Dallas Theater Center announced today that it will launch a new, free pre-show lecture program, Come Early, sponsored by Wells Fargo, with the first performance of King Lear on January 18. Come Early is an informative 30-minute lecture that will be offered before every performance of every play at DTC. It is designed to enhance the audience's theater-going experience and is a companion program to DTC's existing Dr. Pepper Snapple Stay Late post-show audience talk back series.
"DTC is eager to welcome everyone in our diverse community to attend the theater and engage with the production in whatever way is most meaningful to them," said Rachel Hull, DTC's director of education and community enrichment. "Some audience members are eager to learn about the history, themes and context for a play before they see it, while others enjoy staying afterward to share their opinions about what they've just experienced, and still others are simply looking for a dynamic evening at the theater. In each case, DTC is committed to providing everyone with a point of access."
While DTC's successful Stay Late program is designed to provide audience members the opportunity to participate in a post-show dialogue with fellow audience members and members of the cast, Come Early is a pre-show adult learning opportunity that will provide context for the performance a patron is about to see. The half-hour program will begin one hour before every performance of each production. A member of the cast or artistic team will share insights with participants about the play's origin, its interpretation in this specific production, and the creative process.
Come Early, sponsored by an inaugural grant from Wells Fargo, begins with DTC's first production of 2013, William Shakespeare's masterful tragedy, King Lear. The program is offered free for anyone attending the production. Audience members interested in attending Come Early should simply arrive at the theater one hour prior to the start of the play. Once in the lobby, staff members will direct participants to the Wells Fargo Come Early Lounge. At the end of the lecture, participants will have thirty minutes to purchase refreshments and mingle before the start of the show.
King Lear begins previews on Friday, January 18 and runs through Sunday, February 17, concluding DTC's four-year Shakespeare cycle. This production brings together members of DTC's and Trinity Repertory Company's acting companies for the first time in years, resulting in a critically acclaimed, masterfully acted play about family, aging and the responsibilities of power. The production was a sold-out hit when it debuted in Providence in the fall, with critics and audiences alike raving about the performances, design and interpretation. Bill Gale, theater critic for The Providence Phoenix, called it, "a definitive version" and "a superb accomplishment." Single tickets to King Lear are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.