AMPHIBIAN STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Amphibian Stage Productions - The Trap
Performance: Friday, April 28, 2017 to Sunday, May 21, 2017
By Kieran Lynn
Clem and Tom, a young couple with financial struggles, break into Tom's
employer - a payday loan company called Debt Duck - to clean out the safe. When
his gambling-addicted boss arrives with the same idea, they're drawn into a
strange scenario involving a gang of Estonians, a self-interested supervisor
with a large mortgage, and an overly sentient alarm system. The Trap, by the
same playwright of Crossing the Line, is a new play about debt, employee theft,
and the difficulties of being a good person in a capitalist society.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
By Nassim Soleimanpour
March 22-23 at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and
March 24-26 at the Berlene T. and Jarrell R. Milburn Theatre at Amphibian Stage Productions
Imagine being 29 and forbidden to leave your country. Award-winning Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour distills the experience of a whole generation-well-informed, computer-literate, and born amidst the hardship of the Iran-Iraq war-in a wild, utterly unique play. He turns his isolation to his own advantage with a script that is written to travel the world when he couldn't. Since its premiere in 2011, it has been performed over 1000 times and translated into 20 languages.
To bring to life what it feels like to be restrained, Soleimanpour gives the following instruction to the actor: Do not see or read the play beforehand. Learn nothing about it. Therefore, it's imperative that there be a different actor for every performance. Receiving the script in a sealed envelope for the first time onstage, the actor embarks on an adventurous journey, along with the audience, where anything can happen.
"With an increasingly growing population in Fort Worth-and with it, a growth in diversity-it's critical for Amphibian Stage Productions to reflect the global demographics of our communities. Nassim Soleimanpour brings the international voice to our theatre that is often not heard," said Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director of Amphibian Stage Productions."
Previously performed by actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, John Hurt, Nathan Lane, Cynthia Nixon, Kyra Sedgwick, Martin Short, and George Takei, Amphibian Stage Production's production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit features five different cast members: Dallas / Fort Worth celebrities Christopher Blay (writer/curator/artist), Cameron Smith (music producer/musician), and Christie Vela (stage actress), as well as Hollywood stars Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead) and Sarah Clarke (Twilight, 24).
It has received various awards and was selected as a NYT Critics' Pick by The New York Times, as well as receiving positive reviews in Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, Playbill, San Francisco Examiner, Variety, and The Washington Post.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit runs March 22-23 at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and March 24-26 at the Berlene T. and Jarrell R. Milburn Theatre at Amphibian Stage Productions. Xander Berkeley and Sarah Clarke will be featured in the performances at The Modern, which includes the option to purchase a ticket for an exclusive pre-show reception that will offer the opportunity to meet the actors. For details on each night's show: www.amphibianstage.com/all-shows/white-rabbit-red-rabbit-nassim-soleimanpour
About the Play
It has been called a play, but it's a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. The actor-played by a different performer each night-has never seen the play and is told not to look up anything about the play. This 'theater entertainment meets social experiment' is unlike anything, and it will make you question everything.
Forbidden to leave his country, playwright Nassim Soleimanpour distilled the experience of an entire generation in a wild, utterly original play. White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a work about contemporary Iran and of Nassim's generation. A generation born amidst the hardship of the Iran-Iraq war: computer-literate, well-informed young people who have never known an Iran other than the Islamic Republic.
"Mr. Soleimanpour's elliptical play keeps taking odd, unexpected turns that often lead us back to the relief of laughter." - The New York Times
About the Artists
Nassim Soleimanpour (playwright) is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into more than 20 languages. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn't, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award.
By the time Nassim was permitted to travel for the first time in early 2013, White Rabbit Red Rabbit had been performed over 200 times in 15 languages. Since then Nassim has facilitated workshops and panels in different countries including World Theatre Festival (Brisbane), Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam), SESC Vila Mariana (Sao Paulo), Schauspielhaus (Vienna), DPAC (Kuala Lampur), Theatretreffen (Berlin), British Council (London), Asia House (London) and University of Bremen (Germany).
Nassim's second play, Blind Hamlet, for the London based Actors Touring Company premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since toured extensively around the UK and was received well in Bucharest and Copenhagen. Nassim now lives in Berlin with his wife Shirin and dog Echo. BLANK, his third play, recently premiered in Amsterdam and has been performed in Utrecht, Edinburgh and London.
Xander Berkeley (actor) is currently a series regular role on the AMC hit The Walking Dead. Recently, Xander starred in the Lionsgate feature Allegiant (opposite Shailene Woodley and Naomi Watts). He was also seen in Transcendence (opposite Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall). Staying true to his indie roots, he shot the features The Maestro (opposite John Polito and Sarah Clarke) and Shot (opposite Noah Wyle). He was also seen in Moments of Clarity (opposite Eric Roberts and Lyndsy Fonseca) as well as Solace (opposite Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins), Small Time (opposite Chris Meloni and Dean Norris), and as the lead actor in This Last Lonely Place. He was last seen in a recurring role in the NBC series Aquarius opposite David Duchovny.
Xander began his career in theatre where he performed in numerous plays in Regional, Repertory, and Off-Broadway theaters in New York, before he was convinced to move West to pursue film projects. Xander then made his career debut in the cult classic Mommy Dearest, as Joan Crawford's damaged son Christopher. Next he landed the role of drug dealing addict, Bowery Snax, in the seminal underground favorite, Sid and Nancy.
Xander is a true chameleon capable of complete transformation in combination with an uncanny believability from role to role. He has been in high demand by a number of great filmmakers, including James Cameron on Terminator ll, Rob Reiner on A Few Good Men, Ron Howard on Apollo 13, and Steven Spielberg on Amistad.
His ability to take the audience for a ride while keeping them deep inside the story is a skill almost unmatched in the industry. While ranging constantly from obscure independent to blockbuster, cable to network prime time to cutting edge web series (multiple best actor award winner for The Booth at the End), Xander remains fresh and effective and original each time out.
Sarah Clarke (actor) starred in her first on-camera role in the short film Pas De Deux, where she was
recognized with the CINY Award (Cine Woman NY) for her Outstanding Performance at the Brooklyn
Film Festival. Shortly after that, Clarke was introduced to series television in FOX's 24. Having come
from New York to film the pilot with just a few prior guest appearances on Ed and Sex and the City, the role of 'Nina Myers' was a game changer for the actress. The show became an international phenomenon earning numerous awards and critical acclaim, moving Clarke out to the west coast.
That same year she was cast in Fox Searchlight's coming of age drama, Thirteen. The film received the
Best Director Award (Catherine Hardwicke) at the Sundance Film Festival. Other films and TV shows
soon followed: Happy Endings (directed by Don Roos), The Lather Effect, Women in Trouble, Below the Beltway, Punk's Dead, and the wildly successful Twilight Saga franchise in which she played Kristin Stewart's mother, 'Rene'.
In television, Clarke went on to star in the TNT series, Trust Me (opposite Eric McCormack), Covert Affairs (with Piper Perabo), Men of a Certain Age (opposite Ray Romano), and currently is in her third season with the Amazon Studios original series, Bosch, a police drama based on the popular Michael Connelly novels about
Los Angeles detective, Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver). Clarke portrays Welliver's ex-wife, Eleanor Wish, who is a former FBI profiler working in Vegas as a professional poker player.
Clarke is a St. Louis, Missouri native who began her acting career in Bologna, Italy while pursuing her Italian degree. She continued her study after college in New York City at Circle in the Square Theater School. She now shares her time between Los Angeles and New York with her husband, actor Xander Berkeley, and their two daughters.
Christopher Blay (actor) is an artist, writer and curator with a B.F.A. from Texas Christian University. He has worked as curator for the Art Corridor Gallery at Tarrant County College Southeast for the past seven years, and also reviews art for Fort Worth Weekly. His work incorporates photography, video, sculpture, and performance. His most recent work, "KWTXR" is based on the fictional character Kara Walker Texas Ranger and responds to historical violence against African Americans. Other recent projects include The Seven Deadly Things at 500X Gallery, Satellites at Centraltrak Gallery, Machine Time at the Mckinney Avenue Contemporary, and two ongoing public art projects in Dallas' Coombs Creek Park and East Rosedale Avenue, Fort Worth.
In 2013, Blay received the SMU Meadows museum's Moss/Chumley award for his "proven track record as an active community advocate for the visual arts," and the Nasher Sculpture Center's Artist Microgrant in 2015. Blay is the Spring 2017 Visiting Artist at the Dallas Museum of Art's Center for Creative Connections, from April through June.
Cameron Smith (actor) is the principal singer-songwriter for Fort Worth rock band War Party and performs as a solo artist under the pseudonym Sur Duda. Smith is also a co-founder and owner of Dreamy Life Records and Music, LLC-a Fort Worth based record studio, store and label.
Christie Vela (actor) was last seen at Amphibian in the stage production of The Quixotic Days and Errant Nights of the Errant Knight Don Quixote. She is a former member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company where acting credits include Deferred Action; Romeo & Juliet; Sense & Sensibility; Medea; The Book Club Play; A Christmas Carol; Les Misérables; Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure; King Lear; God of Carnage; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat; and The Beauty Plays.
Most recently, Christie directed Dallas Theater Center's 2015 A Christmas Carol and the regional premiere of Gloria. She is also a member of Dallas' Kitchen Dog Theater Company where she has directed Se Llama Cristina, The Turn of the Screw; Boom; and The Pillowman, and where she most recently directed and appeared in Flores de Papel. At Second Thought Theatre she's directed BULL and appeared in A Kid Like Jake. For STT, she is currently directing Straight White Men. You'll see her on stage at DTC later this year in INHERIT THE WIND and in Necessities at STT. She's thrilled to be back at Amphibian Stage Productions.
Amphibian Stage Productions Announces its 18th Season for 2017
Featuring Regional and World Premieres, a New Play Festival, and an All-Star Cast of Comedians
Amphibian Stage Productions is proud to announce its 2017 Season, featuring
regional and world premieres of work by award-winning playwrights, a
New Play Festival highlighting women playwrights, and the return of the
Phib Comedy Series with an all-star cast of comedians curated by Baron Vaughn,
as well as the National Theatre Live screenings in partnership with
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The main stage plays feature Northside Hollow by Jonathan Fielding and
Brenda Withers, both who have had plays previously produced at Amphibian; The Trap,
a world premiere by Kieran Lynn, author of Crossing the Line, which was
featured at Amphibian in 2016; The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) by
Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Ticheno, a sell-out performance during
Amphibian's 2013 season; and A Lost Leonardo (formerly titled Daedalus) by David
Davalos, author of the award-winning international play, Wittenberg.
"Amphibian continues to develop relationships with playwrights at various stages
in their careers, and I'm thrilled to offer a nurturing place for them to hone
their scripts. It's an honor to welcome back Brenda Withers, Jonathan Fielding,
Kieran Lynn, David Davalos, and Allison Gregory, who are now making Amphibian
their creative home away from home," said Kathleen Culebro, Artistic Director
of Amphibian Stage Productions.
In line with its mission to produce innovative theatre, Amphibian also presents
White Rabbit Red Rabbit by award-winning Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.
Neither the audience nor the actor know anything about the script until the night
of the performance, and the main role will be played by a celebrity actor to be
"White Rabbit Red Rabbit pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre and engages
the audience and actor in a daring experiment in collaboration," said Kathleen Culebro.
The New Play Festival features work by emerging playwrights: Wild Horses by
Allison Gregory, author of Not Medea; Shiny Objects by Jennifer Faletto, for which
she was a 2015 Reva Shiner Comedy Award finalist; and Off Your Feet by Ashley Monroe,
a New York based theatre director.
The 2017 Season also features the second annual Phib Comedy Series, with comedy
acts curated by Baron Vaughn. The breakout star of the popular Netflix series Grace
and Frankie, Baron Vaughn did a one-week residency at Amphibian during the summer
of 2016. Baron will return to the Amphibian Stage, along with an all-star cast of
comedians to be announced.
Next year's comedian-in-residence (May 29 - June 3) will be Aparna Nancherla,
appearing on the current season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and on
the upcoming season of Love on Netflix. In addition, she currently hosts the
long-running popular underground New York comedy show, Whiplash, at the Upright
Citizens Brigade Theater.
Finally, Amphibian's 18th annual season brings back a Fort Worth favorite, the
National Theatre Live screenings of filmed live productions at The Modern Art
Museum of Fort Worth. 2017 broadcasts include Harold Pinter's comic classic
No Man's Land starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, a modern adaptation
of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece Hedda Gabler with Tony Award-winning director
Ivo van Hove, an electrifying production of Bernard Shaw's classic play Joan of Arc,
Peter Shaffer's iconic Amadeus that was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film,
and Twelfth Night-a new twist on Shakespeare's classic comedy of mistaken identity
directed by Simon Godwin.
For more information, contact Public Relations & Marketing Associate, Alexandra M.
Landeros, at email@example.com or 817-923-3012. Additional press release
with promotional photos will be sent throughout the season.
The Main Stage Plays
Northside Hollow by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers
February 10 - March 5
Trapped underground after a deadly collapse, a miner finds his salvation in the
arrival of a young and inexperienced first responder. While they wait for
additional rescue assistance, they discover they have more in common than they
realize. An intimate portrait of mortality, memory, and redemption, this original
play will have its regional premiere at Amphibian Stage Productions.
"Even as the men's talk turns to a meditation on mortality, it's rooted in the
earth rather than the cosmos."
- The Boston Globe
White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour
March 22 - 26
It has been called a play, but it's a lively, global sensation that no one is
allowed to talk about. The actor-played by a secret celebrity actor to be
announced-has never seen the play, and the actor is told not to look up anything
about the play. This 'theater entertainment meets social experiment' is unlike
anything, and it will make you question everything.
"Mr. Soleimanpour's elliptical play keeps taking odd, unexpected turns that often
lead us back to the relief of laughter."
- The New York Times
The Trap by Kieran Lynn, a world premiere
April 28 - May 21
Clem and Tom, a young couple with financial struggles, break into Tom's employer -
a payday loan company called Debt Duck - to clean out the safe. When his gambling-addicted
boss arrives with the same idea, they're drawn into a strange scenario involving a gang
of Estonians, a self-interested supervisor with a large mortgage, and an overly sentient
alarm system. The Trap, by the same playwright of Crossing the Line, is a new play about
debt, employee theft, and the difficulties of being a good person in a capitalist society.
"He's built a reputation as a sharp, funny writer with an affinity for dark and absurd comedy."
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) by Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin
Ticheno (Reduced Shakespeare Company)
July 7 - August 13
Back by popular demand, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) returns to the
Amphibian Stage for a second run. An irreverent roller coaster ride through the
Good Book, from fig leaves to final judgment, three cultural guerrillas tackle
the great theological questions. No one is safe, especially the first row, and
everything you thought you knew about the most widely read book in history will
be turned upside down.
"Considering just how heated culture can still get today over moralistic questions
and debates, Amphibian gives local Texans a refreshingly brief respite here in the
giant studded buckle of the belt that gets its name from the book so lovingly
A Lost Leonardo by David Davalos, a world premiere*
October 13 - November 5
After suffering a major artistic disappointment in Milan, Leonardo da Vinci
renounces art and accepts an appointment to work as a military engineer for the
ruthless leader of the Papal armies (and illegitimate son of the Pope) Cesare
Borgia. After a brief time with Borgia, he realizes the job is not what he
expected, and he returns to art to create his masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.
A Lost Leonardo is a fictionalized account of the time in Leonardo's life
when he was struggling with the question of his identity, and with the
responsibility that creators bear to and for their creations. *A staged reading
of this play-under the title of Daedalus-was performed at Amphibian during the
2015 season. A Lost Leonardo is a brand new version of the original production.
"Davalos has fun playing with the elevated language from a lofty long-ago-and
bringing it down to earth and close to home with humorous catch phrases and
cultural allusions that a modern audience can embrace as its own."
- Los Angeles Times
The New Play Festival
Wild Horses by Allison Gregory
October 21 and 22
Wild Horses is a moving, savagely-funny, one-woman play about a threshold summer
that forever alters an adolescent girl. The pathos and hubris of her teenage years,
the struggle for identity, independence, and authenticity, and the desire to find
ones place in a complicated world - it all come rushing back as she takes us on
the ride of her life.
Allison Gregory Website
Off Your Feet by Ashley Monroe
October 28 and 29
The streets of New York have been the source of many vital stories in American
Theater. But for the first time, the people who call the street home are the
storytellers in the new documentary theater piece, Off Your Feet. Built from the
author's personal interviews with the people New Yorkers most often overlook,
the play moves between humor and the bleak reality of being homeless. Off Your Feet
is an illuminating exploration of humanity when we face the mercy of the elements
and the kindness or cruelty of strangers.
Shiny Objects by Jennifer Faletto
November 4 and 5
It's the Friday before Homecoming in a suburban high school and a scandal
emerges...Crystal Andersen has committed an unspeakable act with the Texas
flag. In a culture where legacy and tradition often go unquestioned, one student
changes the consciousness of her community.
National Theatre Live
No Man's Land by Harold Pinter
March 15 and 18
Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to
the West End stage at Wyndham's Theatre in London. One summer's evening, two
ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their
drinking into the night at Hirst's stately house nearby. As the pair become
increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively
conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the
return home of two sinister younger men.
Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw
April 12 and 15
Bernard Shaw's classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl
who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the
first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal
society and the Catholic Church across Europe. Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les
Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in
Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying production.
Hedda Gabler by Patrick Marber
May 31 and June 3
Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship
is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those
around her, only to see her own world unravel. Tony Award-winning director Ivo
van Hove (A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic Theatre) returns to National
Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen's masterpiece. Ruth Wilson
(Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) plays the title role in a new version by Patrick
Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer).
Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
June 21 and 24
Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays
Salieri in Peter Shaffer's iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre,
and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world -
and he's determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer
Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized
by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately,
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
July 19 and 22
A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother
Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore
a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love.
Simon Godwin (NT Live: Man and Superman, NT Live: The Beaux' Stratagem) directs
this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Black Books,
Episodes) as a transformed Malvolia.
Additional screenings will be announced as they are scheduled.
About Amphibian Stage Productions
Amphibian Stage Productions is a non-profit theatre company founded in 2000 by
three alumni of TCU's Department of Theatre who strive to produce innovative and
engaging works of theatre that challenge the way we see the world around us. Now
in its seventeenth season, Amphibian has produced numerous groundbreaking and
challenging plays (some regional premieres, others US or world premieres) that
foster a deeper understanding of ourselves as members of the global community.
The company is widely recognized for its stylistically and thematically varied
Committed to nurturing young and diverse audiences, Amphibian has developed a
strong internship program, a summer acting workshop for teens, and a dynamic
outreach project, Tad-Poles, that is steadily increasing the company's visibility
and following. The group travels to schools and community centers, performing
and spreading a message of multicultural collaboration and tolerance.
Amphibian is generously funded by the Amon G. Carter Foundation, Ann L. and Carol
Greene Rhodes Charitable Trust, Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County,
Fifth Avenue Foundation, Mary Potishman Lard Trust, Pangburn Foundation, Thomas M.,
Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Shubert
Foundation, Southwest Bank, Texas Commission on the Arts, Wells Fargo Bank,
William E. Scott Foundation, North Texas Giving Day and the Devonian Society, a
group of Amphibian's devoted donors who are proud to be the force behind nurturing
the next generation of artists and audiences.
Amphibian Stage Productions
120 S Main St.
Fort Worth, TX 76104