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Hidden Gem: Find magic in your pocket at Hip Pocket Theatre

The outdoor experimental theater kicked off its 48th season with “A Twisty Intergalactic Spectacle.”

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Hip Pocket Theatre has debuted new works and presented retold classics for nearly 50 years.

Photo by FTWtoday

West on Silver Creek Road and past Brewer High School — the route to Hip Pocket Theatre might as well be “the second star to the right and straight on til morning.” The experimental, rural theater isn’t altogether unlike Peter Pan’s Neverland.

When creator Johnny Simons, costume designer Diane Simons, and composer Douglas Balentine set out from Casa Manaña in the 1970s — with only the cash in their hip pockets — their goal was to produce theater like no one had seen before. Nearly 50 years later, the founding trio’s legacy is still making magic on the shores of Lake Worth.

The small outdoor theater — in its third location at 1950 Silver Creek Rd. — is now run by Johnny and Diane Simons’ daughters Lake and Lorca, alongside a team of volunteers, who produce a mix of original compositions and classic re-tellings.

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The open-air theater allows guests to witness performance art while appreciating the natural North Texas landscape.

Photo by FTWtoday

Sharing the site with wildflowers, field mice, and birds of prey, the “always under construction” outdoor venue is composed of salvaged materials — like painted wagon wheels and rusting corrugated tin roofing — twinkly lights, and a lot of storytelling.

“This is an imagination place,” Quinten McGown, Hip Pocket’s Board of Directors treasurer, said. “We’re trying to help people maintain their imaginations at a time when everyone says we shouldn’t have one.”

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Gates open at 7:30 p.m. for live music and drinks in the BackYard.

Photo courtesy of Hip Pocket Theatre

Hip Pocket Theatre will raise the curtain on its 48th season on tonight, premiering Basil Twist’s “A Twisty Intergalactic Spectacle,” which will run through Sunday, June 2. Grab tickets for the 9 p.m. showtime. Pro tip: Pack a seat cushion and bug spray.

Don’t forget to show up early or stay after the show for live music by local artists in the BackYard picnic-style bar. Here’s a look at the rest of the season:

  • Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream "| Friday, June 14-Sunday, July 7
  • “Raft Project” | Friday, Aug. 9-Sunday, Aug. 25
  • “Big Love” | Friday, Sept. 6-Sunday, Sept. 29
  • Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” | Friday, Oct. 11-Sunday, Nov. 3

Explore other secret spots in Fort Worth with our Hidden Gem series.

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