D Magazine

AWARD: Best Thing to Happen to Local Theater

AWARD:  Best Thing to Happen to Local Theater

Founded with a small grant from the Office of Cultural Affairs, Cry Havoc filled a void in the local theater scene many didn’t know existed. The youth theater taps teenage talent to produce new work that tackles a range of difficult issues, from immigration on the Texas border to gun violence in schools. The results are often as raw, affecting, and provocative as anything any adult theaters in town are producing.

Cry Havoc Theater’s Crossing the Line Turns the Voices of Immigration Into a Play

Cry Havoc Theater’s Crossing the Line Turns the Voices of Immigration Into a Play

As a verbatim play, these interviews are the backbone of the show. The script is based entirely on interview transcriptions. In other words, we are seeing representations of people, not characters, and the actors do well in their seamless transitions from one role to the next. From the composed, yet seemingly apathetic, statement of the ICE official to the hopeful remarks of a 17-year-old migrant at a detention center, the actors are not just describing the crisis at the border–they take you there.

Teens Turn Trip to the Border Into a Play About Immigration

Teens Turn Trip to the Border Into a Play About Immigration

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email with a link to a trailer for “Crossing the Line,” an upcoming documentary play about immigration co-produced by Cry Havoc Theater Company and Kitchen Dog Theater. It’s emotional stuff.

The eight actors are all Dallas-area high school students. Mara Richards Bim, Cry Havoc founder and artistic director, and Tim Johnson, managing director of Kitchen Dog Theater, took them on a pilgrimage to the Rio Grande Valley over spring break in order to collect first-person interviews. Those interviews will become the dialogue for the play.

Cry Havoc Theater Company Invites You to the Table

Cry Havoc Theater Company Invites You to the Table

The latest work from Cry Havoc Theater Company opened on January 11. Since 2014, the youth theater company has created work around themes of social justice. Last year, they received the National Community Impact Award from Theatre for Young Audiences/USA.

In Babel, Students Hear from All Sides of Gun Debate

In Babel, Students Hear from All Sides of Gun Debate

The new play from the high school performers of Cry Havoc Theater is informed by dozens of hours of conversations on our gun violence epidemic.

Like many people across the country, high school students are talking about guns. And Cry Havoc, a Dallas theater company made up of youth actors and adult advisers, is listening.

Babel, the company’s new play about gun violence, is drawn from dozens of hours of interviews with gun supporters, gun control advocates, elected officials, and the parents of children lost in school shootings.

The three-hour production, which wraps up its run this weekend at the Winspear’s Hamon Hall, comes a year and a half after Cry Havoc gained national attention for Shots Fired, a documentary-style theater piece about the fatal shooting of five Dallas police officers in July 2016. This time around, Cry Havoc worked in conjunction with AT&T Performing Art’s Center’s Elevator Project, an initiative that platforms art and artists too often left out of the mainstream.

A Dallas Theater Company Needs Your Shoes To Honor Victims of Gun Violence

A Dallas Theater Company Needs Your Shoes To Honor Victims of Gun Violence

Teens with Cry Havoc Theater Company spent their spring break on the East Coast with mothers whose children were killed at school, friends who survived, and politicians at a juncture when it comes to guns. Hady Mawajdeh of KERA traveled with the group. They’re devising a play called Babel based on the interviews they conducted. It’s set to open July 6— a day before the second anniversary of the shootings of Dallas police officers downtown— as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s season of the Elevator Project.

A Dallas Theater Company Needs Your Shoes To Honor Victims of Gun Violence

A Dallas Theater Company Needs Your Shoes To Honor Victims of Gun Violence

Cry Havoc is putting together a large-scale installation to preface Babel, a play based on interviews with people closest to recent shootings.

Teens with Cry Havoc Theater Company spent their spring break on the East Coast with mothers whose children were killed at school, friends who survived, and politicians at a juncture when it comes to guns. Hady Mawajdeh of KERA traveled with the group. They’re devising a play called Babel based on the interviews they conducted. It’s set to open July 6— a day before the second anniversary of the shootings of Dallas police officers downtown— as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s season of the Elevator Project.

Words aren’t all Cry Havoc is collecting. Founder and director Mara Richards Bim sends word about a public art installation they’ll use to express how many lives will be lost to gun violence between January 1 of this year and the night of the play’s opening. Pairs of shoes will represent each person who died, or who dies, in the piece, titled The Cenotaph. Richards says this idea came from the shoes on display at the end of a walk through the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The people who wore them died at concentration camps, and the shoes were taken from the sites of their deaths. The installation is the only one at the museum that visitors can smell, a museum volunteer quoted in this Washington Post piece noted, describing the fumes.