DALLAS/FORT WORTH, Texas (December 1, 2022) – Amphibian Stage announced today the theater company’s 2023 season lineup launching February 10, featuring a world premiere new play inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a Van Cliburn-style acting competition addition to SparkFest, and three weeks of back-to-back stand-up comedy featuring the series creator, Grace & Frankie star Baron Vaughn.


The 12-month lineup of never-before-seen theatrical experiences and bold programming all serve to champion the nonprofit’s mission to build a community of artists and patrons who can unite through thought-provoking performing arts. Every selection in 2023 will offer audiences a space to engage with the material long after the lights go down. The main-stage season explores the perplexing, difficult, but crucial need for human connection in vastly different settings; a rocket ship to mars, a US Immigration office, Victorian England, and a run-down German town. In March, the Stand-Up Comic Residency will place three prominent Black comedians in the spotlight. And SparkFest, in its third year, will celebrate and amplify voices that often go unheard.


Amphibian Stage maintains their commitment to work in partnership with artists in the creation of new work-from development to production. The Main Stage season features a provocative world premiere and two plays that will have their first professional staging since they were originally conceived. Amphibian Stage is working directly with the writers to develop a new approach to designing and directing these works. This year’s SparkFest will center around a community often underrepresented on U.S. stages in an effort to better acquaint the theatre industry at large with Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian (MENASA) artists. This festival, like the whole season, will demonstrate the effect new work can have on the future of performing arts.


“For years I’ve dreamed of hosting an acting competition that would not only reward actors for their years of training and experience, but that would also allow audiences to see the brightest Texas talent. There is a perceived absence of MENASA talent in the area, and this further limits the opportunities available to them. By showcasing them, we hope to introduce artistic leaders to more actors and thus encourage all of us to include their stories in our seasons.” -Kathleen Culebro, Amphibian Stage Artistic Director

Explore 2023 membership levels and learn more about the 2023 events and programming.

Amphibian Stage 2023 Lineup


Main Stage Plays


February 10 – March 5
By Leegrid Stevens

Directed by Jay Duffer


The first production of 2023 is a full-sensory, surround-sound expedition into outer space. Spaceman follows Molly Jennis’s solo mission to Mars after her husband’s failed, tragic attempt at the same journey. Aaron Grunfield’s review of the original production at Loading Dock Theatre remarked that Spaceman “…is a masterpiece of science fiction..it imparts that classic sense of wonder, marveling at humanity’s potential and the courage that drives our endeavors. If it should come to your city, see it.” When Amphibian Stage Co-Artistic Director Jay Duffer reached out to Leegrid about producing Spaceman, Stevens revealed how apt it was that the play would be presented in DFW, specifically at Amphibian Stage.


“My mother-in-law is a native Fort Worther and has attended several productions at Amphibian Stage. Like a dutiful mother-in-law, she suggested I submit a play to Amphibian as ‘they’re real good.’ Well, I listened to her for once and here we are! My wife grew up in Keller and we return to Fort Worth once or twice a year. I am thrilled that Spaceman is taking flight again, with a new team, in our second home.” -Playwright Leegrid Stevens


This production will be the first since the world premiere at New York City’s Loading Dock Theatre in 2019.



April 21 – May 7

By Denmo Ibrahim

Directed by Hamid Dehghani


After Spaceman, Amphibian Stage travels back to Earth: 1980, New York City US Office of Immigration specifically. Baba chronicles the tender, funny, and complex relationship between a newly-immigrated father and his US-born daughter. Freedom and family collide when Mohammad’s search for the American dream leads Layla on a quest home to Egypt thirty years after the story begins. Playwright and performer Denmo Ibrahim developed Baba as a solo performance for herself, portraying both Mohammed and Layla. Ibrahim is elated to see Baba take new meaning with a new cast and creative team.

“I’m thrilled to see BABA reimagined from a solo performance to a two-person, fully-realized play. In Amphibian Stage’s production, the story transforms beautifully from a daughter grappling with her father’s memory to a father and daughter’s longing for home. The play received its world premiere a decade ago and considering what our country has endured these last 10 years, BABA now has become ever more timely. I can’t wait to share this story for the first time with audiences in Fort Worth.” – Playwright Denmo Ibrahim


Miss Molly, A Marital Deceit of Honest Intentions

July 21 – August 13


By Christine Carmela

Directed by Evan Michael Woods


The summer play offering will take audiences to Victorian England with a twist. Miss Molly is an homage to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest offering the same humor and charm of Wilde’s work while incorporating modern references and exploring queer themes (an act punishable by law during Wilde’s lifetime). This new comedy comes from Christine Carmela and will be directed by Evan Michael Woods, 2 TCU alumni who were roommates when Carmela first drafted Miss Molly. Since graduating, Carmela made her Off-broadway debut at SoHo Repertory Theatre and has accrued 6.2 million likes on TikTok–all while studying for her Masters in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. While Woods is known as a multidisciplinary theatre artist in DFW, Miss Molly marks his directorial debut. Christine tells us why she and Evan make the perfect team.


