Season Update – 8/10/20
4th Wall Theatre is postponing the opening of its 10th anniversary season. The company hopes to resume in-person productions in January of 2021 with the play BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis (originally scheduled to hit the stage in early September). As a small organization and with the bulk of preparations for their first production already complete, 4th Wall anticipates being able to resume in-person operations within just a few weeks of receiving permission from the proper union, local, and state authorities. Season subscribers will have the option to refund their subscriptions or roll forward their credits indefinitely.
“We believe that there is no substitute for live, in-person theatre,” write Co-Artistic Directors Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl, “and as it is our mission to produce extraordinary professional theatrical experiences, we are not willing to migrate our season to a virtual stage. We are, however, currently producing and developing several virtual projects to keep engaged with our Houston community during this time we are all apart.”
As part of the new virtual programming, Kim and Philip are conducting livestreamed conversations with local and national theatre creatives on a series called “Beyond the 4th Wall.” Audience members can join the conversation live by registering on Zoom or can access all the previous episodes on 4th Wall’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. 4th Wall is also investigating the production of plays written specifically for the digital format.Patrons are encouraged to call or email our office with any questions about the season. They can reach us at: (832) 767-4991 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4TH WALL THEATRE COMPANY PROUDLY ANNOUNCES ITS 10th SEASON
Houston, TX—4th Wall Theatre Company, Houston’s home for extraordinary performances up close, is proud to announce its 10th anniversary season. In the midst of current COVID-19 cancellations, 4th Wall’s Artistic Directors Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl look excitedly towards the future when audiences can again enjoy the unique storytelling experience only live theatre can provide. This landmark season is completely comprised of Houston Premiere productions and features four of the most exciting plays 4th Wall has ever assembled. 4th Wall will open its 2020-2021 season with a remount of its prematurely closed production of the Pulitzer Prize Winner BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis. 4th Wall follows this powerhouse production with three more Houston Premieres. Next up is Pulitzer Prize Finalist GLORIA by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Following is the 2019 most-produced play in America and eight-time Tony-nominated A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 by Lucas Hnath. And closing the season is the hysterical 2019 Broadway smash hit THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell.
When asked about the season, Tobin-Lehl said, “In our tenth season we wanted to present well-crafted and timely stories that honed in on our theatre’s truthful aesthetic of acting. We also picked plays that tackle some of our country’s most pressing issues – these plays delve into racism and redemption, gun violence and ambition, women’s rights and gender roles, and the ongoing struggle for truth in the media. We feel confident this 10th season lineup will be one to remember!”
4th Wall will launch its 10th season by bringing back its already critically-acclaimed production of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis. This production will reintroduce the stellar original cast and design team. Houston Press reporter D.L. Groover said of the spring production’s short run, “What a glorious time at the theater – explosive, funny, gritty, true.” And audiences who remember 4th Wall’s sold-out, award-winning production of JESUS HOPPED THE ‘A’ TRAIN will find much to love in another of Guirgis’s more recent works. This new American classic follows a retired NYC cop fighting down forces much larger than himself from within a collapsing, rent-controlled apartment. Swirling around him are a host of larger-than-life characters sure to captivate audiences. BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY will feature Byron Jacquet, Joe Palmore, Kim Tobin-Lehl, Philip Lehl, Pamela Vogel, Briana Resa, and Juan Sebastián Cruz. Four-time Emmy winner Bill Pruitt will direct this knockout ensemble.
“…an amazing script, a stellar cast, and a show produced with technical prowess. BETWEEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY is easily the best show running live in Houston right now, and would be even if the larger houses had remained open.” - Brett Cullum, Broadway World (3/14/20)
Second up at 4th Wall is the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist GLORIA by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The New York Times calls this masterpiece “a sharp-toothed drama” and writes that MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Jacob-Jenkins “has established himself as one of the country’s most original and unsettling artists.” This funny, trenchant, and powerful play follows an ambitious group of editorial assistants at a notorious Manhattan magazine, each of whom hopes for a starry life of letters and a book deal before they turn thirty. But when an ordinary humdrum workday becomes anything but, the stakes for who will get to tell their own story become higher than ever. This whip-smart satire will be directed by James Black, a treasured Houston artist, recent interim Alley Theatre Artistic Director, and longtime Alley resident actor and director.
