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Dallas' performing arts community receives BIG break

Regina Washington and Irma P. Hall for AART
Regina Washington and Irma P. Hall for AART
Ivy McQuain

On Monday night, the Dallas performing arts community received its big break from the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The big announcement from last night was the launch of AT&T's newest project featuring six locally based performing arts companies. The series launch, The Elevator Project, is a one year initiative to feature one production from each company. The Elevator Project will allow each production company to gain access to a broader audience as well as to receive exposure from partnering with AT&T. The performances will be held on the 6th and 9th floors of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the smaller black box performance spaces.

"One of the biggest challenges for many performing arts groups in Dallas is the limited availability of small venues to present their work, especially in the Dallas Arts District," says Doug Curtis, the AT&T Performing Arts Center's president and CEO. "That's why we reached out to local performing arts companies and partnered with them to foster and focus on our mission to provide an outlet for creativity while providing a temporary platform for these companies."

The Elevator Project features multi-week performances from Upstart Productions, DGDG: The Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Dallas Actor's Lab, Second Thought Theatre, Cara Mia Theatre Co., and African American Repertory Theater. The kickoff for The Elevator Project starts Aug. 22 with Year of the Rooster by Eric Dufaul, a new production, for 15 performances. This five cast production will last until Sept. 6. In Nov. DGDG will perform Nice with nine performances from Nov. 13-23. Dallas Actor's Lab is set to perform with 13 performances, for a title not yet released, from Feb. 5, 2015 - Feb. 22, 2015. In the same month, Second Thought Theatre will perform Bull with 12 performances from Feb. 26 - March 14. Cara Mia Theatre Co. will perform Lydia by Octavia Solis with 11 performances from April 2 - April 19. The African American Repertory Theater will close out The Elevator Series with the 10th installment of their August Wilson performances entitled Radio Golf, which has never been performed in this region before. This performance will feature only five performers and will run May 21 - June 7.

"We hope that this performance series will be a win-win for us and AT&T. They allowed us to be apart of this opportunity so this will allow us to cross promote and cross brand our company with the other performing companies," says David Dension of Upstart Theater. "Our goal is to elevate our name and use this amazing leg up to legitimize our production. We are extremely grateful to perform in such an amazing space."

Regina Washington, Managing Director for the AART shared the same sentiments and referred to the opportunity to partner with AT&T as something the company can cross off their bucket list. "We are thankful for AT&T for embracing and sharing their space with us. We see this as a chance to network, market and take our company to the next level."

While each company will perform one production in The Elevator Series, theater and dance lovers are encouraged to support each company during their regular season. For more information regarding The Elevator Series visit www.ticketdfw.com. Tickets will be sold individually or for all six performances a discount of $100 will be available. Tickets go on sale Aug. 1.