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Theater & Dance

Our Productions Dallas Brings Something New to an Overstuffed Theater Scene

A new-ish theater edges in with a new musical about connections.
By Liz Johnstone |
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David Price, Sarah Elizabeth Smith, Matthew Silar, and Julliette Talley in Ordinary Days from Our Productions Theatre Co. Photo credit: Scott Kirkham.

There is a character in the musical Ordinary Days named Warren who dispenses, with redoubtable enthusiasm, cheerful positivity to people who are convinced of a mutually agreed-upon invisibility until someone like Warren comes along to disturb it. The musical exists in some curvy dimension where chance connections are seized rather than ignored, for better or worse. I first saw it in a windowless basement under 46th Street in 2009. I did not realize how much I’d like to see it again until I read that a newly hatched offshoot of Our Productions Theatre Co. was putting it on this month.

Our Productions Theatre Co. has produced family-friendly fare in Lewisville and Flower Mound for 23 years. But after artistic director Stephanie Riggs moved from Flower Mound to Dallas, she wanted to do something more appropriate for a city audience. She roped in Mark Mullino and Brad Baker as co-artistic directors and launched Our Productions Dallas in January.

The company has a mission (producing new, little-known, and smaller-scale works with a big heart) and a two-show season—God of Carnage and this month’s regional premiere of Ordinary Days. Riggs chose the latter on the recommendation of Juliette Talley, her Dogfight co-star; she listened to the score in her car and cried. And Adam Gwon’s chamber musical is, perhaps, the perfect example of what Riggs wants to do. It is small, just four characters and a piano player, a valentine to people who choose to love New York even when it bewilders them.

There are plans for 2016, but right now the company depends on individual donors and ticket sales. Applying for Dallas-based grants will come later, with (of course) much more competition for funds. Riggs says she has been asked more than once what she thinks Our Productions Dallas can add to an overstuffed scene. What can she bring that’s not already here?

“And my answer to that question is, ‘Well, we’re bringing Ordinary Days for a start. How about that?’ ”

GO SEE IT:

Ordinary Days

April 9-19

Studio Theatre, Addison Theatre Centre

Buy tickets

A version of this article appears in the April issue of D Magazine.

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