Steven Pounders

Current Projects

 

Coming Soon ...


Dead MAN'S CELL PHONE

In January and February of this year I am directing Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone at the Baylor Theatre. The show performs from February 11-16.

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man -- with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative comedy adventure about how we memorialize the dead -- and how that remembering changes us.

"Ruhl's zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in." Variety

 


THE OTHER PLACE

In April and May of this year I am returning to Circle Theatre in Fort Worth to direct Sharr White's haunting play, The Other Place. The show performs from May 1-24.

Juliana Smithton is an intelligent and successful neurologist whose life is coming apart. Her husband filed for divorce, her daughter eloped with a much older man and her own health is uncertain. In this brilliantly crafted script, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present, and the elusive truth finally surfaces. From beginning to end, The Other Place is compelling, heartbreaking, terrifying, and haunting. (Adult Language)

 


ROMEO AND JULIET

In June of this year I will be working with Austin's Penfold Theatre again, this time directing Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the Round Rock outdoor Amphitheatre. The show performs from June 5-28.

A love to die for. Shakespeare’s tale of young lovers swept into a catastrophic vortex of misunderstandings, secrets and fate is one of the most beloved stories of all time. In this fresh adaptation for five actors, Romeo and Juliet, the son and daughter of two noble families locked in an old feud, are irresistibly drawn to each other. Defying the hatred and distrust surrounding them, they dare to believe they can, and must, be together.

 


Recent Projects


RED

From September 12-29, I returned to Penfold Theatre in Austin to perform in John Logan's brilliant play Red, alongside Ryan Crowder, and directed by Nathan Jerkins.

How will they remember you? Mark Rothko, the revolutionary twentieth century abstract expressionist, receives the art world’s largest commission: to create a series of murals for The Four Seasons restaurant in the new Seagram building on Park Avenue. Under the watchful gaze of a threatening new generation of artists, Rothko labors to create an iconic work that will stand as a monument to his illustrious career, while doubts and fears of his own relevancy threaten to tear him apart. RED won the 2010 Drama League, Drama Desk and Tony Awards for best play and now receives its Austin premiere.

 


The Trinity Shakespeare Festival

In June of 2013 I performed the roles of Cassius in Julius Caesar and Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew, with an amazing company, at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival in Fort Worth. Julius Caesar was directed by Stephen Fried and The Taming of the Shrew was directed by T.J. Walsh.

The Trinity Shakespeare Festival Fifth Anniversary is your opportunity to see Shakespeare’s beloved comic battle of wits, battle between sexes, battle for love; alongside Shakespeare’s greatest political thriller: the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, his brutal assassination and the eventual unraveling of the complex and emotional conspiracy.

 


The Grapes of Wrath

In April of 2013, I performed the role of Jim Casey in The Grapes of Wrath, alongside a great cast, at the WaterTower Theatre in Dallas. This was my sixth production with the WaterTower and with their excellent artistic director Terry Martin.

Having survived the drought of the 1930s Dust Bowl only to see their home repossessed by the bank, the Joad family embarks on a harrowing trek from Oklahoma to California, intending to begin anew as migrant farm workers. Their arrival in this “promised land,” however, brings its own test of the human spirit. Frank Galati’s groundbreaking adaptation of Steinbeck’s epic novel won two Tony Awards on Broadway. A plea for social justice and compassion, The Grapes of Wrath provides the perfect canvas for a vast ensemble cast and is an all too timely examination of a nation in search of itself.

 


A Bright New Boise

In February/March of 2013, I directed A Bright New Boise, the winner of the 2011 Obie Award for Playwriting, currently playing at Circle Theatre in Fort Worth. This is my third production with Circle, my first as a director. I couldn't be more pleased with the moving work of this excellent cast: Chip Wood, Michael McMillan, Morgan McClure, Montgomery Sutton, and Jenny King. It's a fascinating story - hope you can come!

A mysterious stranger, named Will, takes a job at the Hobby Lobby in Boise, Idaho in order to reconnect with his estranged son, Alex. As fellow employees begin to uncover dark secrets from his past, and his son becomes increasingly interested in why he left his church, Will must make a choice. Can he have a normal life and a healthy relationship with his son, or should he hold onto the beliefs that give his life meaning? (Adult Language)

 

We've recieved great reviews (below) ...


MistakesMistakes Were Made

In June of 2012, I performed in a new comedy by Craig Wright at the Circle Theatre in Fort Worth, my second Craig Wright play and my second production with the Circle. Lana Hoover joined me in the cast, and the play was directed by Harry Parker.

We recieved great reviews (below) ...


