Hip Pocket Theatre, an experimental arts ensemble, is committed to producing original scripts and pieces not usually performed in this area. HPT relies on the imagery of fantasy and fables, original adaptations and scripts that mainly draw their inspiration from the legends and history of Fort Worth and the Southwest. The performance focus is interdisciplinary, utilizing traditional theatrical elements along with music, drama, mime, dance, puppetry, and projected images.
This year, in addition to our strictly-entertainment offerings, we delve into medical issues that touch so many: Alzheimer's/dementia and cancer. Because Hip Pocket has been touched directly with both issues, these are VERY personal to us, and both are handled in a way that is entertaining and yet meaningful and instructive, leaving the observer with a sense of hope as well. Again, as stated earlier, this spreads via word of mouth to their families, peers, and acquaintances. We have experienced this beehive of communication with the first such offering, "A Fragile Dance of Elders into the Great Beyond," as most audience members have made the effort to talk to the actors and director as well as tech crew with their stories.
In re-initiating our outreach relationship with Trinity Springs Pavilion, we serve the older teens who struggle with mental issues, with abuse issues, with addictive issues, and with their families. We help them learn to communicate more efficiently and connect with each other, their peers, and their families. In these ways everyone with whom they come into contact feels the impact.
Likewise, every time we go into a school, the children are engaged in what is a new experience for most. This not only impacts their attitude towards learning, but that, in turn, impacts their attitudes in some ways towards their families and their futures.
We saw Friday night's performance*. It was very true to life. I am a Caregiver and see the effects of Alzheimer's every day. - Rachel Courtney
VERY interesting sounding season! I'm so inspired (but not surprised) to see you guys still exploring new territory! And it's great to see John M and Ellen so centrally involved! - Christopher Pelham, New York City
THIS SHOW > "Luke of the Lake and Will of the Woods." Thank you, Mr. Simons, for this powerful, delightful offering... Indeed, I am thinking about it. As a long-time fan of HP--and I know I've said this before, BUT--I am, again, stunned by the poetry and depth of this man's work. I know we all know it but aren't we here lucky for this...this theater and all that it is?! Well, tonight, specific thanks to everyone involved with this small gem of a deeply provocative "cartoon fantasy." Bravo! (Hey Betty Boop, you good!! You REAL Good!!!) - Joe Waller, Fort Worth, TX
These 2 opened up a whole new world for me. - Rob Bosquez, Fort Worth Director
From Theater Jones:
In A Fragile Dance, an angelic spirit (Holly Tarkon) and a slender child (River Barley) hover over and around a nursing home where the elderly and disabled are cared for by calm, caring Dr. Wier (Paul Logsdon) and an attentive staff. There's never any doubt at HPT that with Simons, we're hearing his very latest musings on thematic threads he's had us chasing for years, through memories of boyhood and coming of age, of love and loss-and now, in a play dedicated to his wife and HPT co-founder Diane, to thoughts about our last years.
The play's strongest moments are found in the honest, unsparing portraits of the residents, seen always as human and individual-and allowed to be funny, grumpy, quirky, even a pain in the tush. Conversely, Simons is too simplistic in his portrayal of the staff as a team of "dream" caretakers. Without exception they are loving, gentle, full of patience and good humor, and would you please give me the address of this place? But it's a nice dream, and a tribute to the many caregivers who do give their hearts and souls to this tough work. (The ensemble includes plenty of HPT talent: Elysia Worcester, Laura L. Jones, Jeff Stanfield and Brian Cook.)
In gently flowing dances, Tarkon moves with grace in and among this mass of humanity, radiating angelic compassion for all-even for Eva's distraught and none too helpful daughter Sara (Shelby Griffin), who just can't cope with her mother's dementia…until, like many of us, she takes hold and learns to give what's needed.
A Fragile Dance brings beautiful movement, even wheelchair choreography, to a subject that too often seems nothing but grim. Theologians sometimes speak of the grace of a "good death." They mean spiritual salvation, of course-and also, perhaps, the hope or belief that we're not on our own, but have angels and spirits around us…and a little child to lead us on. - Jan Farrington, Theater Jones
*"A Fragile Dance of Elders into the Great Beyond."