Be a part of our future!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Have you read the news?

Stage West celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a gala – and the announcement that the Fort Worth theater will be expanding with new performance spaces and a redesigned cafe.  Art & Seek’s Jerome Weeks reports it’ll all cost $3 million – but the theater has already raised more than half of that.  

Keep Reading 

Anyone can help by texting “SetTheStage” to 88793!

"Stage West Goes Big"

Thursday, February 28, 2019

by Jerome Weeks 
28 Feb 2019

Stage West celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a gala – and the announcement that the Fort Worth theater will be expanding with new performance spaces and a redesigned cafe. Art & Seek’s Jerome Weeks reports it’ll all cost $3 million – but the theater has already raised more than half of that.

Stage West is about to become a transformative cultural resource in Fort Worth. It’ll be able to foster smaller theaters and music groups by renting spaces to them, and it’ll increase its own revenue possibilities when its current lobby cafe doubles its seating to 125. When the expansion is complete, Stage West will be the only company in Tarrant County with four performance spaces. That includes its main stage with 144 seats and a new, flexible studio space next door that can seat up to 200. There’ll be a tiny rehearsal hall and they’ll all share the current lobby cafe, which can also be used for small shows.

In 1930, the yellow-brick building on West Vickery Boulevard was a bus garage. In 2007, it became the sixth home for Stage West. The company had been bouncing around Fort Worth until the theater’s late founder Jerry Russell settled his theater there. Under his successor, executive director (and Art&Seek Spotlight artist) Dana Schultes, Stage West has almost doubled its budget.

Schultes sees Stage West’s changes in the near future as potentially rippling through Fort Worth’s arts scene:

“The cool thing,” she says, “is that each of the venues is so different from the next. And what that means to me is an oportunity to foster more of an indie arts scene in the area. And it means the community will have more resources for great arts. “

Under Schultes, recent productions including ‘Bootycandy,’ ‘The Nether,’ ‘The Octoroon‘ and ‘A Doll’s House, Pt2’ have undeniably ramped up the theater’s production quality. These have been some of the more daring, highly-praised shows in North Texas the past two season. Last year, Stage West became one of the very rare North Texas theaters to purchase its own home. Yet this new “Setting the Stage for the Future” campaign is actually the theater’s first-ever, community-wide fundraising effort.

The full release:


(Fort Worth, Texas)  Stage West marked 40 years in the city with a grand dinner and festivities highlighting its many accomplishments, on February 27, at the Fort Worth Club. Since its founding in 1979 the theatre has presented over 300 plays to audiences that totaled more than 650,000 patrons over the years.

The celebration culminated in an announcement that Stage West had just completed the four-month silent phase of a planned, three-year $3 million comprehensive campaign. The surprise declaration was made by former State Senator and the daughter of the theatre’s founder, Jerry Russell, Wendy Davis. She delighted the audience with the news that more than one-half of the goal at $1.68 million had been reached!

The Campaign for Stage West: Setting the Stage for the Future is the culmination of a series of important accomplishments.  The most consequential was the acquisition of its home theatre at 821 West Vickery at the beginning of 2018. The building, which was originally built as a bus garage in 1930, was the sixth site in Fort Worth from which the company produced plays.

Other factors that encouraged the board to conduct a campaign included the doubling of its annual philanthropic income during the last four years. While its annual revenue budget crossed the $1 million mark. Stage West had also built a $200,000 reserve fund, and began an effort to create an endowment named for Jerry Russell.

In addition, the theatre has gained increasing recognition for the quality and challenging nature of its productions. Most recently, TheaterJones’ Mark Lowry named Stage West the outstanding theatre of 2018 based on its productions last season of Octoroon and HIR.

“We have had a nice run of good fortune,” said Dana Schultes, Stage West’s Executive Producer, “and it encourages us to think bigger. Success in this campaign will help Stage West move to a new plateau of excellence leading to our goal of becoming a landmark theatre in our region. Thankfully, we have been most encouraged by the response to the campaign among our board members and the friends we have reached in the first four months of the campaign”.

The focus of the campaign is to refurbish the main space, as well as to create a second theatre, a redesigned rehearsal hall, an expanded café, new dressing rooms for both theatres, and other improvements planned to make the spaces work better. In addition, the $3 million goal includes the monies required for operational needs during the three-year span of the campaign.

The 40th Anniversary Gala hosted 200 supporters, including some who attended Stage West’s initial production of Edward Albee’s A Zoo Story in 1979. The guests were entertained by award-winning magician, Trigg Watson, and by musical medleys arranged by Cherish Robinson from the many shows performed at Stage West. In addition, the evening included a buffet dinner as well as silent and live auctions.