MidsummerA Midsummer Night's Dream

I directed this Shakespearean Comedy at the Baylor Theatre and the production was absolutely beautiful, mostly due to an amazing cast and magical designs: scenic by Michael Sullivan, lighting by Jojo Percy, sound by Ryan Joyner, and costumes by Sally Askins with assistants Sidney Noh-Watts, Ryan Schapp, and Shelby Lundermann. Stage manager Elizabeth Radabaugh kept everything together.


 

Spring AwakeningSpring Awakening

I was thrilled to be back at the WaterTower Theatre performing in the musical Spring Awakening with director Terry Martin, music director Mark Mullino, choreographer John De Los Santos, and an exciting cast that included a few Baylor theatre alums, friends I've performed with before, and terrific new faces. In a cast of actors who were twenty-something playing teenagers, Lulu Ward and I, of course, played the adult roles.

Spring Awakening ran from September 30 through October 23, 2011.

 


Shakespeare's SlaveH4 and Shakespeare's Slave

This past May and June I performed two plays with the Resonance Ensemble in NYC.

One was an original by Steven Fechter (screenwriter of the Kevin Bacon film, The Woodsman) titled Shakespeare's Slave, an imaginative romp through a season of Will Shakespeare's life in London. The artistic director of the Resonance Ensemble, Eric Parness, directed.

The other play was H4, a fast-paced adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV parts 1 and 2, combining archetypal characters with contemporary media. The script was adapted by Michael Chmiel, Allegra Libonati, Michael Nathanson and Brian Silliman, all of whom appeared in the cast, except Allegra Libonati who directed.

The plays opened at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row on 42nd Street on May 22nd and performed in rep until June 18th.


Bach at LiepzigBach at Liepzig

Circle Theatre in Fort Worth produced Itamar Moses' award-winning stoppard-esque play Bach at Liepzigin August and September, 2010. Robin Armstrong directed brilliantly and challenged me with a six-page monologue. Despite my dislike of wearing wigs, I had a great time in the role of Fasch, with an excellent cast including Andy Baldwin, David Coffee, Chris Hauge, David H.M. Lambert, Stephen Levall, and Art Peden.

This production of Bach at Liepzig took home three Dallas Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum awards for this ensemble cast, for Robin's direction, and for Robin's costume design and fight choreography.


DoubtDoubt

In June 2010, David Lipscomb University produced a professional production of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize winner, Doubt. Mike Fernandez directed with exacting detail and great heart. I played Father Flynn and was honored to work with a cast of old and new colleagues: Nan Gurley, Beki Baker, and Alicia Haymer.

A great highlight of this performance was the playwright himself, John Patrick Shanley, who joined us for a talk-back after the opening performance.


Enchanted AprilEnchanted April

I had a lovely experience directing Matthew Barber's Enchanted April at Baylor University in April 2010. Bill Sherry's scenic design (achieved with the technical direction of Michael Schmalz) and Jojo Percy's lighting design demonstrated the artistry possible in simple, well-selected choices. Kristin Womble's costuming was both period and revelatory of character. Cynthia Booker brought each setting alive with her sound design, and A.J. Knodel used a light but effective hand in her make-up design.Stage manager Amanda Lassetter kept the show clean and efficient with her assistant, Michael Garfield. The cast was nothing less than delightful: Karina Branson, Victoria Eisele, Sarah Hedrick, Stephen Hersack, Kelly Nickell, Andrew Saenz, Meg Sullivan, and Jeff Wittekiend.

Brandon Woolley was invaluable as assistant director. Brandon is now the company manager at the Portland Center Stage.

 


The Unseen

The American Actors Company worked with playwright Craig Wright to produce the NY Premiere of The Unseen, and we performed the play during the month of March at the Off Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, in NYC.

This journey began with a production of the play at the 2008 Out of the Loop Festival sponsored by the WaterTower Theatre. Lisa Denman directed with DeAnna Toten Beard serving as dramaturg. Stan Denman, Thomas Ward, and I performed. Mr. Wright rewrote the play extensively for the NY premiere and worked with us in rehearsal. We revived the play one more time for the 2009 Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival. A description of the play:

Prisoners Wallace and Valdez don’t know where they are or why they’re there. But using elaborate guesswork, wit, and faith they fashion the unseen world around them with extravagant, absurd realities. The Unseen is a genuinely funny but dark tale from Craig Wright, author of The Pavilion and Recent Tragic Events, and television hits such as the HBO series Six Feet Under and ABC’s Lost, Brothers & Sisters, and Dirty Sexy Money.

The Dallas Unseen Reviews

The New York Unseen Reviews


 

 

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