Arts & Letters Live

Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. The series is recognized for its creative multidisciplinary programming—combining literature with visual arts, music, and film—and for commissioning new work from musicians, dancers, and poets, inspired by works of art in the Museum's collection and special exhibitions. The series is celebrating its 29th season in 2020.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 1/24/20

Roz Chast & Patricia Marx

Saturday, January 25, 7:30 p.m.

You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples, by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast and writer Patricia Marx, is an illustrated collection of love and relationship advice that will make you laugh, remind you why your relationship is better than everyone else’s, and solve all your problems. Chast’s illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Marx is a former writer for Saturday Night Live whose work has appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times


Selected Shorts

Saturday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.

Promotional Partner: KERA

As one of the premier reading series in New York City, Selected Shorts comes to the DMA with an evening of O. Henry Prize–winning stories. The prestigious anthology recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and continues to publish short stories by a mix of celebrated names and new, emerging voices. A selection of award-winning stories—“Midrash on Happiness” by Grace Paley, “Nayla” by Youmna Chlala, “A Permanent Member of the Family” by Russell Banks, and “Oh Shenandoah” by Maura Stanton—will be brought to life on stage through readings by acclaimed actors.


The Legacy of Little Women

Monday, February 3, 7:30 p.m.

In partnership with Dallas Theater Center 

Enjoy a sneak peek of performance highlights from the Dallas Theater Center’s Little Women before it opens to the public, as well as an in-depth discussion about the play, the iconic novel, its influence, and its legacy. Sarahbeth Grossman (Artistic Producer, DTC) will moderate a conversation with Anne Boyd Rioux (author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters) and the director of the DTC production Sarah Rasmussen, who commissioned the play from award-winning playwright Kate Hamill in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the classic novel.


Letters Aloud

Monday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, but with a new themed performance for Dallas audiences, Letters Aloud presents real letters by real people, read by great actors in a two-hour performance. Love Me or Leave Me features letters of loving, longing, and leaving. From awkward courtship to horrible breakups to loves of a lifetime and lifetimes of love, Letters Aloud has it all in missives that range from steamy to sweet from the likes of Mark Twain, Frida Kahlo, Charles Bukowski, George Carlin, Virginia Woolf, Napoleon Bonaparte, and a nice kid who grew up to be Slash. “Reality TV’s got nothing on us!”


Tembi Locke

Tuesday, February 18, 7:30 p.m.

In conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA 

Tembi Locke is a Hollywood actor, TEDx speaker on resilience, advocate, and New York Times bestselling author of From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick and is being adapted into a Netflix series, directed by Witherspoon. Author Laila Lalami praises it as “a marvelous memoir about taking chances, finding love, and building a home away from home. In From Scratch, Tembi Locke writes movingly about loss, grief, and the healing miracle of food.” The book includes 16 recipes from Locke’s summers in Sicily. 


Texas Bound

Monday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.
Compelling stories and passionate acting, all literally from the heart of Texas.”
Southern Living   
Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Allison Tolman of Fargo and Emergence will read “Museum” by Naomi Shihab Nye and “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane” by Jenny Lawson. Christie Vela, Associate Director of Theatre Three and a Kitchen Dog Theater company member, will read “Puro Amor” by Sandra Cisneros. Ruben Carrazana, acclaimed actor, director, and writer, will read “Art of Translation” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Directed by Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director, Kitchen Dog Theater.

Moveable Feast Book Club: Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

Friday, February 28, 11:45 a.m.

Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom as you enjoy the opportunity to delve more deeply into Anne Boyd Rioux’s examination of the enduring legacy of Little Women in her book Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. The conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Randi Tanglen, Associate Professor of English, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching at Austin College. Please note that this is a book discussion, not an author event.


Louise Erdrich

Sunday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.

In The Night Watchman, a new novel based on the extraordinary life of her grandfather, National Book Award–winning author Louise Erdrich explores themes of love and death with gravity, depth of feeling, sly humor, and elegant prose. Thomas Wazhashk is the factory night watchman who carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, DC. Fellow Chippewa and plant worker Pixie Paranteau is saving every penny to support her mother and brother; she makes the fateful trip to Minnesota to search for her sister, Vera, who has disappeared. Erdrich’s memorable characters grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature.


Anne Enright

Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 p.m.

From Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright comes the brilliant and moving novel Actress, a story of  celebrity, sexual power, and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths. Katherine O’Dell is an Irish theater legend. As her daughter Norah retraces her mother’s celebrated career and bohemian life, she delves into long-kept secrets—both her mother’s and her own. When her mother commits a bizarre crime as a result of her slipping grip on reality, Norah comes to understand the destructive love that binds an actress to her audience.


Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.

Written with grace and understanding and based on more than 20 in-depth interviews and stories, as well as personal reflections from Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt herself, The Gift of Forgiveness is about one of the most difficult challenges in life—learning to forgive. The book features experiences from those well known and unknown, including Elizabeth Smart, who learned to forgive her captors; Sue Klebold, whose son Dylan was one of the Columbine shooters, learning empathy and how to forgive herself; and Schwarzenegger Pratt’s challenges and path to forgiveness in her own life.