5 Free & Cheap Culture Events This Week

Christmas tunes are already on loop in every store and restaurant, and gift lists are getting increasingly long and expensive. You’re probably already tired of Christmas, and it’s not even here yet. This time of year can be a real bitch, especially if you’re a responsible grown-up with Christmas parties to plan and kids’ wishes to fulfill.

The best way to get your mind off of the holiday stress is to take in a little culture that’s (probably) medically proven to be effective. This week, you can take in five free & cheap events for any interest, including art, photography, theater and film. With a lineup of events like this, you really have no excuse to stay in and watch Elf for the 5,000th time.

The Tragedy of King Richard III
7 p.m. Monday, December 7
The Wild Detectives

To decide to recreate Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard III is perhaps a little ambitious, but the crew at Shakespeare at the Bar is totally willing to accept the challenge. Sip a few beers and take in the scenes at The Wild Detectives tonight, as nearly 20 local actors tell this tragic (and totally bloody) story in Dallas’ most innovative theater experience. Bundle up — you’re going to be sitting outside for this one.

A Special Lecture by Sally Mann
7 p.m. Tuesday, December 8
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Since the 1980s, Sally Mann’s characteristic black-and-white photography has influenced everything from art to fashion to film. At the same time, her photography has been equally controversial, criticized for its depictions of nude figures, including children. However you feel about the work of Sally Mann, she is one of the United States’ most influential and celebrated photographers. On Tuesday, she will read from her memoir Hold Still, which the New York Times compared to work by Walker Evans, noting her unparalleled ability to find a “fine and offbeat declaration.” Tickets to the lecture can be reserved in advance for $5, or you can hold out until 5 p.m. on Tuesday for free general admission tickets.

Ready 1...2...3 Opening Reception
6-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 9
The Magnolia Theatre

Even if you’re not particularly into photography, this exhibition from Dallas artist Sharon Neel-Bagley is not to be missed. The exhibit will feature high-speed photos of flowers that have been chemically frozen and then shot with a pellet gun. “When I freeze these beautiful specimens with liquid nitrogen, they become brittle, allowing them to shatter, fracture and crack in unusual ways,” says Neel-Bagley. On Wednesday, The Magnolia Theatre will host an artist’s reception where you can receive inspiration from the artist herself to perhaps start shooting objects (inanimate only, please) with pellet guns.

Deep Vellum Publishing Housewarming & Bookstore Opening
6-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 9
Deep Vellum Publishing

Indie publishing house Deep Vellum is already making waves in the broader book world, and they’re bringing some desperately needed indie books to Dallas with their brand-new bookstore in Deep Ellum. On Wednesday, pop into Deep Vellum’s new space at 3000 Commerce St. to check out the shop, which will stock local zines, books and chapbooks. Drinks and live music are on offer, so feel free to drag along your friend who “doesn’t read.”

Auntie Mame Screening
9 p.m. Friday, December 11
The Texas Theatre

Rosalind Russell’s 1958 cult classic Auntie Mame holds a special place in the heart of queer people everywhere, inspired by the raw glamour and take-no-shit attitude of the film’s lead character. On Friday, check out a screening of this film, along with a discussion before the show led by SMU professor (and author of three books on queer film) Sean Griffin. Afterward, stick around for an ugly Christmas sweater and cocktail party, even if you don’t have your own sequined monstrosity to contend. 

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