Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Illana Stein comes home to direct A Lost Leonardo
We are happy to welcome Illana Stein, a Fort Worth native, back to Texas for another exciting theater directing opportunity. Illana is here to direct A Lost Leonardo by David Davalos at Amphibian Stage Productions, 120 South Main St. in Fort Worth, which began last Friday and runs through Nov. 5.
Izzy Fields, the production’s costume designer, also has a strong Fort Worth connection.
This witty play centers on the genius, Leonardo Da Vinci, during a period of time when he was struggling to find his identity, torn between two passions of art and science. In this incisive comedy, award-winning playwright David Davalos (playwright of Wittenberg) asks what price we’re willing to pay for the pursuit of knowledge. We also meet other historical characters including Machiavelli, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia and other figures of the Italian Renaissance.
The script was originally written under the title, Daedalus. Staged readings and workshops have been both performed in Fort Worth and New York City. In 2015, there was a reading of the script (under the title of Daedalus) at Amphibian Stage Productions that was well received and played to a sold-out audience. Matt Amendt, a well-known, New York City-based actor, who appeared in the Fort Worth reading, is again taking on the title role.
Director Illana Stein lives and works in New York City but has her roots and parents in Fort Worth. Illana received her Jewish education at Congregation Ahavath Sholom, where she had her bat mitzvah and attended confirmation classes. She was an active BBYO member throughout high school.
Illana also has ties to the Fort Worth Theater community. She started in theater at age 5, in classes at Casa Manana, and was a Kids Who Care, Inc. core company member. She then attended the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated with a BFA in Dramaturgy in 2006. Since college, she has worked in theaters across the country. Her assistant directing credits include work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hanger Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She was associate director at the Theatre for a New Audience for (New York Times Critics’ Pick) Tamburlaine the Great, directed by Michael Boyd, and Pericles, directed by Trevor Nunn. Most recently, she was associate director on Fingersmith by Alexa Junge, directed by Bill Rauch, at American Repertory Theater. In New York City, she has also assisted at Signature Theatre Company, Pearl Theater, and is a directing company member in New York Madness Theater Company. She is also a member of the 2012 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
Illana and Izzy are thrilled to be working together again as director and costume designer, having collaborated on a New York production of a night-circus-themed A Midsummer Night’s Dream together in 2013. Izzy Fields is a New York-based costume designer with stage and film credits. She is an MFA graduate of the Tisch School of Design and is the resident costume designer for both Fault Line Theatre and National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene in New York City. She recently opened a new musical called Part of the Plan, music by Dan Fogelberg, in Nashville at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Izzy is the cousin of Fort Worth’s Barry Schneider, also a congregant of Ahavath Sholom.
A Lost Leonardo runs at Amphibian Stage Productions, 120 S. Main St., through Nov. 5. General admission tickets are $33. Fore more information, visit amphibianstage.com or call the box office at 817-923-3012.
You may also walk away with a secret or two about the origins of the Mona Lisa.