We’ve got an extra day to work with this week, courtesy of some Gregorian-era calendar wrangling, and what better way to celebrate the 2016 Leap Year than by taking on a week full of new ideas and inspirations? Dallas will deliver just that— taking advantage of February 29 to kick off a five-day stretch of thought-provoking and innovative arts events that touch on a broad range of experiences. Find auditions meant to leave an impression, discussions about local education, and inspiring drama and dance during this once-every-four-years week.
7 p.m. Monday
TED talks have become synonymous with innovation, ideas and inspiration over the last decade: a platform for people to share their big thoughts and groundbreaking research. This year, TEDxSMU has chosen to spread the wealth of information even wider than before, making the auditions for the local series a live event. The first of three auditions (the others will be held on Thursday, March 31, and Thursday, May 26) will focus on global issues, humanities and education. See eight finalists as they utilize a fast-paced six-minute segment to present stories, poems or songs to a panel of local trailblazers.
Bar Politics: DISD Edition
8 p.m. Tuesday
Eight Bells Alehouse
If you’re a parent, you already know what’s at stake when it comes to DISD. Do you put your trust in an organization that’s been more than a little prone to dysfunction over the years, cross your fingers for a charter school lottery, or hope to win an actual lottery so you can go the private school route? With so many new options — including “schools of choice," magnets and transformation schools — it seems like things at DISD are turning around. But are they? And what do all of these options mean for our children and — most important — our community at large? Josh Kumler’s excellent Bar Politics series takes these issues on during a three night “tour” beginning tonight with speakers Mike McNaughton of Dallas Friends of Public Education and the Observer’s own Eric Nicholson. Expect the usual mix of satire, comedy, alcohol and serious and informative conversations. The series continues Wednesday, March 2, at Absinthe Lounge and Thursday, March 3, at The Wild Detectives.
Out of the Loop Fringe Festival: Oh Jesus…Or an Actor, a Cynic and a Savior Walk Into a Bar
7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Addison Theatre Center
A one-man show from writer and performer John S. Davies mines the dark comedic possibilities of the earthly return of Jesus Christ to modern times. There’s father/son drama, live streaming resurrections, and a lot of questions about this savior’s authenticity. Directed by Gene Ray Price, this entry in the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival is a quirky, funny exploration of that eternal struggle between faith and cynicism.
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Court Martial at Fort Devens
7:30 p.m. Thursday
Trinity River Arts Center
The African American Repertory Theatre take on the hard-hitting story of the African-American Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II, weaving themes of morality and racial injustice into a retelling of the true story. The women were promised roles in the WACs that transcended the racial realities of the time — but once a prejudiced colonel catches wind of these women performing nursing duties, they’re quickly reclassified as orderlies. The play really nails the devotion and determination of these women who fight for not only their promised position within the Army, but for desegregation as a whole in the armed forces.
“Avant + Dark Circles”
8 p.m. Friday
Dallas City Performance Hall
The Avant Chamber Ballet and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance join forces for a one-night presentation of groundbreaking dance that includes reimagined gender roles in Joshua L. Peugh’s version of The Rite of Spring, Katie Cooper’s premiere of Raymonda, and George Balanchine’s Gershwin-inspired classic Who Cares? The triple bill is a diverse collaboration from two of DFW’s most innovative choreographers.