The first season for WaterTower Theatre’s new artistic director, Joanie Schultz, includes a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, a production of one of Schultz’s own plays, and the world premiere of a new piece set in Oak Cliff.
The Addison-based company’s five-show season, announced today, opens in October. Here’s Schultz, quoted in a press release:
“I am thrilled to present my first season at WaterTower Theatre. This season reflects and builds off two decades of tradition at WTT, presenting exciting contemporary plays, musicals, and new looks at classics. With my new vision at the helm, we are creatively stretching ourselves with innovative works that are each, in their own way, new to the DFW area. I’m confident that our community will be buzzing with excitement over these unique theatrical experiences that will each be so special and different at WTT.
“Moreover, each production has been carefully chosen to speak to each other, creating a dynamic conversation that unfolds throughout the year. Each play we are doing this season touches on family. Our families, both by birth and by choice, are so much a part of who we are: what we fight for and against, and who we will become. And what better way to consider our own family dynamics and inheritance than to laugh, cry, and contemplate these very different and vital family stories?”
WaterTower’s Out of the Loop Festival is taking a break, but theater-goers can expect a new festival next March. “Detour” will focus on readings of new work by homegrown and national playwrights. And a season add-on comes next December with The Great Distance Home, showing in a limited engagement that fits right in with the holidays.
Season subscriptions, available now by calling the box office at 972-450-6232, range from $100 to $185. For more info, visit WaterTower online here. Copied from the press release, here’s more on each of the season’s productions:
THE 2017-2018 SEASON:
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
October 13 – November 5, 2017
By Kate Hamill
Adapted from the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Joanie Schultz
Sponsored, in part, by Veritex Community Bank, Pinnacle, and Mary Kay Inc.
Calling all Jane Austen fans – and everyone else who loves a sparkling comedy about the entanglements of family, love, marriage, and money. Following the runaway success of her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, playwright Kate Hamill returns to the immortal English writer with a fresh take on Austen’s most famous novel. As the story of the Bennet daughters and their formidable social-ladder climbing mother unfolds, strong-willed Lizzie charts an independent course as she negotiates very mixed feelings about the aloof and seemingly snobbish Mr. Darcy. Hamill’s imaginative and irreverent version of this literary classic makes Austen’s deep insights into the foibles of human nature a theatrical treat you won’t forget.
“I feel this immense responsibility and honor as a female artist to help reclaim the classics for everyone.”
– Kate Hamill
ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE
January 26 – February 18, 2018
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Sponsored, in part, by Frost Bank
Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Quiara Alegría Hudes takes a poignant look at the way war permeates young men’s lives in a play spanning three generations of the same Puerto Rican-American family. Elliot is a Marine Corps hero back from Iraq with an injured leg and a Purple Heart. His Pop was wounded in Vietnam; his flute-playing Grandpop fought in Korea. In a fugue-like form, different wars and different tales are strung together as Ginny, his mother, seeks to reconcile the disparate parts and heal emotional wounds. Hudes’ spare, intense, and poetically resonant play speaks to the personal cost of war across the ages.
“ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE is that rare and rewarding thing: a theater work that succeeds on every level, while creating something new.” – New York Times
April 13 – May 6, 2018
By Regina Taylor
Sponsored, in part, by Whole Foods Market
Bread is nourishment. Bread is legacy. Bread is life itself. And bread is money. This world premiere by award-winning Dallas-born actress and playwright Regina Taylor weaves a compelling family drama of hopes, fears, thwarted dreams, and dark secrets against a turbulent backdrop of racial tension and social upheaval. It is late 2016; a time of change. James and Ruth are a middle class couple from Oak Cliff, a historic south Dallas neighborhood on the verge of gentrification. They plan a bright future for their teenage son and his soon-to-be-born brother. But when James’ brother Jeb returns home, buried family tensions resurface and the past casts a troubling shadow across an uncertain future. Taylor’s stirring, timely story of identity and family asks: How can we prepare the next generation for what’s to come?
“I’m very proud to be from Dallas, Texas. I think a place is what names you and you have to hold on to what first names you.” – Regina Taylor
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
June 8 – July 1, 2018
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Kelsey Leigh Ervi
Sponsored, in part, by Slalom, and Women of WaterTower Theatre
Think about where you were five years ago. Think about who you were with. Think about that idealized image you had of yourself in five years time. Now think about where you are today. Is this where you thought you’d be? The universality of this question resonates through Jason Robert Brown’s intimately observant and often funny, The Last Five Years. Through opposing intersecting chronologies, this award-winning musical follows the story of Jamie and Cathy, two 20-something artists in New York, as their relationship blossoms and sours. The beginning, the end, and everything in between is put into perspective in this touching and sympathetic tale of love, loss, and timing.
“…an emotionally powerful and intimate modern musical about two young New Yorkers who fall in and out of love.” –New York Times
HAND TO GOD
August 3 – 26, 2018
By Robert Askins
Directed by Joanie Schultz
Sponsored, in part, by WaterTower Theatre Board of Directors
Public piety and seething lust, family dysfunction and repressed anxiety interact with explosive results in Robert Askins’s darkly unsettling, foul-mouthed, and uproarious dissection of the troubled currents that roil a Christian puppet ministry in suburban Texas. With wildly imaginative flair, Askins thrusts us into an almost surreal world where hand puppets (meant to impart moral lessons) take on frightening lives of their own. As Jason grieves the loss of his father, his devilish, and possibly possessed puppet, Tyrone, is relentless in causing havoc, revealing secrets, and exposing the hypocrisy around him. With a theatrical magic that makes puppets seem as real and immediate as human actors, this immersive production will have audiences holding up a mirror to their deepest fears and imperfect natures, all with side-splitting laughter. Director Joanie Schultz’s Studio Theatre production of Hand to God was nominated for six Helen Hayes Awards including Best Director.
“A maliciously delicious black comedy”
– The Washington Post (referring to Schultz’s production)
“This show is completely immersive and will leave you insanely entertained.”
– DC Theatre Scene (referring to Schultz’s production)
THE GREAT DISTANCE HOME
December 1 – 17, 2018
Created and Conceived by Kelsey Leigh Ervi
This winter, we invite audiences to come home to WaterTower Theatre. In a limited engagement, multidisciplinary theatrical event audiences will be immersed in a story of joy, love, and the warmth you feel upon returning home after a long absence. At WaterTower this holiday season, home really is where the heart is.
From the co-creator of WaterTower Theatre’s “Best of Loop” winner The Spark.
DETOUR: A FESTIVAL OF NEW WORK
March 1 – 4, 2018
THE DETOUR FESTIVAL is WaterTower Theatre’s renewed investment in the creation and development of new work. A 4-day Festival which will focus on public performances and readings of devised work and new plays created by local and national artists, DETOUR is sure to inspire audiences while fostering opportunities for innovative, daring, and relevant new work.