Friday, May 31, 2013


As part of DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN two toy figurines were needed. We called the amazing Candice Charlson (remember her take on HELLO HUMAN FEMALE's Blork... Blork in a Jar?). She has fashioned wonderful, near-replicas of Jeff Swearingen and Brad McEntire as Dinosaur and Robot. Have a look...

[click on pic to see it large]

Candice's website is awesome, too. Check it out HERE.

Pre-Press from for DINOSAUR AND ROBOT

Premium Article Original theater works pop up all over Dallas

Over the last couple of years, Dallas has grown into a prime venue for new plays. This week there’s more original work on area stages than ever before, most of it created by local artists.
On May 31, the four-week Festival of Independent Theatres (known familiarly as FIT) opens at the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake. It features five world premieres, four of them by Dallas playwrights. The same evening, Cara Mía Theatre Company unveils the first part of an original trilogy on the theme of immigration, The Dreamers: A Bloodline. This same weekend, Dead White Zombies begins previews of Thomas Riccio’s site-specific performance installation T.N.B. in a house in West Dallas.
All this comes on top of Kitchen Dog Theater’s annual New Works Festival and the Ochre House’s latest challenging and original piece, Good Nuts, both of which began last weekend.
FIT fans were surprised that this 15th annual festival comes at the beginning of the summer, rather than toward the end, as usual. A main reason for the switch was the desire to have something onstage when the Theatre Communications Group holds its annual conference in Dallas next weekend. As always, each performance consists of two shows, each lasting an hour. The eight offerings rotate over the four weeks of the festival.
Two of the original FIT companies return this season. Echo Theatre is presenting Eve Ensler’s The Treatment, while WingSpan Theatre Company premieres Dallas playwright Isabella Russell-Ides’ Lydie Marland in the Afterlife. Audacity Theatre Lab unveils Brad McEntire’s latest offbeat comedy, Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train. Churchmouse Productions has a different comedy on offer, Carson Kreitzer’s Dead Wait. One Thirty Productions has had a couple of previous FIT triumphs with new work by Austin playwright Ellsworth Schave. His new The 1947 Ford has connections to his earlier plays for the company.
FIT also offers work by a fresh generation of local talent this time around. Rite of Passage Theatre Company’s Ask Questions Later by Meggie Spalding is about a scandalous love affair at a high school under violent attack. John Michael Colgin has gleaned raves for his monologues on gay themes in the scant years since he finished college. His Like Me promises to be a provocative examination of social media and their impact on identity.
For the first time, FIT for 2013 will have a dance component. Rhythmic Souls’ Play It by Ear explores the history of tap dance in America.
The same night FIT presents its first two shows, Cara Mía shows off the first installment of a project it has been working on for a long time. Based on interviews with people who have immigrated into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, The Dreamers: A Bloodline deals with three women who travel from El Salvador through Mexico to find a better life for their children. David Lozano directs the piece.
On the other side of downtown from the Latino Cultural Center, where The Dreamers is onstage, a house in West Dallas is the site where Dead White Zombies tells the story of a black man on the run who encounters a spiritual twin who happens to be white. Only 20 audience members per performance are admitted to T.N.B., which uses indigenous healing rituals to exorcise a space formerly used as a drug stash. Some top Dallas performers — including David Jeremiah, Justin Locklear and Rhianna Mack — are in the cast.
Anyone who doubts that Dallas is a city with a strong countercultural artistic ferment just needs to get out and sample what’s going on all over town.
The Festival of Independent Theatres runs May 31-June 22 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas. $18. Festival passes $60-$70. 1-800-617-6904.

Pre-Press on D Magazine FrontRow Blog for DINOSAUR AND ROBOT

What You Should Look For at This Year’s Festival of Independent Theaters

May 30th, 2013 1:11pm
The Festival of Independent Theatres sneaked up on us a little this year, which means it’s right up against Kitchen Dog Theater’s New Works Festival and perfectly timed for attendees of the national Theatre Communications Group convention that’s conveniently taking place in the Arts District next week. So many plays, so little time. At FIT, you’ll find eight productions, four of them brand new, from various companies. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s there to see:
Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train from Audacity Theater Lab. Written by Brad McEntire, it’s a comedy about a time-traveling robot and a dinosaur. I’d probably be more into this premise if it was a drama. (I kid. I kinda like to laugh, to paraphrase Lizzy Bennett).
Original article HERE.

