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Allen Contemporary Theatre is a Hidden Treasure Trove of Talent

Allen Contemporary Theatre has undergone several changes since its inception, including moving to a 102-seat house theater and increasing the number of shows it puts on each year. 

“Back in 2010, our first president arrived in Allen, Texas, and much to her chagrin, found that there was no community theater,” said Joe Barr, President of Allen Contemporary Theatre. “But with a little bit of hope and a little bit of prayer and a little bit of donations, our first president, Gena Graham, actually initiated Allen Contemporary Theatre with her husband, Lamar Graham.”

This year’s lineup includes "The Gods of Comedy," directed by Robyn Mead, which will run from January 27 to February 12.

“Allen Theatre is top quality that matches anything in the metroplex," Director Robyn Mead said. “My current show is by Ken Ludwig is about an academic who travels to Greece and is given an amulet. Upon her return, she has a surprise encounter with the ancient gods.”

Mead is most excited about tackling the challenge of transitioning between multiple locations on stage without a true curtain to close between acts. 

"We had to come up with some inventive way to change scenes,” Mead said. “The scenes change from Greece to a college campus to the office in the classics department to outside at the campus.”

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," directed by Chris Berthelot, opens on March 17 and runs through April 2.

“The play is based on the best-selling book by Mark Haddon that explores themes of family, bravery, and standing out,” said Berthelot. “It tells the story of a 15-year-old autistic boy attempting to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog, which leads him on a journey of self-discovery. 

To fully immerse the audience in the lead character's experience, the director plans to use dynamic lighting and projection, as well as intense sound design. 

"My goal is to have the audience in some way relate to the lead character's panic attacks and experience what he's experiencing," Berthelot said.

Not only does Allen Contemporary Theatre have a fantastic 2023 lineup, but it will also continue expanding its education program to include acting classes for adults, teens, and children.

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