The Dallas Theater Center is a major regional theater in Dallas, Texas, United States. It produces classic, contemporary and new plays and is the 2017 Tony Award recipient for Best Regional Theater. Dallas Theater Center produces its original works at the Kalita Humphreys Theater (in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, and the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.
Founded in 1959, Dallas Theater Center was one of the first regional theaters in the United States and was marked by the building of the Kalita Humphreys Theater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Dallas Theater Center was founded primarily as an educational institution under the leadership of Paul Baker, who envisioned DTC as a conservatory with a well-rounded resident company of writers, directors, designers, and actors. During Baker's tenure, Dallas Theater Center became one of the nation's leading producers of experimental interpretations of classics and world premieres, with 35 plays premiering on the Kalita Humphreys Theater stage during his time, including The Latent Heterosexual, Shadow of an Eagle, Blood Money, and Preston Jones' A Texas Trilogy.
In 1982 as Baker transitioned out of Dallas Theater Center, Mary Sue Jones, his longtime creative partner, served as Interim Artistic Director. The sole female to hold this position, Jones took the reins for one year during the search for Baker's permanent replacement. With the arrival of Adrian Hall in 1983, Dallas Theater Center was transformed into a fully professional theater with a resident company of actors. During this time, Dallas Theater Center built the Arts District Theater, a dynamic, flexible space in downtown Dallas designed by scenic designer Eugene Lee (the space was closed in 2005 in preparation for construction of the Wyly Theatre). With access to three separate performance spaces (the basement of the Kalita Humphreys was also used as a theater), Hall produced an eclectic array of work ranging from classics to world premieres, such as his adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. During Hall's tenure, Dallas Theater Center also began its annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Adrian Hall's tenure at Dallas Theater Center was followed by the leadership of Ken Bryant, who joined Dallas Theater Center in 1984 as a stage manager. Bryant died in 1990 before completing his first full season as artistic director. Following a series of guest directors, Richard Hamburger joined Dallas Theater Center as artistic director in 1992. Hamburger's 15-year tenure saw the introduction of The Big D Festival of the Unexpected and the new works series, FRESH INK/Forward Motion. Under Hamburger's leadership, Dallas Theater Center's educational outreach flagship program, Project Discovery, celebrated its 20th consecutive season in 2006–2007. More than 200,000 middle and high school students from across North Texas have attended mainstage productions at Dallas Theater Center through this program. Hamburger was named Dallas Theater Center's first Artistic Director Emeritus in 2007.
In September 2007, Kevin Moriarty joined Dallas Theater Center as the organization's sixth artistic director. In the fall of 2009, Dallas Theater Center created the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company. In 2017, DTC was awarded the Regional Theatre Tony Award.