Lyric Stage was founded in 1993 by Steven Jones. The lack of a locally produced, professional musical theater in Dallas County spurred Jones to establish Lyric Stage.
Focusing on its mission of developing the American musical, Lyric Stage produced its first world premiere, After the Fair, in 1997. The New York production of After the Fair was nominated for Best Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics Circle. In its first twenty-three seasons, Lyric Stage has produced 20 world premiere musicals.
In its effort to preserve the American Musical, Lyric Stage has produced classic musicals featuring full orchestras playing the original Broadway orchestrations. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Lyric Stage a grant of $30,000 to help cover the cost of a 40 piece orchestra for its production of CAROUSEL in September 2007. This production was the first since the original 1945 Broadway production to have a full 40 piece orchestra playing Don Walker’s original orchestrations. According to The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Lyric Stage’s production of CAROUSEL received the greatest set of notices of any production in CAROUSEL history, including the original Broadway production.
The success of CAROUSEL led The R & H Organization to ask Lyric Stage to produce the world premiere of the newly restored THE KING AND I. Ted Chapin, President and Executive Director of The R & H Organization and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Theatre Wing declared, “This is the way The King and I should always be produced. Lyric Stage should be extremely proud.” In January of 2010, Lyric Stage presented the original 1927 SHOW BOAT in concert featuring material that had never before been heard. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization opened the archives to Lyric Stage to recreate Oscar Hammerstein’s original libretto and Robert Russell Bennett’s original orchestrations. The production featured a 69 person cast and a 40 member orchestra. In 2011, Lyric Stage completed a full restoration of the original Broadway score of GYPSY. Lyric Stage’s production of GYPSY was the first since the 1959 original Broadway production to be performed with a full, 39 piece orchestra playing Sid Ramin and Robert Ginzler’s original orchestrations. Music director Jay Dias worked with the Jule Styne estate to restore GYPSY to its full 1959 sound. Lyric Stage’s production formed the basis for the Jule Styne estate’s work on the critical edition of the score.
In June of 2015, Grammy-nominated record label PS Classics released a commercial recording of Lyric Stage’s production of THE GOLDEN APPLE. This is the only complete recording of this critically acclaimed musical. Pulitzer Prize winning critic Lloyd Schwartz of NPR’s Fresh Air calls Lyric Stage’s THE GOLDEN APPLE a “game-changing new recording.” Opera News named it one of the ten best recordings of 2015.
In its 2016-17 season, Lyric Stage produced its 20th and 21st world premiere musicals including Larry Gatlin’s QUANAH starring Grammy Award winning artists David Phelps, of which the subsequent cast recording was released.
Having served as Associate Producer since 2014, Shane Peterman assumed the position of Producer in 2017 for the 25th anniversary season.