Arts & Culture News

The Anger Room, Where You Pay to Break Things, Will Open in Deep Ellum and Appear on BBC

We're a very angry species. We post long diatribes on Facebook; we scream at our TVs; we make Donald Trump a viable candidate for president. Thankfully, The Anger Room is expanding to provide more Dallasites with the ultimate outlet for stress: beating on objects with blunt instruments in office, home and other personalized settings.

The demolition entertainment company has been in business for five years, most recently in Lancaster, but it's attracting international media attention now that it is preparing to open a new location on Commerce Street in Deep Ellum this Saturday.

The Anger Room's founder and owner, Donna Alexander, says that the British Broadcasting Co. is shooting a documentary about anger that centers on the Anger Room. She also says that a Lifetime reality show plans to shoot scenes in the new location on its first day of operation, but she is not at liberty to name the show.

The Deep Ellum headquarters will mean a more centralized location for her regular clients as well as increased foot traffic. Alexander says it's comparable in size to their 3,500-square-foot Lancaster location and offers four rooms for customers to rage in. The Anger Room is already booked solid for its first month.

"We have a lot going on so we're trying to get it all together," Alexander says. "I think once all of these films start to air, it's going to skyrocket with the attention we've been getting. It's going to make our business grow really fast."

The Anger Room first set up shop in Alexander's garage before moving to a Richardson office park where word of mouth and viral news stories helped ensure a steady stream of paying clients. They moved to a bigger location in South Dallas the following year but had to vacate after just three years when the owner lost their rights to rent the space. They set up a temporary location in Lancaster before finally scoring their new building at 3014 Commerce St. 

As Alexander has been preparing to open in Deep Ellum on Saturday, the BBC film crew has been filming clientele smashing up objects at the Lancaster location and at pop-up events in Waxahachie and the West End. Alexander says the BBC documentary will explore America's anger in the context of the 2016 presidential election.

"We set up mannequins that looked like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and we let people decide which one they wanted to beat up on and then they gave interviews beforehand about the political race and all the current things going on here in Dallas," she says. "We just saw totally different outcomes. The West End had a mix of people who liked Trump, Hillary or didn't like either one of them and were adamant about it, so it was a good mix of opinions, but when we went to Waxahachie, it was a different ball game. They were all pro-Trump and extremely biased. It felt like we were going off to a whole new, different state. It was weird."

Alexander says she and her crew are eagerly anticipating Saturday's opening.

"It gets you even more excited when they start bringing out all these cameras and camera crews that get us lots of attention from people who want to know what we're doing and what's going on. To see it happen here in Dallas is a pretty big thing because it's not something you see every day here." 

To make an appointment at the new Anger Room in Deep Ellum, 3014 Commerce St., visit
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.