AMPHIBIAN STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Amphibian Stage Productions - BABA
Performance: April 27 – May 7, 2023 | Main Stage
Earth: 1980, New York City US Office of Immigration specifically. Baba chronicles the
tender, funny, and complex relationship between a newly-immigrated father and his
US-born daughter. Freedom and family collide when Mohammed’s search for the American
dream leads Layla on a quest home to Egypt thirty years after the story begins.
Playwright and performer Denmo Ibrahim developed Baba as a solo performance for
herself, portraying both Mohammed and Layla. Ibrahim is elated to see Baba take
new meaning with a new cast and creative team. Baba is reimagined from a solo performance
to a two-person, fully realized play.
AMPHIBIAN STAGE GOES GLOBAL TO BRING THE UNEXPECTED IN 2023
North Texas’ Theater Presents a Calendar Year Full of Adventurous Live Entertainment that
Explores Art on an International–Even Cosmic–Scale
Amphibian Stage announced today the theater company’s 2023 season lineup launching
February 10, featuring a world premiere new play inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Importance
of Being Earnest, a Van Cliburn-style acting competition addition to SparkFest, and three
weeks of back-to-back stand-up comedy featuring the series creator, Grace & Frankie star
The 12-month lineup of never-before-seen theatrical experiences and bold programming all
serve to champion the nonprofit's mission to build a community of artists and patrons who
can unite through thought-provoking performing arts. Every selection in 2023 will offer
audiences a space to engage with the material long after the lights go down. The main-stage
season explores the perplexing, difficult, but crucial need for human connection in vastly
different settings; a rocket ship to mars, a US Immigration office, Victorian England, and
a run-down German town. In March, the Stand-Up Comic Residency will place three prominent
Black comedians in the spotlight. And SparkFest, in its third year, will celebrate and
amplify voices that often go unheard.
Amphibian Stage maintains their commitment to work in partnership with artists in the
creation of new work-from development to production. The Main Stage season features a
provocative world premiere and two plays that will have their first professional staging
since they were originally conceived. Amphibian Stage is working directly with the writers
to develop a new approach to designing and directing these works. This year’s SparkFest
will center around a community often underrepresented on U.S. stages in an effort to better
acquaint the theatre industry at large with Middle Eastern, North African, and South
Asian (MENASA) artists. This festival, like the whole season, will demonstrate the effect
new work can have on the future of performing arts.
“For years I've dreamed of hosting an acting competition that would not only reward
actors for their years of training and experience, but that would also allow audiences
to see the brightest Texas talent. There is a perceived absence of MENASA talent in the
area, and this further limits the opportunities available to them. By showcasing them,
we hope to introduce artistic leaders to more actors and thus encourage all of us to
include their stories in our seasons.” -Kathleen Culebro, Amphibian Stage Artistic Director
MAIN STAGE PLAYS
February 10 - March 5
By Leegrid Stevens
Directed by Jay Duffer
The first production of 2023 is a full-sensory, surround-sound expedition into outer space.
Spaceman follows Molly Jennis’s solo mission to Mars after her husband's failed, tragic
attempt at the same journey. Aaron Grunfield's review of the original production at Loading
Dock Theatre remarked that Spaceman “...is a masterpiece of science fiction..it imparts
that classic sense of wonder, marveling at humanity’s potential and the courage that
drives our endeavors. If it should come to your city, see it.” When Amphibian Stage
Co-Artistic Director Jay Duffer reached out to Leegrid about producing Spaceman, Stevens
revealed how apt it was that the play would be presented in DFW, specifically at
“My mother-in-law is a native Fort Worther and has attended several productions at
Amphibian Stage. Like a dutiful mother-in-law, she suggested I submit a play to Amphibian
as ‘they’re real good.’ Well, I listened to her for once and here we are! My wife grew up
in Keller and we return to Fort Worth once or twice a year. I am thrilled that Spaceman
is taking flight again, with a new team, in our second home.” -Playwright Leegrid Stevens
This production will be the first since the world premiere at New York City’s Loading
Dock Theatre in 2019.
April 21 - May 7
By Denmo Ibrahim
Directed by Hamid Dehghani
After Spaceman, Amphibian Stage travels back to Earth: 1980, New York City US Office of
Immigration specifically. Baba chronicles the tender, funny, and complex relationship
between a newly-immigrated father and his US-born daughter. Freedom and family collide
when Mohammad’s search for the American dream leads Layla on a quest home to Egypt thirty
years after the story begins. Playwright and performer Denmo Ibrahim developed Baba as a
solo performance for herself, portraying both Mohammed and Layla. Ibrahim is elated to
see Baba take new meaning with a new cast and creative team.
"I'm thrilled to see BABA reimagined from a solo performance to a two-person, fully-realized
play. In Amphibian Stage’s production, the story transforms beautifully from a daughter
grappling with her father's memory to a father and daughter’s longing for home. The play
received its world premiere a decade ago and considering what our country has endured
these last 10 years, BABA now has become ever more timely. I can't wait to share this
story for the first time with audiences in Fort Worth." - Playwright Denmo Ibrahim
Miss Molly, A Marital Deceit of Honest Intentions
July 21 - August 13
By Christine Carmela
Directed by Evan Michael Woods
The summer play offering will take audiences to Victorian England with a twist. Miss Molly is an homage to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest offering the same humor and charm of Wilde’s work while incorporating modern references and exploring queer themes (an act punishable by law during Wilde’s lifetime). This new comedy comes from Christine Carmela and will be directed by Evan Michael Woods, 2 TCU alumni who were roommates when Carmela first drafted Miss Molly. Since graduating, Carmela made her Off-broadway debut at SoHo Repertory Theatre and has accrued 6.2 million likes on TikTok–all while studying for her Masters in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. While Woods is known as a multidisciplinary theatre artist in DFW, Miss Molly marks his directorial debut. Christine tells us why she and Evan make the perfect team.
