Grace Montie, photo by Evan Michael Woods
Grace Montie, photo by Evan Michael Woods
photo by Evan Michael Woods

The Royal Society of Antarctica

Performance: Aug 24 through Sep 24, 2017
By Mat Smart

What would bring you to the bottom of the world? Scientific research? A journey of self-discovery? An escape from a world you don't fit into? Whatever the reasons, it will certainly be a life-changing experience, as we see in Mat Smart's funny and thoughtful The Royal Society of Antarctica, beginning a 5-week regional premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, August 24.

Dee is a rare individual-she is the only person ever to have been born at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. But not long after her birth, her mother Shannon went outside - for reasons unknown - and disappeared in a white - out. Dee's father refuses to talk about it, so now Dee has signed on to work as a janitor on "The Ice," hoping to learn...something. Once there, she finds herself part of a ragtag group of misfits and scientists: Tim, the lead janitor, Tamara, a dining attendant, Tom, a technician who knew Dee's parents, Pam, a reclusive fuel technician, Ace, the bartender with an agenda, Navy midshipman Miller, and biology grad student Jake.

Amongst long work hours and a harsh and confining environment, Dee quickly finds acceptance in this endearingly oddball group, but answers? But she soon learns that sometimes the answers we seek are only met with more questions. It's a journey of laughter and discovery, which audiences will find both entertaining and touching.

"I really didn't want the show to end. I'd laughed and thought all night, and I felt like I would miss these people." Chicago Tribune

Mat Smart writes plays about his hometown (Naperville, IL) and his travels (he's been to all 50 states and all of the continents). He received the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago for The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre), which was developed at the Playwrights' Center in PlayLabs 2013 and inspired by his three-month stint working as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Mat's newest plays include Midwinter (commission from the Denver Center Theatre Company, workshop at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit) and Eden Prairie, 1971, inspired by his three years living in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2011. He recently returned from South America where he spent time volunteering on an organic farm outside Mendoza, Argentina. Other plays include: Naperville, Tinker to Evers to Chance, Samuel J. and K., The Hopper Collection, The 13th of Paris, and The Debate over Courtney O'Connell of Columbus, Nebraska. He is an alumnus of the Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, Play Group at Ars Nova, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a co-Artistic Director of NYC's Slant Theatre Project.

The Royal Society of Antarctica will be directed by Lee Trull, Director of New Play Development at the Dallas Theater Center. Seven of the cast are actors making their Stage West debuts: newbie Dee will be played by Grace Montie, technicians UT Tim and UT Tom will be played by Drew Wall and Michael Federico, respectively, bartender Ace by Christopher Dontrell Piper, dining hall worker Tamara by Kelly Stewart, midshipman Miller by Christopher Lew, and grad student Jake by Ruben Carrazana. Rounding out the cast will be Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes, who will play the reclusive Pam.

Set Design will be by N. Ryan McBride, with lighting design by Aaron Johansen, costume design by Aaron Patrick DeClerk, and sound design by Kellen Voss. Choreography will be handled by Kelsey Milbourn, with props/set décor by Lynn Lovett.

The Royal Society of Antarctica will preview Thursday, August 24 at 7:30 and Friday, August 25 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, September 24. 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, August 26. 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 some strong language.

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)