Fort Worth — In the North Texas theater scene, most of the mid-size Small Professional Theatres (SPT) have been populating their seasons with world premieres by local and national playwrights, but for Amphibian Stage in 2020, the bar has been raised. Amphibian has always loved new work, but next year — the 21st season — the four mainstage plays include three world premieres.
The regional premiere is David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette. The trio of NYC-based Sean Hudock, Illana Stein (a Fort Worth native who is NYC-based), and Austin-based Deborah Yarchun are writing Hans & Sophie, about underground anti-Nazi activists Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were active in Munich as the third Reich was rising (both were executed). Amphibian artistic director Kathleen Culebro and managing director Jay Duffer are translating and adapting 16th century Mexican playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcón’s The Truth Suspected. The fourth title, a world premiere, is TBA.
Amphibian’s season will also have several staged readings of developing work, will continue its popular comedy residency, and its affiliation with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in showing films from the National Theatre Live series, including Phoebe Waller Bridges’ Fleabag, her one-woman show that became the award-winning Amazon Prime comedy series.
Below is the full news release:
Amphibian Stage Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director; Jay Duffer, Managing Director), the contemporary theatre cultural explorers call home, is proud to announce its 2020 Season. The Main Stage Series will include one regional premiere, Marie Antoinette by Guggenheim Fellow David Adjmi, and three world premieres, including Hans & Sophie and The Truth Suspected. This last title will be a new adaptation by Amphibian’s own Kathleen Culebro and Jay Duffer. The theatre company, entering its 21st season, will also continue its popular Comedy Residencies, the Metamorphosis series which helps develop new, groundbreaking theatre, and the screenings of National Theatre Live productions at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Also ongoing will be the community outreach work of the theatre, which includes their Tad-Poles classes teaching children and adults to “walk-tall” through stilt-dancing and other theatrical practices, and their De-Cruit program which uses Shakespeare and science to help military veterans process their experiences.
MAIN STAGE SERIES
Hans & Sophie
Created by Sean Hudock, Illana Stein, and Deborah Yarchun
February 7 - March 1
A printing press, spray paint, and quick wit were all siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl needed to build one of the most successful underground resistance movements in Nazi Germany. Hans & Sophie pulls inspiration from the book Heart of the White Rose guiding the audience through the college students’ metamorphosis from Hitler Youth to “treasonous war criminals.” While their lives were cut short, the legacy of the Hans, Sophie and The White Rose remains a beacon of fierce humanity in the face of unjust leadership.
May 1 - 24
By Melissa Crespo and Sarah Saltwick
Picture this: You’re an architecture professor specializing in modes of egress. You try to teach your students to care about safe passage through spaces and they write about doors and windows. They write about transparent open spaces versus closed systems with no entrances or exits. You don’t sleep soundly at night because you startle awake wondering what had just been in the room with you. You know it was something big and cold and damp and it just walked in like it owned the place. What do you expect to come find you? How do you get away?
By David Adjmi
July 10 - August 2
Spun sugar wigs and a candy-coated sheen can’t cloak the corruption bubbling below in this surreal dark comedy from Guggenheim award winning playwright David Adjmi. Extravagance, artifice, and one neurotically affectionate sheep accompany the queen as the chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” grow too loud to ignore.
The Amazing, Fabulous, and Spectacular Untruths of Don Juan Garcia
Based on Juan Ruiz de Alarcón's The Truth Suspected
New translation and adaptation by Kathleen Culebro and Jay Duffer
October 23 - November 15
A new comedy 400 years in the making. Young Don García has always gotten what he wants just by twisting the truth. But now that he’s home from the university, his father is determined to break him of this dishonorable habit. Inevitably, his lies build upon themselves, growing in complexity and soon everyone is drawn into his tall tales and no one seems to know what's really happening. An old-fashioned farce with a modern twist.
METAMORPHOSIS NEW PLAY SERIES
The Secret Sharer
Adapted by Daniel Banks
From the Joseph Conrad Short Story
March 14 & 15
Joseph Conrad’s classic seafaring tale of a young captain encountering a mysterious – and possibly dangerous – stranger swimming alongside his boat will be developed into a new production by DNA Works theatre company.
