2018-2019 Season Announcement!

WaterTower Theatre Announces the
2018-2019 Season

With Five Main Stage Productions,
A critically lauded One-Woman Play,
The Return of a Devised Holiday Hit, and
DETOUR: A Festival of New Work

The season contains a World Premiere by Nathan Alan Davis,
Three Regional Premieres from quirky comedy to moving musical,
and a new adaptation of an Ibsen classic by WTT’s own Joanie Schultz.

Addison (TX) – Joanie Schultz, Artistic Director, today announced details of the Company’s 2018-2019 Season.

This season marks the 23rd for WaterTower Theatre, and the second full season programmed by Artistic Director Joanie Schultz. The 5-show subscription season includes a World Premiere by Nathan Alan Davis, Origin Story, first seen by DFW audiences as part of DETOUR: A Festival of New Work, a musical adaptation of a 1990’s western movie, The Ballad of Little Jo, a new adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House written and directed by Joanie Schultz, and a host of exciting additional programming.

“One of the things I love about WaterTower Theatre is that it is a place where we come together.” Said Artistic Director Joanie Schultz about the coming season. “We come to the theatre to unite as artists and audiences in events that create unique and inspiring experiences, taking us out of our everyday lives and into the realm of imagination. Our next season is about exactly that: coming together. Be it in celebration, hope, faith, love, perseverance, or risk, the stories of this season are of people reaching out and trying to overcome divides between each other. This uplifting season is one that continues to be diverse in our presentation of classics, new work, musicals, comedies, and dramas from different points of view; and each story examines the possibility of coming together.”

The 2018-2019 Canterbury Family Main Stage Season kicks off with Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (October 12 – November 4, 2018) condensed to a heart-stopping 90 minutes adapted and directed by Joanie Schultz. This new adaptation stays true to the classic time period and storytelling genius while showcasing its relevance in today’s world. The season continues with the Regional Premiere of Tony Meneses’s quirky and heart-filled Guadalupe in the Guest Room (February 22 – March 17, 2019) about unlikely housemates overcoming a language barrier, connecting through shared grief, and bonding over Mexican soap operas, directed by Christie Vela. Up-and-coming playwright Chelsea Marcantel’s new play Everything is Wonderful (April 19 – May 12, 2019) makes its Regional Premiere in the spring of 2019.  Associate Artistic Director Kelsey Leigh Ervi directs the story of Miri, a young woman who finds herself back in the Amish community having been excommunicated five years earlier. A tragedy cracks open the family’s dark history, forcing Miri to confront the ghosts of her past. The fourth show of the Main Stage Season follows the inspiring true story of Josephine Monaghan in The Ballad of Little Jo (June 7 – 30, 2019).  With music by Mike Reid, lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger, and book by Sarah Schlesinger, Mike Reid, and John Dias, this lively musical explores the trials and adventures of a Boston-born woman who poses as a man for nearly 20 years in a small mining town in the American West, directed by Joanie Schultz, Music Directed by Vonda K. Bowling. The season concludes with the World Premiere of Origin Story (August 2 – 25, 2019) by Nathan Alan Davis, and directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. WTT Audiences may remember this delightfully angsty play from the 2018 DETOUR: A Festival of New Work. Margaret’s quarter-life crisis resonates with us all as she trudges through her two monotonous day jobs, seeking to find her own identity.

The five-show Main Stage Season is enhanced by three can’t-miss Season Extras. Back by popular demand, The Great Distance Home (November 23 – December 16, 2018) is moving to the Canterbury Family Main Stage for an extended run in 2018. Kelsey Leigh Ervi returns to direct the nearly-wordless devised holiday tale of life, love, and the journey to find a home of one’s own. In the summer, WTT is proud to present an exclusive limited run of Unveiled: A One Woman Play (June 12 – 30, 2019) in the Karol Omlor Studio Theatre. Written and performed by Rohina Malik, the critically lauded Chicago-based artist depicts five Muslim women from around the world as they sip tea, talk faith, culture, and break down stereotypes. DETOUR: A Festival of New Work (January 17 – 20, 2019) is back for a second year continuing WTT’s investment in new and emerging artists and innovative works in progress.

WTT is also pleased to present Dark Circles Contemporary Dance as a guest company in residence for three series of performances during the season: January 24-27, March 22-24, and September 12-15, 2019.  DCCD performed to a sold-out house during WTT's inaugural DETOUR: A Festival of New Work in March 2018.  Individual tickets for these performances will also go on sale in September.

2018-2019 Main Stage Season

A DOLL’S HOUSE

BY HENRIK IBSEN 
ADAPTED AND DIRECTED BY JOANIE SCHULTZ
OCTOBER 12 – NOVEMBER 4, 2018 

Nora and Torvald Helmer are the perfect couple living a storybook life. But for years Nora has been paying off a secret debt, obtained through forging a signature, which saved her husband’s life. When Torvald is back in good health and has garnered a promotion at the bank, his first order of business is to fire the man who confidentially loaned Nora the money. Confronted with shame and blackmail, Nora is pushed to expose her secret to Torvald, but the true revelation might just be that their lives are not their own. Henrik Ibsen shocked the world in 1879 when A Doll’s House became the first play of its kind, and now WaterTower Theatre Artistic Director Joanie Schultz has taken Ibsen’s immortal words and wound them into a powerful 90-minute thriller for today’s audience.

