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Jam to This Year's 'Mixtape' at Sundown Collaborative Theatre's New Works Festival

Mary-Hannah McWilliams, Kyle Raper in Role Reversal
Mary-Hannah McWilliams, Kyle Raper in Role Reversal
Photo by Collin Miller

Get connected. Go to Mars with some guy named Jon. Reverse roles and play a game. Watch a lizard boy eat a Dorito. Talk about white Russians with Tyler's mom. All of these things and more will happen at Sundown Collaborative Theatre's "We've Done It Again: A Mixtape," the group's third annual short works festival.

Featuring work by local playwrights, "A Mixtape" features nine different works including solo acts, movement pieces, and new plays. You can buckle down for a marathon of theatre and see all of them in one night, or you can split up the fun and stop by on different nights at different venues--you can catch it in Dallas at the Margo Jones Theatre August 11-13, or in Denton at the Green Space Arts Collective August 16-17.

Formed in 2007 by six Denton artists who were frustrated by the lack of opportunity and driven by artistic passion, Sundown Collaborative Theatre staged its first work, Conversations About Love, in March 2008 at the Green Space Arts Collective in their hometown. An amalgamation of original text, music, and choreography, the artists plopped down anywhere and everywhere they could to rehearse, collaborate, and create. This passion has fueled the sleeper company for the last seven years (they became a nonprofit in 2011) and has been the motivating factor behind much of their work.

Sundown has committed themselves to producing a daring mix of plays--classics with a new twist, modern and experimental works, comedies, dramas, and shows that are created collaboratively--and the process has been working for them. In 2010 and 2013, they were selected to be a part of WaterTower Theatre's Out of the Loop Festival, and in 2011, Happily Ever After, by Cody Lucas, was selected to be one of the plays performed at the New York International Fringe Festival. This year they decided to revive their short works festival, which had been on hiatus since 2010, to rediscover, in a way, the fervor that created Sundown in the first place: the need to constantly be pushing themselves and experimenting. So, the company solicited ideas for original scripts and performance works from writers and artists all over the world, and, thus, now, we have "A Mixtape."

"We wanted to create a short works festival that is even more vibrant this time around," says Artistic Director Tashina Richardson. "We received some incredible submissions of all different types that we think will provide for a unique theatre experience in the area. The mix better reflects Sundown's style than before, and it's what we'd like to continue cultivating with this festival for years to come."

"We've Done It Again: A Mixtape" kicks off at 8 p.m. August 11-13 at the historic Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas and continues at 8 p.m. August 16-17 at Green Space Arts Collective in Denton. $10 general admission, $8 for students and seniors. All performances are BYOB.

Full line-up of the festival from the press release is below.

CONNECTED A mini-devised theatre piece which delves into the level of connection each person can handle. Created and performed by Kaitlin Grassman, Robert Linder, Lauren Moore, Tashina Richardson, and Paul Vaughn

ISN'T IT FABULOUS by DAVID BECKMAN When a man tries a new restaurant, he learns that perhaps not every customer is always right. Directed by Paul Vaughn Woman: Tiffany Bergh Man: Mark Michaels Waiter: Paul Vaughn

JON GOES TO MARS by JEFF HERNANDEZ The Mars One project wants to put men and women on Mars. It's a one way trip with the intention of colonizing the planet, which might be just far enough for Jon to meet someone new. Directed by Tashina Richardson Jon: Paul Vaughn

ROLE REVERSAL by KELSEY JOHNSON A movement-based power play about a writer/character relationship, exploring how what you create can take on a life of its own. Directed by Kelsey Johnson Writer: Kyle Raper Character: Mary-Hannah McWilliams

A GAME by CODY LUCAS Sometimes the fun is in the playing of the game. But how do you play when the rules are made up and there's no clear way of winning? Directed by Mandy Rausch Woman: Marti Etheridge Man: M. Lance Lusk

LIZARD BOY EATS A DORITO by BRAD MCENTIRE It is exactly what it sounds like. Directed and performed by Robert Linder

WHITE RUSSIAN by MATT PARENT As friends celebrate a birthday, they realize nothing is as it seems and everyone may not make it out alive. Directed by Collin Miller Neil: A.W. Sikes Frank: Magdiel Carmona Bartender: Jeny Caisman Roxanne: Taylor Staniforth

TRYING TO TELL YOU by TASHINA RICHARDSON A woman wonders: how do you communicate without speaking? Directed and performed by Tashina Richardson

TYLER'S MOM by BEN SCHROTH Tyler's mom is up early and on the attack. It's best not to argue or she'll go on all morning... unless she has laundry to do. Directed by Scott Milligan Woman: Betty Milligan


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