“Sharply observant and playfully theatrical, this thought-provoking work continues its talented young writer’s winning streak. A rare example of a contemporary play that keeps us constantly guessing where it’s headed, GLORIAis a work not to be easily forgotten.” - Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
4th Wall’s third Houston Premiere of the season is A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 by Lucas Hnath. The New York Times calls this eight-time Tony-nominated piece a “smart, funny and utterly engrossing play.” The story serves as both a playful sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 groundbreaking masterpiece as well as a standalone piece of modern feminist drama. We last saw Ibsen’s Nora Helmer literally and figuratively slamming the door on her life. When Hnath imagines Nora’s return 15 years later in PART 2, the same burning questions that Ibsen left unresolved in the 19th century are reignited. A modern perspective reminds us that Nora’s arguments about freedom, love, responsibility, and gender equality are just as controversial and relevant now as ever. Alanna Dorsett will direct Houston favorites Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl as the iconic couple, Nora and Torvald Helmer.
“[A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2] delivers explosive laughs while also posing thoughtful questions about marriage, gender inequality and human rights.” - David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
To close its 10th season, 4th Wall will produce the Houston Premiere of yet another recent Broadway smash hit, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell. Inspired by John D’Agata’s and Jim Fingal’s book of the same name – an essay that NPR called “the most improbably entertaining book ever published” – this stage adaptation brings to life the endless debate of its original authors. Fingal is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. D’Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy—an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Fingal is assigned to fact check D’Agata’s essay, the two come head to head in a hysterical yet gripping ethical dispute over facts versus truth. Award-winning director Kim Tobin-Lehl is set to direct what The New York Times calls “terrifically engaging.”
“…buoyantly literate…wholly resonant questions [are] wrestled with in this briskly entertaining play…you’ll find yourself happy to have your preconceptions disturbed and assumptions unsettled.” - Peter Marks, The Washington Post
In addition to its four full productions, 4th Wall looks forward to reimagining its annual Gala in October, inviting audiences to participate in a Women’s Reading Festival focusing on new works in November, and offering the inaugural year of its Summer Shakespeare Intensive for high school actors and Juilliard Drama students. For the latest information about 4th Wall Theatre Company’s upcoming season and to purchase subscriptions or single tickets, please visit the theater’s website at 4thwalltheatreco.com or follow @4thwallhouston on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
4TH WALL THEATRE COMPANY’S 2020-2021 SEASON
(dates and titles subject to change)
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (Houston Premiere, 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner)
Written by: Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by: Bill Pruitt
Featuring: Byron Jacquet, Joseph "Joe P" Palmore, Kim Tobin-Lehl, Philip Lehl, Pamela Vogel, Briana Resa, and Juan Sebastián Cruz
Dates: September 3 – 26, 2020
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
GLORIA (Houston Premiere, 2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist)
Written by: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by: James Black
Dates: January 14 – February 6, 2021
GLORIA is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 (Houston Premiere)
Written by: Lucas Hnath
Directed by: Alanna Dorsett
Featuring: Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl
Dates: March 18 – April 10, 2021
A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT (Houston Premiere)
Written by: Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, based on the book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal
Directed by: Kim Tobin-Lehl
Dates: May 13 – June 5, 2021
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Tickets: Premium $53; Standard $32; Senior Standard $26; Under-25 Standard $17
There is a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Mondays in the last week of each run and a Closed-Caption performance at one performance during each run.
About 4th Wall Theatre Company: 4th Wall Theatre Company is a professional Equity theatre in Houston, TX, founded in 2011 by married couple Philip Lehl and Kim Tobin-Lehl. 4th Wall is one of only eight Equity theatres in Houston and is proud to offer the Equity Membership Candidate Program for actors who are working towards joining the union. 4th Wall’s original name – Stark Naked Theatre Company – was changed in 2016. 4th Wall maintains an eclectic range of programming, producing standards by Shakespeare and Strindberg, American classics like “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” and several world premieres.
The mission of 4th Wall is to produce extraordinary professional theatrical experiences and to set a high standard for excellence in acting, direction, and design. 4th Wall believes that the highest quality theatre promotes an aesthetic of performance that is truthful, and that only by paying artists a fair wage can Houston grow and sustain its community of professional theatre artists.
The company has garnered many accolades for its thirty full productions, including the Houston Press's "Mastermind Award" as well as three Best Production citations in the annual Houston Theater Awards (“God of Carnage” in 2013, “Lobby Hero” in 2017, and “Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train” in 2019). The Co-Artistic Directors have been nominated several times for the Best Artistic Director award, winning once.
The company was incorporated in the State of Texas and is a registered 501(c)(3) with the IRS.