Pat Conroy: When you think of the great writers of the American South, authors like Faulkner, O'Connor, Capote, and McCullers, you probably don't include storyteller extraordinaire Pat Conroy. One reason is that he's still alive; another is that he's a relatively well-adjusted writer whose books always hit the New York Times bestseller lists; and the third is that he prizes narrative over point of view, content over style. Conroy's books are hilarious, heartbreaking, and fearlessly dedicated to logging the travails of contemporary Southern family life. The author gives a talk called "Stories of the South" at 8 p.m. in the Auditorium Building, West Hickory Street between Avenues A and B, University of North Texas, Denton. It's free. Call (817) 267-0651.
Women in Exile: Middle- and upper-class women in America are worried about career vs. motherhood, the glass ceiling, and paycheck gender equity; middle- and upper-class women in Iran and India are worried about being beheaded, burned alive, robbed of their children, and rendered homeless and ostracized should they step outside of some narrowly conceived social norms. Soul Rep Theatre interests itself in these life-or-death foreign affairs with an original dance-poetry-storytelling piece entitled Women in Exile. Adapted by Soul Rep executive director Anyika McMillan and directed by Dallas actor Billy Eugene Jones, the piece features six actresses telling stories of transgressions in Russia, Malawi, El Salvador, Vietnam, Sudan, and Iran. Performances happen Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through April 20 at the African American Museum in Fair Park. Tickets are $10. Call (214) 565-9026.
Judith Viorst: The past decade has seen an angry revisionist attack on the works of Sigmund Freud, for better or worse one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Variously (and sometimes accurately) accused of sexism, racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, Freud is far more egalitarian in his view of humanity than his harshest critics will admit--to him, everyone's personality is the sum of the defenses they formed as an infant. The Dallas Foundation for Psychoanalysis hosts a talk by bestselling author Judith Viorst that attempts to remind us just how vital the first four years of life are to an individual. "Permanent Parenting: Raising Our Children from Birth to Thirty and Even Beyond" is Viorst's look at Freud's most important contribution--the notion that personality is almost fully formed before the tyke hits school age. She speaks at 8 p.m. in the Hoblitzelle Auditorium of The Hockaday School, 11600 Welch Rd. Tickets are $25-$50. Call (214) 691-6054.
Mark Cox and Phyllis W. Allen: The Writer's Garret and the McKinney Avenue Contemporary present an evening with two literary lights, one who casts a reflection in poetry and fiction circles, the other whose glow is just beginning to be noticed across North Texas. Mark Cox, director of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University and a poetry teacher at Vermont College, has earned a Whiting and a Pushcart Prize, among other national honors, for his Midwest-saturated verse. Phyllis W. Allen won the first place fiction award from Kente Cloth, the African-American Texas anthology. Both writers will read from their work and take questions. The evening kicks off at 8 p.m. in the CineMAC of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $3. Call (214) 953-1212.
Mozartiana: Paul Mejia, artistic director of the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, continues his one-man campaign to saturate the minds of North Texas residents with 20th century choreographer-legend George Balanchine. Fort Worth Dallas Ballet presents the area debut of Balanchine's Mozartiana, with American Ballet Theatre superstar dancer Susan Jaffe assuming lead duties. Jaffe and the Fort Worth Dallas company were tutored during their rehearsals by Suzanne Farrell, whose own interpretations of Mozartiana and other Balanchine pieces have rendered her an oft-consulted expert in the field of contemporary movement. The dancing begins April 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. at Music Hall in Fair Park. Tickets are $5-$46. Call (214) 373-8000.
Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and 3: One maliciously imagines all kinds of internal conflicts between members of the celebrated companies Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and 3. NDT2 debuted 19 years ago as an outlet for trained dancers between the ages of 17 and 21; just four years ago, NDT3 was spawned for dancers over 40--created, one assumes, by the first class of NDT2 who were ousted Menudo-style once they broke through the age ceiling. TITAS (The International Theatrical Arts Society) welcomes members of both critically acclaimed troupes in their Dallas debuts. Performances happen April 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call (214) 528-5576.