Soul Rep To Present ELM THICKET A World Premiere Play Set in a Gentrifying Dallas Neighborhood

soul rep theatre's world premiere play explores a gentrifying dallas neighborhood

By: Nov. 29, 2023
Soul Rep To Present ELM THICKET A World Premiere Play Set in a Gentrifying Dallas Neighborhood

Soul Rep To Present ELM THICKET A World Premiere Play Set in a Gentrifying Dallas Neighborhood

Soul Rep Theatre Company, Dallas' longest operating theater company dedicated to the Black experience, will present the world premiere of co-founder and area playwright, Anyika McMillan Herod's, new play, ELM THICKET, a serious comedy in two acts.

The play serves as a fifth “bonus” production for Soul Rep's current season and will officially kick-off AT&T Performing Arts Center's (AT&T PAC) 2024 season of Elevator Project. This project marks the company's third participation in AT&T PAC's celebrated curated presentation of various works highlighting some of Dallas' most dynamic smaller and emerging arts groups and artists. ELM THICKET will run January 11 – 20, 2024 at the Wyly Studio Theatre in the downtown Arts District. Individual and Group Sale tickets are available at www.attpac.org. For mature audiences.

McMillan-Herod, who is also starring in the play opposite company member, Keith Price, and under the direction of veteran theater artist, Natalie King, considers ELM THICKET “a love letter to the neighborhood I grew up in, the people who called it home, and those who are fighting to never leave.” The play spans six months during 2020 and explores two middle aged former neighbors navigating love and friendship while facing a complicated history, world pandemic, social unrest, and neighborhood gentrification. Moreover, ELM THICKET sheds light on a historically predominately Black North Dallas neighborhood, located east of Love Field Airport, that was established by the formerly enslaved after the Civil War as one of several Freedmen's communities in the area. For the last twenty years, longtime residents have faced a contentious zoning battle to limit the scale and style of new developments, address gentrification, and preserve this historic and vibrant community.  

Since its founding nearly three decades ago, Soul Rep Theatre Company has consistently worked to nurture, develop, and produce new works, particularly those written by women and BIPOC artists. “In this season alone, Soul Rep is offering three world premiere productions,” explains co-founder and Artistic Director, Guinea Bennett-Price. “With a goal to shift the paradigm of how the Black experience is valued, it is imperative that we consistently commit our company to serving as a gateway and platform for new voices, for marginalized voices and works that explore themes important to our community.” 



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