Step inside a world that most people know nothing about in WaterTower Theatre’s regional premiere of Everything is Wonderful, running April 19-May 12 on the Terry Martin Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Centre. This inspiring play features heartbreak, love, forgiveness and family bonding inside the Amish community.
Despite the title, everything is falling apart for one Amish family in this play, whose two sons were killed in a tragic car accident. After the family takes in the wayward driver of the car, their excommunicated daughter, Miri, returns home. Miri struggles with the contradictions of her ex-culture, and is forced to confront Abram, the young Amish man whose actions drove her away five years before.
“The past and present collide as the family struggles to reconcile and seek out a new path forward in their faith,” stated a recent press release. “Everything is Wonderful brings us face to face with this long-misunderstood community in a striking and intricate examination of the complexity of forgiveness.”
Four fresh faces will be seen in this play, along with two WTT alumni. Kelsey Milbourn stars as Miri. This Kansas native has a BFA in musical theatre and an independent study in modern dance from TCU, where she also works as an adjunct faculty for the BFA theatre program. Some of her recent work includes projects at Circle Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Undermain Theatre, Stage West, Amphibian Stage Productions, Danspiek NYC, and Cape Fear Regional. She’s also been artistic associate of the Trinity Shakespeare Festival for 10 years and is a recipient of the Tarrant County Theatre League Award.
Seth Magill will be playing Eric in his WTT main stage debut, although he has participated in two staged readings and performed with his band, Home by Hovercraft, at WTT. He was last seen on stage as Hamlet in Shakespeare Dallas’ Hamlet. Other notable work includes co-writing and performing in the original musical, On The Eve, with the Theatre Three and Theatre C’s rock review at Joe’s Pub in New York City.
Blake McNamara will play Abram in his debut WTT performance. He has performed around the metroplex as Roy Cohn in Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…, Isaac in Hir, Woodnut in The Nether (Stage West); Kyle in Haunted (Our Productions Theatre Co.); Nancy in Space Girl, Actor C in The Grown-Up (Flexible Grey Theatre Co.) and more.
Haley Evans will play Ruth in her WTT debut. Her previous work includes Charlie’s Aunt (Rover Dramawerks); Inherit the Wind (Shreveport Little Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, The Amish Project, The Pavilion, Story of a Marriage (Baylor University).
Jenny Tucker will play Esther in her WTT debut. She was most recently seen as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (LIP Service Productions), and her other recent credits include Evita, Fiddler on the Roof and Les Miserables (Casa Mañana); La Cage aux Folles, Titanic (Uptown Players) and more.
Steven Pounders is returning to WTT to play Jacob. Previous WTT credits include performances in The Grapes of Wrath, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Dinner with Friends, Nocturne and Book of Days. He has also performed in productions for Circle Theatre, Stage West, Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Three, Contemporary Theatre, Theatre Britain, Casa Mañana, Penfold Theatre, Shamblin Theatre in Nashville, CherryLane Theatre in New York City and Resonance Ensemble in New York City.
Everything is Wonderful was written by Chelsea Marcantel and directed by WTT Associate Artistic Director Kelsey Leigh Ervi, whose WTT directing credits include: The Great Distance Home (2017 and 2018), The Last Five Years, Parade in Concert, Silent Sky, Lord of the Flies, The Spark, The Santaland Diaries, The Tom Sawyer Project and Honky. In addition, she has also directed From the Table (Cry Havoc Theater); We. Women. (Baylor University); Dogfight (Junior Players/ University of Texas at Dallas); Precious Little (Echo Theatre); Love Me, Tinder (FIT Festival, world premiere); Ask Questions Later (Rite of Passage Theatre, world premiere); and Dani Girl (Greyman Theatre Company). She is also an accomplished actor and will be moving to Chicago this fall to begin her first year in the MFA Directing program at Northwestern University.
Performance times for Everything is Wonderful include:
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 8 p.m. (and at 2 p.m. May 4 and 11)
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Preview dates are April 19 and April 20 at 8 p.m., and there is a Pay it Forward with Pay-What-You-Can Preview on April 21 at 2 p.m. Opening night is April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for kids 16 and under, and range from $20-$40 for adults ages 17 and up. There are discounts for students, seniors and industry members. Buy tickets online, by calling 972-450-6232 or in person at Addison Theatre Centre.
Founded in 1966, WTT is one of Texas’ leading professional theatre companies and one of the flagship arts institutions in North Texas, having played an important role as a leader in developing new talent and encouraging growth of the DFW artistic community through its commitment to hiring local artists. This non-profit organization has a subscription base of more than 2,000 and serves an audience of more than 24,000 each year.
Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where she learned to love chips and salsa and hot weather. She has a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and she currently works in the College Communications, Marketing and Outreach office at Richland College. Some of her passions include writing, traveling and re-reading the Harry Potter Series every chance she gets. In the spirit of spontaneity, Sydni lives her life with a pen in one hand and her video camera in the other; ready to capture the next great story.