AMON! The Ultimate Texan is coming back after months away. Did the hit play lose its momentum as a cultural phenomenon? We’ll soon find out. The play has its Dallas County debut July 16, 17 18, 2021 at the new $21 million Coppell Arts Center (Tickets are now on sale HERE..)… You’ve done 33 performances in five cities but why not Dallas County? If you know the story of Amon, Mr. Fort Worth, you know how the media mogul hated Dallas, lived to crush it and never wanted to spend a penny on that side of D/FW, which to him, was FW/D. Even though he’s been dead for 66 years, his ghost was blocking our Dallas entrance. …. Why Coppell? … Have you seen that new theater? It’s one of the finest in North Texas. Truly state of the art. AMON! was supposed to open as its first play, but coronavirus crushed those plans.

Is the same actor going to play AMON? Most definitely. Kelvin Dilks, in my mind, is AMON. And people who’ve seen the play two or three times seem to agree. … How did the actor stay in play shape during such a long hiatus? It’s a huge script for one person. … Yes, as Kelvin is always happy to point that out. He continues to rehearse. He’s a retired teacher and works hard in his prep. Kelvin just completed his first term on the Birdville ISD school board. I tease Kelvin because he ran for reelection unopposed. The reason is, who’s going to run against AMON? … 

Where else is AMON! going to appear. … The schedule is fluid. And the way Connie Sanchez directed it, the play can go anywhere. We don’t need a full-sized theater because we’re compact. … What theaters has it played? … We debuted at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst, the home theater for producer Rick Blair. Rick took us to the Scott Theater across from the Carter Museum. Then we went to the Fort Worth Club, where AMON’s descendants had front-table seating. Then off to the Bowden conference center in Keller, the historic Haltom Theater and, most exciting, the Paramount in Abilene, our first jaunt into AMON’s beloved West Texas. … 

You won an award, right? … Yes, we won best new play by a local playwright in D/FW, er, FW/D. … For your first play? … Yeah, beginner’s luck. … Which brings me to my final question. We’re hearing rumors that you’ve finished a new play, and it’s going to be announced shortly, and it’s about another famous Texan. True? … True, true and true. Where’d you hear that? … A little theater birdie told us. So who’s the subject? … I’ll let the theater announce it. But here’s a hint. The character is as big a Texan as AMON! if that’s possible.

NOTE: Tickets are now on sale HERE.

Dave Lieber is The Watchdog columnist at The Dallas Morning News. He’s also artist-in-residence at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst.

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