Award winning writer debuting play with Spark Theater

Causey is an Ariton native who grew up with Spark Theater and is taking his passion back to his roots.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 5:46 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Though the Dothan Opera House is still working through renovations, Spark Theater Company has found a venue for one of its productions.

“When Fern Caught Fire” will be performed at the Alabama Dance Works black box theater in Dothan. The writer and director of the play, Dalton Causey, is a recipient of a Kennedy Award for Excellence in Play Writing.

Causey is an Ariton native who grew up with Spark Theater and is taking his passion back to his roots. Though Dalton Causey’s Kennedy Award has taken him to far places.

“Its also gotten me, like, other things as well,” Causey explained. “Like, I’ve been commissioned to write plays for certain theaters. I’ve written a lot of plays at school,” he added. “At the University of Alabama, we did two of my plays.”

When he writes, he has Spark Theater of Dothan in mind.

“The way I write plays is sort of as if it is going to be done at Spark anyways,” Causey said. “This play is meant to be done here and I think all of my plays can be done here.”

His writing and directing style is influenced by what he learned at Spark Theater. Making the young actors at Spark perfect for his vision.

“The first month of work that would have to be done at any other theater was already done at Spark and so we really just jumped right into the nitty gritty of everything and the picky little details,” Causey said.

Some of the characters he creates are inspired by others in his everyday life.

“I had two friends over the summer I worked at Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival,” Causey said. “And they sorta just became Avery and Moe, who are the main characters. Just the things they did, they were so weird.

Other characters are based on Causey’s own mistakes.

“I am playing Avery Thompson,” young actor, East Rush, said. “He is not a nice person. Dalton told us a lot of the characters are based off of some aspect of him at one point in his life and I was thinking about that and was just like “hhhhmmm.”

Though his Spark underclassmen look up to him, Causey doesn’t think of himself as an alumni because that implies an ending.

“This is my home, this is where I grew up and this is what made me want to do theater,” Causey said. “So, I don’t think I’ll ever really leave Spark. I’ll never, like, graduate and I don’t really consider myself and alumni.”

For this writer and director, it is best to bloom where he was planted. Causey has written five plays already and is working on more.

He just graduated in May from the University of Alabama from the College of Theatre and Dance. If you are interested in buying tickets for “When Fern Caught Fire,” click here.

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