Addison — With the recent announcement that Terry Martin would be leaving WaterTower Theatre after 17 years for a position at the Greenhill School in Addison, the theater community has been preparing for some changes with one of North Texas’ biggest Equity houses. We already know that Gregory Patterson has been promoted to Managing Director and Kelsey Leigh Ervi to Associate Artistic Director.
But what would the 2016-’17 season, the final one selected by Martin, bring?
Before we get to that, the big news is that WaterTower’s trademark Out of the Loop Fringe Festival will not make an appearance in 2017. This has more to do with timing and transition than anything.
“With the change in leadership, and it being necessary to focus on finding a new artistic director, that time of year is going to be really key,” Martin says. “A [national] search will cost money that is not usually in our budget, so the board made a decision that this year it would be better to use that energy and focus and those dollars on finding a new artistic director. And then bring it back, if that’s what the new artistic director wants.”
As for the season, it follows in WaterTower’s tradition of five subscription shows on the mainstage season, plus a holiday show. A second stage Discover series has not been announced.
The five mainstage shows include four regional premieres of a musical and three plays; plus a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George (July 28 – August 20, 2017). Under Terry Martin, WaterTower has previously done Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company and the revue Putting It Together. (Interestingly, WTT's Sunday in the Park will come on the heels of Theatre Three's revival of Sondheim's A Little Night Music.)
The season opens with the regional premiere of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (October 7 - 30, 2016), which Martin describes as a revue similar to Ain’t Misbehavin’. Following that is the regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s play Silent Sky (January 20 – February 12, 2017), a new play by Lauren Gunderson; the regional premiere of Scott Carter's The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (April 14 – May 7, 2017); and the regional premiere of Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens (June 2 - 25, 2017).
There will also be a season extra of the holiday show Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold (December 2 - 23, 2016) by Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris.
Since we’re keeping tabs on parity of gender and persons of color in playwriting with the major theaters’ season, of the five mainstage shows, that’s two by women, one of which is Latina (Zacarías). The holiday special adds in two more women.
Below is the complete news release with descriptions, dates and subscription info:
Addison (TX) –Terry Martin, WaterTower Theatre Producing Artistic Director, today announced details of the Company’s 2016-2017 20th Anniversary Main Stage Season. The 5-show subscription season, planned by Martin, includes five Regional Premieres. Highlights of the season include a Stephen Sondheim classic, a musical tribute to American music legend Johnny Cash, two plays by leading female playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Karen Zacarías, plus a holiday extra.
"I have had the privilege and honor to call this theatre my artistic home for 17 glorious years," said Martin. "My heart is full of pride with all that we have accomplished. I am thrilled to leave the community with a 20th Anniversary season that I feel is a wonderful representation of what WaterTower Theatre has always been about — true celebration of the art of theatre."
"Over the past 17 years, I've had the enormous pleasure of producing more than 150 plays (and directing over 60 myself) casting hundreds of some of the most talented actors, designers, directors and working with the hardest working production crew and administrative staff one person could ever be blessed with," continued Martin.
"I'm proud of our 2016-2017 Season," continued Martin. "It exemplifies everything that I've tried to create here at WaterTower Theatre: plays that tell all sorts of different stories and celebrate who we are as a human race."
The season opens with the Regional Premiere of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (October 7 - 30, 2016), created by Richard Maltby Jr., conceived by William Meade with orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby, Ring of Fire pays tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash, and his iconic music. The season continues with the Regional Premiere of Silent Sky (January 20 – February 12, 2017), a new play by Lauren Gunderson, which tells the story of Henrietta Leavitt, a brilliant and headstrong pioneer at the dawn of modern astronomy. Following is the Regional Premiere of The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (April 14 – May 7, 2017) byScott Carter (Executive Producer of ). This whip-smart comedy examines what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it. Up next is a new comedy by Karen Zacarías, one of the country's leading Latina playwrights, the Regional Premier of Native Gardens (June 2 - 25, 2017). The final production will be Stephen Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George (July 28 – August 20, 2017).
The 5-show subscription package can be enhanced with the addition of the hilarious holiday extra, Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold (December 2 - 23, 2016) by Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris.
Directors for each production will be announced at a later date. All productions will be staged at the Addison Theatre Centre at 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas 75001.
