Never one to mince words, Jack Alder, founder and executive director of Theatre Three, had his doubts about the future of the Dallas Theatre League, a 6-year-old nonprofit group established to get local theaters working together for the good of one and all. But that part of its mission was never fulfilled, and DTL seemed to exist only to sponsor the annual Leon Rabin awards, a Dallas version of the Tonys with statuettes for excellence in a number of performance and production categories. Notorious naysayer Alder despised the Rabins, and because the awards pretty much defined the DTL, Alder and Theatre Three never joined the league. Jo Trizila, DTL president and Irving Arts Center marketing director, says she went to Alder last March to enlist his help in making the league more of an advocacy group for local theater than simply the annual Rabins producer. Alder agreed to meet with Trizila, Dallas Theater Center's Edith Love, and Dallas Summer Musicals' Michael Jenkins. The four formed a core committee to reorganize and rethink the theatre league's mission. Trizila says the league's new emphasis, in addition to the Rabins, will be on resource sharing and joint promotions. At the organization's February 21 meeting, with characteristic aplomb and flawless delivery, Alder surprised the assembled with the announcement of Theatre Three's intent to become a member. "Our hat is in the ring," he said to spontaneous applause by league members. With the addition of Theatre Three, the Dallas Theatre League boasts 29 member theater organizations.
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At the same meeting at the Dallas Theater Center's Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek, Trizila unveiled the league's first attempt to make good on its promise for advocacy after a year of pondering and planning. She announced the new Dallas Theatre League Web site, highlighting performance information for all of its member theaters. "It's an accurate, single resource for what's going on in Dallas theater," Trizila says. "The goal of the site is to do the one thing DTL's membership told the executive committee was most important: Sell tickets!" The site (www.dallastheatreleague.org) was designed by Dallas' The Matthews Group, Inc., and in addition to calendar info gives box-office contact information and links to other Dallas theater Web sites. Craig Boleman, DTL marketing and media chairman, says the new site will include performance dates and times through 2000.
Annabelle Massey Helber
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