"To have Miss Molly premiere in any other city, at any other theatre, with any other director would feel blasphemous. DFW has always been an artistic home for me; it's where I started my career as a writer and performer. Before USC and Off-Broadway, Amphibian was the first professional theatre to give me a chance when they hosted a staged reading of one of my early plays. There is not a single director better suited to bring Miss Molly to life than the person who lived in the room next door to me for most of my time in DFW, whom I consider a go-to collaborator, confidant, and friend." - Playwright Christine Carmela
October 20 - November 12
By Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Adapted by Maurice Valency*
Directed by Jay Duffer
In partnership with University of Texas at Arlington Department of Theatre and Dance
Just in time for Fall, Amphibian Stage will close their Main Stage season with a darkly
comic tale from prolific German writer, Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The Visit tells the story
of a wealthy philanthropist returning to her hometown to save it from financial ruin...but
the money comes with a deadly request that will test the morals of the town’s inhabitants.
This larger-than-life classic will be brought to the stage in partnership with the
University of Texas at Arlington’s Theatre faculty and students.
“We’ve had the opportunity over the last several years to have Amphibian’s Co-Artistic
Director Jay Duffer share his directing expertise with UTA’s junior and senior theatre
majors in the Directing I course. The opportunity to now further collaborate with this
professional union theatre is a critical next-step for both faculty and students. Working
in partnership with Amphibian on The Visit will provide a conduit for real-world
application where students will work alongside area professionals (including our design
faculty) towards a commercial production. We are thrilled!” -Dr. Anne Healy, Chair of
Department of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Texas at Arlington
STAND-UP COMIC RESIDENCY*
March 9 -11
Grace & Frankie star Baron Vaughn returns to Amphibian Stage for the third time since
creating the residency series back in 2017. After starting this unique opportunity for
stand-up artists, many big-name comedians–including Aparna Nancherla, Phoebe Robinson,
River Butcher and Sasheer Zamata–have come through Amphibian Stage.
March 16 - 18
Amphibian Stage veteran Phoebe Robinson personally acquainted Nore Davis with the comic
residency. You’ve seen Davis’ comedy on Comedy Central, Prime Video, The Tonight Show,
Conan, and acting in hit shows Boardwalk Empire, Succession, and Dickinson. This is Nore’s
first time performing at Amphibian Stage!
March 23 - 25
2 Dope Queens Phoebe Robinson returns to Amphibian Stage after a sold-out residency in
2019! While Robinson is best known for her work as a comedian and performer, she is also
a New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed producer. She sold out five nights in
2019 and will return for three in 2023.
Gabe Mollica: Deductible
September 2023 (Exact Dates TBA)
Special Stand-Up Comic Residency
After Miss Molly closes in August, Comedian Gabe Mollica is developing a stand-up set
that straddles the line of theatre and comedy. This is not the first stand-up residency
to balance these two mediums; Jacqueline Novak ironed out Get On Your Knees at Amphibian
Stage before it arrived Off-Broadway to critical acclaim (featured in “The New York Times
Best of Theatre and Best of Comedy” in 2019). Gabe comes to Fort Worth after an extended
run of his debut set Solo at Soho Playhouse in Manhattan. His new project, Deductible,
takes aim at the US healthcare system.
Gabe Mollica’s dates will be announced in early 2023. 3 more residencies expected in 2023.
Comedy lineup is subject to change.
SPARK FEST: JUNE 1-17
This summer, the annual performing arts festival SparkFest returns to the Near Southside
for the third time – and it’s bigger than ever! SparkFest 2023 will introduce a Texas-wide
“Van Cliburn Festival” style acting competition with $18,000 in cash prizes for the
finalists. The competition will be limited to MENASA actors and artists.
“For years I've dreamed of hosting an acting competition that would not only reward actors
for their years of training and experience, but that would also allow audiences to see the
brightest Texas talent. There is a perceived absence of MENASA talent in the area, and this
further limits the opportunities available to them. By showcasing them, we hope to introduce
artistic leaders to more actors and thus encourage all of us to include their stories in
our seasons.” -Kathleen Culebro, Amphibian Stage Artistic Director
The remainder of the festival will focus on the development and showcasing of new plays,
supplemented by other engaging events. In 2021 and 2022 SparkFest included Light up the
Runway (a Project Runway-style fashion show), a puppetry workshop, a comedy workshop for
beginners workshop, stand-up comedy performances, and much more. Details on the acting
competition and festival lineup will be announced in early 2023.
ABOUT AMPHIBIAN STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Amphibian Stage, a non-profit theater company founded in Fort Worth in 2000, strives to
produce innovative and engaging theater that inspires new ideas, opens new doors and
increases understanding of the vast world around us. Now in its 23rd season, Amphibian
has produced numerous groundbreaking and challenging plays that foster a deeper
understanding of ourselves as members of the global community. The company is widely
recognized for its stylistically and thematically varied scripts.
Amphibian Stage Productions
120 S Main St.
Fort Worth, TX 76104
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