Production Blog

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

A chat with Actor Elly Lindsay about perspective

Q: In this production of Grand Horizons you portray Nancy, the matriarch who is about to make a choice that will change her family in a very big way. And due to that choice, much of this story is about a family re-learning each other and, in the process, re-discovering themselves. What do you find to be most delightful about Nancy and what excites you most about playing this surprising role?

Elly Lindsay answers: "Surprising is a good word for Nancy. In the beginning of the play, Nancy is trapped in the box of her marriage – a box created both by herself and by her family. As the play progresses and Nancy reveals more of her insides, she begins to “claw” her way out of the box of mother, homemaker, caretaker.

A number of the characters talk about the nature of love – what it is and what it isn’t. Part of Nancy’s journey is redefining that for herself. Her family also have to look at their own ideas about both love and marriage.

There are so many delightful moments as Nancy allows revelations to unfold – thoughts she is having for the first time in her life. It is wonderful to play someone who is making courageous choices to create a meaningful life.

I just love her!"

Patron Spotlight: Julie Crawford

Tonya Wilson-Brown, recently caught up with long-time friend and Stage West subscriber Julie Crawford.

How did you first hear about Stage West (when did you start attending)?

♥ Julie: I became acquainted with Stage West and met Jerry Russell in 1984 when I was working for the Girl Scouts. I took a van load of girls for a tour of the theatre on Vickery the first time, which was conducted by Jerry. The set of Equus was up. The girls didn’t see the show, but I came back to see it and loved it. I became a regular and a subscriber after that.

What is your favorite show you have seen at the theatre and why?

♥ The show that comes to my mind most often is Chicago (1985). I’ve seen a number of other productions and the movie adaptation, but nothing quite compares to the electrifying performance of “Cell Block Tango” on the Stage West stage. It is still a very vivid memory. Another favorite is Talking Pictures (2011). The cast ensemble was tight and had great chemistry. That show really really worked for me. If I can add a third memory, it is Gabriel. Dana’s performance was riveting!

Why do you support Stage West?

♥ I have always felt like I truly belong at Stage West. The Stage West staff has a strong respect and genuine connection with the audience. When I was on the board, the staff had its role and the board had its role, but together we relied upon and supported each other. It fueled the theatre’s success.

Is there any other program or offering at Stage West that you find appealing and why?

♥ It is important that theatres have programs for youth, so I must mention that. But, what I truly enjoy are the social gatherings, when there are opportunities to relax with other patrons and staff. I am also proud of Stage West for its courage and innovations – producing cutting edge theatre (as well as more traditional works) and finding ways to survive, not just in the pandemic, but through the years on its journey from and back to Vickery, and the will of board and staff to turn the facility into the beautiful, workable, flexible facility that it is today.

In three words, how would you describe Stage West to a friend?

♥ Welcoming, High-quality, Ensemble (on stage & off)

We are so grateful to Julie for her continued support of Stage West and innovative theatre in Fort Worth!
Thank You for the many memories!

A moment with Director Dana Schultes about choosing GRAND HORIZONS

Q: Grand Horizons was a Tony-nominee for Best Play, and is written by one of the country’s leading playwrights, Bess Wohl. It’s about family and change and secrets and growing up. At turns hilarious and heart-warming, this production stars DFW stalwarts David Coffee and Elly Lindsay in the lead roles. What drew you to program this show as the finale of the 44th season, and what excites you most about directing this regional premiere?

A: The play Grand Horizons was passed along to me by a former board member who had seen the New York production and thought it would be perfect for Stage West. After reading it, I agreed. It takes place in a retirement community called Grand Horizons. From what I’ve witnessed over the years, including just recently for some very close friends, transitioning from single family home to retirement community can be emotionally challenging. Change is hard, and in Grand Horizons, Bill and Nancy French’s move into said community takes an unexpected turn with the utterance of four little words. Suddenly, conflict and high-stakes are front and center. It all comes to a head with the arrival of their two adult sons and a very pregnant daughter-in-law.

As far as directing it, I knew I was a good candidate, because I enjoy slice-of-life plays that are fully of heart, hope, and meaty emotions. The playwright, Bess Wohl, did a great job of reflecting how we change as we age and what that means at age 40 vs age 80. (I’m in my mid-40s and my parents just entered their 80s so there’s a lot for me to relate to). Then, I assembled one of the nicest, most talented teams around. Getting to work closely with them to tell the story with truth and care rewards me with one part catharsis and one part humor - as only a great family drama can! It’s like candy to me. I love candy. Especially Boston Baked Beans and Chick-o-Stick.

But I digress…I hope all of you who come out to see Grand Horizons find yourselves laughing and tearing up with the French family, just like I do.