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Best New Player Dallas 2008 - Kevin Moriarty, Artistic Director

When Kevin Moriarty stood up to announce the 50th season lineup for Dallas Theater Center, no one knew what to expect. Then came his stunning news. His first directorial work would be the vintage rock musical The Who's Tommy, about as un-DTC as you can get. Also, he was hiring a nine-member resident company of local actors, something DTC hasn't had in more than two decades. And most shocking of all, he dared to utter the name of DTC's revered but oft unmentioned founder, Paul Baker. This wasn't just lip service to Baker, who was deposed from DTC in 1983. Moriarty had spent time with the legendary director and teacher, now 97, to help define his theater's past, present and future. In his first year on the job, Moriarty has earned goodwill by making his presence known at nearly every theater in town, seeing shows and meeting actors. Giving support to the city's theater artists has given them the respect they deserve and provided a new goal. After feeling shut out for far too long, Dallas actors, thanks to Moriarty, once again have a shot at the Dallas Theater Center spotlight.

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