Hey DSM Fans!
If you wander around the Music Hall here at Fair Park, eventually you’ll come across some delicately lit display cases; and for a musical lover like myself, approaching these shiny beacons of light in the middle of a dim hallway is like discovering a glittering piece of treasure. Each case features a unique show-themed art piece called the Cast Box.
In 1994, Dallas Summer Musicals developed a new method of theatrical folk art in the form of these Cast Boxes. Inspired by the tradition of the “Gypsy Robe,” a memorabilia-covered robe created to honor Broadway’s seasoned chorus members, the Dallas Summer Musicals Guild wanted to immortalize each production held at the Music Hall. To set this idea into motion, raw materials and suggestions were sent to the then Dallas bound production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. The final product surpassed all expectations, and it remains a dazzling, detailed symbol of the show.
Today, cast members are given a few raw materials and complete creative freedom in the construction of their show’s Cast Box. Knowing that the boxes are auctioned at Curtain Call, they are always happy to participate. Curtain Call proceeds benefit the DSM Guild’s meal program and the Seats for Kids series, which gives at-risk children the opportunity to attend theatrical performances free of charge.
According to President and Managing Director Michael Jenkins, “To our knowledge, no other theater does this. It’s a very special program.”
Since the original by PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 1994, there have been more than 85 Cast Boxes created by the best of Broadway, exclusively for Dallas Summer Musicals. Over the years, these priceless pieces of art have become highly collectable.
To get a better idea of what the Cast Box is all about, we’ve included a quick video of the most recent addition to our collection, contributed by the wonderful cast of MEMPHIS. Next time you’re at the Music Hall, be sure to take a closer look at these one-of-a-kind treasures!