Fort Worth — In 2017, Amphibian Stage Productions has what looks to be its biggest season yet for its 18th season. The mainstage season has five productions, two of them world premieres, plus a regional premiere, a short run of an international hit, and a returning favorite. The group's staged reading series is concentrated in three weekends of new works by women playwrights in late October and early November. The National Theatre Live screenings are back, and so is the comedy series, with the year's comedian-in-residence Aparna Nancherla, who is appearing on the current season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central.
Of the mainstage world premieres, one is by British playwright Kieran Lynn, who Amphibian introduced to North Texas audiences this year with Crossing the Line, a title which was changed for the Fort Worth production (in England, it was An Incident at the Border). His new play here is The Trap (Lynn was in Fort Worth a few weeks ago to survey the outfit). The other world premiere is by David Davalos, who had a hit at Amphibian with Wittenberg. His new play is called A Lost Leonardo, which was called Daedalus when Amphibian gave it a staged reading a few years ago.
The regional premiere is Northside Hollow by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers, a couple in real life; Fielding, a Texas Christian University alum, was a co-founder of Amphibian, and Withers had her play based on Don Quixote premiered at Amphibian a few years ago.
The international hit is the interesting theatrical experiment White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been all the rage in England, and was seen by SMU students in Dallas in 2013.
The women playwrights in the New Play Festival are Allison Gregory, Ashley Monroe and Jennifer Faletto.
Here is the news release, with dates, subscription info and more:
Amphibian Stage Productions is proud to announce its 2017 Season, featuring regional and world premieres of work by award-winning playwrights, a New Play Festival highlighting women playwrights, and the return of the Phib Comedy Series with an all-star cast of comedians curated by Baron Vaughn, as well as the National Theatre Live screenings in partnership with The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The main stage plays feature Northside Hollow by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers, both who have had plays previously produced at Amphibian; The Trap, a world premiere by Kieran Lynn, author of Crossing the Line, which was featured at Amphibian in 2016; The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) by Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor, a sell-out performance during Amphibian’s 2013 season; and A Lost Leonardo (formerly titled Daedalus) by David Davalos, author of the award-winning international play, Wittenberg.
“Amphibian continues to develop relationships with playwrights at various stages in their careers, and I'm thrilled to offer a nurturing place for them to hone their scripts. It's an honor to welcome back Brenda Withers, Jonathan Fielding, Kieran Lynn, David Davalos, and Allison Gregory, who are now making Amphibian their creative home away from home,” said Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director of Amphibian Stage Productions.
In line with its mission to produce innovative theatre, Amphibian also presents White Rabbit Red Rabbit by award-winning Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. Neither the audience nor the actor know anything about the script until the night of the performance, and the main role will be played by a celebrity actor to be announced.
“White Rabbit Red Rabbit pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre and engages the audience and actor in a daring experiment in collaboration,” said Kathleen Culebro.
The New Play Festival features work by emerging playwrights: Wild Horses by Allison Gregory, author of Not Medea; Shiny Objects by Jennifer Faletto, for which she was a 2015 Reva Shiner Comedy Award finalist; and Off Your Feet by Ashley Monroe, a New York based theatre director.
The 2017 Season also features the second annual Phib Comedy Series, with comedy acts curated by Baron Vaughn. The breakout star of the popular Netflix series Grace and Frankie, Baron Vaughn did a one-week residency at Amphibian during the summer of 2016. Baron will return to the Amphibian Stage, along with an all-star cast of comedians to be announced.
Next year’s comedian-in-residence (May 29 – June 3) will be Aparna Nancherla, appearing on the current season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and on the upcoming season of Love on Netflix. In addition, she currently hosts the long-running popular underground New York comedy show, Whiplash, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Finally, Amphibian’s 18th annual season brings back a Fort Worth favorite, the National Theatre Live screenings of filmed live productions at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. 2017 broadcasts include Harold Pinter’s comic classic No Man’s Land starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, a modern adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece Hedda Gabler with Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove, an electrifying production of Bernard Shaw’s classic play Joan of Arc, Peter Shaffer’s iconic Amadeus that was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film, and Twelfth Night—a new twist on Shakespeare’s classic comedy of mistaken identity directed by Simon Godwin.
