penny candy

Actors Esau Price and Leon Addison Brown appear in the Dallas Theater Center’s ‘penny candy,’ which was written by playwright-in-residence Jonathan Norton and is set in Pleasant Grove (Photos by Ace Anderson/Courtesy Dallas Theater Center).

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.

Jonathan Norton

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…)


Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

For this week’s School Plus House, we head to Henry Gonzalez Elementary School in Pleasant Grove, which has earned a whole slate of accolades in the past few years, and was recently featured as one of Dallas ISD’s Best Schools.

The school offers more than 20 extracurricular activities, including Chinese (seriously, Chinese). Next year, they’ll become an innovation academy and personalized learning school.

Last year, Gonzalez Elementary earned an A in the state A-F ratings and four distinctions from the TEA last year. It also earned the North Texas Gold Ribbon School award last year, too, as well the Dallas ISD Breakthrough Campus award.



Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

Nearly every week, a missive (or three) hits our inbox asking for recommendations on neighborhoods with the best schools. This week, we’re going to tell you about Dorsey Elementary in Pleasant Grove, which was recently featured in Dallas ISD’s weekly Best Schools video series.

Last week, we checked out a listing zoned for Cowart Elementary in Oak Cliff — and while STAAR testing likely precluded a new video for this week, we just hit the rewind button a bit to snag the video for Dorsey. (more…)