Fort Worth — The 41st season for Stage West has been announced, and as has been the trend for the several seasons since Dana Schultes moved into the top leadership role, all six shows are regional premieres, and all are contemporary, written in the current decade. (Recent seasons have an had one or two outliers in that regard.)
What's interesting about the season is that, while this Fort Worth theater has been on the forefront of local Small Professional Theatres (SPT, an Actor's Equity Association designation) mixing in a healthy dose of works by playwrights of color, the 2019-2020 season is white writers; but two are women, Lauren Gunderson and Lucy Kirkwood. Another, Stephen Adly-Guirgis is mixed race, Egyptian and Caucasian.
The season, which fittingly for a coming election year has several politically charged titles, kicks off with a recent Broadway hit, The Lifespan of a Fact, and follows with Gunderson's Ada and the Engine and Kirkwood's The Children. Then we have Jason Odell Williams' Church & State, George Brant's Into the Breeches, and the first local production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Pulitzer Prize-winning Between Riverside and Crazy.
Below is the lineup with dates, descriptions and subscription information:
The Lifespan of a Fact
by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
November 7 - December 8, 2019
Based on a True-ish Story.
At a prestigious magazine publication, a determined, young employee is about to be given an opportunity. The demanding editor-in-chief is giving him a big assignment: she wants him to fact check a groundbreaking piece by an illustrious, albeit unorthodox author. As the deadline approaches and the lines between accuracy and artistic license blur, boundaries are crossed and the high-stakes world of publishing becomes personal in this brand new comedy of conflict.
Ada and the Engine
by Lauren Gunderson
January 9 - February 9, 2020
Meet the Woman Who Changed Techn01ogy.
Young and curious mathematician Ada Byron is caught between two worlds. Her mother is pushing for a prestigious marriage to Lord Lovelace, hoping to repair the damage Ada’s father, the late Lord Byron, imposed on the family name. But Ada sees the creative potential in the analytic engines created by her elder friend and scholar Charles Babbage. As pressures mount and feelings grow, these two form a partnership that will change the course of the future.
by Lucy Kirkwood
March 12 - April 12, 2020
Tony Nominee for Best New Play
Where do your loyalties lie?
In a seaside cottage on the east coast of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by the reappearance of a former colleague. As crackers and wine are trotted out, so are remembered stories, old jealousies, and haunting secrets, all leading to the true reason for this sudden visit: a chilling and dangerous plan. The evening will be revelatory and the fallout will be cataclysmic. Brave, humane, and beautifully written, this play confronts the responsibility each generation must face for the way it leaves the world.
Church & State
by Jason Odell Williams
May 7 - June 7, 2020
The Separation of What Now?
Three days before his bid for re-election, in the wake of another school shooting, a Republican U.S. Senator has a life-altering crisis of faith, and makes an off-the-cuff comment that sends the entire campaign into a tailspin. His wife and campaign manager try to contain the damage, but in a country where religion influences politics and politics have become a religion, how do you reach the people and stay true to yourself? A timely and fast-paced story that is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting.
Into the Breeches!
by George Brant
July 2 - August 2, 2020
The Show Must Go On!
It’s 1942, and there’s a problem at Oberon Playhouse - with the director and leading men all off at war, it looks like the season will be cancelled. That is until a determined and passionate group of ladies rally the troops at home and set out to put on an all-female production of Shakespeare’s Henry V. An increasingly unexpected team is assembled, with a hilariously desperate array of thoughts and ideas, but united in desire. This delightful and moving backstage comedy examines the power of art to bring us together, even in the hardest of times.
Between Riverside and Crazy
by Stephen Adly-Guirgis
August 27 - September 27, 2020
Pulitzer Prize Winner
House of Black and Blue.
Irrepressible ex-cop and recent widower Walter Washington is under a lot of pressure. He’s in an ongoing legal battle, clinging desperately to grievances from the past. Barely holding on to the palatial rent-controlled Manhattan apartment that he shares with his newly paroled son and a ragtag surrogate family who call him “Pops”, he is not ready to accept payout or surrender. But as tensions come to a head in a swirl of demands from family and friends, a final ultimatum from former NYPD colleagues causes “Pops” to draw the line and make some demands of his own.
Season tickets are on sale now and range in price from $87 for a 3-show value pass to $180 for a premium 6-show pass. For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784-9378. Tickets will be available by June 7 online at www.stagewest.org.