Stage West is continuing the trend of expanding its season, offering eight shows to celebrate its 40 years of producing plays in Fort Worth. That's one more than last year, which was already one more than the year before. Of the six plays and two season extras, seven are regional premieres.
It starts with a high-profile premiere of Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2. The sequel picks up right where Henrik Ibsen's original play left off, with Nora Helmer walking away from her husband, children, and societal constraints of 1879 Europe. Now, 15 years later, she returns to ask an awkward favor. Hnath's script was nominated for the 2017 Best Play Tony Award, and Laurie Metcalf scooped up an award for playing Nora. Slated for October 25-November 25, 2018, it's notable that this show will run almost concurrently with WaterTower Theatre's production of A Doll's House, which artistic director Joanie Schultz is adapting herself.
A season extra is on tap for the holidays, as Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol returns. Stage West regular Emily Scott Banks last starred in this one-person show, but there's no official word on casting yet. In Tom Mula's twist on the Dickens classic, Jacob Marley's spirit is given one chance to change his fate and escape his eternal chains by returning to the world he scorned. On Christmas Eve night, he tries to redeem his old business partner, Scrooge, but discovers his own ghostly heart opening in the process. It runs December 6-23, 2018.
While Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon is playing Stage West later this summer (August 30-September 30), another of his plays is on the docket for next season as well. Everybody is a modern, comedic, heartfelt riff on the iconic medieval morality play, where decides the roles by lottery each night. Everybody could be anybody, and when it's your time to go, what will you leave behind and what will you take with you? Find out December 27, 2018-January 27, 2019.
Set during the 1950s era of McCarthyism, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been focuses on writer Langston Hughes as he fitfully attempts to compose a poem. Carlyle Brown's inspired-by-true-events drama looks as the tense yet necessary relationship between art and politics, as well as the emotional and deeply personal connection between the artist and his craft in the face of oppressive power. It runs February 14-March 10, 2019.
Florian Zeller's 2012 play The Father, translated by Christopher Hampton, explores dementia with a deft and empathetic touch. As André struggles to decipher who and where he is, his caregiver daughter tries to balance her own life and relationships. The work won France's award for best play in 2014, and was made into the film Floride in 2015. It runs April 4-27, 2019.
Jeffrey Hatcher has a thing for classic mysteries, as his adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ran earlier this year at Theatre Three, and now Stage West is mounting his take on Baker Stree's most famous detective. Holmes and Watson takes place three years after the mysterious death of beloved master sleuth Sherlock Holmes, when his loyal assistant Dr. John H. Watson is summoned to a remote asylum on a rocky island to investigate three inmates who all claim to be the late detective. The puzzler draws the trusty Watson into a web of intrigue, suspicion, murder, and surprise, and finally reveals what really happened that fateful day between Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. It runs May 30-June 30, 2019.
Why do people have children? The reasons are vast and the motivations debatable, as one couple in Duncan Macmillan's play Lungs discovers while taking a trip to IKEA. They weigh their options about parenthood, prompting the audience to do the same. It runs July 25-August 18, 2019.
The final season extra departs from Stage West's play-heavy past: First Date, by Alan Zachary, Michael Weiner, and Austin Winsberg. When tightly wound Aaron is set up with laidback Casey on a blind date, a casual drink turns into an uproarious, high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds, this mismatched pairs' inner critics take on a life of their own, as other patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes, and protective parents. This co-production with TCU will run September 12-October 13, 2019.
Season tickets will go on sale in mid-July, and will range in price from $135-$175. Subscribers purchasing season passes prior to October 1 may purchase up to two tickets for the season extras at a discount.
For more information, call Stage West at 817-784-9378 or visit online at www.stagewest.org.