Production Blog

A behind the scenes peek at rehearsals, artistic choices, artist interviews, and the daily business of running a theatre.

A chat with ON THE EXHALE star Dana Schultes on taking the stage

Q: You will be starring in your first one-person show with On the Exhale in our new Evelyn Wheeler Swenson Theatre. The script specifically asks for minimal and limited technical elements, so it really is a showcase for the actress and the story. Without giving too much away, what drew you to this script and what do you think makes it so exciting for you and the audience?

A: I’ve had the pleasure to direct a few one-person shows. I’ve seen a lot more. Among those are some of my favorite theatre experiences, ever. And though I’ve read several over the years for which I might have been a candidate as actor, I never really had any interest in being in one. Until reading this play. On the Exhale (OTE) was brought to my attention by my friend Bronson Davis who had seen it at the Chautauqua Festival. Bronson is a board member and also a Patron of Stage West. He, like many people, has mentioned plays to me over the years. Sometimes I get around to reading them, sometimes I don’t. However, the things he said about OTE really piqued my interest. I sought out the script.

Once I had it to hand, I devoured it. It. Was. Riveting. I could feel my heart beating in my chest as the story unfolded one page to the next. The way that Zimmerman, the playwright, spins the tale of the character we’ve named “Susan,” is fascinating and gripping. I knew I wanted to do the play. The moment I finished reading it, I said to myself, “Oh yeah. I want to do this play. This is the one.” The fact is, I love a good story. It’s what draws me to just about every play we put on the season and that’s what sealed the deal for me with regard to OTE. I can’t wait to share it with audiences.

Patron Spotlight: Mark and Jill Freer

Development Manager Tonya Wilson-Brown, recently got the chance to catch up with two loyal Stage West Patrons, Mark and Jill Freer.

Where are you two from originally?

Jill: We are from Michigan. I am from a suburb of Detroit and Mark is from Detroit. Work brought us to Texas, and we are here to stay.

How did you become interested in theatre in general?

Mark: My wife. Jill: No, it’s true! (laughs) I was a thespian in high school and have a life-long love of theatre. When we moved back to Texas again in 2014, we dived in. We live in Fort Worth, and Stage West specifically was close to downtown and convenient to get to.

Why do you support SWT?

Mark: We both love theatre. It is important to keep it going strong. We support many local theaters and have season subscriptions to many: Stage West, Amphibian, Jubilee, etc. Overall, we just really like what Stage West is doing.

What’s your favorite show in recent memory at SWT?

Jill: We became season ticket holders in 2017/2018. The show that stands out to us the most is Life Sucks because of the message: life doesn’t suck. It made you think. It resonated. I vividly remember the set. It was two levels and really was amazing to see.

If you could change one thing about SWT, what would it be?

Mark: More cookies! Joking. Stage West is moving in a great direction. We love First Tuesdays. Especially recently, there seems to be more reaching out to members/patrons. Whatever you are doing - keep it up.

What three words would you use to sell SWT to a friend?

Jill: Great. Local. Theatre.

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