of Ignite/Arts Dallas, a program launched by the Meadows School to foster projects that integrate the arts and community engagement in the broader SMU campus, the city of Dallas and the arts field at large. Led by Clyde Valentín, Ignite/Arts Dallas aims to engage the Meadows School in deep relationships with the Dallas community, using the arts to foster connections between diverse groups, and to introduce its students to the arts’ critical role in social engagement.

For more information about SMU Meadows School of the Arts, visit www.smu.edu/meadows.

ABOUT AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER:
The AT&T Performing Arts Center is a nonprofit foundation that operates and programs a 10-acre campus comprised of three premier performance venues and a park in downtown Dallas. Audiences enjoy the best and most recent from Broadway and off-Broadway; the finest dance companies from across the globe co-presented with TITAS Presents; and top concerts, performers and cutting-edge speakers. Thousands of students explore and more deeply experience the arts through the Center’s education program, Open Stages. The Center also offers free programming for audiences from every part of the community. The Center’s five resident companies are among the city’s leading arts institutions: Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center and Texas Ballet Theater. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects, the Center’s campus includes the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, Annette Strauss Square, and Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, some of the finest performance venues in the world. The Center’s mission is to provide a public gathering place that strengthens community and fosters creativity through the presentation of performing arts. For more information about the AT&T Performing Arts Center and to purchase tickets, become a member, or make a donation, visit www.attpac.org.

PUBLIC WORKS DALLAS COMMUNITY PARTNERS
JUBILEE PARK & COMMUNITY CENTER:
Jubilee Park & Community Center (Jubilee) was founded in 1997 through a collaboration between St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps. Jubilee is a catalyst for comprehensive community revitalization and enrichment in the southeast Dallas surrounding neighborhood, with emphasis on the education of children and adults. Jubilee’s purpose is to improve lives and strengthen community. Jubilee takes a comprehensive approach to revitalization through education, health, safety, economic development and housing. The neighborhood is a 62-block neighborhood bounded by I-30, East Grand and Fair Park. The majority of families are working poor, with 46% living below the federal poverty level. Annually, 14 staff members and more than 800 volunteers provide services and education to over 1,100 individuals in Jubilee Park and the surrounding area. Jubilee operates a multi-facility campus that includes the Walt Humann – T. Boone Pickens Community Center, a resource center, two Head Start schools, a senior housing complex and a three-acre park.

VICKERY MEADOW LEARNING CENTER:
Vickery Meadow Learning Center is dedicated to improving English literacy levels among non-English speaking adults and their young children by providing programs in communication and life skills. We do so in the belief that the ability to understand, read, write and speak English contributes to independence, productivity and the overall well-being of the learners, their families and the greater community.

LITERACY INSTRUCTION FOR TEXAS:
Founded in 1961, LIFT is one of the largest and most widely respected adult basic education programs in Texas. Our mission is to enhance lives and strengthen communities by teaching adults to read. Each year more than 3,500 adults seek economic empowerment through LIFT’s adult basic literacy, GED preparation and English as a Second Language programs. All instruction is outcomes-focused, utilizes proven curricula and is delivered by 350+ dedicated, trained volunteer teachers. LIFT’s unique classroom-based approach creates a system of peer support and a sense of community that helps students develop a belief in their ability to succeed. To learn more, please visit lift-texas.org or call 214-824-2000.

BACHMAN LAKE TOGETHER:
Bachman Lake Together is the first collective early childhood impact initiative powered by the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative. The Bachman Lake Together Family Center is an almost 20,000-square-foot co-location facility for the community of Bachman Lake. Bachman Lake Together brings resources to help parents support their children’s development together under one roof. Families have access to coordinated early learning experiences and parent engagement programming, all from the same experienced providers they know and trust from their neighborhood. ­­

CITY OF DALLAS PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT:
Among the nation’s largest urban park systems, this award-winning department provides residents and visitors exceptional recreational opportunities and facilities. The department cares for almost 24,000 land and water acres that include 379 parks, 100 trail miles, athletic complexes and natural areas. To encourage active and healthy living, it manages recreation centers, golf courses, community pools, tennis centers and family attractions Bahama Beach Waterpark and the historic Fair Park. This year, the department launched a new program division to serve the ever-changing needs of active senior adults. Visit www.dallasparks.org for details.

Click here for the Lia Chang archives and here for the Lia Chang Photography archives.

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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