Fort Worth — The 2015-'16 season at Stage West, and it's pretty killer. Most exciting is the regional premiere of Jennifer Haley's The Nether, which won both the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Francesca Primus Prize, two prestigious awards for women playwrights. (Haley is pictured on the cover.) The season opens with Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews and concludes with the buzzed about off-Broadway play Bootycandy by Robert O'Hara.
In between there will be a co-production with Texas Christian University and another with WaterTower. The former is a David Ives' adaptation of The Heir Apparent, and the latter is Michele Riml's Sexy Laundry, which WaterTower produced in its studio series in January, and is bringing back to the mainstage in November.
Speaking of Studio Series, Stage West will have its first full season on the second stage, with three shows in the 2015-16 season, including the hilarious one-man show Buyer and Cellar (seen in Dallas on tour, starring Plano native Michael Urie) and Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's Home adaptation, An Iliad.
Here is the season breakdown:
Main Stage Series:
by Joshua Harmon
October 1 – November 1
The night after their grandfather’s funeral, three cousins engage in a vicious and hilarious verbal battle over a spiritually charged heirloom and issues of family, legacy, and faith. Not the purely ethnic comedy the title suggests, Bad Jews deals with conflicts of modernity and tradition that occur in any culture.
The Heir Apparent
by Jean François Regnard
Adapted by David Ives
November 12 – December 13
Produced in association with Theatre TCU
A witty and antic adaptation which blends modern elements with the 17th century original. Eraste is desperate to marry Isabelle, but first he must secure the huge inheritance he expects from his decrepit uncle. The uncle complicates things by willing the money to distant relatives, and then decides to marry Isabelle himself. What to do? Eraste enlists the help of his wily valet, and they invent intrigues, deceits, and disguises to part the uncle from the money and the girl, and to achieve the hilariously happy ending any classic comedy deserves.
by Michele Riml
December 31 – January 31
Produced in association with WaterTower Theatre
Michele Riml’s romantic comedy comes to Stage West after being a huge hit at Watertower. Henry and Alice, married for 25-years are trying to find a way to spice up their dormant marriage with a weekend in a swanky hotel room. Alice brings a copy of ‘Sex for Dummies’ and a willingness to try new things. Henry brings only his bad attitude. They share their fantasies, exchange recriminations, and take turns confessing the details of their personal midlife crises as the play moves from comic to serious and back to comic again.
by Jennifer Haley
March 10 – April 10
A daring examination of moral responsibility in virtual worlds. In the not-too-distant future, a detective investigates a highly interactive site in which taboo acts of secret desires are blurring the boundaries of right and wrong, and of virtual and real. She finds herself in a battle of wills with a charismatic suspect and wrestles with the question, is it a crime if the blood is just bits of computer code? The clash of wills over this question leads to an outcome neither the detective nor her prey could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed and fiercely intelligent, The Nether is a gripping play for adult audiences.
Wait Until Dark
by Frederick Knott
A new adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher
May 26 – June 26
This classic American thriller pits a lone blind woman against a group of ruthless criminals. They’re hell-bent on retrieving a doll (filled with diamonds) which she, by accident, has in her apartment, and will use whatever means necessary, from deceit to force. But they’re up against a surprisingly resourceful opponent, one who knows that the only way to win is to play by her own rules.
by Robert O’Hara
August 11 – September 11
Robert O’Hara’s wildly imaginative, incendiary satire is a kaleidoscope of sketches that interconnect to portray growing up gay and African-American. With variety-show vivacity, outrageous humor, and real heart and soul, it tests how we talk about human desire and racial stereotypes at home, in church, and on the corner. Includes strong language and adult situations.
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
by Tom Mula
November 27 – December 20
A new take on the Dickens classic. Jacob Marley’s spirit is given one chance to escape his eternal chains – by redeeming Scrooge. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Scrooge’s heart is indeed opened, but not before Marley—in this irreverent, funny, and moving story—discovers his own.
Buyer & Cellar
by Jonathan Tolins
March 17- April 10
A struggling actor in L.A. takes a job working in a megastar’s Malibu basement (which is fitted out as an old-time shopping street). When the Lady herself comes down to play, it feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? An outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs.
by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare
Based on Homer’s The Iliad, translated by Robert Fagles
August 25 – September 11
The Trojan War and the modern world collide in this captivating theatrical experience. A lone storyteller – possibly Homer, possibly one of the many bards who followed in his footsteps - relates the tale he is fated to tell throughout history.
Season tickets range in price from $155 to $175 for the Main Stage and $77 to $85 for the Studio, with discounts for students, seniors, and teachers. Subscribers purchasing both packages will receive a gift certificate to the Stage West Café.
For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784-9378. Tickets will be available online at www.stagewest.org/season-tickets.