(March 22-April 1, 2018)

(Some excerpts from reviews of the St. Louis and original Dallas productions...)

  • "Performing mostly from the (relative) comfort of an easy chair, Ward is funny, smart and charming. Just a few feet from the audience, she and director Marianne Galloway establish an easygoing rapport with the audience as soon as people take their seats.... Ward’s fascinating performance explores those kinds of alterations in a life that demands more negotiations than she had any reason to expect." - Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • "The absorbing drama is presented in an informal, casual discussion fashion, as Ward addresses the audience about her condition, informing with humorous slides which accompany her performance. She demonstrates considerable humor and courage in her presentation, aided by Galloway’s carefully crafted direction." - Mark Bretz, Ladue News
  • "A gifted comedienne, Ward’s ability to draw out people’s emotions quickly is admirable. In moments of heartbreaking sadness, she’ll relieve the pain with a joke that produces awkward laughter. She brings out a range of emotions. You might be skeptical — but take a chance. Allow yourself to be captivated by the heart and humor of a talented lady who won’t be kept down by anything life throws at her. It’s an inspiring experience that will touch you deeply." - Jordan Zeitler, St. Louis Limelight Magazine
  • "There are indeed many laughs in the one-woman show which is not so much a play as it is performance art by its creator Sherry Jo Ward. But its story is far more significant than a desire to evoke laughter... Ward, if she isn’t a rowdy woman surely plays one onstage very well indeed...This is a fascinating and important piece of theatre experience. It’s most important for people who are uncomfortable with the subject matter, but it works on all kinds of levels. And for those who are or were in health care, it’s doubly interesting. You’ll learn something." - Ann Lemons Pollack, St. Louis Eats and Drinks
  • "It almost seems inaccurate to call this a play. It is a play, but it’s more than that. It’s an autobiographical one-person show, but I’ve seen those before, as well. With Stiff, things are a little more immersive than I’ve seen...  Ward is a wonder, displaying a remarkable candor, energy, and humor about her condition as well as being at times brutally honest about its effects. This experience is rather like sitting in the living room of an acquaintance while she tells you about her life. It’s that immediate, and authentic. Ward’s talents in acting and writing are on clear display, but so is her almost larger-than-life personality before and after the play itself." - Michelle Kenyon, Snoop's Theatre Thoughts
  • "STIFF offers a funny, profane, wrenching confessional from someone who never expected to find herself on the 'short bus.' She takes the audience on a transformative journey that reminds us of our common humanity as her mind slowly shifts from seeing her companions on the bus as 'them' to 'us.'" - Dallas Morning News
  • "STIFF is hilarious, bold, informative, fanciful, and never, ever too heavy. Exquisitely written and performed by Ward it is an hour you won’t soon forget. The standing ovations it’s earning at the Bath House are a reminder to all of us that sometimes just standing up is a victory." - Dallas Voice 
  • "...undoubtedly one of the most amazing dramatic productions in the DFW region in 2017." - criticalrant 
  • "You can call STIFF brave or courageous, and that would be true. But this show is, at its heart, the result of a talented actress and storyteller delivering one of the most honest, funny, compelling and unforgettable pieces of theater you might see in your lifetime. That’s not hyperbole." - TheaterJones 
  • "...nothing pierces through humanity's hard shell like Sherry Jo Ward's one-woman play STIFF, about her diagnosis and ongoing acceptance of a (literally) one-in-a-million disease called Stiff Person's Syndrome. It's a show — and a performance — that will be talked about for years to come." - CultureMap Dallas 

PHOTOS: Mark Oristano

Catch a special sneak peek of STIFF from the Dallas, TX production here...!


All Access with Sherry Ward (KTRS 550 AM)

Art and Seek
This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.



Inevitable Theatre Company is proud to be working with Paraquad to provide increased accessibility options for patrons of STIFF.

On March 22, 25, 29, and 30, the performances of STIFF will be presented with ASL interpretation for deaf patrons, provided by Paraquad Deaf Way Interpreting Services.

On March 29, the performance of STIFF will be presented with Audio Description for blind or visually impaired patrons, provided by MindsEye.
(Receivers may be picked up near the box office; pre-show notes and description will begin 10 minutes prior to the opening of the show.)

The Regional Premiere of
The Risk Theater Initiative Production of

Written and Perfo
rmed by Sherry Jo Ward

Directed by Marianne Galloway
March 22-April 1, 2018
Black Box Theatre • Kranzberg Arts Center
501 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103

"...a funny, profane, wrenching confessional from someone who never expected to find herself on the 'short bus.'" - Dallas Morning News

Award-winning Dallas actress Sherry Jo Ward chronicles her struggle with Stiff Person Syndrome, an incredibly rare disease which impairs her mobility and causes her unexplained pain.

Part stand-up comedy, part PowerPoint presentation, STIFF is a "must-see" theatrical event - a unique and engaging first person account of what it means to re-assess one’s own goals and ambition when confronted with a life-altering diagnosis.

The original Risk Theater Initiative production of STIFF was the unanimous standout at the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) in Dallas, winning recognition for Best Actress and Best New Play from the Dallas-Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum. STIFF recently completed a run at Stage West in Fort Worth, TX.

Sherry performed the devastating role of Shirley Jones in Inevitable Theatre Company's first-ever production, Jordan by Anna Reynolds and Moira Buffini, at the Out of the Loop Festival in Addison, TX, in 2007. This acclaimed production was later revived at Baylor University as a benefit for the Family Abuse Center in Waco, TX.

The company that started with Sherry and a chair is proud to see her return to the Inevitable stage ... with another chair.

Additional funding provided by the Puffin Foundation.