Dallas Theater Center Presents THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, 10/19-11/11

Dallas Theater Center continues its exciting and conversation-provoking 2012-2013 season with the regional premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. This unique experience will transport audience members into the thrilling and aggressive world of professional wrestling, complete with a wrestling ring, while weaving a story of power and class in America. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity runs at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Friday, October 19 – Sunday, November 11. 

"Kristoffer Diaz is one of the most dynamic and interesting playwrights in American theater today. His work connects to the world we live in and provokes and entertains us at the same time," says DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty. "Kris believes that an engaging and exciting theater-going experience does not have to be a static one. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is a smart, fast and funny story about the talented wrestlers who pretend to lose so the charismatic – but less talented – champion can remain a winner. In this highly theatrical play, we're putting a wrestling ring, video screens and confetti cannons in the middle of the Wyly Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical experience."

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity stars Alex Hernandez, Corey Jones, Aly Mawji, Jamin Olivencia – all making their DTC debut – and Michael (Kieran) Connolly, making his Brierley Resident Acting Company debut. Chad Deity (Jones) is the quintessential guy-on-top in professional wrestling; he just isn't all that talented. Macedonio "The Mace" Guerra (Hernandez) hides Deity's lack of skill by craftily losing to him in every match. After meeting Vigneshwar Paduar (Mawji), Mace decides to stop losing and crafts a plan that challenges the pre-determined world of professional wrestling. The bunch is joined by Everyman and The Bad Guy (Olivencia) and EKO (Connolly, who audiences will remember from Next Fall and Dividing the Estate), the man who controls – and rigs – it all.

"We've assembled an extremely enthusiastic cast to bring these colorful, over-the-top characters to life and we have a spectacular design team to create the perfect playing space," says Chad Deity director and FireStarter Productions founder Jaime Castañeda. "We aren't working with scenery in Chad Deity; we are creating a true sporting event experience complete with a wrestling ring, massive projections screens and a few explosive surprises."

Director Jaime Castañeda, a University of Texas graduate and artistic director of the formerly North Texas-based FireStarter Productions, is making his DTC debut with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Joining him to bring the stunning and ostentatious feeling of professional wrestling into the Wyly Theatre is scenic designer Tak Kata. Costume designer Clint Ramos and lighting designer Lap Chi Chu are returning to DTC after their work on the 2010-2011 production of Cabaret. Sound designer Misha Fiksel, projection designer Peter Nigrini and fight director Christian Litke complete the creative team.

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity begins previews on Friday, October 19 at 8:00pm with a Pay-What-You-Can performance. Tickets to this performance will be available for purchase online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org. Only unsold tickets to the PWYC performance will be available for purchase at the box office the night of the show. In connection with the Klyde Warren Park opening, any unsold tickets to the 2:00pm matinee performances on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 will be available for free beginning each day at the Wyly Theatre at 1:00pm. DTC's Stay Late program will take place after each performance. Patrons will have the opportunity to engage with artists, learn about the production and share insights about the play in a lively discussion. Tickets for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity are on sale now. Ticket prices start at $15 and are available online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.

MICHAEL (KIERAN) CONNOLLY (EKO) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company. DTC roles include: Next Fall; Dividing The Estate; Laramie Project Revisited; The Seagull; A Christmas Carol. National credits: The Utah Shakespeare Festival; PlayMaker's Repertory; Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival; Centre Stage; Boston Repertory; Camden Shakespeare Festival. Other Dallas credits: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; King Lear (Kitchen Dog Theater); Bluebeard's Castle (The Dallas Opera); Much Ado About Nothing (Dallas Shakespeare Festival).

Alex Hernandez (Macedonio Guerra / The Mace) is a Brooklyn-based actor and voiceover artist. An avid cyclist and amateur hooligan, he is ecstatic to have the opportunity to work on such an athletic, challenging piece once again. Credits include: Richard II (The Public); No Such Cold Thing (Drama League Directorfest); Wanderlust (La MaMa); Life of Galileo (Cleveland Playhouse); The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; The End and Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Law & Order:SVU.

