It’s dark, and then it’s light. It’s hot, and then it’s cold. It’s the auditorium at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, home of the Kitchen Dog Theater, a local drama group with neighborhood ties.

Performing within easy whispering distance of its audience in this quaint, pint-sized auditorium, the Kitchen Dog Theater presents mind-riveting shows that leave audience members probing their thoughts and emotions.

“It promises to be an entertaining evening,” says neighborhood resident David Irving, producer of Kitchen Dog’s 1996-97 season finale, Samuel Beckett’s Dog Show.

“We hold ourselves to a very high standard of work. We promise to make people think; we don’t answer questions, we ask them.”

Founded in 1990 by a group of SMU drama students, Kitchen Dog has become part of the City’s artistic landscape. Each year, the group has added new members, many of whom are neighborhood residents committed to putting Dallas on the artistic map, Irving says.

“Dallas has a history of developing talent that then leaves,” Irving says. “We’ve fostered a reason for them to stay.”

Although Irving says the group draws patrons from throughout the City, he believes Kitchen Dog could draw more audience members and support from our neighborhood. Aside from Irving, other neighborhood residents in Kitchen Dog include Joe Nemmers, Suzanne Lavender and Tina Parker.

“I’m interested in making sure more of East Dallas and Lakewood know about Kitchen Dog,” Irving says.

“I’m afraid because we perform in Uptown, we’re missed by people from East Dallas who might be interested.”

The 1997-98 Kitchen Dog Theater begins this month with Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz, which runs Aug. 9-Sept. 14.

Other productions this season will be William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Oct. 11-Nov. 16), Terry Johnson’s Hysteria (Feb. 21-March 29) and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie (May 3-June 7).

For ticket information, call Kitchen Dog at 214-953-1055.

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