A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City
Janielle Kastner and Thomas Ward
photo by Evan Michael Woods

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City

Performance: March 10 through April 1, 2018
Opening Night Reception: Following the performance Saturday, March 10, 2018
By: Halley Feiffer

Two very different people thrown together in a hospital room where both their mothers are battling cancer--it's surely not the most auspicious first encounter. But after a hostile beginning, the two find they have some surprising common ground, in Halley Feiffer's outrageously funny, and ultimately touching, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. The play begins a 4-week regional premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, March 8.

Karla is a young, R-rated comedian, while Don is a rumpled, middle-aged man going through a nasty divorce; both their mothers are fighting cancer and sharing a room. Don and Karla's initial meeting does not go well, escalating quickly into an epic confrontation. Surprisingly, though, this war of words ends in laughter and tears, with each of them finding sympathy for the other. Over the course of several days, they open up to each other, Don about his resentful, drug-addicted son, and Karla about her seemingly-uncaring, far less than ideal mother. Gradually, this mutual support helps them to salvage the pieces of their lives, especially Karla's broken relationship with her mom. Ultimately, the play is a touching and funny look at relationships, especially the prickly parent-child one, and at the strength it takes to learn to laugh through the pain.

Director Dana Schultes says, "I love the freshness of the script... It definitely pushes some boundaries--like all great theatre--while retaining a through-line of warmth and heart. It's really lovely...with some mega-edge sprinkled on top."

The New York Times called it "A play that is a deeply felt as its name is long."

Halley Feiffer is a New York-based writer and actress. Her full-length plays also include I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them, and Sidney and Laura. She is currently a writer on the Starz series The One Percent. Her plays have been produced, commissioned and developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, LAByrinth Theater Company, The O'Neill, The Orchard Project, Berkshire Theatre Group, Naked Angels, Cape Cod Theatre Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Keen Company, Partial Comfort Productions and the Amoralists. She is currently working on a stage adaption of The Boy Kings, Kate Losse's memoir about working at Facebook during its rising year. Halley is an alumna of terraNOVA's Groundbreakers Playwrights' Group, a former resident writer for Blue Man Group, former Playwright in Residence at Stella Adler Studio and a winner of the Young Playwrights Competition and the Lotos Foundation Prize. She is currently under commission by Manhattan Theatre Club/The Sloan Foundation, Jen Hoguet Productions and Playwrights Horizons. Halley co-wrote and starred in the 2013 film He's Way More Famous Than You, and co-created and stars in the web series What's Your Emergency for (both directed by Michael Urie). She holds a BA from Wesleyan University, and is the daughter of Jules Feiffer and Jenny Allen.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City will be directed by Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes, who most recently directed our production of The Aliens. Making her Stage West debut as Karla will be Janielle Kastner, whose credits include Young Woman in Lisa My Friend for Kitchen Dog Theatre, with Thomas Ward, recently seen as Mr. Zero in Theatre Three's Adding Machine: A Musical, as Don. Karla's mother Marcie will be played by Shannon J. McGrann, who appeared as Williamina in Silent Sky at WaterTower Theatre, while Judy Keith, seen as Grandma in Billy Elliot at Firehouse Theatre, will play Don's mother Geena. Understudying Geena, and appearing at the March 30 performance, will be Cindee Mayfield, who recently appeared as Babs in Stage West's Life Sucks.

Set design is by Jocelyn Girigorie, with lighting design by L.W. Miller, costume design by Sylvia Fuhrken, sound design by Marco Salinas, and props/set decor by Lynn Lovett.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City will preview Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 and Friday, March 9 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, April 1. 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, March 10. 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 advised). Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website,



Our 2017-2018 Season

Stage West is pleased to announces the lineup for its 39th 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 classics, can’t-miss regional premieres, and a world premiere.

