Fort Worth — Playwright and actress Kate Hamill, who has become one of the biggest names on the national theater scene thanks to her clever adaptations of, and performances in, titles by Austen, Thackeray and other classic writers, is making her local onstage debut in 2018 in the first show of Amphibian Stage Productions' new adaptation of Cyrano. The play, based on the Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, is adapted by Hamill's life partner Jason O'Connell and Phibs favorite Brenda Withers. O'Connell will also direct.
Hamill will play Roxanne to the Cryano of John-Michael Marrs, who played Darcy in WaterTower Theatre's October production of Pride and Prejudice, which was adapted by Hamill.
Read our interview with Hamill when Pride and Prejudice opened.
Below is the complete news release about the production.
Amphibian Stage Productions (Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director; Linsey Retcofsky, Managing Director), the contemporary theater cultural explorers call home, announced the cast for the world premiere of Cyrano, the first play in Amphibian’s bold five-production 2018 season.
Cyrano, adapted by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers from the classic masterpiece Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, features Kate Hamill, best known for her work adapting and performing Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Vanity Fair. Cyrano is directed by Jason O’Connell. Also performing in this inventive five-actor version of Rostand’s most famous work are Greg Holt (DeGuiche and others), John-Michael Marrs (Cyrano and others), Anastasia Muñoz (LeBret and others) and Mitchell Stephens (Christian and others). (For recent press on Ms. Hamill, please jump to end of this release).
Written in 1897, Cyrano de Bergerac is one of the most translated, adapted, and produced plays around the world. On film, the role of Cyrano has been played most famously by José Ferrer, Toshiru Mifune, Steve Martin, and Gerard Depardieu in various adaptations and translations.
“I am honored and thrilled that acclaimed playwrights Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers are part of Amphibian’s 2018 season with this charming adaptation of one of my favorite plays,” said Artistic Director, Kathleen Culebro. “Add the amazing Kate Hamill--along with our brilliant local actors Greg Holt, John Michael Marrs, Anastasia Muñoz, and Mitchell Stephens--to this mix and I believe we have a sure-fire recipe for great theatre. Because they are required to play multiple roles of all genders, types and ages, cast members were selected for their versatility, bold character choices, and exceptional ability to make complex language come to life. The result is a fast-paced romp that is also funny, touching and timeless.”
Other plays by Brenda Withers produced at Amphibian are Matt & Ben (co-authored with Mindy Kaling), The Ding Dongs or What is the Penalty in Portugal, The Quixotic Days and Errant Nights of the Knight Errant Don Quixote (world premiere), and Northside Hollow (co-authored with Jonathan Fielding). Greg Holt has been seen on the Phib stage in Time Stands Still, Isaac’s Eye and A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney; John Michael Marrs played C.S. Lewis in Amphibian’s production of Freud’s Last Session; Anastasia Muñoz appeared as Sofia in Smart Pretty Funny (world premiere); and Mitchell Stephens was seen in the company’s 2015 world premiere adaptation of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.
About the Play:
Who wins the battle of beauty versus brains? Cyrano is a swordsman, philosopher, poet and raconteur—everything that the love of his life, Roxane, would want. There’s just one problem: his nose is colossal, which makes Cyrano ugly and, therefore (he believes) unworthy of her affection. Enter Christian, a tongue-tied, yet handsome, young cadet. Surely together they can win Roxane’s heart.
Cyrano opens Friday, February 9 and will play through Sunday, March 4 in Amphibian Stage Productions’ Milburn Theatre. Tickets on February 9 include pre- and post-show champagne receptions and are $100 each. Devonian Society Members are admitted free of charge. Tickets on February 10 include a post-show reception and are $50 each. Devonian Society, Crocodile and Lizard level members are admitted free of charge. All other tickets are $33, with discounts available for veterans, seniors, teachers, and students. Group discounts are also available for parties of ten or more. For tickets and more information, patrons may visit amphibianstage.com, call 817-923-3012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The theater is located at 120 S. Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76104.
Kate Hamill (Roxane and as cast) is an actor/playwright. Select work: her play Sense & Sensibility with Bedlam (in which she originated the role of Marianne) - Winner, Off-Broadway Alliance Award; Nominee, Drama League Award; 265+ performances off-Broadway; Vanity Fair with the Pearl (originated role of Becky Sharp; Nominee, Off-Broadway Alliance Award); Pride & Prejudice (originated role of Lizzy; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Primary Stages). Additional credits include Seagull(Bedlam) Internet Famous (Youngblood), Marsupial Girl (Pearl Damour). http://www.kate-hamill.com
Greg Holt (De Guiche and as cast) is very happy to be returning to Amphibian Stage Productions. Amphibian audiences may remember his work as Robert Hooke in Isaac’s Eye, Richard in Time Stands Still, and Walt Disney in A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney. Other Dallas/Fort Worth credits includes Tierney in The Birds for Theatre Three, Antonio in The Tempest at Shakespeare Dallas, Ferris Layman in The Diviners at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, and William Gillette in The Game’s Afoot for WaterTower Theatre. He has also performed many times in Austin playing such roles as Macbeth in Macbeth, the Duke in Measure for Measure at Mary Moody Northen Theatre, and Georg in She Loves Me with Live Oak Theatre, for which he won the Austin Critics Table Award.