COREY JONES (Chad Deity) Regional: Titus Andronicus (Aaron), To Kill a Mockingbird (Rev. Sykes), and Mary Stuart (Aubespine), Utah Shakespeare Festival; The Color Purple (Pa), Celebration Theater, LA; Othello (Othello), Santa Cruz Shakespeare; Ragtime (Booker T. Washington); Les Misérables (Bamatabois/Combeferre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), and Macbeth (Macbeth) at PCPA Theaterfest; Much Ado About Nothing (D. Pedro), Chautauqua Theater; Sweet Bird of Youth, Williamstown Theater Festival; Henry VIII , Illinois Shakespeare Festival; Romeo and Juliet, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival. Teaching Credits: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Education: B.A., Washington University; M.F.A., University of Texas- Austin. Professional Affilliations: AEA, SAG-AFTRA.

Aly MaWJI (Vignesh Paduar / VP) West Coast: Animals Out of Paper (SF Playhouse, BATCC nomination, Best Supporting Actor); Back of the Throat (Pasadena Playhouse); Naked Before God (Inside the Ford). East Coast: Homeland Security (InterAct, Philadelphia); Dead End (NY Fringe Festival Audience Favorite); Democracy in Islam (Theater for the New City); Tamburlaine (Target Margin Theater); and Kate Crackernuts (The Flea). Film: Reversion (Sundance); and Colorforms (Tribeca). Television: Grey's Anatomy; Switched At Birth; UnderCovers; Accidentally On Purpose; and Medium. Aly received an MFA in Acting from CalArts.

JAMIN OLIVENCIA (Everyman/The Bad Guy/Fight Choreographer) joins DTC for the first time with his second appearance in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. His most recent appearances in 2012 include WWE RAW and WWE Smackdown. He will also be starring in a reality TV show that will air this fall. Film: Dukes of Hazzard; Ultimate Death Match 2. Television: WWE Sunday Night Heat; WWE Superstars; WWE RAW; Ring of Honor; Ohio Valley Wrestling; and AWE Night of the Legends. Jamin has performed before live audiences internationally in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He can be followed on Twitter at @JaminOlivencia.

Kristoffer Diaz (Playwright) is a playwright and educator living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Full-length titles include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Welcome to Arroyo's, Rebecca Oaxaca Lays Down a Bunt, and #therevolution. Awards: 2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; winner, 2011 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play; winner, 2011 OBIE Award, Best New American Play; and the inaugural Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowship from The Public Theater (2011). His work has been produced, commissioned, and developed at The Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theater Company, The Atlantic, InterAct, Mixed Blood, The Orchard Project, Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Lark, Summer Play Festival, Donmar Warehouse, and South Coast Repertory, among many others. He has written short work for the 24 Hour Musicals and the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. Kristoffer was one of the creators of Brink!, the apprentice anthology show at the 2009 Humana Festival of New American Plays. He is a playwright-in-residence at Teatro Vista; a resident playwright at New Dramatists; a co-founder of the Unit Collective (Minneapolis); and a recipient of the Jerome Fellowship, the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant and the Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists). Kristoffer holds a BA from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing, and an MFA from Brooklyn College's Performing Arts Management program. Kristoffer is currently developing two new plays for DTC: one about professional basketball, and one about professional football.

Jaime Castañeda (Director) Chimichangas and Zoloft (Atlantic Theater Company); Welcome to Arroyo's (Old Globe, American Theater Company, SPF); Red Light Winter (Perseverance Theatre); Biggest A**hole Ever Born (INTAR); Timberbrit (Ontological); One for the Road (Directorfest); Long Way Go Down (Harold Clurman Theater); A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant (Circle Theatre); This is How it Goes (Amphibian); Blue/Orange, Closer, Sonnets for an Old Century (FireStarter Productions). He has also assistant directed productions for Cincinnati Playhouse, Center Theatre Group and Speed the Plow on Broadway. Jaime is a recipient of a Drama League fellowship, a Princess Grace Award and a TCG New Generations grant. He is an ensemble member at American Theater Company, Artistic Director of FireStarter Productions, and the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. M.F.A. University of Texas at Austin, B.F.A. Texas Christian University.

Takeshi Kata (Scenic Designer) DTC: Back Back Back; Glengarry Glen Ross; The Glass Menagerie. Off-Broadway: Storefront Church, Through a Glass Darkly, Dusk Rings a Bell, Port Authority, Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Atlantic Theatre Company);Doris to Darlene…, B.F.E. (Playwright's Horizons); Outside People (Vineyard); Adding Machine (Minetta Lane); Orson's Shadow (Barrow Street Theatre). Regional: Alley; American Players Theatre; Ford's Theatre; Geffen Playhouse; Goodman Theatre; Hartford Stage; Kirk Douglas; Long Wharf; Mark Taper Forum; Nashville Opera; The Old Globe; Resident Ensemble Players; Skylight Opera; Steppenwolf; Yale Rep. Takeshi is an Assistant Professor at University of Southern California, School of Dramatic Arts.

