The following ran on the Oct. 9, 2013, edition of the Dallas Observer's Mixmaster blog. Alia Tavakolian is a graduate of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.
October 11, 2013
By Lauren Smart
In the Dallas arts scene, the urgent question people are finally beginning to ask: where are the young artists? The stunning architecture of the Dallas Arts District yearns to be filled with the creation of young, hungry artists. It's why the Flora Street Lofts are being developed to bring affordable artist housing to the district. And it's why Alia Tavakolian joined forces with five other young people to start the Davis Street Collective.
"We're not necessarily trying to fill a void," Tavakolian says, over coffee at The Pearl Cup on Henderson Avenue. "There are just plays we want to produce, stories we want to tell. And we wanted to create art our way."
Tavakolian is immediately likable. Just a year out of Southern Methodist Unversity's Theatre Studies program, she seems much older when she talks about filling out the paperwork to become an LLC and eventually a 501(c)(3). In one breath, she talks about her determination to run a successful company and smiles when she admits that it might be "totally naïve."
Earlier this year, the company wet its feet with a challenging, movement-focused production of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis. Tavakolian directed the play...