Leah Nanako Winkler

2018-19 for Imprint Theatreworks

Imprint's second season has titles by Sarah Ruhl, Leah Nanako Winkler, Dave Malloy and a musical about Lizzie Borden; plus opportunities for local playwrights.

published Monday, August 27, 2018

Photo: Ryan Jensen
Dave Malloy from his original performance in Ghost Quartet


Dallas — I can't think of a North Texas theater company that emerged in the past, say, six or seven years, that has been as successful in its inaugural season as Imprint Theatreworks. Co-artistic directors Joe Messina and Ashley H. White, and a bunch of their friends, announced IT's second season with a performance shindig Monday at Stomping Ground Comedy Theater in the Dallas Design District.

The 2019 season, dubbed "Mercury Rising" and big on women's voices, is anchored with four main productions, two of them regional premieres: Leah Nanako Winkler’s play Kentucky and a rock opera about Lizzie Borden, called Lizzie (not to be confused with the other Lizzie Borden musical done by Ohlook Performing Arts in 2014). The season opens with Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play), which hasn’t had a pro production here since Kitchen Dog Theater did it in 2011; and has the first locally produced production of Dave Malloy’s exquisite song cycle Ghost Quartet, a small tour of which was on the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s 2016 Off-Broadway on Flora series (with Malloy and his ensemble performing at LIFE in Deep Ellum).

The season also brings back the First Impressions Festival, with staged readings of new works by local writers; and takes it a step further later in the season with First Impressions Mainstage, in which three plays from the first and second festivals will be chosen for fully staged productions.

“It speaks bold stories of self-discovery and awakening,” says co-artistic director Ashley H. White about the 2019 season. “It weeps when we wrong our loved ones. It laughs as we are forced to turn the mirror on ourselves. It screams when it’s pushed too far. It has a voice that is loud and clear and that voice is saying: you are your own before you are anyone else’s.”

“Our second season gives the microphone to women and it demands we are heard,” she says.

Co-Artistic Director Joe Messina adds: “We took a journey with our audiences around the globe and time through re-imagined classics by acclaimed masters, regional premieres by well-known artists and new works by local playwrights.”

Below is the full season with descriptions, dates and, in some cases, venues. For tickets and more info, visit

White and Messina also write a monthly column on TheaterJones called Square One, in which they chronicle the process of starting a new theater company. You can read the latest edition, from July, here. It links to the previous installments.


Photo: Joan Marcus
Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) from its Lincoln Center Theater premiere in 2010

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)

by Sarah Ruhl

January 11-26, 2019

Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

Directed by Marianne Galloway

A comedy about intimacy, awakening, and most importantly…equality. Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity and based on the bizarre historical fact that doctors used “devices” to treat women for imagined hysteria. The play centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household. Don’t miss this entertaining work of self-discovery which shows that human connection is not simply a means to an end, but a vital part of life itself. This modern masterpiece was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


2nd Annual First Impressions Festival for Local Playwrights

February 20-23, 2019

At the Bath House Cultural Center

Local Playwrights will return to IMPRINT next year! Over one week in February, they will have their works read and enjoyed by audiences, directors, and producers alike. The festival will also feature panels, talk-back sessions, cocktail hours, and networking opportunities geared toward providing awareness, opportunities, and support for those playwrights we have right here at home. We will begin accepting submissions this fall.


Ghost Quartet

A musical song cycle written and composed by Dave Malloy

May 24 – June 8, 2019 

Directed by Ashley H. White

Musical Direction by Adam C. Wright

Bath House Cultural Center

From the creator of the recent Broadway musical sensation, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 comes a fully-immersive song cycle about love, death, and whiskey. Four friends drink and tell interwoven narratives spanning seven centuries, following Rose Read and Pearl White, who repeatedly cross paths, sometimes as strangers, sometimes as sisters, sometimes as lovers, sometimes as mother and daughter, in an experience that questions love and defines forgiveness and regret. Audiences will be thrust into the multi-dimensional stories and unique melodies in this immersive setting where the actors play dozens of characters and instruments, and nothing is as it seems. A true piece of originality that should not be missed. Regional Premiere.


Leah Nanako Winkler


By Leah Nanako Winkler

August 2 - 17, 2019

Directed by Joe Messina

Assistant Direction by Christopher Lew

Location TBA

A biting comedy from a distinctive, new voice in theatre, Leah Nanako Winkler, recipient of the 2018 Yale Prize for Drama. Hiro is an Asian-American, self-made woman making it in New York. She is also estranged from her dysfunctional family in Kentucky. When her little sister, a born-again Christian, decides to marry at twenty-two, Hiro takes it upon herself to do whatever she can to stop the wedding and salvage any shred of hope she had for her sister’s future. The themes of identity, religion and love collide in this coming-of-age story with a kick, complete with a chorus, and a talking cat. Regional Premiere.


First Impressions Mainstage Showcase

September 13 – 27, 2019

Directors, Application Details, and Location TBA

Our mission to showcase local playwrights takes big step forward in our second season with Three Fully-Produced World Premieres by Local Playwrights! Three plays from the 2018 & 2019 First Impressions Festivals will be chosen to be mounted as full productions, with workshopping and development opportunities in between. In addition, we are launching our new Director Development Program, providing three new directors with opportunities to network with and be mentored by established Dallas Directors from various theatres (full list TBA), shadow rehearsals, workshop their chosen scripts, and ultimately direct their Dallas Debuts with each of these world premieres. Providing opportunity and exposure to these great local artists and new works furthers our mission and support for local playwrights and artists, while enhancing and engaging the community.



By Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt

October 25 - November 9, 2019

Directed by Ashley H. White

Musical Direction by Rebecca Lowrey

Location TBA 

“Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her father forty-one.” This is the nursery rhyme that described the unspeakable crime that took the nation by storm when Lizzie Borden murdered her parents with an axe in 1892. Or did she? LIZZIE is a musical that reimagines that bloody legend with four women fronting a rock band and set to a blistering score with rage, sex, betrayal, and bloody, bloody murder. Regional Premiere. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
2018-19 for Imprint Theatreworks
Imprint's second season has titles by Sarah Ruhl, Leah Nanako Winkler, Dave Malloy and a musical about Lizzie Borden; plus opportunities for local playwrights.
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :