BEST THEATER COMPANY - 2013
Fun House Theatre and Film
With the line "Kool-Aid is for closers," Jeff Swearingen and Bren Rapp dramatically changed the status of children's theater in North Texas. Swearingen wrote and directed Daffodil Girls: Based on David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, a two-act play about the ruthless world of scout troop cookie sales. Cast with a dozen talented young local actresses (ages 7 to 14), the show was deeply satirical, boldly funny, with moments of heartbreaking pathos. It was also a game-changer for the tiny, low-budget Fun House Theatre. Not only was the material great (other theaters are now interested in doing the script), the girls onstage gave polished, nuanced performances. Buzz quickly grew for the show, local critics swarmed all over it and Fun House held it over to sold-out houses. What else did Fun House do this year? Only a full-fledged, solid and thoughtful Hamlet with an all-youth cast. Children's theater that takes its actors and audiences seriously makes us all live happily ever after.