Addison — The new season for WaterTower Theatre has been announced, and it's one of the group's more interesting mixes in years. The big news is the second subscription show, Nell Benjamin's off-Broadway critical hit The Explorer's Club, which is a co-production with Stage West in Fort Worth. This is noteworthy because it marks another step forward in the growing trend of theaters on either side of the Trinity River working together.
Both theaters have played with this idea before; Stage West did a co-pro with Dallas' Soul Rep Theatre Company in the early 2000s, and WaterTower Theatre imported Stage West's production of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins for a second hit run in 2013. Currently, WaterTower is hosting another Cowtown theater, with Circle Theatre's January production of Venus in Fur. Stage West also recently imported Theatre Three's production of Avenue Q. And a few years ago, Casa Mañana and Dallas Theater Center collaborated on To Kill a Mockingbird.
WaterTower Artistic Director Terry Martin says it's an idea that's been brewing for awhile and, for him, began when WTT co-produced Steven Dietz's Shooting Star with the Adirondack Theatre Festival in uptstate New York a few years ago.
"[Actors] Diana Sheehan and James Crawford went up there, and took just costumes and props, but we were able to share costs of rehearsals, director, lighting and sound designer and some other stuff, so it really did save us some money even though we were shipping the show so far away," Martin says.
"Then last summer when we did Red Hot Patriot, it was clear that my perception that there was an overlap of audiences between Fort worth and Dallas really were not to the extent that I thought they were," he adds.
So he and Stage West's Dana Schultes and Jerry Russell started throwing out ideas. When Russell unexpectedly died last year, Jim Covault stepped in and the conversation continued. They bounced around scripts that both theaters would likely produce on their own seasons, and The Explorer's Club, which played off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in summer 2013, was the obvious choice. The comedy is about a Victorian club of adventurers in London that undergoes turmoil when the president wants to admit a woman.
The show begins at Stage West as the holiday production in December, and then moves to WaterTower in January 2015. Because WaterTower has a larger Small Professional Theatre Equity contract than Stage West, when the actors move to Addison, they'll get a pay raise.
"It is perfect because we had a preliminary contract template and an understanding of how to put budgets together to make it work for both us," Martin says.
Also big news on WaterTower's season is Manicures & Monuments by Dallas playwright Vicki Caroline Cheatwood. The show was done in Dallas in a small production more than 10 years ago, but has been rewritten for this production.
Kicking off WTT's season is the regional premiere of the musical Bonnie & Clyde, a Frank Wildhorn musical that had a short run on Broadway in 2012, in which Michael Jenkins of Dallas Summer Musicals was a producer. The season also has a revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, the musical Sweet Charity, The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical and the return of the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival.
Here's the complete line-up, followed by subscription and ticket information:
THE 2014-2015 SEASON:
BONNIE & CLYDE
Book by Ivan Menchell
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Sponsored by American Bank of Commerce, The Pinnacle Family of Companies, WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors.
This new musical blends the music of Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel) with the electrifying love story of two of Texas’ most famed outlaws. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were two dreamers that found their way into violent circumstances. Their adventurous story captured the attention of an entire nation!
Stuck in a dead-end job in depression era Texas, young Bonnie Parker falls for charismatic Clyde Barrow. Fearless, shameless, and alluring, their electrifying story of love, adventure, and crime captured the excited attention of an entire country. As their fame, notoriety — and body count — rise; the ill-fated lovers find themselves racing toward an inevitable end.
Recommended for mature audiences
WaterTower Theatre in collaboration with Stage West present
THE EXLORERS CLUB
By Nell Benjamin
Sponsored by Liberty Capital Bank, Million Air Dallas.
It’s London, 1879, and The Explorers Club is in crisis: a woman is campaigning for admittance; a savage has slapped Her Majesty, inciting a war; the Irish are probably Jewish and a beloved pet snake has swallowed a guinea pig. When an angry English Guard surrounds the club, what’s a gentleman explorer to do? Sit back and enjoy a brandy and cigar, naturally. This is the preposterous premise of Nell Benjamin’s madcap comedy that will have you bending over with laughter!
ALL MY SONS
By Arthur Miller
Sponsored by Atmos Energy.
Set in post-World War II, Arthur Miller’s landmark drama examines the relationships between fathers and sons and the price of living the American Dream. An explosive secret threatens to tear the family apart in this powerful play about the conflict between business ethics and taking responsibility for one’s actions.
Winner of the first Tony Award and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play, All My Sons established Miller as a leading voice in the American theatre. Based on a true story.
MANICURES & MONUMENTS
By Vicki Caroline Cheatwood
Sponsored by TACA, The President’s Circle.
