Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other pertinent information. Season announcements came in hot and heavy this week.

Stage Notes Calendar

Opening this week:

Dallas Winds: A Star-Spangled Spectacular!, today at the Meyerson.

Artisan Center Theatre: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Friday-Sunday at Birdville High School.

Pocket Sandwich Theatre: Herbbits, Wizards and Borks, Friday-Aug. 24 , pictured.

The Classics Theatre Project: True West, July 8-Aug. 24 at the Stone Cottage

Onstage now:

Circle Theatre: Hundred Days, through Saturday.

Art Centre Theatre: Annie Get Your Gun, through Sunday.

Firehouse Theatre: Disney’s Aladdin (dual language edition), through Sunday.

Hip Pocket Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, through Sunday.

Lewisville Playhouse: Little Shop of Horrors, through Sunday.

Rockwall Summer Musicals: South Pacific, through Sunday.

Second Thought Theatre: Wink, opened Wednesday-July 13.

Allen Contemporary Theatre: Disaster! The Musical, Friday-July 14.

The Core: Poodles, Postmen and Pastrami, Friday-July 14.

Theatre Three: Pirates of Penzance, through- July 14.

Shakespeare Dallas:The Odyssey by Mary Zimmerman, through July 19 at Samuel-Grand Amphitheater.

Shakespeare Dallas: Twelfth Night, through July 21 at Samuel-Grand Amphitheater.

Spank Bank, Penis, Man on Man are among the highlights at this year’s Festival of Independent Theaters

Believe it or not, FIT is not a new gay club or bathhouse, but there will be a penis and a spank bank involved.

After a 23-year run at the Bath House Cultural Center and a five-year pandemic-hiatus, Dallas’ longest-running theater festival returns in a new location. Throughout August, the Festival of Independent Theaters will call Theatre Three home. T3 released festival details on Tuesday.

Shows will happen on both the mainstage and downstairs stage in Theater Too. The festival will include cabarets, impov nights and a 70s/80s disco party, plus a special mystery show. Theaterpalooza, indeed!

The 2024 FIT runs Aug. 1-24 at Theatre Three. Both individual tickets and festival passes will go on sale July 15. For more information, click here.

This year’s festival lineup:

Mainstage shows:

Reel Art presented by Random Stage. These five pieces speak on a universal theme of love. Reel-Art is a continuously evolving staging of short plays in Spanish where 5 actors seek to transform

Gods and Heroes by Paul Williams. This rock and roll musical fairy tale centers on ’90s rocker Simon Byrd, presumed dead after taking a mysterious new drug.

Lord of the Flies presented by Out of Line Concepts. This Literature in Motion, inspired by William Golding’s classic novel, opts to use movement in place of dialogue and pushes the boundaries of textual interpretation by using a combination of dance, shadow puppetry, and physically rooted acting, all set to the music of various genres.

Spank Bank Time Machine by John Michael. It’s Angels in America meets Snakes on a Plane, but with drugs! Time travel with Trauma Clown John Michael who creates a space to mourn and celebrate those who we might have lost. A queer fantasia which will unleash your inner FunMonster.

Where the F is Joseph Mara? by Mac Welch and Emily Bernet. Joseph Mara is living out his 15 minutes of fame—and then he goes missing. When the possibilities range from hiding in a bunker to lost in space, are the theories really about finding Mara? Or racking up a million followers?

All the Delighted People by Rhett Goldman. After a young artist named Crystal loses her connection to the divine, she creates an experimental play to try to better understand her situation, but she must face the fact that her experiment may not provide her with the answers she’s looking for.

Theatre Too stage

Man on Man by Jeff Swearingen. : John Blankman is your average, very simple American man. He works hard as a lumberjack, spends time with his friends, and at the end of the day, comes home to his lovely new bride from Russia. Now his manhood is about to be under attack.

Selfie Conscious by Danny Anchondo, Jr.: The notoriously bad influencer Mr. PIXIE, guides the audience in birthing a digital avatar for his new platform, Selfie-Conscious. Charge your phones and practice your selfie skills for this musical journey.

Hi, How Are You? The Unfinished Show by Jaymes Gregory. Daniel Johnston was a musician and artist regarded as a significant figure in the “outsider art” genre and his struggles with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia were well-documented. This is a journey through Daniel’s imagination, delivered through his own words and imagery.

An Evening with Penis by Robert Buckley and presented by Pegasus Theatre. You’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know in this interactive celebration of manhood’s most controversial symbol. At once Shakespearean and sassy, crude and classy, Penis will win your hearts and warm your cockles.

New and Improving by Janae Hatchett: Nathan, a former mathlete and current accountant, is convinced to attend a therapy mixer where he encounters two forces of nature: Turk, a self-proclaimed lady’s man, and Piper, a sarcastic smart aleck. This comedy demonstrates how mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes.