  Here it is:

Life Sucks.
by Aaron Posner, sort of adapted from Chekhov's Uncle Vanya
Regional premiere
October 12 - November 12
Directed by Emily Scott Banks
Life is, like, really hard. It's tough being the gorgeous woman desired by all but understood by none. Or the homely girl with a heart of gold. Or the middle-aged man insightful enough to see the cavernous depth of his own failings. A quirky and deeply human new installment in the Chekhov cycle from the playwright of Stupid F*cking Bird - full of all the delight and charm that love and longing can inspire.
“Altogether wise, profoundly humane, hilarious, quirky, endearing and, in countless clever ways, brilliantly faithful to its source”  - Chicago Sun-Times

Season Extra:
An Act of God
by David Javerbaum
Regional premiere
November 30 - December 31
Directed by Harry Parker, and starring B.J. Cleveland
Direct from the pearly gates, and flanked by His ever-faithful and devoted archangels, the Almighty Himself is back to set the record straight and answer the deepest questions plaguing humanity since Creation. In this hilarious, no holds barred, irreverent, and critically acclaimed new play, God takes the stage to deliver a new and improved set of Commandments that are sure to have audiences rolling in their seats with side-splitting glee while providing angel-food for thought.
“Sinfully funny!” - Vanity Fair

Like a Billion Likes
by Erik Forrest Jackson
World premiere
January 18 - February 11
Directed by TBD
Misty Riggs is a nobody. No, really, she is - that's an undisputed fact. But just as she's starting sophomore year, she gets the notion she should try to stand out somehow before it's too late. Misty's gambit, however, only cements her loserdom, and after one blow too many, she makes a final, desperate bid for glory - the terrible culmination of her burning desire to be recognized for something, anything, no matter how she achieves it.
Winner of the 2016 Southwest Playwriting Competition

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City
by Halley Feiffer
Regional premiere
March 8 - April 1
Directed by Lee Trull
A slouchy, foul-mouthed young comedian and an overwhelmed middle-aged man embroiled in a nasty divorce are unexpectedly brought together when their cancer-stricken mothers become roommates in the hospital. Tensions rise and gauntlets are thrown, but appearances may be deceiving. Through confessions, fights, and uproariously inappropriate jokes, these two unwittingly invest in each other and help to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. A boisterously brazen story of the strength it takes to learn to laugh through pain.
  “A play that is as deeply felt as its name is long.” - The New York Times

by Taylor Mac
Regional premiere
May 17 - June 17
Directed by TBD
After returning from the wars, Isaac arrives at his childhood home to discover that the house and family he knew have been upended. His once-timid mother is on a whirlwind crusade to subvert the patriarchy, his sister is now his genderqueer brother who refers to hirself in gender-neutral pronouns. Meanwhile, his stroke-ridden father slumps on the couch in a muumuu and clown makeup. As Isaac attempts to reclaim structure in a household that refuses to be tamed, the family is forced to confront what it is to live in a new world when one is stuck in the past.
"A remarkable, audacious, uproarious black comedy with a daring combination of realism and madcap absurdity." - New York Times

Don't Dress for Dinner
by Marc Camoletti, adapted by Robin Hawdon
July 12 - August 12
Directed by Christie Vela
  Hilarity and hijinks ensue when Bernard invites his mistress over for a weekend romp while his wife Jacqueline is meant to be away. But when Jacqueline discovers Bernard's friend Robert is also coming over, she decides to stay. Robert is supposed to be Bernard's alibi for the weekend, but he is also Jacqueline's secret lover. By the time the mistress and the cook show up, trysts and sweet-nothings are postponed as mar?ital treachery, mistaken identities, and madcap chaos take hold in an evening of adulterous mirth.
"Hurtling along at the speed of light, this breathtaking farce is a near faultless piece of theatrical invention.” - The Guardian

An Octoroon
by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Regional premiere
August 30 - September 30
Directed by Akin Babatundé
The Terrebonne plantation is in upheaval - the Master has died. ?His naïve young nephew tries to hold things together, but the evil neighbor is out to buy the land. Meanwhile, the slaves chat and gossip, and the beautiful, young ward of the estate has a secret that will change everything. Based on a controversial classic, this Obie Award winning play is part period satire and part meta-theatrical middle finger - it's a provocative and moving challenge to the racial climate of ?"the land of the free?"? in both the antebellum South and today.
“Hilarious and harrowing... This decade's most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.” - The New York 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)