Stage West got its start in 1979, when Jerry Russell opened a space on Houston Street in Fort Worth. This original storefront theater was too small, and the company merged with a neighboring sandwich shop just to stay afloat through its first two seasons. Since then, Stage West has bounced from a converted warehouse on West Vickery to an old TCU movie theater to the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, providing high-energy and high-quality theater no matter the venue. Today, the group has found its way back to the West Vickery spot that was its home for most of the 1980s, staging shows for up to 150 theatergoers and providing dinner service to hungry guests.
A typical season at Stage West sees six productions hit the stage, from 16th-century classics like A Midsummer Night’s Dream to world premieres from rising, unknown, and local playwrights. The show schedule can be grueling at times, running plays for at least four weekends (Thursday through Sunday) with only a month off (and often less) between programs.