Clint Ramos (Costume Designer) DTC: Cabaret; The Good Negro; The Taming of the Shrew. Recent sets and/or costumes: Wild With Happy, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide…, The Good Negro (Public Theater); Hamlet (CalShakes); After the Revolution (Playwrights Horizons); Party People (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Angels in America 1 & 2, Hurt Village (Signature); The Common Pursuit (Roundabout Theater); The Elephant Man with Bradley Cooper (Williamstown). NY: Lincoln Center Theater; Second Stage; New York Theater Workshop; Culture Project; Foundry; Ma-Yi; Women's Project; New Georges; Red Bull; Clubbed Thumb; others. Regional: Alley; A.R.T; Asolo; Alliance; CenterStage; Guthrie; Kansas City Rep; La Jolla Playhouse; Berkeley Rep; Huntington; Denver Center; Cleveland Playhouse; Cincinnati Playhouse; Long Wharf; others. Honors: 2010 Lucille Lortel Award; 2009 TDF Irene Sharaff Award; 2007 & 2009 ATW Henry Hewes Award; 2008 & 2010 Drama Desk nominations.

Lap Chi Chu (Lighting Designer) DTC: Cabaret; Death of a Salesman; The Good Negro; Fences. Regional: Mark Taper Forum; Geffen Playhouse; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; La Jolla Playhouse; The Old Globe; Goodman Theatre; The Shakespeare Theater; Arena Stage; Hartford Stage; McCarter Theater, Berkeley Rep. New York: The Public Theater; New York Theatre Workshop; Second Stage Theatre; Performance Space 122; Kitchen Theatre Company. Awards: LA Drama Critic's Circle Angstrom Award, Career Achievement, Lighting Design; multiple Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards; a "Drammy" for best lighting; Lucille Lortel nomination, The Good Negro, The Public Theater. Mr. Chu is on the lighting design faculty at California Institute of the Arts.

MISHA FIKSEL (Sound Designer) is excited to be making his debut with Dallas Theater Center. Previous theater credits include projects with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Second Stage, St. Louis Repertory, Writers' Theatre, Redmoon Theater, Victory Gardens Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project, Timeline Theatre, Northlight and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. He has received six Joseph Jefferson Awards for composition and sound design, a Lucille Lortel Award, an After Dark for an original musical and the Michael Maggio Emerging Artist Award. When not designing or performing, he teaches Sound Design at Loyola University. www.mikhailfiksel.com

Peter Nigrini (Projection Designer) has designed on Broadway for The Best Man, Fela!, 9 to 5 and Say Goodnight Gracie. Other designs: Far From Heaven (Williamstown); Notes from Underground (Yale Rep); the Grace Jones Hurricane Tour, Rent (New World Stages); Der Ferne Klang; (Bard), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (City Opera); Blind Date (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane); The Orphan of Zhao (Lincoln Center Festival). For Nature Theater of Oklahoma: No Dice (2008 Obie), Romeo and Juliet (Salzburger Festspiele) and Life and Times (Burgtheater, Vienna). Upcoming projects include Here Lies Love (The Public) and the Broadway production of Flashdance.

Christian Litke (Fight Director) This is Christian's first time working with the Dallas Theater Center. He played Joe Jabroni (Bad Guy), Billy Heartland and Old Glory in the original production of Chad Deity in Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater and when it traveled to Second Stage Theater in NYC. Christian hosts multiple live shows for the WWE including WrestleMania Axxess, Fan Axxess Tour, and SummerSlam Axxess. Christian is a full-time stuntman based in Chicago with recent projects such as Chicago Fire, Man of Steel, and Shameless.

One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 90,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Heather M. Kitchen, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; and community outreach efforts including leading the DFW Foote Festival and recent collaborations with the Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Opera, and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men (directed by Adrian Hall) in 1986, and recent premieres of Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson, The Trinity River Plays by ReGina Taylor, the revised It's a Bird… It's a Plane… It's Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson.

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