Fort Worth's Amphibian Stage Productions hatches multifaceted 2018 season
For its 18th season, Amphibian Stage Productions has four mainstage productions on tap, plus an extra bonus show to help round out its additional comedy, film, and new works programming.
It all starts with a new version of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano, adapted by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers. In case you're not already familiar with the story, Cyrano is a swordsman, philosopher, poet, and raconteur — everything that the love of his life, Roxane, would want — but there’s one obstacle: He has the biggest nose anyone has ever seen. He partners with the handsome yet tongue-tied Christian to capture Roxane’s heart. Of course they both fall for her, but one can’t succeed without the other. The play runs February 9-March 4.
Keeping with the classics theme, U.S. Army veteran Stephan Wolfert leads audiences on an interactive journey to meet Shakespeare's veterans using his own military experiences in the one-man show Cry, Havoc!. This play shows us that the military men and women of Shakespeare's time wrestled with the same hopes and worries that occupy our modern lives, and it runs May 11-27.
Summer brings King Liz by Fernanda Coppel, whose work has been developed in New York and London. Sports agent Liz Rico is at the top of her game, but a woman in a man’s industry has to fight to stay there. She takes on client Freddie Luna, a high school basketball superstar with a troubled past, but will this be the biggest win of her career or will she lose it all? It runs July 13-August 5.
The final mainstage show is Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase, a mystery in which reality is not quite what it seems. After an artist is murdered, his two friends suspect each other. There is one thing that unites them all: their infatuation with Sophie. Before she tragically went blind, she fell in love with one of them after viewing his picture in a gallery, but there seems to be confusion about whose picture she saw. The play runs October 5-28.
Dallas first saw Jake Nice's production of We're Gonna Die, by Young Jean Lee, in 2017, and will experience it again in 2018 as part of AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project. But Fort Worth is getting a share of the existential cabaret too, as Amphibian will stage it at an off-site venue sometime in 2018 (dates and location have yet to be announced).
The new play workshops known as Metamorphosis will continue, with Laura Anderson Barbata's La Extraordinaria Historia de Julia Pastrana in March 2018 and Jacqueline Novak's How Embarrassing for Her in April 2018.
Amphibian has a long history with the real-life Julia Pastrana, having first staged Barbata's The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana the Ugliest Woman in the World in 2003 and again in 2012. This updated show is part theater, part lecture, part performance art, all telling the the story of Barbata’s decade-long battle against all odds to give Julia the resting place she deserves.
Comedian and author Jacqueline Novak's solo performance piece was born out of her whirlwind last two years: making her network debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden; opening for Mike Birbiglia, Fred Armisen, and Anthony Jeselnik; and releasing her first book, How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows.
Speaking of comedy, the Phib Comedy Series will continue into 2018, though dates and comedians have yet to be announced. Up-and-coming talent, the selection of which is curated by Grace and Frankie star Baron Vaughn, take up a week-long residency at Amphibian to work on and present brand-new material.
Amphibian will also continue to sponsor screenings of National Theatre Live at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Scheduled screenings include:
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, by Edward Albee (January 10, 13)
- Follies, by Stephen Sondheim (January 24, 27)
- Young Marx, by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman (March 7, 10)
- Hamlet, by William Shakespeare (March 28, 31)
- Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare (April 18, 21)
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams (May 2, 5)