Local playwright Vicki Caroline Cheatwood brings us Manicures & Monuments, the hilarious and heartwarming tale of the residents of an Oklahoma nursing home and the young manicurist-in-training, Janann, who comes to volunteer. Janann soon clashes with former Army nurse Bailey, one of the elderly residents. Tempers flare as the two women collide in their struggle to understand each other, but eventually discover the true meaning of what it means to care for someone.
Book by Neil Simon
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Based on an original screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Plaiano
Produced for the Broadway Stage by Fryer, Carr and Harris
Conceived, Staged and Choreographed by Bob Fosse
Sponsored by Women of WaterTower Theatre
Charity Hope Valentine despite her job as a dancer at the seedy Fan-Dango Ballroom, is an eternal optimist who loves too much. She just happens to be the unluckiest romantic in New York City! The musical Sweet Charity is a warm, touching and humorous look at her trials and tribulations, as she repeatedly gives her heart, and her savings, to the wrong man. Adapted from Nights of Cabiria, a film by Federico Fellini, the musical Sweet Charity includes hits such as “Hey, Big Spender,” “Rhythm of Life,” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.”
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL
Music & Lyrics by David Nehls
Book by Betsy Kelso
Those crazy characters from Armadillo Acres, North Florida’s premier mobile living community, are back this holiday season! Everyone's filled with warmth and beer, but when a freak bout of amnesia strikes Darlene, the trailer park Scrooge, neighborly love is put to the test. Be on hand as Betty, Lin and Pickles jingle all the way with some new neighbors in an all-new, all-trailer-park holiday extravaganza. The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is the sequel to the smash hit original The Great American Trailer Park Musical which WaterTower Theatre audiences remember well!
Contains adult language and content
OUT OF THE LOOP FRINGE FESTIVAL
March 5 -15, 2015
Sponsored by The Town of Addison and The Texas Commission on the Arts.
Media sponsors: TheaterJones and the Dallas Observer
Over the past 14 years, WaterTower Theatre has hosted more than 100 artists and companies in its nationally acclaimed 10-day fringe festival of music, dance and theatre. Now recognized as one of the most important fringe festivals in the country, the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival has been instrumental in providing a forum for new works, new artists and emerging voices in the arts.
WaterTower Theatre offers a host subscription options, in addition to the standard five-play, full series subscription (Bonnie and Clyde, The Explorers Club, All My Sons, Manicures & Monuments, Sweet Charity) offers the best seating and greatest discounts over individual tickets. Subscribers will be able to order individual tickets to The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical or a Loop Pass when they renew their subscription or order a new subscription. Continuing again next season are a number of fairly new series designed to enhance the theatre-goers experience:
Enhanced Theatre Experience Series:
Conversation with the Artists: a five-play series on all Wednesday nights and Sunday matinees that includes a post-show discussion with the actors.
Sampler Series: an introduction to theatre, three-play package that includes Bonnie and Clyde, The Explorers, Sweet Charity.
Design Your Own Series: this series provides the most flexibility of all of WaterTower Theatre’s subscription packages. Patrons can choose their own plays and dates creating a series specifically designed for their needs.
Student Subscription Series:
- A student subscription series will be offered, including a special student Design Your Own Series.
- Men and women in uniform: fire, police, EMTs, veterans, current members of the armed forces and their immediate families will be offered a special subscription of 50% off any five-play subscription package (excluding DYO, special affinity programs, special miniseries).
Bonnie & Clyde
October 10 – November 2, 2014
Previews: Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 11
Pay What You Can: Sunday, Oct. 12
Opening Night: Monday, Oct. 13
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical
December 5, 2014 – January 4, 2015.
Opening Night: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
The Explorers Club
January 16 – February 8, 2015
Previews: Friday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 17
Pay What You Can: Sunday, Jan. 18
Opening Night: Monday, Jan. 19
14th Out of the Loop Fringe Festival
March 5 – 15, 2015
All My Sons
April 17 – May 10, 2015
Previews: Friday, Apr. 17 and Saturday, April 18
Pay What You Can: Sunday, Apr. 19
Opening Night: Monday, Apr. 20
Manicures & Monuments
June 5 – 28, 2015
Previews: Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6
Pay What You Can: Sunday, June 7
Opening Night: Monday, June 8
July 24 – August 16, 2015
Previews: Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25
Pay What You Can: Sunday, July 26
Opening Night: Monday, July 27
2014-2015 Season Ticket Prices:
Five-play season subscriptions range in price from $75 (Previews) to $150 (Saturday evening/Sunday matinee).
Current subscribers are able to renew their season subscriptions by mail, fax (972.450.6244) or by calling the Box Office at 972.450.6232. Online ordering for new subscriptions will be available in June.
New subscriptions are on sale now. However, seating will not be assigned until mid-July.
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical and the 2015 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival are non-subscription events.