By Ty Defoe, Projections by Katherine Freer
August 29 & 30
REVOLVING SKY | GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG looks at astronomy from an indigenous perspective. The experience takes on multiple forms; immersive performance and interactive multimedia installation. Utilizing personal narrative and Anishinaabe storytelling traditions we draw connections between past and present to explore the intersection of science and sacred knowledge.
NEW COMEDY RESIDENCIES
January 8 - 11
Chris Laker is a New York City-based stand-up who just made his television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Named a New Face at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in 2011, Chris’s sharp and edgy comedy has earned him a loyal following in New York’s alternative scene, where he’s hosted a variety of shows (The Show at The Creek and the Cave, The Laker Awards) and podcasts: “This Week in Jackin’”, “Heteronormative”, and “Overslept”. This past year Chris has been opening for Mike Birbiglia on his Working It Out and The New One tours. Chris’s debut stand-up album, Moments of Greatness (Comedy Dynamics) is available everywhere that sells music.
(More names to be added)
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE SCREENINGS
By Phoebe Waller Bridge
January 29 & February 1
Fleabag is the hilarious, award-winning, original one-woman play that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series, written and performed on-stage by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. In just 67-minutes, audiences can expect a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life.
By Simon Woods
March 18 & 21
A two-handed play performed by theatre legends Alex Jennings and Lindsay Duncan, full of witty banter and stinging one-liners. Set against the political landscape of 1980’s Thatcher Britain, what starts out as personal digs between a married couple after work on a Friday night crashes into political judgements that brings secrets from the past spilling out of the closet.
All My Sons
By Arthur Miller
April 8 & 11
Academy Award-winner Sally Field (Steel Magnolias, Brothers & Sisters) and Bill Pullman (The Sinner, Independence Day) star in Arthur Miller’s blistering drama All My Sons. America, 1947. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business. But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare.
A powerful retelling of Anne Frank's life through the pages of her extraordinary diary guided by the Academy-Award winning Actress Helen Mirren, and through the lives of five women who, as young girls, were also deported to concentration camps but survived the Holocaust. As a dedication to what would have been her 90th anniversary – and in cooperation with the Anne Frank Foundation – the documentary takes audiences into Anne's room within the secret annex of her family's hiding place before being deported, and through read excerpts of her diary intertwined with the experiences of the survivors who lived to tell their own parallel stories.
January 29 & February 1
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (BBC’s Sherlock, Fleabag) in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter. As he prepares to embark on an overseas tour, star actor Garry Essendine’s colourful life is in danger of spiraling out of control. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry’s few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching.
ABOUT AMPHIBIAN STAGE:
Amphibian Stage 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 theatre that inspires new ideas, opens new doors, and increases our understanding of the vast world around us. Now in its twentieth season, Amphibian has produced numerous groundbreaking and challenging plays (some regional premieres, others US or world premieres) that foster a deeper understanding of ourselves as members of the global community. The company is widely recognized as a place where exciting new work is developed, brought to life, and launched to other stages across the country and beyond.
Committed to nurturing young and diverse audiences, Amphibian has developed a strong internship program, and a dynamic outreach project, Tad-Poles, that is steadily increasing the company’s visibility and following. New to Amphibian in 2018 is a multi-faceted outreach program designed for veterans of the US armed forces. The program includes workshops, special performances, and discounted tickets.
Amphibian is generously funded by the Amon G. Carter Foundation, Ann L. and Carol Greene Rhodes Charitable Trust, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Jack K. Ayre and Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, Dramatists Guild Fund, DuBose Family Foundation, Fifth Avenue Foundation, Fort Worth Promotion & Development Fund, Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, Pier 1 Imports, Mary Potishman Lard Trust, Pangburn Foundation, Rea Charitable Trust, Thomas M., Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Guido & Ruth Shumake Charitable Trust, Smallwood Foundation, Southwest Bank, Texas Commission on the Arts, Wells Fargo Bank, 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.