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Stages Repertory Theatre presents Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie

July 25, 2017


Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie
July 26 – September 3, 2017

HOUSTON (July 21, 2017) – Stages Repertory Theatre presents the regional premiere of Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, a musical celebration of the legendary singer-songwriter who throughout the 1930s and ‘40s transformed folk music into a powerful vehicle for political expression and social justice. Featuring four actor-musicians performing Guthrie’s classic hits like “This Land is Your Land,” “This Train is Bound for Glory,” and “The Ballad of Tom Joad,” among others, Woody Sez reveals this iconic artist’s life and his bold vision for the America he deeply loved. Ben Hope, star of Stages’ 2011 production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway, returns in the title role, accompanied by his Hank Williams co-star (and real-life wife) Katie Barton, and two actors making their Stages debuts: Megan Loomis (who also serves as the production’s music supervisor) and Spiff Wiegand. Co-creator Nick Corley directs the production, while fellow Woody Sez creator David M. Lutken serves as its music director.

Currently also in production Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York City, where Lutken also stars, Woody Sez premiered in 2007 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and since then has been produced across Europe and the United States. The New York Times has credited it as “a haunting, powerful show…transcends its homespun materials to become a work of art,” while the Chicago Sun-Times has lauded it as “stirring…sparkling…virtuosic,” and The New Yorker calling it “a politically invigorating and inventive reflection on Guthrie’s life and times.”



Widely regarded as one of the most influential folk musicians of all time, Guthrie sung often about the conditions facing working-class Americans in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” Songwriters including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia and Joe Strummer, among others, have given credit to Guthrie for providing inspiration. Part concert, part biography, Woody Sez explores the singer’s early years in Oklahoma and Texas, his time spent in California as a result of the Dust Bowl migration, and his rise to fame in New York – chronicling the ups and downs of a life riddled with poverty, family strife, and the neurological disorder that ultimately led to his death.

As a tribute to the weekly parties Guthrie and fellow folk singer and activist Pete Seeger would throw at their New York City loft in the 1940s, Stages will host two free of charge “Hootenannies” open to both ticket holders and the general public following the Sunday matinee performances on August 13 and 27, starting at approximately 4:30pm. Participants are invited to join the cast for an informal jam session and chime in with their own instruments, noisemakers or just their voices.

Post-show Q&A discussions with the cast and creative team will take place Sunday, July 30 at 2:30pm, Thursday, August 3 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, August 6 at 2:30pm.  

Press tickets are available for the 8pm show on Friday, July 28. To request seats, email

Performance times are Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays 8pm, Saturdays 2:30pm and 8pm, and Sundays 2:30pm.

Regular tickets start at $21 with savings for groups of 6 or more. To purchase, call the Stages Box Office at 713.527.0123 or reserve online at

For more information including production photos and interviews contact Jonathan Beitler, Barrelhouse Media, 832-964-9932,


Founded in 1978, Stages is a professional Equity theatre that produces new work, presents established work in new ways, nurtures and develops talent, and cultivates and strengthens relationships with Houston audiences. Characterized by courage, generosity, ingenuity and intimacy, Stages works to advance theatre and enliven community to make a more vibrant Houston.

Stages presents a broad scope of plays and musicals in an intimate setting, generating critical acclaim and creating powerful connections between plays and people. The third-largest theatre in Houston and the sixth-largest in Texas, Stages performs year-round, one of only a handful of Texas theatres that offers year-round employment for creative professionals. On average, Stages produces 12 productions per year totaling more than 375 performances and reaching 60,000+ patrons. All of Stages’ shows are rehearsed and constructed on-site in Houston, brought to life by an exceptional community of locally-based artists and craftspeople along with occasional guest directors, actors and designers from around the world.

For more than a decade Stages has made a strong investment in nurturing emerging artists and craftspeople who have now become field leaders and working professionals. Stages’ learning opportunities include performance and production internship programs for college students and conservatory-style training for middle and high school students.

Through this robust scope of activities Stages encourages conversation about important ideas, provides insight into other cultures and viewpoints, and helps develop each new generation of artists, audiences and citizens. For more information visit


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