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Theatre Arlington steals the show

A conversation with the executive director

The lights dim. The musical prelude begins. Your mind clears of everything except anticipation for what’s to come. Then it happens. The curtain rises, and whether you’re a member of the audience or the cast, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Theatre Arlington has been creating moments like this in Downtown since 1973. Executive director Valerie Galloway has been connected to Theatre Arlington in one role or another for 21 of those years.

“It’s home,” said Valerie Galloway, executive director. “My children grew up in Theatre Arlington’s youth program, my husband -- who is a theatre professor at UTA -- did shows here when he was in college, and the staff is like a family. It’s so extraordinary to be able to work in my field at a quality theatre organization in my hometown.”

A season to remember

This season at Theatre Arlington is full of compelling titles, including Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley, and Blithe Spirit, which opens on October 21.

Galloway explained that selecting and producing a successful season is a balancing effort between the right and left side of the brain. “As a producer,” she said, “I have to weigh a variety of elements such as show popularity, dramatic message, fiscal feasibility, artistic feasibility and talent pool. That’s the left brain. Then the right brain says, ‘Hey, you like this show. Do it!’”

Galloway’s left and right brain seem to be in perfect sync. This season, for example, her formula for success has engendered a selection of fan-pleasing musicals including Guys and Dolls, School of Rock, and Legally Blonde: the Musical.

“I love musical theatre,” said Galloway, “but I’m also a Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett fan, so expect to see those types of pieces too. The bottom line is that Theatre Arlington presents shows that people not only want to see but need to see.”

The place to be

Frequent audience members know that Theatre Arlington attracts top talent, both on stage and backstage. What is it about Theatre Arlington that attracts excellence?

“Build it and they will come!” said Galloway. “When artistic quality is guaranteed by the theatre then quality artists will want to work at that theatre. So Theatre Arlington not only attracts the very best performers, but also superior designers and technicians. During our recent production of My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, an out-of-town audience member asked me where the cast was headed after Arlington. She thought it was national touring production!”

Past meets future

Arlington, Texas is roughly the same size as Cleveland, New Orleans and Tampa and bigger than Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, yet those cities exceed Arlington in their production of live theatre. But Galloway is excited about the future.

“Thanks to the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation, Downtown Arlington is now a designated cultural district,” said Galloway, “and through our capital campaign, Theatre Arlington plans to take a leading role in the further development of the district.”

Those plans include fundraising efforts for renovations which will transform Theatre Arlington’s space into a state of the art facility, both technically and aesthetically. For more information about contributing to the theatre’s campaign, “Honor the Past: Envision the Future,” visit the website.

Theatre Arlington

2016-17 Season

With a top-notch season like this one, seats are going fast for upcoming performances. Take a look at the complete production schedule, and reserve your tickets today.

September 9 – October 2, 2016

Guys and Dolls

October 21 – November 6

Blithe Spirit

December 2 – 18

A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley

January 13-29, 2017

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

February 17 - March 5

School of Rock (youth production)

April 7-23

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

May 12 – June 4

Legally Blonde: the Musical

July 7-16

Pinocchio Commedia (youth production)

August 4 - 20

Einstein: A Stage Portrait

Post, tweet and tag

As you post or tweet about the terrific productions at Theatre Arlington, be sure to tag us with @theatrearlington, #authenticallyArlington and @dtArlington!

About Downtown Arlington

Designated an official Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Downtown Arlington blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Downtown Arlington brings together a plethora of cultures and inspirations with a character all its own. Get social using hashtags #authenticallyArlington and @dtArlington.