Texas in Paris is a musical written and directed by two School of Arts and Humanities alumni: Alan Govenar, who wrote the script, and Akin Babatunde, who directed the show. A production of the show ran at the Eisemann Center from Nov. 16 through Nov. 19, 2017. The lead actress, Tony award winner Lillias White, was nominated for the “Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical” in 2015 for her performance and the musical has also received nationwide accolades from publications like the New York Times and the Huffington Post.
The musical is based on true events and features two characters: a white former rodeo cowboy named John Burrus (Scott Wakefield) and a black South Dallas widow named Osceola Mays (Lillias White). The two strangers travel to France to perform in a concert series and struggle to get past their preconceptions of each other.
Alan Govenar is a writer, photographer and film maker who has his Ph.D. in Humanities from UT Dallas (May of 1984). Akin Babatunde (Calvin Royall) is an actor, director and writer who was a UT Dallas lecturer and has his Master of Arts degree in Humanities – Aesthetic Studies from UT Dallas (May of 2008). The pair have also collaborated on a previous musical titled Blind Lemon Blues that received awards and critical acclaim.