Stages Marks 25th Anniversary
With an Audacious Season of Provocative Plays and Musicals

HOUSTON, TX - Honoring its mission to inspire a vital engagement with Houston audiences, Stages Repertory Theatre presents a dynamic 25th anniversary season that embodies the organization's founding principles: to compel, provoke, and engage audiences in the rigorous pursuit of their deepest feelings. The season is a collection of plays that are bold, outrageous, joyful, and ultimately invigorating.

"Ted Swindley's maverick spirit has inspired me to choose works that you're not likely to find in mainstage venues across the U.S." commented Stages Artistic Director Rob Bundy, referring to the theatre's founding artistic director. "Over the years it has been Stages' job to produce plays that invite the audience to lean forward and get engaged with what is happening on stage. Our audiences will go to exciting and entertaining places, and they'll think and feel along the way."

"Milestones are times of great possibility and reflection, and we recognize and celebrate that Stages was founded to provide compelling new voices and provocative works to the Houston community," said Managing Director Kenn McLaughlin. "These plays are vivid, complex, and keenly reflect the times in which we live. This milestone season is an authentic representation of our time - its adventurous, surprising, and often wickedly funny."

In an effort to make Stages' work accessible to a larger audience and welcome new theatregoers in this anniversary season, the theatre has adjusted subscription and single ticket prices. Season subscriptions range from $114 to $208, and are now available through the Stages box office, 3201 Allen Parkway at Waugh Drive, or by calling 713-527-0123. Single tickets range from $25 - $35, and are available beginning August 15. Single tickets for preview performances are $20 - $25. Student and senior discounts are available. Groups of 10 or more are also eligible for a discount. Post-show discussions are on the Sunday following the opening of each production. All plays, dates, and prices are subject to change.




by Craig Wright
Directed by Rob Bundy
October 1 - 26, 2003, Stages' Yeager Theater
Regional Premiere

"Maybe tonight you could start a whole new world where things like that don't have to happen."
On September 12, 2001, the doorbell rings and Andrew begins his blind date in the shadow of tragedy. In an ingenious twist, even the actors aren't entirely sure what will happen after that. Craig Wright, author of The Pavilion and now a writer for HBO's Six Feet Under, delivers the goods again with rock-and-roll philosophy, a sarcastic sock puppet, and a tiny but pivotal role for one lucky audience member every night. Recommended for lovers, physicists and Americans everywhere.
Winner of the 2003 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Commemorative Citation, the 2003 Humana Festival of New American Plays, and nominated for the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play, Recent Tragic Events had a workshop reading at Stages in October 2001 during the run of Wright's Pulitzer-nominated work The Pavilion. Variety deemed Recent Tragic Events "poignant, thought-provoking," and Cultureflux calls the play "everything good theatre is about… the quintessential example of a captivating piece of art that inspires, provokes, and lingers."
Wright's accolades include fellowships from the McKnight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His plays include Orange Flower Water, John Dory, and Molly's Delicious.



by Jane Martin
Directed by Mark Ramont
October 29 - November 23, 2003
Regional Premiere

Stages' Arena Theater

Performance rights pending on a stunning new drama from pseudonymous playwright Jane Martin.
Martin first came to national attention for Talking With…, a series of monologues that premiered at the 1981 Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors' Theatre of Louisville. Martin's Keely and Du was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in drama and won the American Theatre Critics Association Award for Best New Play in 1996. Of Martin's work, Stages has produced Anton in Show Business (winner of the 2000 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award), Jack and Jill, Coup/Clucks, and. Talking With.



Story and Book by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe
Director to be announced
December 3, 2003 - January 11, 2004, Stages' Yeager Theater
Houston Premiere

"People would pay good money to see a Bat Boy. We could be the next Branson."
Lock up your cows and your daughters! The residents of a tiny West Virginia town are about to come face-to-face with a fearsome freak--half-bat, half-boy. But perhaps there's more to this menace than razor-sharp fangs and a hypnotic singing voice. It may be dark…it may be dangerous…but we're determined to find the truth about…THE BAT BOY!
Called "Outrageously silly and totally charming" by the New York Daily News and "…a jaggedly imaginative mix of skewering humor and energetic glee" by The New York Times, Bat Boy was inspired by a tabloid story that appeared in the early 1990s. It is the brainchild of actor/director Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming, a playwright, screenwriter and film director whose Nothing So Strange, a feature-length faux documentary about the assassination of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, won the New York Times Claiborne Pell Award for Original Vision at the 2002 Newport Film Festival. Laurence O'Keefe received the LA Weekly Award/Musical Of The Year and BackStage West Award for Music for Bat Boy.



