Dana Schultes and Jake Buchanan
photo by Evan Michael Woods
Sex with Strangers
Performance: June 24 through July 23, 2017
By Laura Eason
How far would you go to get what you want most? And can you really reinvent
yourself when your past is only a mouse click away? These questions are at the
heart of Laura Eason's smart and sexy comedy Sex with Strangers, beginning a
5-week regional premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, June 22.
Olivia Lago, a talented and reclusive writer whose first novel was not a
success, has holed up at a bed and breakfast in Michigan to work on her second
novel. She's just settled in, when what she thought would be her private space
is invaded by the brash and attractive Ethan Kane, who had also booked a room,
but was delayed by the oncoming blizzard. Turns out he's a writer also, a
widely-followed sex blogger working on a screenplay. She's not thrilled to have
company, but his charm is kind of irresistible. Plus he's read-and loved-her
first book. After a lot of banter - and a bottle of wine - their mutual
attraction leads them exactly where you might expect. Over the next couple of
days, Ethan convinces Olivia to put her first novel out there again,
self-publishing under a new title and a pseudonym. It'll be a win for each of
them if it works-she'll reach a new audience and he'll have the cachet of
having discovered a promising new talent.
It all seems perfect. But how well do they really know each other? Is he
that charming guy from the cabin - or the less savory guy from his blog and books?
And can their relationship survive their diverging ambitions? This provocative
comedy takes a sharp look at identity in the digital age, and what happens when
our private lives become public domain.
"Sexually and intellectually provocative...A hell of a lot of fun!"
The Hollywood Reporter
Laura Eason is a Brooklyn-based screenwriter and playwright. She is best known
for four seasons as a writer/producer on the Netflix drama "House of Cards"
(WGA nomination for outstanding writing in a drama series, three Primetime Emmy
Award nominations for drama series) and her play Sex With Strangers (one of the
most produced plays in the U.S. in '15-'16 and'16-'17 seasons with more than 50
separate productions). Her award-winning stage adaptations for family audiences
include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hartford Stage, CT; New Victory, NY; and
more than thirty productions around the U.S.) and Around The World In 80 Days
(Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago and many productions in U.S. and London/UK).
Eason is an ensemble member and the former Artistic Director of Lookingglass
Theatre Company in Chicago (2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award), and a Dramatists
Guild, WGAE, AEA, SAG, and SDC member. Laura is an alumna of Northwestern
University and WP Playwright's Lab. More information at: lauraeason.com or
@LEasonNYC (from Dramatists Play Service Inc.)
Sex with Strangers will be directed by Jim Covault, retired Stage West
Artistic Director and Co-Producer, now the Artistic Director and Executive
Producer for Orchard Theatre of Texas. Ethan will be played by Jake Buchanan,
just seen at Stage West as KJ and Jasper in The Aliens, while Olivia will be
played by Stage West Executive Producer Dana Schultes, last on our stage in
Wait Until Dark.
Set Design will be by Kevin Brown, with lighting design by Kyle Harris, and
sound design by John Flores. Costumes will be designed by Ryan D. Schapp, with
props/set décor by Lynn Lovett.
Sex with Strangers will preview Thursday, June 22 at 7:30 and Friday,
June 23 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, July 23. 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, June 24.
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 and adult situations.
STAGE WEST ANNOUNCES 2016-2017 SEASON
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
Main Stage Series:
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
"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
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
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
"Aaron Mark's [writing]...is 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
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
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 www.stagewest.org/season-tickets
821 W. Vickery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Metro (817) 784-9378 (STG-WEST)