Sundown Short Works Festival Preview

Sundown Short Works Festival Preview

If you’ve been itching to escape the ordinary, this weekend kicks off the 5th annual(ish) Short Works Festival put on by the Sundown Collaborative Theatre. We All (Still) Make Mistakes will have a nod to cabaret, a little bit of horror, movement theatre, and a lizard boy eating a Dorito as a few of the elements provided in what promises to be an avant-garde showcase.

“We like to push the envelope, we like to make people think, and we like to make people feel things,” says Sundown Artistic Director Chloe McDowell. Sundown is a non-profit group founded 9 years ago by a group of UNT and TWU students who weren’t finding the kind of performance art they wanted to see. 

So they did it themselves and made a point to continue being in the Denton arts scene even as key staff members change.

short works fest flyer.jpg

“We’ve gotten a lot of flak in the past from reviewers and stuff for not really trying to expand into Dallas or Fort Worth. We resent that a little bit because we think Denton is supportive of artists,” says McDowell says. Neighbors to the north don’t have a need for another independent theatre company, but in Denton there is space to build up within an arts community that is still developing.

Sundown has been the beneficiary of grants from Greater Denton Arts Council and the Denton Benefit League. This financial support has been key in affording rental space and purchasing production equipment (rather than having to borrow from friends). 

Beginning September 9th, Short Works Festival will run Friday through Sunday for four weekends before ending on October 2nd at Greenspace Arts Collective. Student tickets cost $10 otherwise general admission costs $12. Guests who attend more than one show can get in for $8 if they bring in a playbill from a previous night of the current festival. That’s a useful special because it’s not possible to experience all of the works in a single night.

Shows may include language and nudity, so this isn't necessarily a show for the whole family. 

Here are the show descriptions courtesy of Sundown Collaborative Theatre

Exit Interview by Byron Harris, and directed by Nolan Chapa
A software engineer gets sent to an odd suite where she finds a man snapping green beans. She assumes this is an ambush firing and lets fly a series of insults and truths about her workplace. She realizes over time that stakes are high and beans do help.
Interviewer: Daniel Bryant Gawne
Interviewee: Lindsey Hall 

Love is a Racquet by Byron Harris and directed by Sarah David
Catelyn confronts her husband Geoffrey who she suspects of having slept illicitly with a tennis racquet. He hedges and prevaricates which leads to something of a trial for the family, saved only by the power of words.
Catelyn: Jane Schaab
Geoffrey: Travis Kannarr
Polly: Lindsey Hall

Cinema Verite written and directed by Taylor Owen
Layla and Jennifer are excited to attend a
Japanese Horror Movie Festival, but there is more to the theater than meets the
eye. Why are they the only ones there? What happens when the lights go out? 
Layla: Shelby Weems
Jennifer: Bwalya Chisanga
Box Office Clerk/Janitor: Hayden Chauffe

140 over 90 by Cody Lucas and directed by Travis Barth
A man is hesitant to make a doctor’s appointment because of an
adolescent trauma that leaves him helplessly and embarrassingly aroused when he
hears “Songbird” by Kenny G. 
Ernest: Robert Linder
Nurse Marisa: Jane Schaab
Nurse Betty: Daniel Bryant Gawne
Dr. Laura: Polly Maynard


The Aristocracy by Drew Maggs and directed by Nicholas Ross Alexander Chadsworth Pennington the III and Coalheim Arthur Willingfeller the 87th welcome the audience to The Aristocracy.
What kinds of things do the wealthy and powerful say when they forget people are listening? 
Alexander: Jane Schaab
Coalheim: Robert Linder

Last Minute Dates written and directed by Iris Petra Jacobs
Nate has agreed to a last minute date to the zoo by the adventurous
Maria. They bicker about previous outings that ended with Nate spending the
night in jail. While Nate is wondering if their relationship is worth the
trouble, Maria tries to blackmail him into liberating the bears.
Nate: Best Tardy
Maria: Meredith White

Coffee by Frieda Dunkelberg
Coffee is a devised dance piece exploring relationships and social experiences
through something we all depend on: our daily coffee. Inspired by Sylvan Esso's
music, and starring Kym Ferguson Cartwright

Banana Bread; Survival Crimes; High-Strung Low-Achiever by Matthew Solomon
These pieces come from visceral experiences with depression, isolation, and
extreme poverty. They examine the lengths one is willing to go to in order to
insure survival, in the midst of unraveling and starving. It begins in the
gutter, examining and critiquing, in a satirical manor, poverty, crime,
nationalism, and survival. Then the aftermath, living with god, as things fall apart,
as a result of things not being the way they seem. Finally, a critique of the author and his station in life, devoid of hope, yet seeking inclusion. In short, these are his perspectives on life through a veil of cynicism. 

Coat by Isaac Young
A clown comes home drunk after a long night. 

The Fall created and performed by George Ferrie and Courtney Marie
In this cinematic exploration of love and despair, George Ferrie and Courtney
Marie merge dance, poetry, text art, and spoken performance. Bodies and words
tell the story as it unfolds in reverse like raindrops lifted from the
pavement, uncovering the roots of sorrow, following a detached shadow,
negotiating with the inner self, and navigating loss where memory has failed. 

SHAME/LESS by Lillith Grey
A combined movement and spoken word piece exploring the insidious nature of
body shame and the ways in which entertainers identify, challenge, and shake
off the burden of unreachable ideals. Follow these performers through fear,
anxiety, self-doubt, vulnerability, and risk as they step forward in faith to
reclaim their authentic selves. 
Featuring: Naomi Kliewer, and Morgan Anderson

Lizard Boy Eats a Dorito starring Robert Linder, created by Brad McEntire
It’s exactly what it sounds like…


Here is the show schedule courtesy of Sundown Collaborative Theatre

Friday, Sept. 9th:
140/90
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Lizard Boy
Maggie Smith
Matt Solomon
Shame/less
The Aristocracy

Saturday, Sept. 10th:
Coat
Last Minute Dates
Lizard Boy
Love's a Racquet
Matt Solomon
Shame/less
The Fall

Sunday, Sept. 11th:
140/90
Cinema Verite
Coat
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Love's a Racquet
The Fall
The Aristocracy

Friday, Sept. 16th:
140/90
Cinema Verite
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Maggie Smith
Matt Solomon
Shame/less
The Aristocracy

Saturday, Sept. 17th:
Cinema Verite
Coat
Lizard Boy
Love's a Racquet
Maggie Smith
Matt Solomon
The Aristocracy

Sunday, Sept. 18th:
140/90
Coat
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Lizard Boy
Love's a Racquet
The Aristocracy
Friday, Sept. 23rd:
Cinema Verite
Coffee
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Lizard Boy
Love's a Racquet
Maggie Smith
Matt Solomon
Shame/less

Saturday, Sept. 24th:
Cinema Verite
Coat
Coffee
Lizard Boy
Last Minute Dates
Matt Solomon
Shame/less
The Fall

Sunday, Sept. 25th:
140/90
Coffee
Exit Interview
Last Minute Dates
Shame/less
The Aristocracy
Love's a Racquet

Friday, Sept. 30th:
Cinema Verite
Coffee
Exit Interview
Love's a Racquet
Maggie Smith
Matt Solomon
Shame/less
Lizard Boy

Saturday, Oct. 1st:
Cinema Verite
Coat
Coffee
Lizard Boy
Love's a Racquet
Matt Solomon
The Aristocracy

Sunday, Oct. 2nd:
140/90
Coat
Coffee
Exit Interview
Lizard Boy
The Aristocracy
The Fall

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