On Sunday evening at Club Dada, with more than four hours left in the silent auction, bids for a Stetson cowboy hat had already far surpassed its value. By 7 p.m. the $20 T-shirts were sold out in every size but extra large. The bar’s supply of Lone Star was running uncomfortably low.
“Would this many people be here if somebody shot you in the face?” Dada’s creative director Moody Fuqua asked the crowded stage area in between sets.
That Matthew Posey is alive today after being attacked in late January is something of a miracle. Less than three weeks later, at his own benefit concert, he was in high spirits and laughing.
In the late evening of Jan. 30, the Dallas playwright and founder of Ochre House Theatre was shot as he and a friend were exiting Cold Beer Company. His tongue was shredded and most of his teeth were taken out, but remarkably, his condition was declared stable a few hours after being admitted to the hospital. The gunman has not been arrested.
“We originally thought that his medical bills would be covered by insurance, but discovered his dental costs would be far more extensive,” says Carla Parker, Ochre House’s manager of operations. At the time of writing, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $27,000 to help cover his dental bills. But Dallas’ music community was determined to push fundraising efforts further for their friend, who for years has employed members of the city’s music scene in his stage productions.
“I had a ton of musician friends that came up and asked me what they could do to help after they heard what happened,” says Cassie Bann, a regular player at Ochre House. Bann and her colleagues quickly put together a 16-act lineup and Club Dada agreed to open its doors for Sunday’s all-day event.
Musical performances included Party Static, PVC Street Gang, Hawk vs. Dove, The Van Sanchez, Mother II, Jeff Whittington, Jenna Clark, George Quartz, Greg Schroeder, Madison King and Sarah Ruth. Among the artists who brought items to auction were Frank Campagna, Joshua Von Ammon, Matthew Brinston, Isaac Davies, Amber Campagna, Danielle Georgiou, Laura Harrell, Erica Stephens, Zeke Williams, Clay Stinnett, Frank Lopez and Ginger Berry.
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“I will say that the bar did very well and we were able to donate a nice check based on a percentage of sales,” Fuqua says.
Since undergoing several successful surgeries to his tongue, Posey has started taking speech therapy classes so he won’t have to give up acting, his lifeblood. Not only that, but beginning March 8, he plans to return to the Ochre House stage for the relaunching of his original Dr. Bobaganush production, which he will direct in addition to playing the lead role. Its originally planned debut had been canceled amid the aftermath of the shooting.
“He’s got the best attitude imaginable for someone in this situation,” Bann says. “He’s definitely in his the-show-must-go-on mode.”