Playwright Adrienne Dawes imagines an dystopian future — with humor

Playwright Adrienne Dawes imagines an dystopian future — with humor

Austin American-Statesman
Austin, Texas

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Arts Critic

Adrienne Dawes (Laura Skelding)

Adrienne Dawes donned denim recently when she stopped by Salvage Vanguard Theater for a rehearsal of her latest play to debut at the indie East Austin venue.

“Denim Doves” opens this weekend.

The play has been several years in development, but that the dystopian future world Dawes and her collaborators imagined is populated with people wearing all denim — well, that detail was decided on from the beginning…

…Dawes, a native Austinite, spent three years training and performing with Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe after college in New York. Under her “Heckle Her” production company, Dawes devises sketch comedy shows like the upcoming “Love Me Tindr,” a musical spoof of the online dating app, which opens Valentine’s Day weekend in Salvage Vanguard’s studio theater.

Dawes’ trenchant and intense drama “Am I White”, which played at Salvage Vanguard in October 2014, netted the David Mark Cohen New Play Award from the Austin Critics Table Awards.

A sharp and gutsy look at racial identity, “Am I White” is based on the real-life story of convicted felon Leo Felton, a white supremacist who hid his own biracial identity while plotting to bomb public sites.

Lauded by local critics, “Am I White” is currently being considered for production by theater companies around the country.

Dawes, who is herself of mixed race, spent years working on “Am I White,” and an early workshop version attracted the attention of the incarcerated Felton, who emailed Dawes from prison. Though Dawes exchanged a few emails with Felton during the development of “Am I White,” she declined to continue communication with him after the play’s premiere.

“The play is my creation, not his story,” she says with finality…

Read the entire article here.

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