by Eric Coble
Director to be announced
January 14 - February 8, 2004

Stages' Arena Theater
Regional Premiere

"It's just ideas, Genevra. Ideas never hurt anyone."
Macbeth meets McParenting in a wicked new comedy that asks just how far some parents will go to raise the "perfect" child. Meet Josh and Genevra Bradley: ambitious, successful, and well on their way to becoming All-Star Parents at their son's posh preschool. Ask how they got him in and they'll invite you to dinner. A word to the wise: Don't eat the pesto.
Eric Coble is an award-winning playwright and member of the Cleveland PlayHouse Playwright's Unit. He is the recipient of the National Theatre Conference 2002 Playwriting Award, an Ohio Arts Council Grant, a TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, and two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. His Pinocchio 3.5 won Stages' 2002 Southwest Festival of New Plays/Children's Division, and was produced as part of Stages' EarlyStages 2002-2003 season. Coble's scripts have been produced Off- and Off-off Broadway and throughout the U.S. and Canada, including productions at The Kennedy Center, Actors Studio, Playwrights Horizons, Alliance Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Oregon Children's Theatre. The Cleveland PlayHouse received an AT&T: On Stage award for its world premiere production of Bright Ideas.



by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Rob Bundy
March 17 - April 11, 2004, Stages' Yeager Theater
Regional Premiere

"Call me Israel."
A graduate student meets her idol: a savage, sexy, permanently-blocked novelist named Brutus. Global conflict ensues. A surreal, allegorical gut-punch of a play from Oscar-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, Dirty Story has been hailed by critics as "deliciously rich with ideas and action…one of the most fertile plays to come around in a while," and "…sharper and faster than the perennial speeding bullet."
Shanley's works for the stage have been produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, and the New York Shakespeare Festival. He was selected for four consecutive seasons as a participant at the National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill Theatre Center. His screenplays include the Oscar-winning Moonstruck, which also won the Writers Guild Award, and Five Corners, which won a Special Jury Prize at the Barcelona Film Festival.



Book, Music, and Lyrics by Gregg Coffin
Directed by Rob Bundy
May 12 - June 20, 2004

Stages' Yeager Theater
Regional Premiere

"My mother and I…don't get along."
Vince was six years old when his father walked out, leaving Vince and his young mother to grow up, grow angry, and grow apart. Now Vince is in love for the first time-with a man-and needs to break the news to Mom. Twenty years of silence are broken, the Traitor King is defeated, and true love prevails in this pop operetta for the (post)modern family.
Coffin is an Associate Artist at Geva Theatre, where he is an actor, composer, and sound designer. He has composed for productions at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Interact Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and Sacramento Theatre Company, and he was an Associate Artist and resident composer at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He won the 2000 Dora Award for Outstanding Sound Design for his work on Slavs, produced at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. Convenience, called "witty and sincere" by Talkin' Broadway, premiered at Geva Theatre.




by Ted Swindley
Directed by Jimmy Phillips
July 11 - October 26, 2003

Stages' Yeager Theatre

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary season, Stages is thrilled to bring back the international hit musical that had its world premiere at Stages in 1988. Penned by Stages' Founding Artistic Director Ted Swindley, Always... Patsy Cline is a tribute to the legendary country music singer and her friendship with Louise Seger, a fan from Houston who met Cline by chance in a honky-tonk and remained close to her until the star's tragic death in 1963. Recognized by American Theatre Magazine as one of the most-often produced musicals in the United Stages, the two-woman production is rich with down-home country humor and includes 27 of Cline's unforgettable hit songs.
All tickets for Always… Patsy Cline are $25, and seating is general admission.


Now celebrating its 25th anniversary season, Stages is one of only a few Equity theatres in Houston. Formed in 1978 in the basement of a brewery, Stages was created to introduce innovative contemporary plays to a region often considered old-fashioned in its theatrical tastes. Rob Bundy was named artistic director in 1996, and under his guidance Stages has moved to the forefront of American theatre and attained a new level of artistic quality. Kenn McLaughlin became Stages' managing director in the summer of 2001. McLaughlin's leadership has galvanized the administration of the theatre, and resulted in a new strategic plan designed to ensure another quarter-century of success.

In addition to the MainStage season, Stages offers productions for students and families through its EarlyStages program, which features plays and musicals dedicated to providing children and their families with intelligent, high-quality theatre that educates, entertains, and inspires. Stages maintains collaborative relationships with several theatre companies in Houston, including Grupo de Teatro "Somos Todos" and Unhinged Productions, and has partnered with Young Audiences of Houston to increase EarlyStages' impact in Houston and surrounding areas. In October 2002, Houston's City Council recognized Stages for its outstanding service to the Houston community.

Stages is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theatres. The theater operates under an agreement with Actor's Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.