We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amy, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in a small town in Missouri where there were excellent opportunities for a well-rounded and diverse life. I played in the band, marching at football games on Friday night while also cheering the team on before and after half-time, competed in speech and drama contests, was active in church activities, and and played football in an empty lot after school with my dad and other neighborhood kids . My life was the norm in our community – everyone was involved in everything. My parents – who both worked full time — encouraged (expected!) good grades, took the family to classical concerts, vacations all over the US where we hiked and fished, cooked (my mom taught me this wonderful life skill) and ate dinner together every night, and often played family games until bedtime. This excellent lesson in work/life balance is without question the basis for why a great community theatre can be successful. Again, everyone does everything while also maintaining a career, raising children, etc. Duncanville Community Theatre is built on the foundation of “community” – expecting (and getting!) full commitment from volunteers — in order to bring first rate theatre to our area, enhancing the quality of life for all.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Duncanville Community Theatre has a wealth of talent among our volunteers. There are so many degreed, well-trained, and experienced theatre artists in the metroplex who make a living doing something outside of the theatre world. DCT is a place where they are able to feed their soul, practice their artistry, and do what they love. The beneficiaries of their talent and love for theatre are our patrons who are able to enjoy first rate performances. As we celebrate our 35th Season, I believe that the quality found in the shows at DCT – because of these well-trained artists – has been instrumental to our continued success. I am often just amazed at how hard our artists work and how much they give of themselves.

And I would be lying if I said all of this creating art and theatre thing was always easy. It has been a lot of hard work. Just like everyone else, I have a full-time day job. There have been a lot of late nights trying to get things finished to open a show where the question has been asked…”tell me again why we do this?” It is also difficult, okay, maybe almost impossible at times, to please everyone. We do our best to choose a well-balanced and crowd pleasing season with lots of opportunities for diverse casting. Often I feel as though whatever I do, it will be wrong (said with a smile!). But I have learned that if I just stay the course, always try to do better, listen to those with good intentions and keep doing all that I can to create good theatre, then the rest will work itself out. When folks only want to criticize, then I ask them when they want to volunteer to work hard and make it better. In other words, I don’t completely tune out the “noise,” but selectively choose how to deal with it.

In the end, I want everyone to know there is great theatre south of the Trinity River! We are creating some amazing work that is so often ignored because it’s not “north” or in one of the trendy Dallas areas. I would proudly put the work of DCT alongside many others across the DFW Metroplex, knowing we can without question hold our own and captivate audiences.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This one is easy. We’d have a picnic – maybe grab lunch from City View Tacos on Main Street — and walk around one of the many beautiful parks in Duncanville. We would likely do this more than once because Duncanville has several beautiful parks to enjoy. We’d schedule a visit to the Olden Year museum where we would see rare and beautiful music boxes and phonographs. Hiking the area’s nature trails is a must and could take a day or two – Cedar Ridge Preserve and Windmill Hill are favorites of mine. We’d eat dinner at Roma’s Italian Bistro in Duncanville where we’d be greeted warmly by the owners and staff, possibly sitting outside if the weather is good and possibly closing the place down while sipping wine on the patio. And if my friend is staying a week, we’d likely do this more than once as the menu offers lots to enjoy. However, we’d also find time to have lunch or dinner at Sabor ala Mexicana and have more than one of their margaritas while munching on their individually topped nachos – or as I call them, “organized nachos.” And finally, without question, we’d enjoy a fantastic show at Duncanville Community Theatre!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are two reasons for Duncanville Community Theatre’s success. The first is the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, including our great Board of Directors. To be completely honest, producing a show at a non-profit theatre isn’t always a ton of fun. While our goal is to ultimately present a magical evening of theatre, getting there can often be less than glamorous. There’s a whole lot of work behind the scenes that makes DCT successful. The folk come early and stay late, building scenery, making costumes, learning lines, and even helping to clean the building, While many of our current volunteers were involved in the very first show in the summer of 1988, thankfully there is also a constant flow of new artists ready to jump in and get involved.

The second reason for DCT’s success is the amazing support we receive from the City of Duncanville. They have supported our theatrical efforts from the very beginning, allowing us to use an empty former City Council and Courts building in 1988, and they have never stopped. Time and time again they have reiterated their belief that having an active and vibrant theatre in our community increases the quality of life for their citizens. They continue to lease us the building (now renovated) and provide Hotel Occupancy Tax grant funding when applicable. The City is also keenly aware of the economic impact that a successful theatre brings to the community – our volunteers and patrons eat, shop and buy gas locally. When the City supports DCT they are also supporting local businesses. This partnership with the City is absolutely vital to our success!

Website: www.dctheatre.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DuncanvilleCommunityTheatre

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.