Black Dahlia

Best Small Theater, September 2005

The 30-seat Black Dahlia proves that when done well, small theater knows no limits. Since founding the Dahlia four years ago, Matt Shakman has developed a storefront showcase for new works by emerging writers and established names like Stephen Adly Guirgis. Ingeniously staged, deftly acted productions have made this one of American Theater magazine’s dozen young companies to watch. “We embrace our space,” says Shakman. “The audience has to, too. With us you can’t help but be in the world of the play because there’s no room for a fourth wall.” This season brings two premieres: Keith Josef Adkins’s Farewell Miss Cotton, in which an old man’s past and present collide, and Placement, Blair Singer’s monologue about adoption.