The Pleasant Grove in playwright Jonathan Norton’s ‘penny candy’, suffice to say, is home, but fraught with the attendant turmoil of a neighborhood in transition.
Norton, who grew up in the Grove, portrays a snapshot of time in the community in his latest work, “penny candy,” which hits the stage with its world premiere as a Dallas Theater Center production at the Studio Theatre of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre beginning Wednesday, June 5.
The story was borne by the extremely capable hands of Norton, the DTC’s playwright-in-residence, whose work has been produced or developed by a whos-who of theater companies, including PlayPenn, InterAct Theatre Company, Pyramid Theatre Company, Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Castillo Theatre, Soul Rep Theater Company, African American Repertory Theater, Kitchen Dog Theater, Undermain Theatre, Theatre Three, and South Dallas Cultural Center.
His play ‘Mississippi Goddamn’ was a Finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and won the 2016 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association.
His latest work tells the story of 12-year-old Jon-Jon, who helps his father run Paw Paw’s Candy Tree out of their one-bedroom apartment in Pleasant Grove. But as the neighborhood heads towards drug-fueled violence and racial tensions, the penny candy store begins to lose business, and the family is faced with the decision to leave or stay. (more…)