Parking Lot Update #2

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dear Patrons,

Our parking renovation is complete and all railings are in! There are 2 designated handicap spaces, and two ramps. The easiest ramp to the front door is to the left of our parking area, next to the barrels.

Thank you again for your patience and support!

Neighborhood Play Contest Winners announced

Monday, February 11, 2019

This year we received over 200 submissions to the Neighborhood Play Contest. Here are the Winners, whose submissions will be performed at the Festival of the Kid. The Honorable Mention submissions follow.

Winners whose submissions will be performed at the Festival:

--Newman Smith High School, David Wilson-Brown

  • Christina Allish
  • Randi Ruppersberg
  • Emma Richardson and Lilith Correa

--Benbrook Middle High School, Seth Johnston

  • Garland Goodwin
  • Destyni Baxter

--Timber Creek HS, Amanda Brundrett

  • Lucas Bradanini
  • Sophia Zamora

--Western Hills HS, Julia Worthington

  • Natalie Jimenez, Diana Molina, and Shuntiera Curry

--Caprock Elementary School, Lena Paulauskas, Keller

  • Elianna Del Rio

--Fort Worth Country Day, Melodee Halbach

  • Grace Sapienza

-- North Crowley High School, Whitney Joy Hatcher

  • Lauren Mack
  • Alan Valdez
  • Antonio Resendiz
  • Angel White

--Rosemont 6th grade, Joshua Cox

  • Karim Bernal

--Parkview Elementary, Mrs Cornell, 4th Grade

  • Anna Moss & Sarah Cung

--Carter Riverside, Angela Stidham

  • Alexandra Jackson
  • Solomon Alvarez
  • Xander Adwell
  • Lamont’e Murphy
  • Christian Rincon,
  • Taylor Watson,
  • Annahi Castillo

--Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Ms. Weaver, 3rd and 4th Grade

  • Kolby Hribar,
  • Brett Martin
  • Dael Park
  • Alaina Spaltro

Self Submit Winners:

  • Lauren Sphar, Senior FWAFA
  • Sarah Turton,  FWAFA
  • Trinity Aldridge, self submit
  • Kate Snyder, self submit
  • Violet Ervin, (Mrs. Beck, Bransom Elementary)
  • Reagan Lane, (Self Submit, Oak Ridge School)
  • Amya Scott, self submission
  • Karina M. Johnson, self submission
  • Amya Scott, self submission
  • Breanna Cox, self submit
  • Emma Givens, self submit
  • Lauren Chavez, self-submit

Honorable Mentions:

(the Honorable Mention pieces will not be performed)

Honorable Mentions/Final Round go to: 

--Newman Smith High School, David Wilson-Brown

  • Cameryn Barrios
  • Daniel De Jesus Nunez
  • Destiny Chandler
  • Lara Cakir and James Teague
  • Thomas Schmitt
  • Zoe Meyerhoeffer

---Fort Worth Country Day, Melodee Halbach, (the Honorable Mention pieces will not be performed)

  • Paloma Casanova,
  • Pearce Wallach

--Carter Riverside, Angela Stidham

  • Oscar Read
  • Yasmin Mendoza
  • Aryana Valles 
  • Sandra Rodriguez
  • Tyara Martinez
  • Jasmine Hoover

--FWAFA, Ms. Weaver, 3rd and 4th Grade

  • Samantha Ikeda
  • Jaylah Larsen
  • Jaycie Carr
  • James Stoner
  • Ayomide Agboola

Image: Two of our 2017 Neighborhood Play Contest WInners


Parking Update!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Our accessible parking project continues! Keep your eyes open for an ENTER HERE sign on the door of either 821 (Lobby Cafe & Main Stage) or 823 (rehearsal hall and offices) to indicate which entrance to use. We are getting there!

Want to help Stage West celebrate 40 years?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Want to help Stage West celebrate 40 years? Please send us a video clip for a documentary we are making!

What to do:  

1. Position your device to a horizontal/landscape orientation.

2. Find in a quiet, well-lit space to record. Be sure not to cover the microphone! 

3. State your name and what year you first discovered Stage West.

4. Answer one or more of these questions: What one word or phrase comes to mind when you think of Stage West? What’s your favorite Stage West play and why? What/who makes Stage West special/unique for you? Tell us your special Stage West memory.

5. Wish Stage West a Happy 40th Anniversary!  

6. Send your finished clip to dana [at] (subject: 40%20Year%20Video) , subject line: 40 Year Video

BREAKING NEWS: Parking lot update!

