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Mission Date: 2017-2018.
My favorite movie as a small child was a sci-fi wonder called Fantastic Voyage. In the film, a team of scientists in a submarine-like vessel are shrunk and then injected into the bloodstream of a dying diplomat. Their mission: to eradicate a hideous virus that threatens the man’s life, and by extension, all life on the planet! Along the way they encounter any number of spectacular adventures, including a stunning sequence where they travel through the man’s heart. I must have seen this film 30 times, returning to the theatre over and over again with my brothers. I look back now and I realize the film contains everything I adore in storytelling: suspense, imagination, intelligence, history and a bold eye on the future. And some big surprises, too!
In fact, surprise is my favorite element of storytelling, and I promise that the shows in our 2017-2018 Season will offer many a surprising moment! Channeling the spirit of adventure that has inspired read on...
I first read Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love) in March of 2015, the day after Stages’ production of Aaron Posner’s play Stupid F**king Bird closed. I was driving Aaron to the airport, during which time he literally sent me the script for Who Am I? from his phone. I read it that afternoon on my kindle - I too on a plane going somewhere. What struck me powerfully in that moment was the fascinating juxtaposition of the two plays, which were written back-to-back. Bird is a powerful, angry play about the failures of theatre to impact the world, and Who Am I? is a sweet love letter to the theatre and its magical power to move us deeply - sometimes in ways we can't understand. Taken as a set, the plays are exact opposites of each other - a mirror of a mirror if you will. I loved Who Am I? immediately and I wanted to produce it right away, but by that time the season for last year was set so it took until now to bring it to life.
It is important to note that two years have read on...
Conundrum— that’s quite a mouthful! Merriam-Webster defines it as, “a seemingly unanswerable question,” while the OED adds, “a paradoxical, insoluble and enigmatic problem.” Our Narrator will soon tell you, “Our subject tonight…is love.” What better word then, to describe our topic? Not only does it describe the dilemma of defining the indescribable magic of “love,” but it captures perfectly the more perplexing
dilemma of our story, which deals with finding the balance between our expectations of love while remaining open to the unexpected.
Although love takes many forms, we’ll be focusing predominantly on romantic love. Aaron Posner, the playwright, has cleverly crafted his play, interweaving three short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, which explore different stages of love, starting with the first blush of love, followed by its breathless lusty aspects and ending with the mature love of a long-term marriage. Vonnegut wrote, “I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words read on...
On a recent trip to Rotterdam, I was discouraged to learn that a world-renowned Cathedral was closed to the public on the one day I would be in the city. A kindly docent attempted to lift my spirits with tales of other important sites and she mentioned a place she loved as a little girl. She told me she hadn’t been to the place in forty years, that she remembered riding her bike there as a child, and that she didn’t even quite know how you got there any more – or if there was any “there” left at all. But I was intrigued enough by her whimsical memories to set off without any map in the general direction of Delphs Harbor.
It was a warm day and the city was bustling, crowded café conversations filling every street. I walked picturesque blocks and blocks that are likely never photographed. I went through a Chinatown, a Little India, Little Ireland. I passed a flock of rainbow flags and big seats of government. I walked along canals, past large public art displays and I stopped once read on...
6 Fun Facts About The Marvelous Wonderettes!
Did you know that The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On is the fourth in the Wonderettes series, and Stages has produced them all?
Did you know that the first play in the Wonderette saga, The Marvelous Wonderettes, opened at Stages in July 2010 and ran for a record-breaking 9 months in Stages' Arena Theatre?
Did you know that the holiday themed follow-up Winter Wonderettes proved so popular, Stages brought it back for a second consecutive holiday season?
Did you know that the cast has remained the same for ALL Stages Wonderettes productions? Holland, Rachael, Chelsea and Christina first came together as Wonderettes six years ago and have been fast friends in real life ever since.
Did you know that just like her character, Cindy Lou, actor Rachael Logue also left Houston several years ago to pursue a career in New York? We're glad to have her back for this Wonderettes World Premiere!
Did you know that two Wonderettes are also Honky Tonk Angels? Chelsea Ryan McCurdy and Holland Vavra join Kelley Peters for The Honky Tonk Angels at Miller Outdoor Theatre September 9th and 10th!
Every moment of your life is an amalgam of innumerable choices: choices you have made, choices that others have made for you, and choices that rise from the ceaseless motion of the universe. The very act of reading this brief letter rises from such a confluence of choices. You stand right now at the busy intersection of what to do, what will happen and what can be. And you are not alone there. Plays, as the reflection of our lives, are built from a conspiracy of choices. The characters in a play interact with each other and the world through the choices they make—scene by scene, moment by moment. And we, the audience, witness the consequences of those choices with a desire to understand ourselves and others more fully. This is the bold ambition of great theatre.
Our 2016-2017 Season shines a light on these defining moments. Take, for example, De Kus (The Kiss) a bold Dutch play about two strangers who decide to walk together in the darkening woods. Or consider a pair of young read on...
This month we open The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a critically acclaimed play that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and deals with hugely relevant questions about race, socioeconomics, the media and popular entertainment.
Oh, and it's about wrestling.
That's right - we've got a 14-foot professional wrestling ring installed in the middle of our Yeager Theatre. The actors actually had to learn to wrestle like the pros, including mastering a crazy, kind of dangerous move called the Powerbomb. We've been working with two fantastic partner organizations, Doomsday Wrestling and Horse Head Theatre Co., to create a full-on wrestling+theatre event with pre-show wrestling matches, photo opportunities in the lobby and a gallery of vintage-inspired wrestling posters. Oh, and free popcorn.
It's gonna be A-MAZ-ING.
But still, we understand that some of our audiences might wonder why we're doing a wrestling show, or what prompted Kristoffer Diaz to write a play set in that read on...
And the winner is... Us!
We are honored by all the recognition we received as part of the recent Houston Press Theatre Awards. Congratulations to all Houston artists - our city is better for having you!
From Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin:
"I am deeply humbled by the kind words offered in honor of the work of Stages Theatre from the editorial board of the Houston Press. I am very proud of the artists that work at Stages and I am very blessed to share with them the promise that we can, and will, impact our world. I am honored that our work this past season moved the Press staff in such a way as to award the theatre remarkable accolades."
Best Season - 2014-15
Best Artistic Director - Kenn McLaughlin
Best Play - Stupid Fucking Bird
Best Director - Leslie Swackhamer, Marie Antoinette
Best Supporting Actor - Joseph Palmore, Stupid Fucking Bird
Best Supporting Actress - Elizabeth Townsend, Stupid Fucking Bird
Best Costume Design - Barry Doss, Marie Antoinette
Best Set Design - Ryan McGettigan, Marie Antoinette
Best Sound Design - Matt Crawford, The Spiritualist
Best Choreography for a Musical - Kristin Warren, Mack and Mabel
Best Trooper - Tasha Gorel, Bad Jews