John Michael Marrs (Cyrano and as cast) was last seen at Amphibian as C.S. Lewis in Freud’s Last Session. Other DFW credits include Water Tower Theatre (Pride and Prejudice; The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord; One Man, Two Guvnors; and The Explorers Club (a coproduction with Stage West Theatre). New York/Off-Broadway credits include New York Classical Theatre and Ohio Theatre, as well as readings and workshops with the Public Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and New World Stages. Regional credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C., (Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra); the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (The Liar, The Taming of the Shrew, The Colorado New Play Summit); Pioneer Theatre Company (Dracula); and two seasons with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film and voiceover credits include The Mystery of Matter for PBS and the Kennedy Center’s Vital Voices' Fatema Akbari Tribute. John-Michael has trained and devised work with SITI Company is a graduate of the University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Baylor University.
Anastasia Muñoz (Le Bret and as cast) is honored to return to the Amphibian stage after playing Sophia in Smart Pretty Funny. She is a native to DFW and was most recently seen as Henrietta Leavitt in Silent Sky at Watertower Theatre, Brutus in Julius Caesar with Shakespeare in the Bar, and Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer with Shakespeare Dallas. She has also worked with Stage West, Dallas Theater Center, Casa Mañana, Undermain Theater, Theatre 3, Dallas Children’s Theater, Ochre House and the Drama Club. She is a voice actor with FUNimation Entertainment. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Arts Mission Oak Cliff, an artist co-working and education center in west Dallas that encourages a vibrant community through creativity.
Mitchell Stephens (Christian and as cast) is a DFW actor, fight choreographer and director. Recent credits include Prism Movement Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, WaterTower Theatre, UnderMain Theatre and Stage West, and he has had a long-standing relationship with the Trinity Shakespeare Festival. Mitchell is always excited to work with Amphibian and is a proud graduate of TCU as well. This past summer, Mitchell completed the Acrobat of the Heart Actor Training Program under the legendary Stephen Wangh.
Jason O’Connell (Director and Playwright) is a NYC-based director, writer, and actor whose directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Texas Shakespeare Festival), An Ideal Husband (Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, NYC), Dances With Pitchforks (Joe’s Pub and Upright Citizen’s Brigade, NYC), and small-cast, all-female productions of both Midsummer and Hamlet. Jason is the writer and performer of several solo shows, including The Dork Knight and Fat and Scant of Breath. As an actor, Jason’s Off-Broadway credits include Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice at Primary Stages, Bottom and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Pearl, Trigorin in The Seagull for Bedlam, and Edward Ferrars/Robert Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility at the Gym at Judson.
Brenda Withers (Playwright) is a playwright, actor, and founding member of the Harbor Stage Company. She has previously worked with Amphibian Stage Productions as an actor in Not Medea and as a script developer for The Quixotic Days and Errant Nights of the Knight Errant Don Quixote and The Ding Dongs. Brenda’s other plays includeMatt & Ben, The Kritik, and String Around My Finger, which was recently awarded Portland Stage's Clauder Prize. Onstage she has appeared in venues such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, PS122, Geva Theatre Center, McCarter Theatre, and Folger Theatre. Brenda studied drama and religion at Dartmouth College and has enjoyed playwriting residencies with New Georges and the Camargo Foundation.
About Amphibian Stage Productions
Amphibian Stage Productions is a non-profit theatre company founded in 2000 by three alumni of TCU's Department of Theatre that strives to produce innovative and engaging theatre that inspires new ideas, opens new doors, and increases our understanding of the vast world around us. About to begin its nineteenth season, Amphibian has produced numerous groundbreaking plays (some regional premieres, others U.S. or world premieres) that foster a deeper understanding of ourselves as members of the global community. The company is widely recognized for its stylistically and thematically varied scripts. Committed to nurturing young and diverse audiences, Amphibian has developed a dynamic outreach project, Tad-Poles, with weekly stilt-dancing classes held at their theatre in the Near Southside of Fort Worth. Amphibian also offers discounts on tickets for veterans, students, teachers, and seniors.
Amphibian is generously funded by the American Theatre Wing, Amon G. Carter Foundation, Ann L. and Carol Greene Rhodes Charitable Trust, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Dramatists Guild Fund, Fifth Avenue Foundation, Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund, Mary Potishman Lard Trust, Pangburn Foundation, Thomas M., Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Smallwood Foundation, Southwest Bank, Texas Commission on the Arts, Wells Fargo Bank, William E. Scott Foundation, and the Devonian Society, a group of Amphibian’s devoted donors who are proud to be the force behind nurturing the next generation of artists and audiences.
Selected recent press about Kate Hamill: