Joey Folsom, Jake Buchanan, and Parker Gray
Joey Folsom, Jake Buchanan, and Parker Gray
photo by Evan Michael Woods


Performance: May 6 through June 4, 2017
By Annie Baker

"Looking at the sun helps you sneeze." Just a typical piece of life-advice from KJ, one of a pair of disaffected yet engaging slackers we meet in Annie Baker's gentle, touching, and funny Obie Award winner The Aliens, beginning a 5-week run on Thursday, May 4 at Stage West.

KJ and Jasper have been hanging out in the employee break area behind a Vermont coffee shop for ages-it's where they discuss music, failed relationships, Bukowski, and, well…life. Then their territory is invaded one day by Evan, an awkward seventeen-year-old new employee of the coffee shop, who has been sent to take out the trash and run off the unwelcome habitués. He's too unsure of himself to muster the authority to send them away, so they remain, and he retreats. But gradually, as he continues to pass through their refuge, a relationship begins to develop, and KJ and Jasper start to include him in their boys' club, passing along nuggets of wisdom. It's an unlikely friendship, but it works, as these three misfits find meaning in each other and in art. And in the end, the lives of all three are changed. Audiences are sure to be charmed by this humorous and touching play about what it takes to grow up.

"Such a stark reminder of...youthful hope." The Telegraph

Annie Baker grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her full-length plays include Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, OBIE Award for Best New American Play), and Nocturama. Her work has also been developed and produced at New York Theatre Workshop, MCC, Soho Rep, the Orchard Project, the Ontological-Hysteric, Ars Nova, the Huntington, South Coast Rep, the Magic Theater, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah and Ucross, Wyoming. Annie is a member of New Dramatists, MCC's Playwrights Coalition, and EST, and an alumna of Youngblood, Ars Nova's Play Group, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent honors include a New York Drama Critics Circle Special Citation, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, a Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, and commissions from Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons. MFA, Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. (from Dramatists Play Service Inc.)

The Aliens will be directed by Dana Schultes, who most recently directed our production of Ann. KJ will be played by Jake Buchanan*, last seen at Stage West as Mike in Wait Until Dark. Making their Stage West debuts will be Joey Folsom*, who appeared as Jesus in Theatre 3's production of Cotton Patch Gospel, as Jasper, and Parker Gray, seen as Hugo Schmidt in Kitchen Dog's Feathers and Teeth, as Evan.

Beginning on the second weekend of the run, actors Jake Buchanan and Joey Folsom will trade off roles. Thursdays and Saturdays will feature "A" casting with Buchanan as KJ and Folsom as Jasper. Fridays and Sundays will feature the "B" casting with Buchanan as Jasper and Folsom as KJ. Parker Gray is playing Evan throughout. This arrangement lends itself to very different performances, including different takes on music performed in the show. Both casting options will remain relevant and polished. Patrons opting to see both performances will find two very different shows with the same fantastic script.

Set Design will by Stage West Technical Director N. Ryan McBride, with lighting design by Texas Wesleyan theatre chair Bryan Stevenson, and sound design by John Flores. Costumes will be designed by Garret Storms, with props/set décor by Lynn Lovett.

The Aliens will preview Thursday, May 4 at 7:30 and Friday, May 5 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, June 4. Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. The opening night reception will be Saturday, May 6. Ticket prices range from $31 to $35, with discounts for the preview performance, and for students, seniors, and military. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are necessary). Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website,

NOTE: This show contains strong language.



Stage West is pleased to announces the lineup for its 38th season! The new season will offer six plays plus a season extra, and patrons purchasing season tickets before October 1 will be offered a discount on the season extra. It's an exciting mix of shows, featuring fresh takes on classic stories, cutting edge regional premieres, and a daring, not-to-be-missed World Premiere. Here it is:

Main Stage Series:

Season Extra:
Ann (The Ann Richards Play), by Holland Taylor
North Texas premiere
October 6 - November 6

Tough as nails. Funny as hell.

Our brassy blue governor Ann Richards is back and brought to vivid life in a tour-de-force one woman show. Ann is an inspiring and hilarious new play that brings you face to face with a complex, colorful, and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Take a break from the election season, and come sit a spell with one of politics' most unforgettable characters.

"A spot-on tribute to the iconic Texas governor." - Austin CultureMap

Murder for Two, Book & Lyrics by Kellen Blair and Book & Music by Joe Kinosian
November 17 - December 18

A killer musical comedy.

A fateful night. A surprise party. A great American novelist is killed...fatally. A small town policeman, with dreams of making detective, jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills and find the killer before the real detective arrives! Murder for Two is a perfect blend of music, mayhem, and murder with a twist - one actor investigates the crime, the other plays (all) the suspects, and did we mention, they both play piano! A witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.

"Ingenious! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs." - The New York Times

STUPID F*CKING BIRD, by Aaron Posner, sort of adapted from Chekhov's The Seagull
Regional premiere
January 19 - February 19

Don't like your story? Rewrite that sh*t.

Dev loves Mash. Mash loves Con. Con loves Nina. Nina loves Trig. But so does Emma. Thus, the stage is set for sidesplitting heartache. An irreverent and unabashedly provocative riff on Chekhov's classic of the timeless battle between young and old, past and present, at the search for the true meaning of it all - only this time, convention gets shot to f*cking hell.

"... the magic of Stupid F##king Bird is how it balances the hilarious and the heart wrenching." - DC Theatre Scene

Deer, by Aaron Mark
World premiere
March 9 - April 9

A grisly, pitch-black comedy.

Ken and Cynthia have been married for thirty years. Ken and Cynthia drive to their vacation home for the weekend. Ken and Cynthia hit a deer. Ken just wants to spend the weekend alone with his wife, but Cynthia will not abandon their lifeless, bloody new pet. As the carcass begins to take over their lives, secrets surface, sanity slips, and someone may not be quite as dead as they should be.

"Aaron Mark's [writing] vivid, original, and mesmerizing." - Theater Pizzazz

The Aliens, by Annie Baker
May 4 - June 4

Life, disenchantment, rock and roll, and fireworks.

At a table next to the dumpster behind a Vermont coffee shop, two friends straddling youth and adulthood spend their days pondering life, music, and Bukowski. When a lonely high-school student arrives on the scene, they take him under their wing and teach him everything they know. A play-with-music about connection, creation, and what it takes to grow up.

"Such a stark reminder of...youthful hope" - The Telegraph

Sex with Strangers, by Laura Eason
Regional premiere
June 22 - July 23

Sex plus the internet. What could go wrong?

When twenty-something star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure nearing-forty novelist Olivia, in the middle of a blizzard, they find they each crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, secrets surface and both must confront the dark side of ambition and the difficulty of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away.

"A twisty and timely two character drama about lust, love and the complex nature of identity in our digital-dominated era." -The New York Times.

The Royal Society of Antarctica, by Mat Smart
Regional premiere
August 24 - September 24

What do you find at the bottom of the world?

A young woman seeking to understand her mother's disappearance joins the ranks of a ragtag group of misfits and scientists who serve at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Amidst janitorial duties, never-ending daylight, and subzero temperatures, this lonely and rugged bunch becomes an escape from the world and a home for each other. A striking and luminous story about why we run away and what happens when we finally come face to face with what we've been running away from.

"Such a goofy, painful, honest exploration of the relationships...that any single description is absurdly limiting." - Chicago Sun Times

Visit Stage West:

Season tickets range in price from $135 to $175 with discounts for students, seniors, and teachers. Subscribers purchasing season passes prior to October 1 may purchase up to 2 tickets for Ann at $25 apiece.
For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784-9378. Tickets will be available online at

821 W. Vickery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Metro (817) 784-9378 (STG-WEST)