The work, which was given its world premiere Jan. 5, was originally scheduled through Jan. 29. Owing to good word of mouth and enthusiastic reviews, Amelia — previously seen in developmental New York City and DC readings — has been extended for two weeks, playing through Feb. 12 in DC. The extension does not offer Thursday performances.
WSG artistic director Bill Largess directs the highly theatrical drama at the Stage Guild's new space, the Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church. This is the Equity company's 25th anniversary.
Webb appears in the play opposite his actress wife Shirleyann Kaladjian. Both are veterans of Aquila Theatre Company productions in New York City, as well as regional theatres around the country. Webb wrote the title role of a Pennsylvania farm woman for Kaladjian. He plays multiple roles in the romantic drama, which was inspired by a line in a Civil War diary.
In the play, which climaxes in the notorious Andersonville Prison Camp, Amelia transforms herself from a feisty, lovestruck farmer's daughter to a Union soldier.
Webb was inspired to write the play after researching a part he was playing in The Andersonville Trial. He read a journal entry that someone had written at the Andersonville prison: "Rumor has it that a woman has come in here after her man." Amelia is the playwright's imagined answer to that mystery.
Amelia was selected to inaugurate the Davenport reading series in New York City, sponsored by producer Ken Davenport (Godspell, Oleanna on Broadway and Altar Boyz Off-Broadway). It later had a Kennedy Center Page to Stage reading in DC in 2010, directed by Largess.
"We got a tremendous response and some great feedback from both readings which went into this even stronger final draft of the play," Webb told Playbill.com. "I am excited to bring a full production to the public with some powerful new scenes that have been added to our story. It is a special time to present the play with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War going on over the next five years."
He added, "Amelia is a celebration of the inherent theatricality of watching two actors on a bare stage using only their voices, bodies and passion to create the power and tragedy of the American Civil War."
The production team of Amelia includes set designer Kirk Kristilibas, costume designer Eva Gonzalez De Yanes, sound designer Stowe Nelson and lighting designer Marianne Meadows. Arthur Nordlie is stage manager.
Extension performances play Friday-Sunday. For more information, visit stageguild.org or write firstname.lastname@example.org.