“Ibsen truly broke the mold with this play in 1879 and it continues to resonate powerfully today as so many of us try to fit our lives into our own perfect dollhouses.”  - Joanie Schultz


GUADALUPE IN THE GUEST ROOM

BY TONY MENESES
DIRECTED BY CHRISTIE VELA
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 17, 2019
REGIONAL PREMIERE

Guadalupe is living in the guest room of her son-in-law, Steve, while she works to translate from English to Spanish the children’s books her deceased daughter has written. Overcome with grief and separated by a language barrier, the unlikely housemates struggle to communicate. As they begin watching the same television show, the two bond in the most unexpected of ways, leading Guadalupe and Steve to learn that understanding doesn’t always require speaking the same language. Guadalupe in the Guest Room is a funny and heartfelt celebration of new beginnings, breaking barriers, and the healing power of telenovelas.

"Guadalupe in the Guest Room is a treasure…"Broadway World


EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL

By Chelsea Marcantel
Directed by Kelsey Leigh Ervi
April 19 – May 12, 2019
Regional Premiere

Following a tragic car accident that killed her two brothers, Miri, the excommunicated daughter of an Amish family, returns home to find that her parents have taken in the wayward driver of the car. Quickly learning that time has not healed old wounds, Miri struggles with the contradictions of the culture she left behind, while being forced to confront Abram, the young Amish man whose actions drove her away. The past and present collide as the family struggles to reconcile and seek out a new path forward in their faith. Everything is Wonderful brings us face to face with this long-misunderstood community in a striking and intricate examination of the complexity of forgiveness.

"Thought –provoking, often beautiful, and in a quiet way, inspiring… it should not be missed."Broadway World


THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO

Music by Mike Reid
Lyrics by Sarah Schlesinger
Book by Sarah Schlesinger, Mike Reid, and John Dias
Directed by Joanie Schultz
Music Directed by Vonda K. Bowling
June 7 – June 30, 2019
Southwest Regional Premiere

After giving birth to a son out of wedlock, Josephine Monaghan makes the difficult decision to leave her son in the care of her sister and head out west in search of a new life; one she hopes will be able to support her and her son. But after a series of ill-fated encounters, Josephine finds herself stranded in a small mining town in Idaho. With an unwavering will to survive, she disguises herself as a man called “Jo” and quickly finds a job mining silver. Things start looking up for Jo as she finds success as a man, but the dream of a better life starts to crack when news from back home in Boston reaches her. Inspired by the true story of a young woman in the Old West, The Ballad of Little Jo is a lively and compelling musical about one woman’s fearless journey to stake her claim on the American Dream.

"The real thing – the best piece of musical theater storytelling I’ve seen in a decade."New Yorker


ORIGIN STORY

By Nathan Alan Davis
Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene
August 2 – 25, 2019
World Premiere

Margaret doesn’t know who she is or what she’s aiming for. Forced to work two jobs to pay down her debt, she wades through office triviality at The Services Corporation by day and by night she works the drive-thru of The Burg, a 24/7 fast food restaurant. But through co-workers and friends, Margaret’s existential muddle begins to resolve as connections are found in the most unsuspecting of places. Funny, satirical, and surprising, Origin Story is an offbeat look at the quarter-life crisis and how to connect in an unconnected world. Following the play’s success in last season’s DETOUR: A Festival of New Work, WaterTower Theatre is proud to present this World Premiere by Nathan Alan Davis.

“One of my goals when writing this play was to make every scene delightful.” – Nathan Alan Davis 

Season Extras

The Great Distance Home

Conceived and Directed by Kelsey Leigh Ervi
Created by Kelsey Leigh Ervi, Kelsey Milbourn, Carissa Olsen, Christopher Llewyn Ramirez, Mitchell Stephens, and Garret Storms
November 23 – December 16, 2018

Boy, like most children, has an unyielding imagination. But when the rigidness of growing up begins to stifle it, Boy sets out in search of a home to call his own, and on his way discovers a life that he never expected. Back by popular demand, The Great Distance Home moves to the Canterbury Family Main Stage this holiday season, bringing the heartwarming and nearly-wordless story of a young man’s journey of discovery to life once more.

“The five-person ensemble is electric, elegant and funny, using minimal movement to convey oceans of emotion.”Dallas Morning News


UNVEILED: A One Woman Play

Written and Performed by Rohina Malik
June 12 – June 30, 2019
Regional Premiere

Five Muslim women from around the world sip tea and share stories about faith, culture, and prejudice in this groundbreaking one-woman show, written and performed by critically acclaimed playwright and actor Rohina Malik. An uplifting and universal performance sure to break down stereotypes of Muslim women, WaterTower is proud to bring Rohina and her powerful story to Addison for this limited engagement.

A “terrific show… intellectually engrossing work of theater.” Chicago Tribune


DETOUR: A FESTIVAL OF NEW WORK

January 17 – 20 2019

DETOUR is back! Last year’s inaugural festival celebrating the creation of new theatrical experiences gave voice to nearly one hundred local and national artists. WaterTower’s investment in the creation and development of new work continues for a second year with this 4-day festival focusing on devised works and new play readings. DETOUR is sure to inspire audiences while fostering opportunities for artists to test out innovative, daring, and theatrical works. From theatre and dance to music and comedy, take a detour from the ordinary, and discover something new.


Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

January 24-27, 2019
March 22-24, 2019
September 12-15, 2019

WaterTower Theatre is pleased to present Dark Circles Contemporary Dance as a guest company in residence for three series of performances during the season. DCCD performed to a sold-out house during WTT's inaugural DETOUR: A Festival of New Work in March 2018.  Individual tickets for these performances will also go on sale in September.