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.
Screenwriting for Hollywood: From Concept to Sale: Anyone who's read Michael Hauge's books on screenwriting knows that the man is important for one simple reason--like all good writing teachers, he doesn't tell you how to do it, but how not to do it. You can't teach talent, this man believes, but you can definitely teach a talented individual how to discipline his or her abilities. Hauge, a screenplay consultant, scriptwriter, producer, and instructor at UCLA and the American Film Institute, comes to our city at the invitation of the Dallas Screenwriters Association to hold one of his famous two-day seminars entitled "Screenwriting for Hollywood: From Concept to Sale." The seminar is held April 12 and 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Adams Mark Hotel, 400 North Olive. Fee is $95-$195. Call (214) 922-7829.
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival: We're less than a month into spring, and already North Texans are being bombarded with outdoor arts events sponsored by city and business partnerships. The desire for Texans to celebrate warm weather is proportionate to the amount of discretionary income said citizens suddenly discover they have with the sun on their skin and a beer in their hand. Cowtown is the latest to enter the fray with its Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, a three-day blowout of strolling entertainers, vendors, dancers, theater companies, storytellers, artists and craftspeople, and, especially, musicians--Joe Ely, Andy Timmons, Sara Hickman, Tish Hinojosa, and Joe Vincelli are among the Texas talents slated to perform on the Festival's various stages. Events are scheduled day and night April 11-13 in downtown Fort Worth around Sundance Square. It's free. Call (817) 336-ARTS.
North Dallas Area National Organization for Women: If you want a follow-up to Ann Zimmerman's sensitively rendered Dallas Observer cover story "Late Bloomer," get it from the subject herself, Pat Stone. You may remember Pat as the president and co-founder of the Dallas chapter of Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays whose work on behalf of her lesbian daughter led her to confront, accept, and finally embrace her own lesbianism after decades of marriage. Ms. Stone speaks about her experiences before and after the article at the April meeting of the North Dallas Area National Organization for Women. The meeting happens at 7 p.m. at Don Showman Recreation Center, 14032 Heartside in Farmers Branch. For info call (214) 833-6810.
How To Buy a President: Although he's just begun his second term, President Bill Clinton has amassed more op-eds, think pieces, and whole tomes on the mercurial nature of his policy than a one-term George Bush and a two-term Ronald Reagan combined. Some of this is just pure Baby Boomer self-indulgence--Clinton is the first president in memory who's the same age as or younger than the average Washington, D.C. pundit, so many media elites feel as though they're beating up on a classmate, not an authority figure. Still, the man possesses a troubling lack of principle that's most recently reared its ugly head in the Lincoln bedroom fundraising scandals. The PBS-TV documentary program Frontline airs a special titled "How To Buy a President" that explores Clinton's relationship with Asian powerbroker John Huang, among other questionable associations. The broadcast airs at 9 p.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13. Call (214) 871-1390.
World View: The photographers and computer artists who make up the mammoth list of names exhibited in the new Dallas Visual Art Center show World View have traveled the world in pursuit of their muses. Most of them--including names familiar to Dallas like Nic Nicosia, Andy Reisberg, Andy Hanson, and Ted Kincaid--are Texas-based or at least from Texas, which may or may not figure into their individual subjects. The idea here is to show us someplace new, or show us someplace we know in a new way. Whether it's Nicosia's memorable psychodramas or Sarah Carson's Italian peasantry, the canvas here is global. The show runs through May 9 at Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Avenue. Call (214) 821-2522.
Master Class: It hasn't been a good couple of years for the melodramatically gifted Faye Dunaway, whose well-publicized bouts with Andrew Lloyd Webber and network TV have left her so punch-drunk she co-starred opposite a chimp in the family classic Dunston Checks In. Filmmaker Kevin Spacey galloped to her rescue with a juicy supporting part in Albino Alligator, and soon after, Terrence McNally and producers gave her the green light to star as Maria Callas in the national touring company of McNally's widely celebrated Tony-winner Master Class. Dunaway strolls into Dallas for eight performances as the legendarily temperamental opera diva. Show times are Tuesday-Friday, 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 8 p.m. through April 20 at the Majestic Theatre on Elm Street in downtown Dallas. Tickets are $25-$49. Call (214) 373-8000.
The Assad Duo: Although they've been praised across the world for their singularity of technique, you should know that classical guitarist brothers Sergio and Odair Assad are not identical twins--they just play like they are. Sergio is, in fact, four years older, but the Assads have been wowing Europe and North America as a headlining team since the '60s. Their performances of 20th century compositions from their Brazilian homeland have cemented their renown as cultural preservationists, but they are by no means cultists--their latest album on the prestigious Nonesuch label features Bach, Rameau, Couperling, and Scarlatti. The performance happens at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora. Tickets are $12-$54. Call (214) 871-