Prism Movement Theater, Dallas’ wordless theater company, is starting a new season that will give the community a chance to learn the ways of the wordless. Following the success of its 2016 production Animal vs Machine and subsequent 2017 remount as Bruises, Prism proves once again that it is interested in doing things a little differently.
It’s a big year for the young theater, which made the official name change early in 2017 to Prism Movement Theater and became a recognized nonprofit. Its first production of the 2017 season, Lear, will be at Theatre Three’s studio space, Theatre Too. If there is an award for dedication to collaborating with other theaters, writers, and actors around Dallas to produce new work, it should go to Jeffrey Schmidt and Theatre Three.
Adapted by Prism co-artistic director Katy Tye, Lear is a wordless take on Shakespeare’s tragedy about family. A collision of dance and theater, the piece will focus on Lear’s relationship with his daughters: the two who betray him and the only faithful daughter who remains. As Lear slips into madness, the story will center on Cordelia and how she fights to regain the dignity of her father and secure the kingdom as it falls away into corruption.
In February, Prism will present a world premiere of a co-production with Cara Mia Theatre for Gog and Magog: Two Clowns Trapped in Hell, written by Jeffrey Colangelo and Hope Endrenyi. The titular clowns are trapped in hell’s kitchen, and the only hope of escape is the perfect meal for God. The two best friends are terrible cooks, and a slapstick, physical comedy of errors channeling Mump and Smoot and The Three Stooges hopes to prove that clowns don’t have to be terrifying or murderous to entertain.
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In the spring, Prism will present the second of two Shakespeare adaptations. Tempest, written by Tye and Colangelo, is wordless, like all Prism productions, and will feature puppetry to explore the mind of lonely, stranded Prospero. The thorough examination of one of Shakespeare’s greatest and most conflicted characters also promises to be “darkly comedic.” Although Prism tackled the classics last season with Midas and Medea Myth: Love’s Beginning, Tempest is the duo’s first take on Shakespeare. The 2017-18 season is affectionately titled Shake the Spear.