Dallas Young Artists itself has only been in existence for four years now although the founders (Mark Mullino, Vonda Bowling, Terry Tuck, Neely Boyd Dickson) have been working together in musical theater education for over 10 years. After many successful years teaching together we decided it was time to create our own organization. Thus far we have only done our month long theater camps once a year. Our goal is to create a year round theater program incorporating education and performance for young performers from 1st grade through college.
Bye Bye Birdie is a stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, and music by Charles Strouse. Originally titled Let’s Go Steady, the satire on American society is set in 1958. The story was inspired by the phenomenon of popular singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the army in 1958. The rock star character’s name, “Conrad Birdie,” is word play on the name of Conway Twitty. Twitty is known as a country music star but also was one of Presley’s rock ‘n’ roll rivals. The original Broadway production was a Tony Award-winning success. It spawned a London production and several major revivals, a sequel, a 1963 film and a 1995 television production. The show also became a popular choice for high school and college productions.
The King and I is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens’ story, The English Governess at the Siamese Court, was autobiographical, although her biographer, Susan Morgan, author of the 2008 biography Bombay Anna has discovered numerous inaccuracies and fabrications. The musical opened on Broadway in 1951 and was the sixth collaboration for the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It ran for 1,246 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, among other awards. It spawned numerous revivals and a popular 1956 film version.
The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson. The show is based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim but progressive Marian the librarian sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her. In 1957, the show became a hit on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for 1,375 performances. The cast album won the first Grammy Award for “Best Original Cast Album”. The show’s success led to revivals and a popular 1962 film adaptation and a 2003 television remake. It frequently is produced by both professional and amateur theater companies.