As you go forth into this new year armed with the best intentions to be more well-rounded, well-read, and generally happy, you’ll be glad to know you’ve got all the support you need to actually pull those things off. Consider Dallas’ literary minds, theater companies, dancers, artists and dreamers your personal trainers for 2016: they’ll guide you to new outlooks, beautiful sights, and big ideas throughout the year. And to get you started, here’s a regimen for the first full week of the new year that’s busy enough get beginners’ blood pumping, and just challenging enough to keep regulars on their toes.
Requiem for Used Ignition Cap
7:30 p.m. Monday, January 4
The Wild Detectives
Texas native J. Scott Brownlee jumpstarts your literary aspirations this New Year with readings from his “Requiem for Used Ignition Cap”, a vibrant and evocative ode to Central Texas. Brownlee lives in Philadelphia now, but this jaunt through Texas gives a welcome homecoming to a voice deeply rooted in the messy muse that is the Lone Star State. He’ll be joined by local poets Paula Mendoza, Matt Morton and Sebastian Hasani Paramo—see more at thewilddetectives.com.
Deep Vellum Book Club
7 p.m. Tuesday, January 5
Deep Vellum Bookstore
Another wordy entry to help you scale up to literary fitness—this book club is based out of Deep Ellum’s new bookstore and publishing house. PEN Texas hosts translator Sergio Waisman, who’ll lead a discussion on Ricardo Piglia’s “Target in the Night”, a book that he happens to know inside and out thanks to his efforts to convert its noir paranoia into English. Delve into this novel with Waisman, and explore the rich traditions of the detective/noir genre, as well as the idiosyncrasies of translation. Go to deepvellum.org for more.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 6
$39 to $78
You’ve still got a few weeks to catch Dallas Theater Center’s “Clarkston”, but why procrastinate? Get a running start on all those last-minute theatergoers and book tickets now for this exploration of new frontiers, historical allusions, and aspirations in an increasingly corporate world. MacArthur Foundation Fellow Samuel D. Hunter’s paean to uncharted territory is beautifully staged in the small Studio Theatre, and boasts quite a visual an emotional workout for its audience. Buy tickets at attpac.org.
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Shut Up and Listen
8 p.m. Thursday, January 7
Margo Jones Theatre
This is where things gets physical: Cry Havoc Theater gives a special platform to area teens with their production of Shut Up and Listen, a piece of experimental theater that’s both exhortation and invitation to understand what it means to be a teenager today. An ensemble of eleven teens takes audiences through a series of silent vignettes that symbolize small interactions, big changes, and struggles to grapple with the volatile world around them. See cryhavoctheater.org for details.
24 Book Swap at Chalet Dallas
11 a.m. Friday, January 8
Nasher Sculpture Center
Wrap up your week with a test of your endurance at this 24-hour literary marathon in Piero Golia’s “Chalet Dallas” installation. His vision of interaction and community within the walls he rendered with architect Edwin Chan comes to life here in a special salon event where visitors can trade books and enjoy readings by poets and authors. To attend anytime during the event, which ends at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 9, you’ll need to email RSVP@nashersculpturecenter.org.