So far, 2014 holds some new and promising endeavors for director and playwright Brad McEntire.

Known for his passion for creating small yet powerful theatre productions, the Carrollton native’s latest production of director Andy Eninger’s “The Last Castrato” at the Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas wrapped last week with glowing reviews. Also earlier this month, his production company, Audacity Theatre Lab, hosted McEntire’s solo piece, “I Brought Home a Chupacabra” as part of the YOLO Solo Fest of one-person, one-act plays earlier this month.

Catch another one of McEntire’s own off-the-wall solo pieces, “Robert’s Eternal Goldfish,” when it debuts at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival at the WaterTower Theatre this March in Addison.

SLM: How did you get your start in the local arts community?

BM: “I started out as an actor and I quickly got tired of the lifestyle of an actor; I got tired of what there was to choose from. It was like being a musician and only playing covers your whole life. I drifted from that into playwriting, when I was in college. Ultimately, my goal is to combine the roles of theater into one thing. I can create the thing, write the thing and present it to the audience without the differentiation.”

SLM: How did Audacity Theatre Lab come to be?

BM: “I started Audacity Productions in 1999 while in New York. We did a reading at Art Centre in Plano – that was the first thing we did. It was a total garage band sort of operation. We dissolved in 2006 [when] I moved to Hong Kong … and I made a new company named Audacity Theatre Lab in 2008. Now we’re trying to do real gritty, small in scale but big in scope [shows]. That’s been my rallying cry.”

SLM: With plays named “Chop” and “Dinosaur and Robot Stop a Train,” how would you describe your style? And how do you come up with this stuff?

BM: “My wife said it best when she said ‘you blend kitsch and resonance.’ I like dinosaurs and jetpacks and tiki gods; I like all these kinds of novelty things, but I like for them to serve a purpose, to serve the message of the play. I write the stuff I want to see, because nobody is writing the stuff I want to see. The Dallas theater community is pretty big, and there’s enough room in it to do [what you want to do].”

SLM: Any other influences besides your own imagination?

BM: “[Daniel Quinn] who wrote the book “Ishmael” and wrote another book called [“Beyond Civilization”], and he has this theory of tribes in it, in that we as a civilization mucked everything up and if we still lived tribally, we would be more plugged in rather than living in a hierarchy.

His writing was very influential on me because … I thought as everybody as their own tribe. Instead of traditionally in theater, where designers design, directors direct and the actors act …you could have a theater company composed of people who could do all the roles in a tribe – we could trade off if we needed to. But we’re very role driven people. It’s a collaborative art form. It’s very hard to convey, and it’s very hard to get people who don’t have to carry the baton all the way around to understand it. You are responsible for your idea.”

SLM: You write and direct on your own plays – doesn’t that keep you extremely busy?

BM: “It does, but only when I want it to. We don’t manage a space, we’re invited to play. When we’re there we pay in sweat equity. The rest of the time we’re not there, we don’t manage the space so we don’t have to keep money coming in. If we don’t have any ideas, we don’t do any theater, and if we have a lot of ideas, we do a lot of theater. The time schedule’s really organic. Most theaters don’t operate that way.”

SLM: Where all have you hosted your productions?

BM: “Bath House Cultural Center, WaterTower Theatre, Teatro Dallas, the Ochre House in Dallas, and we’ve done stuff at Starbucks, in art galleries, [and] we’ve done stuff in lobbies of apartment buildings. We do the project together, then we think, ‘Where can we do this?’ The goal itself is not to get a large enough audience as possible but to get an audience that is as interested as possible. It’s quality over quantity.”

SLM: You seem to see theater a bit differently than most. What is your theory or your plan of attack when it comes to producing good stage productions?

BM: “Small-in-scale theater is one of those things that often gets a bad rap, because it’s considered amateur. I’m trying to do high-quality professional theater that doesn’t cost much. It’s not a stepping stone to get to something bigger, the goal is the small. The good thing is nowadays in order to run a theater all you need is a laptop. We’ve streamlined it so that all we need is a dufflebag.”

SLM: How has the feedback been so far?

BM: “The shows have been well-received, and I’m at a point in my career where I can put my name on everything. I’m kind of now in the middle days of my playwriting, so I’ve gone through the [preliminary work] that was needed. There’s no apology. Now I invite everyone I know to come see everything I do.”

For more information about Brad McEntire, visit bradmcentire.com.

For more arts and entertainment news, follow @KelleyChambers7 on Twitter.

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