Monday, September 17, 2018

UPDATED: Fri, Oct 26, 2018
If you've been to our space before, you will be aware that the parking area in front of our building is on an incline. For the next couple months, the city is redoing that parking area for safer access. This is wonderful news! While this construction is underway, please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to curtain to ensure plenty of time to navigate the construction. We expect access from the street to change locations from day to day. You may, for example, be asked to enter our facility through our rehearsal hall  if the usual entrance is blocked. Access points should be apparent upon approach. This project means 10 less parking spaces during the construction time-frame so we encourage early arrival to accommodate walking an extra block especially on November 2, 3, 9, 24. For alternative access through the back of the building, please pre-arrange by calling us at 817-784-9378 so that we can let you in!
Thank you so much for your understanding and patience as we work with city to improve the patron experience (and parking lot safety) at Stage West.

You’ve been asking for it! And it’s finally about to happen. Thanks to our friends at Near Southside, Inc. and at City Hall, the parking area in front of Stage West is getting a make-over! 

What does this mean for the future? 
A beautiful, level, fully accessible parking area and entryway.
What does it mean for the next few months? 
Once construction starts, there will be non-production days where the only entrance to our facility is at the rear of the building. If you need us on those days, please pre-arrange your visit by calling our box office 817-784-9378.
This will mostly affect walk-up ticket buyers, students, actors, and staff. If you forget, it’ll be quickly apparent if you can’t come through the front. Drive round to the back. We’ll post the phone number on that door as well and come back to let you in.
During performance hours, the construction team has pledged to make an entry way through the front.
When is this starting?
Start date should be October 1, and we expect that it will finish up by late November.
How can you help? 
Plan extra time for your arrival. It is estimated to be a 6-8 week project. Fingers crossed!
Finally, a special thank you to all of you who wrote letters of support to the city regarding this project. You had a major impact on the success of this being given a green light!

Giving Day

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

We made our goal of $25,000 in contributions!  Still waiting for final, final numbers...

North Texas Giving Day is a special day for all non-profits in the area, including Stage West Theatre! This year’s event is from 6am-12am on September 20. All gifts given to our organization that day will receive an in-house match from the Swenson family. The Swensons will generously triple your contribution, helping your money go even further towards our $25,000 goal.

There are additional BONUS FUNDS provided by the Communities Foundation of North Texas. The Communities Foundation will enhance, on a pro-rated basis, each donation made during North Texas Giving Day. Credit card gifts will be eligible for the bonus pool to the value of actual donations prior to deduction for the fees. It is not a dollar for dollar match. The bonus percentage will be calculated the day after North Texas Giving Day. Watch this video to see how the bonus is calculated. 

How to give? There’s now two ways: 

1)    Scheduled Giving: New this year, donors may visit between September 10 at 8am through September 19 at midnight. Enter the organization name Stage West and follow the directions from there. The donation will be processed on Giving Day itself.

2)    Day-of Giving: between 6am-12am on September 20, visit Enter the organization name Stage West. Follow the steps from there to make your gift to our theatre.

 There is also a local event that you are welcome to attend. It is in celebration of the day and most every Fort Worth non-profit will be represented. We would love to see you there.
Thank you for participating on this exciting day of philanthropy and for helping to make great live theatre possible at Stage West!

Classes, Changes, and a Question from our Education Department

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Stage West is celebrating its 40th year!! 
Our Education department is looking back and moving forward in celebration of this milestone anniversary.

  • We are brewing some new class ideas to add to our mix for ages 7 – 107! We believe in the power of theater to enrich communication, creativity and problem solving skills – on and off stage.

  • We also want to provide a solid foundation of acting skills to support the ongoing growth of our students.

We have our ideas. But guess what? We want yours!

Are you an interested teen/tween, adult or senior? What benefits do you see in taking classes? What are the benefits you wish to gain?  What courses are you interested in taking? What would make it work for you?

education [at] (subject: The%20Future%20of%20Stage%20West%20Education, body: Are%20you%20an%20interested%20teen%2Ftween%2C%20adult%20or%20senior%20%3F%20%0A%0AWhat%20benefits%20do%20you%20see%20in%20taking%20classes%3F%0A%0AWhat%20are%20the%20benefits%20you%20wish%20to%20gain%3F%20%0A%0AWhat%20courses%20are%20you%20interested%20in%20taking%3F%20%0A%0AWhat%20would%20make%20it%20work%20for%20you%3F%0A%0A) (Please email us your suggestions). We want to hear from you. We will put all of your suggestions into the mix and create our new curriculum infused with your input.

We will announce the new season of courses at our Open House, August 4th , 10:00 – 2:00.

And thank you!