The mystery show. Due to the late cancelation of an intended participants, this block will feature a mystery production that could feature dance, stage reading, spoken word — who knows?

Free Improv featuring Dry Clean Only, The Imps and Mama Tried.

Late Night Cabaret are free 10 p.m. performances on Fridays and Saturdays featuring Sarah Powell, Laura Lyman Payne and Jodi Crawford Wright.

Brunch Cabaret kicks off Sunday with free 11 a.m. performances featuring Quintin Jones and Sarah Powell. Light pastries provided.

THE 70’s/80’s DISCO BASH!: In celebration of FIT’s triumphant return (and all that the theater community has to offer) everyone’s invited to get down and boogie…oogie…oogie at the social event of the year on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 9 p.m.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces new President and CEO

Big news on the symphony front. Last week, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Cece Smith, Chair of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors, announced Michelle Miller Burns as the Ross Perot President & Chief Executive Officer. She will begin her tenure at the DSO on Sept. 23.

“I am delighted to return to Dallas to lead this incredible organization,” Burns said in the announcement release. “The DSO is where I first stepped into a senior leadership role in the orchestra field, and this is an organization and a community that I love. The Dallas Symphony is on an exciting trajectory – actively building on its commitment to artistic excellence and community engagement. The work that is being done on stage with the orchestra and Music Director Fabio Luisi is being recognized around the world, and I look forward to working with musicians, artistic leadership, Board, staff, volunteers, fans and supporters to continue to strengthen the DSO’s impact in Dallas and beyond.”

Michelle Miller Burns has been President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2018. Under her leadership, the Minnesota Orchestra launched a multi-year revenue growth plan to increase both contributed and earned revenue for the organization; unveiled a new leadership model for its long-running summer festival and launched This Is Minnesota Orchestra, a multi-channel series bringing the Orchestra to audiences via TV, livestream and radio that was honored with an Upper Midwest Emmy Award in 2022.

During her tenure, the Minnesota Orchestra developed a visionary strategic plan that reimagines the role of an orchestra in its community. In 2022, following an extensive search, announced Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård as the Orchestra’s 11th music director in September 2023. Prior to her tenure in Minnesota, Burns was the DSO’s Interim President & CEO and the Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer.

“During her time with the DSO, Michelle established strong relationships throughout the organization, and we are thrilled that she is re-joining the DSO as its next President & CEO,” Smith added. “We know that with her depth of experience in the orchestra field, her very successful tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra and her deep ties within the Dallas community, Michelle will continue the momentum of the DSO.”

“I am so proud of the work that we have done here in Dallas, in our performances and within our community,” Fabio Luisi, Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director said in the press release. “I am confident that Michelle will be a great partner to build upon our strengths and bring even more audiences and attention to the Dallas Symphony, further developing our activities for our community and internationally.”

Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs coming to North Texas as inaugural speaker for speaker series in Plano

Daveed Diggs, GRAMMY- and Tony-award winning actor, writer, producer and musician, will participate in the moderated conversation Arts Inspire: A Celebration of the Arts with Daveed Diggs, the inaugural event of the Plano ISD Education Foundation’s new lecture series celebrating the arts with the North Texas community.

The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Robinson Fine Arts Center in Plano.

“We are incredibly excited to host this event and bring the North Texas community together to celebrate the diverse and vibrant world of the arts,” Brittnea Ussery, senior executive director of the Plano ISD Education Foundation, said in a press release. “With the exceptional talent of Daveed Diggs and the variety of artistic experiences we have planned, Arts Inspire will be a night to remember.”

Diggs will discuss his career journey, from his breakout role as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in the original Broadway run of Hamilton, to his current projects in film, TV, theater and music.

The arts celebration includes a juried arts faculty showcase in the Legacy Art Gallery of the Center starting at 6 p.m. and live student performances at 7:30 p.m.

The Arts Inspire series aims to raise funds and awareness for the Plano ISD Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the educational needs of students and teachers in the Plano ISD. Proceeds from Arts Inspire: Celebrating the Arts will directly benefit arts programming that enhances educational opportunities, fosters innovation in the classroom and provides vital resources for students and educators.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see our students and community come together to celebrate the arts in such a meaningful way. The Arts Inspire series will not only showcase the incredible talent within our district but also emphasize the vital role of arts education in sparking creativity, critical thinking and passion among our students. We are deeply grateful to the Education Foundation for initiating this experience and providing our students with the opportunity to explore and pursue their artistic dreams,” Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Theresa Williams mentioned in the release.

Ticket prices start at $50 and can be purchased here. VIP Meet and Greet tickets are available at $150 and can be purchased with an event ticket.

–Rich Lopez