Main Stage Plays
by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers
February 10 – March 5
Trapped underground after a deadly collapse, a miner finds his salvation in the arrival of a young and inexperienced first responder. While they wait for additional rescue assistance, they discover they have more in common than they realize. An intimate portrait of mortality, memory, and redemption, this original play will have its regional premiere at Amphibian Stage Productions.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
by Nassim Soleimanpour
March 22 – 26
It has been called a play, but it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. The actor—played by a secret celebrity actor to be announced—has never seen the play, and the actor is told not to look up anything about the play. This ‘theater entertainment meets social experiment’ is unlike anything, and it will make you question everything.
by Kieran Lynn
April 28 – May 21
Clem and Tom, a young couple with financial struggles, break into Tom’s employer—a payday loan company called Debt Duck—to clean out the safe. When his gambling-addicted boss arrives with the same idea, they're drawn into a strange scenario involving a gang of Estonians, a self-interested supervisor with a large mortgage, and an overly sentient alarm system. The Trap, by the same playwright of Crossing the Line, is a new play about debt, employee theft, and the difficulties of being a good person in a capitalist society.
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
by Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor (Reduced Shakespeare Company)
July 7 – August 13
Back by popular demand, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) returns to the Amphibian Stage for a second run. An irreverent roller coaster ride through the Good Book, from fig leaves to final judgment, three cultural guerrillas tackle the great theological questions. No one is safe, especially the first row, and everything you thought you knew about the most widely read book in history will be turned upside down.
A Lost Leonardo
by David Davalos
October 13 – November 5
After suffering a major artistic disappointment in Milan, Leonardo da Vinci renounces art and accepts an appointment to work as a military engineer for the ruthless leader of the Papal armies (and illegitimate son of the Pope) Cesare Borgia. After a brief time with Borgia, he realizes the job is not what he expected, and he returns to art to create his masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
A Lost Leonardo is a fictionalized account of the time in Leonardo’s life when he was struggling with the question of his identity, and with the responsibility that creators bear to and for their creations. *A staged reading of this play—under the title of Daedalus—was performed at Amphibian during the 2015 season. A Lost Leonardo is a brand new version of the original production.
New Play Festival
by Allison Gregory
October 21 and 22
Wild Horses is a moving, savagely-funny, one-woman play about a threshold summer that forever alters an adolescent girl. The pathos and hubris of her teenage years, the struggle for identity, independence, and authenticity, and the desire to find ones place in a complicated world — it all come rushing back as she takes us on the ride of her life.
Off Your Feet
by Ashley Monroe
October 28 and 29
The streets of New York have been the source of many vital stories in American Theater. But for the first time, the people who call the street home are the storytellers in the new documentary theater piece, Off Your Feet. Built from the author's personal interviews with the people New Yorkers most often overlook, the play moves between humor and the bleak reality of being homeless. Off Your Feet is an illuminating exploration of humanity when we face the mercy of the elements and the kindness or cruelty of strangers.
by Jennifer Faletto
November 4 and 5
It’s the Friday before Homecoming in a suburban high school and a scandal emerges...Crystal Andersen has committed an unspeakable act with the Texas flag. In a culture where legacy and tradition often go unquestioned, one student changes the consciousness of her community.
National Theatre Live Series
No Man’s Land
by Harold Pinter
March 15 and 18
Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to the West End stage at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. One summer's evening, two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst's stately house nearby. As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.
by George Bernard Shaw
April 12 and 15
Bernard Shaw’s classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal society and the Catholic Church across Europe. Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying production.
by Henrik Ibsen (adapted by Patrick Marber)
May 31 and June 3
Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel. Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic Theatre) returns to National Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece. Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) plays the title role in a new version by Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer).
by Peter Shaffer
June 21 and 24
Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre, and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.
by William Shakespeare
July 19 and 22
A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. Simon Godwin (NT Live: Man and Superman, NT Live: The Beaux’ Stratagem) directs this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig (FridayNight Dinner, Black Books, Episodes) as a transformed Malvolia.
Additional screenings will be announced as they are scheduled.
2017 Membership and Subscriptions
2017 season memberships are now available. Devonian Society donors receive tickets to the main stage plays and readings, champagne openings nights, and National Theatre Live screenings at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. For more information visit www.amphibianstage.com/memberships or contact Heather Quinn Gage at email@example.com or 817-923-3012.
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 who strive to produce innovative and engaging works of theatre that inspire new ideas, opens new doors, and increases our understanding of the vast world around us. About to begin its eighteenth season, Amphibian has produced numerous groundbreaking and challenging 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 strong internship program, a summer acting workshop for teens, and a dynamic outreach project, Tad-Poles, that is steadily increasing the company’s visibility and following. The group travels to schools and community centers, performing and spreading a message of multicultural collaboration and tolerance.
Amphibian is generously funded by American Theatre Wing, Amon G. Carter Foundation, Ann L. and Carol Greene Rhodes Charitable Trust, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, City of Fort Worth, Fifth Avenue Foundation, Mary Potishman Lard Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Pangburn Foundation, Pier 1 Imports, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Southwest Bank, The Shubert Foundation, Thomas M., Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Virginia Hobbs Charitable Trust, Wells Fargo, 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.