In general, there will be no price increase in single tickets for the 2016-2017 five Canterbury Family Main Stage productions; however, some price adjustments have been made to better align the consistency of ticket prices: the Sunday matinee price has been lowered and the Saturday matinee price has been raised to match the weekday (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) price of $30. The five-play season subscriptions range in price from $75 (Previews) to $150 (Saturday evening). The renewal deadline for current subscribers to keep their same seats is July 22. Subscribers who renew by June 26 will have a chance to win a $50 Gift Card to nearby restaurant and local favorite Antonio Ristorante.
WaterTower Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of our Season Sponsors including The Town of Addison, TACA, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Shubert Foundation, The Canterbury Family, Don and Barbara Daseke, Janice and Jimmy Niemann. Production Sponsors for the 2016-2017 Season include, Barbara and Bob Bigham: Baylor Oral Health Foundation, Pinnacle, Relax The Back, Million Air Dallas, FastSigns Carrollton, The Corporate Council, Women of WaterTower Theatre, and The WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors.
THE 2016-2017 SEASON:
Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash
October 7 - 30, 2016
Created by Richard Maltby Jr., Conceived by William Meade, Orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby
This unique musical explores love, faith, success, and struggle, using the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash. Featuring his most memorable songs, a company of five actor/musicians celebrate the life of “the Man in Black” with his trademark strength, humor, and honesty. Perennial hits such as “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Ring of Fire,” and “I Walk The Line" combine to show the journey of every man and woman’s walk between hope and despair, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash is an experience sure to lift your heart and stir your soul.
January 20 - February 12, 2017
A new play by Lauren Gunderson
Sponsored, in part, by Atmos Energy
This new play by Lauren Gunderson blends humor and romance in a riveting exploration of the life and career of celebrated astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921), who fearlessly asserted herself in the male-driven, turn-of-the-century world of science and academia. A true story of discovery, Silent Sky invites us to join Leavitt and the real women "computers" working at the dawn of modern astronomy as they explore the magic of the universe in what is an historic journey of love, science and determination.
The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
April 14 - May 7, 2017
June 2 - 25, 2017
A new comedy by Karen Zacarías
Gardens and cultures clash, turning friendly neighbors into feuding enemies in this funny Regional Premiere, written by Karen Zacharias, one of the most prominent Latina playwrights working today. Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a longstanding fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege and entitlement. The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose.
Sunday in the Park with George
July 28 - August 20, 2017
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Sponsored, in part, by Women of WaterTower Theatre, Million Air Dallas.
Inspired by the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by French Impressionist Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George, the dazzling musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, two of the greatest musical theatre artists of our time, brings art to vibrant life. George is an obsessive painter who risks it all, including his relationship with his lover Dot, to complete his latest masterpiece. A century later, George’s great-grandson is working as an artist in New York City. In search of inspiration, he soon discovers that the answer to his future is painted clearly in his past.
Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold
December 2 - 23, 2016
by Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia and Jane Morris
It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza, from the author of Late Nite Catechism, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? With gifts galore and bundles of laughs, Sister’s Christmas Catechism is sure to become the newest addition to your holiday traditions.
WaterTower Theatre offers a host of subscription options, in addition to the standard Five-play, full series subscription (Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, Silent Sky, The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, Native Gardens, Sunday in the Park with George) which offers the best seating and greatest discounts over individual tickets. Subscribers will be able to order tickets to the Holiday Extra, (Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold) when they renew their subscription or order a new subscription. Continuing again next season are the following 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: A or B
An introduction to theatre, this three-show package has two options:
Sampler Series A: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, Silent Sky, Native Gardens
Sampler Series B: The Gospel According to
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. Design Your Own subscriptions do not go on sale until September, 2016.
This new series will give teachers an inside look at our productions with pre- and post-show talks specifically created for teachers. These talks will allow and encourage teachers to take what they experience on our stage back to their classroom. There are three shows in this series: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, TSilent Sky.
The dates are Oct. 12, Jan. 25 and Apr. 19. The cost for this subscription is $60 per person.
Student Subscription Series:
A student subscription series will be offered, including a special student Design Your Own Series.
Firefighters, police officers, EMTs, veterans and 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, and special miniseries).
Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash
October 7 – 30, 2016
Previews: Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8
Pay What You Can: Sunday, Oct. 9
Opening Night: Monday, Oct. 10
Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold
December 2 - December 23, 2016
Opening Night: Friday, Dec. 2
January 20 – February 12, 2017
Previews: Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21
Pay What You Can: Sunday, Jan. 22
Opening Night: Monday, Jan. 23
The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
April 14 – May 7, 2017
Previews: Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15
Pay What You Can: Sunday, April 16
Opening Night: Monday, April 17
June 2 – 25, 2017
Previews: Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3
Pay What You Can: Sunday, June 4
Opening Night: Monday, June 5
Sunday in the Park with George
July 28 –August 20 2017
Previews: Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29
Pay What You Can: Sunday, July 30
Opening Night: Monday, July 31
2016-2017 Season Ticket Prices:
Five-play season subscriptions range in price from $75 (Previews) to $150 (Saturday evening).
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 late July.
About Terry Martin
Multi-award winning Director Terry Martin has served as Producing Artistic Director of WaterTower Theatre for 17 seasons. In May 2016, Terry announced his resignation from WaterTower Theatre and plans to head the Fine Arts department of the Greenhill School in Addison
Under his leadership, WTT has grown from a small local theatre company to one of the leading regional theatres in Texas. While consistently maintaining the artistic integrity of the work WTT produces and gaining much critical acclaim, he has - through keen business acumen - managed to keep the theatre in the black and maintain a large paid capacity for the past many seasons.
Some of his more than 65 directing credits at WTT include the upcoming production of One Man, Two Guvnors, Sexy Laundry, Dogfight, Full Gallop, The Grapes of Wrath, Putting it Together, On the Town, Spring Awakening, The Diary of Anne Frank, Smokey Joe’s Café, As You Like It, Almost, Maine, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Man of La Mancha, Humble Boy, The Crucible, Take Me Out, A Country Life (which he adapted from Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and won the 2005 Rabin Award – Best New Play), Cabaret, It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, Company, An Inspector Calls, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Laramie Project, You Can't Take It With You, Book of Days, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2002 Rabin Award – Director of a Play), Sweeney Todd (2002 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical), Desire Under the Elms, Ravenscroft, Rockin’ Christmas Party (2000, 2001), Enter the Guardsman (2001 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Little Shop of Horrors (2000 Rabin Award Nomination – Director of a Musical) among others. During the 2014-2015 Season, he directed the WaterTower Theatre production of Dogfight for which he received a Dallas Fort Worth Critics Award for Best Director of a Musical.
He has appeared on stage recently at WTT in All My Sons and previously in Our Town. In 2008, Terry won a Dallas Fort Worth Theatre Critics’ Forum Award as Best Actor for Blackbird. His other WTT acting credits include The Woman in Black, Dinner with Friends, The Guys, Bash: Latter-day Plays (2002 Rabin Award Nomination - Actor in a Play) and at Plano Repertory Theatre in The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me… (1998 Rabin Award – Actor in a Play, 1998 Dallas Theater Critics Forum Award), The Woman in Black (2000 Rabin Award Nomination – Actor in a Play), and Lonely Planet.
After growing up in south Alabama, Terry spent 12 years in New York City working in theatre, television and film. While there, he directed and acted at The Village Theatre Company, Carnegie Hall Studios and Theatre at St. Marks as well as television appearances on ABC’s One Life to Live and NBC’s To Serve and Protect. He holds a BFA from the University of Alabama and has trained professionally with Sanford Meisner, Fred Kareman, Wynn Handman, Sally Johnson and Lehmann Byck. Terry presently teaches on-going acting classes in the Sanford Meisner Technique at WTT, as well as having served as Adjunct Professor of Acting at the University of Texas at Dallas.
About WaterTower Theatre:
WaterTower Theatre is one of the leading regional theatres in North Dallas and Texas. The Company’s 2016-2017 Season will be its 20th Anniversary season. It is consistently recognized for its artistic excellence by the Dallas Theatre League, Dallas/Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum, The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Observer, D Magazine and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, among others. WaterTower Theatre has a subscription base of more than 2,120 subscribers and serves an audience of over 28,000 patrons annually.
WaterTower Theatre is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization as designate by the IRS. Like all arts organizations, WaterTower Theatre relies on both ticket income and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, organization and government to produce world-class live professional theatre and offer community outreach and arts education programs. WaterTower Theatre is grateful for the support provided from The Town of Addison, TACA, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Schubert Foundation and the hundreds of individuals, corporations and foundations whose annual donations make live professional theatre possible in the Town of Addison to be enjoyed by all in North Texas.