Swearingen featured in an article about the FIT

How to Stay FIT 
We talk to players in this year's Festival of Independent Theatres, about the event, which begins Friday. 

by Lauren Smart for
published Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jeff Swearingen as Dinosaur in DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN

Dallas — The 15th Festival of Independent Theatres has a lot to offer audiences. The four-week fest bows at the Bath House Cultural Center on Friday, May 31, a good month earlier than usual to align with the Theatre Communications Group conference in the Dallas Arts District June 6-8. The line-up includes many staples, including Churchmouse Productions, Wingspan Theatre Company, Echo Theatre and One Thirty Productions. There are several debuts, including solo performance artist John Michael’s provocative new show Like Me and the first-ever dance troupe, Rhythmic Souls. 

“This year is a really good sampling of what the festival is about, from new work to reputable local artists,” says David Meglino, managing director of FIT. “The line-up is interesting and will hopefully introduce the audiences to new shows and new companies.”

The works are performed in two-show performance blocks, and like many festivals throughout the country, FIT is a great place to see the work of up-and-coming local performers. 

TheaterJones caught up with a few of this year’s budding artists about their work in the festival and throughout the city. You can also read about each of the shows here, which also has info on ticket prices and performance times. 

Jeff Swearingen 

“It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to play a dinosaur,” local funnyman and theater teacher Jeff Swearingen says about his performance with Audacity Theatre Lab at the festival. “Seriously, ask anyone who knows me well.” 

In the middle of Black Forest Coffee next door to Half Priced Books, he’s stopped speaking to imitate a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Just a minute later he untwists his head and stretches his arms out to explain the plot of Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train

Playwright and Audacity Artistic Director Brad McEntire’s festival entry has a dinosaur (Swearingen) and a robot (McEntire) from the future converge in the present day. The audience meets them at a press conference where the odd duo attempt to explain how they unwittingly arrived in the 21st century and what they will do now. 

“The play has aspects of vaudeville about it. It’s a very funny play that uses clever wordplay,” Swearingen says.“It’s the perfect show for FIT because it’s original and experimental.” 

Swearingen’s relationships with both the festival and with Audacity span roughly a decade. In a quick count, he’s performed in seven seasons of FIT—one year acting in three shows. This man stays busy. 

An in-demand theater instructor, Swearingen also co-founded Fun House Theatre and Film in 2011. In less than two years, he’s adapted or written several plays, which he then directs with a cast of children and youths. In the company’s early years he garnered critical acclaim for his adaptation of The Little Prince and more recently his version of David Mamet’sGlengarry Glen Ross, in which he recast the salesmen as a troupe of young girls similar to Girl Scouts (this show is scheduled for a return engagement June 5-8).

Monday, May 27, 2013


This pic was snapped of Brad and Jeff at the Bath House Cultural Center. They are teching the show. You can see a bit of the costume elements.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Brad and Jeff in rehearsal for DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN
Ruth making Dinosaur's tail...
Robot's "head" and "hands" near completion

Part of the Cultural Ecosystem

I was asked by Dylan Key at the Undermain if I would like to submit a blog post to TCG Circle, the online forum for the Theatre Communications Group's 2013 National Conference that will be held in Dallas June 5-8.

Below is my first whack at it. The one I will ultimately turn in, if I turn one in, will be different. That said, the ideas below are ones I still stand behind. Enjoy... ~ Brad

Here’s what we, as contemporary theatre artists know: going to the Theatre now implies much more than passive attendance at a performance (i.e. the way we might file into cinemas); it signifies participation in the social life of our cities, our communities. Contemporary theatre-goers - those brave few who recognize how important it is to feed one's mind and soul as well as one's stomach and investment portfolio - are likely to arrive early for pre-show snacks in the lobby or grab dinner, perhaps, at a restaurant in the neighborhood. A contemporary theatre-goer will more than likely stay late for a post-performance discussion, chit-chat with the artists in the lobby after the show, share their thoughts on social media, attend lectures on a Saturday afternoon, visit the plaza for a midday lunch concert or reading, take a youngster to a children's puppet theatre performance at an informal outdoor amphitheatre. Today's theatre-goer may take in a late-night comedy revue over cocktails. In short, contemporary theatre-goers are informed, involved and demanding. They like to both participate as well as sink into anonymity on their own terms. Expectations are high. And well, they should be. Educated patrons and sincere supporters should be valued, especially in today’s media-saturated, million-choice society. Pandered to? No. But valued and developed.

