POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive
Dana Schultes
photo by Evan Michael Woods

Stage West - POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive

Performance: Mar 9 - 30, 2024 | By Selina Fillinger

The President of the United States, while meeting with some diplomats and press, has just referred to his wife using a shocking four-letter word, and what might have been a brief media speedbump is rapidly escalating to an international PR nightmare. Is there a way to stop this runaway dumpster fire? You’ll have a ball finding out, as Stage West presents the regional premiere of POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, a very adult rollercoaster of a farce, which begins a 3-week run on Thursday, March 7.

As usual, damage control for this mess falls to the capable women on the President’s staff, so the Chief of Staff Harriet and Press Secretary Jean immediately swing into gear to find a way to right the ship of state. Unfortunately, their efforts quickly run up against several obstacles. There’s an irate First Lady out for her husband’s blood, a timid but determined Presidential personal secretary guarding his door, and an unwelcome veteran reporter with a nose for scandal who won’t leave without answers. To further complicate things, there are a couple of unexpected arrivals – a “special friend” of the President with a secret, and also his jailbird sister who is seeking a get-out-of-jail-free card. Total chaos quickly ensues, and things are going to get a lot worse before (or if) they get better!

It’s a classic, outrageous farce, liberally sprinkled with strong language and adult situations, and audiences are likely to find themselves rolling with laughter.

Associate Producer Garret Storms says, “This show is one of the most sought-after titles in the nation at the moment. … Don’t make assumptions about this one! It’s a classic, old-school farce. …with very adult language and very powerful women!!”

"Chock-full of witty zingers, this satirical romp through the sewer of sexism in the White House is good, filthy fun” –Chicago Sun-Times

Selina Fillinger is an award-winning, internationally produced writer and performer. Her feminist farce, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, garnered three Tony nominations and made Fillinger, at 28, one of the youngest female playwrights ever produced on Broadway. Other plays include Baby, Under the Sill, The Collapse, Something Clean, Faceless, and The Armor Plays: Cinched/Strapped. Her work has been developed at Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre, Old Globe Theatre, and Alley Theatre, among others. She is currently commissioned at Roundabout and South Coast Repertory. She has developed TV with AMC, Freeform, Hunting Lane, and Hulu, and a feature with Chernin/Netflix. She wrote for the third season of Apple TV’s The Morning Show. Fillinger was named to the 2024 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Hollywood/Entertainment.

POTUS will be directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni, who last directed our productions of Witch and The Children. The cast features Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes as Chief of Staff Harriet, with Vanessa DeSilvio, last at Stage West in Between Riverside & Crazy, as Press Secretary Jean. Appearing as the President’s sister Bernadette will be Laurel L. Collins, recently seen in Poor Clare, with Olivia Cinquepalmi, seen in I Wanna F*cking Tear You Apart, as the naïve Dusty. Making their Stage West debuts are Kristin McCollum as secretary Stephanie and Octavia Thomas as journalist Chris. vickie Washington [sic], who has directed Stage West’s productions of Are You Now or Have You Ever Been… and What to Send Up When It Goes Down, is making her Stage West acting debut as First Lady Margaret.

Set design is by Technical Director Bryan Stevenson, with lighting design by Roma Flowers, costume and wig design by Shahrzad Mazaheri, sound design and mixing by Joshua Nguyen, intimacy and fight choreography by Mitch Stephens, and props and set décor by Lynn Lovett. Stage Manager duties will be handled by Tiffany Cromwell.

POTUS will preview Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 and Friday, March 8 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, March 24. The opening night reception will be after the evening performance on Saturday, March 9. The ASL interpreted performance will be Thursday, March 21. Performances will be Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 8:00, Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00, and Sundays at 2:00 and 7:30. Ticket prices for this show are $43 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $47 on Saturdays and Sundays, with $39 tickets for the two preview performances. 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, This show is rated R for graphic language and adult situations



Stage West is excited to announce the lineup for its 45th season! The new season will feature six shows, one of which will be a co-production. Four will be presented in the Evelyn Wheeler Swenson Theatre ("The Evie"), with two in the Jerry Russell Theatre.. It's a unique mix of 1 musical and 5 plays, which range from an intriguing drama to a delight-inducing comedy-mystery to a much-loved classic. Here's the lineup:

Once Upon a Mattress
Music by Mary Rodgers, Lyrics by Marshall Barer,
Swenson Theatre
Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer
October 19 - November 5, 2023
A co-production with Theatre TCU
By royal decree of the Queen, all princesses must pass a series of tests if they want to marry the hapless Prince. Even worse, throughout the kingdom no one may wed until the Prince finds a worthy wife! Many have tried, all have failed, and the Queen plans to keep it that way. But when a bold and undeniably charming new princess makes a splash at court, it seems the Queen has finally met her match. Music and mischief reign in a tale where happily ever after has never been more ap-PEA-ling.
"As fresh, inventive, and funny as ever...with wit and sophistication, and more important, human feeling" –New York Daily News