“To have Miss Molly premiere in any other city, at any other theatre, with any other director would feel blasphemous. DFW has always been an artistic home for me; it’s where I started my career as a writer and performer. Before USC and Off-Broadway, Amphibian was the first professional theatre to give me a chance when they hosted a staged reading of one of my early plays. There is not a single director better suited to bring Miss Molly to life than the person who lived in the room next door to me for most of my time in DFW, whom I consider a go-to collaborator, confidant, and friend.” – Playwright Christine Carmela


The Visit

October 20 – November 12

By Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Adapted by Maurice Valency*

Directed by Jay Duffer

In partnership with University of Texas at Arlington Department of Theatre and Dance

*Rights pending


Just in time for Fall, Amphibian Stage will close their Main Stage season with a darkly comic tale from prolific German writer, Friedrich Dürrenmatt. The Visit tells the story of a wealthy philanthropist returning to her hometown to save it from financial ruin…but the money comes with a deadly request that will test the morals of the town’s inhabitants. This larger-than-life classic will be brought to the stage in partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington’s Theatre faculty and students.


“We’ve had the opportunity over the last several years to have Amphibian’s Co-Artistic Director Jay Duffer share his directing expertise with UTA’s junior and senior theatre majors in the Directing I course. The opportunity to now further collaborate with this professional union theatre is a critical next-step for both faculty and students. Working in partnership with Amphibian on The Visit will provide a conduit for real-world application where students will work alongside area professionals (including our design faculty) towards a commercial production. We are thrilled!” -Dr. Anne Healy, Chair of Department of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Texas at Arlington


Stand-Up Comic Residency* 

Baron Vaughn

March 9 -11


Grace & Frankie star Baron Vaughn returns to Amphibian Stage for the third time since creating the residency series back in 2017. After starting this unique opportunity for stand-up artists, many big-name comedians–including Aparna Nancherla, Phoebe Robinson, River Butcher and Sasheer Zamata–have come through Amphibian Stage.


Nore Davis

March 16 – 18


Amphibian Stage veteran Phoebe Robinson personally acquainted Nore Davis with the comic residency. You’ve seen Davis’ comedy on Comedy Central, Prime Video, The Tonight Show, Conan, and acting in hit shows Boardwalk Empire, Succession, and Dickinson. This is Nore’s first time performing at Amphibian Stage!


Phoebe Robinson

March 23 – 25


2 Dope Queens Phoebe Robinson returns to Amphibian Stage after a sold-out residency in 2019! While Robinson is best known for her work as a comedian and performer, she is also a New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed producer. She sold out five nights in 2019 and will return for three in 2023.


Gabe Mollica: Deductible

September 2023 (Exact Dates TBA)

Special Stand-Up Comic Residency


After Miss Molly closes in August, Comedian Gabe Mollica is developing a stand-up set that straddles the line of theatre and comedy. This is not the first stand-up residency to balance these two mediums; Jacqueline Novak ironed out Get On Your Knees at Amphibian Stage before it arrived Off-Broadway to critical acclaim (featured in “The New York Times Best of Theatre and Best of Comedy” in 2019). Gabe comes to Fort Worth after an extended run of his debut set Solo at Soho Playhouse in Manhattan. His new project, Deductible, takes aim at the US healthcare system.


Gabe Mollica’s dates will be announced in early 2023. 3 more residencies expected in 2023. Comedy lineup is subject to change.


Spark Fest: June 1-17

This summer, the annual performing arts festival SparkFest returns to the Near Southside for the third time – and it’s bigger than ever! SparkFest 2023 will introduce a Texas-wide “Van Cliburn Festival” style acting competition with $18,000 in cash prizes for the finalists. The competition will be limited to MENASA actors and artists.


“For years I’ve dreamed of hosting an acting competition that would not only reward actors for their years of training and experience, but that would also allow audiences to see the brightest Texas talent. There is a perceived absence of MENASA talent in the area, and this further limits the opportunities available to them. By showcasing them, we hope to introduce artistic leaders to more actors and thus encourage all of us to include their stories in our seasons.” -Kathleen Culebro, Amphibian Stage Artistic Director


The remainder of the festival will focus on the development and showcasing of new plays, supplemented by other engaging events. In 2021 and 2022 SparkFest included Light up the Runway (a Project Runway-style fashion show), a puppetry workshop, a comedy workshop for beginners workshop, stand-up comedy performances, and much more. Details on the acting competition and festival lineup will be announced in early 2023.