So, should a single theatre company provide all the services listed above? Maybe, though I imagine such an institution as a theatrical equivalent to Walmart. Like its retail doppelganger, this one-stop theatre might have a wide selection, but the quality will be kind of “meh…” Besides, when the cold light of reality shines on the financial resources of most theatre companies, this is hardly possible or practical.

But, and here’s the silver lining…This is what a theatre community is for. A bunch of theatres sticking close to their guns and mission statements share the burden… no not burden… responsibility of supplying for the needs of the cultural community.

The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is blessed in that it has an incredibly diverse theatrical ecosystem. 

Theatre for different ethnic audiences? Got it. 
Puppetry? Got it.
Mid-century fare? Got it.
Light comedy and farce? Got it.
Regional off-Broadway pieces? Got it.
Musicals of all kinds? Got it.
New and original works? Got it.
Dance theatre? Got it. 
Classics? Got it.
Popcorn-throwing melodrama? Got it.

And so on.

This diversity is a boon for audiences, but also for artists as well. Whatever your poison, DFW has some of it. If, as an actor, you want to try your hand at murder mysteries or experimental works or the classics, there are avenues for it in the north Texas cultural landscape. 

It is with this in mind I run a small garage band-size theatre based in Dallas called Audacity Theatre Lab. Both the size and location are conscious choices. We affectionately call ourselves indie. With no permanent venue to call home we are urban gypsies (not homeless). We operate with an extremely low overhead. We have no “season,” but instead present work when it is organically created. We do work at festivals and venues around the country as well as locally. We operate as a collective and give the artists involved total control of the projects from idea to finally putting photos in a scrapbook long after the production has ended. We do theatre because we, as artists, have something to say.

This is possible because of the wonderful diversity of the cultural landscape in Dallas. Audacity can operate far down the Long Tail and fill its particular niche because there are companies such as Dallas Theater Center, Undermain, Kitchen Dog and other LORT and/or TCG Theatres doing a lot of the heavy lifting. With these groups acting as the core, groups like Audacity can happen on the fringes. We can explore and experiment and advance the art form in very particular ways. As independent artists and groups we are freer and should take full advantage of that. That is how we are  part of the cultural ecosystem.

And here’s the thing, small fringe, indie theatres are just another part of the mix of the dynamic theatre community of North Texas. And there are several dozen of us operating at any given time. In fact, overlapping the TCG National Conference, a festival of small, independent theatres will be in full swing at the historic Bath House Cultural Center on beautiful White Rock Lake. Audacity is involved (we’re doing a world-premiere called DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN). Other small groups like Wingspan and Echo Theatre, Rite of Passage and Churchmouse will present work. The aptly named Festival of Independent Theatres is truly a coming together and celebration of Dallas’s small indie theatres.

I’m very excited about the hundreds of theatre colleagues coming to town for the National Conference. I’m excited to share, learn and grow. Just thought I’d give a shout out for us small groups out here on the fringes. We welcome you.

Brad McEntire is Artistic Director of Audacity Theatre Lab. He works predominantly as a director, playwright and solo performer. His show CHOP played at fringe festivals in Seattle, New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Houston and New York over the past two years. He has worked with several TCG-member theatres in north Texas such as Cara Mia, Kitchen Dog, Addison Water Tower Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center and the Undermain (where he served as Literary Manager for several years). His new play DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN, about an unlikely time traveling duo, debuts at the 15th Annual Dallas Festival of Independent Theatres, June 7-22, 2013. McEntire earned his undergraduate degree in Theatre from the College of Santa Fe and his graduate degree from Texas Woman’s University. More info at:

DINOSAUR AND ROBOT... construction continues...

Robot "head" is still in progress...

Ruth Engel-McEntire lays out a pattern for the dinosaur costume

Brad McEntire's DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN is fast approaching. Info HERE.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

6ix Confessions approaches!

Now Announcing... a celebratory theatrical event curated by ATL artist Rhianna Mack.

[click to see larger image]

Tickets and more info available starting May 17th at:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Constructing Robots

Sure, it sounds so easy... just make a robot outfit for a play. But the tone and budget were working with means cardboard and there have been several versions so far as we trial and error a robot get up for DINOSAUR AND ROBOT STOP A TRAIN.