Poor Clare
Regional Premiere
by Chiara Atik
Russell Theatre
November 30 – December 17, 2023
2022 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist
Meet Clare - a stylish teen living in medieval Italy, trying out the newest hairstyles, and keeping up with the latest fashions and juicy town gossip. But everything changes when she meets a man named Francis who has started ranting in the streets. Her mother, sister, and maids don't understand it, but this man's ideas are, like, totally starting to make sense - and now she can't unsee the world he has shown her. The surprising story of Saint Clare of Assisi comes to vivid life in this modern parable of generosity, perfect for the holiday season.
"A powerful and very funny modern spin on the medieval story of Saint Clare of Assisi" - The Hollywood Times

Marjorie Prime
Regional Premiere
by Jordan Harrison
Swenson Theatre
January 18 - February 11, 2024
2015 Pulitzer Prize Finalist
In the near future, Marjorie and her daughter are worried that her memory may be fading. That is, until the appearance of Walter, a mysterious and charming young visitor who arrives to help Marjorie uncover the intricacies of her own past. But a secret truth is about to blur the lines between human and machine. In this richly spare, wondrous new play, profound questions emerge about the limits of technology and whether or not memory is an exclusively human invention.
"Elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling ... keeps developing in your head, like a photographic negative, long after you have seen it" - The New York Times

POTUS: or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.
by Selina Fillinger
Regional Premiere
March 7 - 24, 2024
Swenson Theatre
2019 Kilroys List
It all starts with a little four-letter word that the President blurts out - and what starts as a PR nightmare, turns into a complete global crisis! The seven brilliant and beleaguered women upon whom he most relies risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep things under control. It's a total rollercoaster ride as Capitol Hill turns upside down in this riotous comedy. Get ready to laugh your stars and stripes off and root for the powerful women running the free world!
"A broad, zany, old-school comedy" - TimeOut NY

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear
Regional Premiere
by David MacGregor
Russell Theatre
June 6 – 23, 2024
The as-yet-undiscovered genius, Vincent Van Gogh, presents a most peculiar case to noted detective Sherlock Holmes, his partner Dr. Watson, and his paramour Irene Adler. The trio embark on a rousing caper and find themselves confronting the daughter of Professor Moriarty. With a helping hand from Oscar Wilde, the world's greatest detective attempts to uncover a Post-Impressionist conspiracy. This zany mystery adventure is the opening gambit in a Baker Street trilogy. The game is afoot!
"An expertly crafted, utterly intelligent, and yet purely delightful escape...thoughtful, artful entertainment full of imagination and intrigue" - Encore Michigan

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Swenson Theatre
September 5 – 22, 2024
So, there are these two rich and eligible English bachelors. Both are pretending to be a man named Ernest, because they are trying to woo these two ladies who have decided they are all about that name. But when their romantic schemes collide, the whole charade unravels in a whirlwind of wacky surprises and dazzling wit. This classic comedy of courtship and manners is a masterpiece of social satire for all who appreciate the humbling folly of falling in love.
"One of the funniest and most beautifully crafted comedies" - The Times UK

Season tickets are on sale now, and will include, the Premium Season Ticket (which includes several great additional perks) at $339 each, and the Standard Season Ticket at $219 each.
For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784-9378. Tickets and information will also be available online at



Stage West is a highly-respected regional theatre operating under an S.P.T. agreement with Actors' Equity Association, the professional union of theatrical actors and stage managers in the United States. Founded in 1979, the organization's mission is to entertain, inspire, and challenge through great live theatre and to offer exceptional low-cost and/or free educational outreach services to the community at large. Stage West's staff works daily to broaden and intensify the theatrical experience for our patrons with consistently excellent acting, directing, and plays. Meticulous attention to creative detail, customer service, and a willingness to step outside of the box with new, thought-provoking material has led to consistent critical and audience-based praise for Stage West. Through all of this, the company nurtures the artistic growth of area actors, directors, designers, and playwrights by providing meaty material and a safe environment in which to explore.

Over the theatre's history, 265 shows, including 244 plays and 21 musicals, have been produced by the group. Stage West's typical season is comprised of a wide range of works including new, classic, and contemporary plays that reflect the national conversation and the human experience today.

In addition to on-stage offerings, Stage West also operates the Lobby Cafe which offers an assortment of delicious appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and hot meals for 90 minutes before each performance. Reservations are highly advised. While in the cafe, audiences are likely to dine next to creative team members who also frequent the restaurant before shows. Additionally, the Lobby Cafe walls display a new set of artists for each play as an added visual treat. Finally, Stage West is home to a wide variety of educational opportunities from weekly classes, to summer camps, to writing festivals for K-12 students and adults.

Stage West is a theatre for the whole community where diversity is celebrated and a shared humanity embraced. Come join us!

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