An Interview with Amelia Fischer

Amelia Fischer-Landscape with Weapon 2024The Department of Theatre & Dance welcomes Amelia Fischer, a director, fight and intimacy coach back to the Studio Theatre to direct our semester opener – Landscape with Weapon. Landscape with Weapon is the second production she’s worked on for Lamar University, having previously directed Silent Sky in 2016.

We are honored to be able to speak with her on her process and the scope of this complex production.

Amelia, what can a person expect when they go to see Landscape with Weapon? What is the vision?

Amelia Fischer: Our audience can expect to leave the theatre ready to engage each other in more conversation on these topics.  Our playwright and actors do a great job of bringing each perspective to life in a way that is sure to garner sympathy and encourage us to re-examine our own ideas.  I love when experiencing a play can act as a springboard for us to dive into conversations that matter.  Our production is set in 2024 London, but these are the same issues we contend with in Beaumont today.

One of the overall issues we see in this play, particularly with Ned is, the moral responsibility of an individual versus the public good. What other topics and themes of the show do you feel connect audience members to the production?

AF: The idea of legacy.  Ned feels a connection with Leonardo da Vinci, another brilliant mind who pushed the boundaries of the possible and created beautiful things.  He also designed several weapons, but never had to face the consequences of those machines going into production.  Therefore, da Vinci’s legacy remains one of art and brilliance.  What does each person contribute to our world and how much control can we/should we exert over the ripple effect our actions or creations may have?

I am also drawn to this plays’ exploration of family and how our familial bonds ground us in our humanity.  Although these two brothers Ned and Dan have taken different life paths and hold different ideological beliefs, they have a couple moments throughout the play when they truly open up to each other and share their experiences.  I love that these moments are always met with renewed efforts to connect or a new extension of an olive branch.  I believe Penhall is trying to give us attainable examples of what it means to address “a human problem…with humanity”.

With this being your second production as a guest director with Lamar University, how has this process differed from those of the past beyond the work itself? While students may not be directly involved in this production, what do you hope they learn by watching our professional alumni & guest artists?

AF: I greatly enjoyed working with the students in our past production of Silent Sky, focusing on skill building and applying what they have learned in classes here to a full production.  We do have students involved in the design and production side of this show and the opportunity to share in a professional production with these artists is invaluable.  It can be difficult for a theatre student to look at a favorite actor on Netflix and figure out how to get there.  But being able to chat with a Vidor guy who has had a long TV career or a Lamar Alumn working as an Equity Actor at regional theatres or a more recent grad who has made a few of those critical first steps to building a career builds much needed understanding, confidence, and professional connections.

The last word is yours. Anything you want to say to interested parties, the cast and crew, curious stander by’s, critics and fans?

AF: Kudos to you for supporting live theatre and ensuring that Lamar University’s legacy continues to include dynamic art!  Bringing people together into a shared space for a shared story is integral to being human.  Theatre creates community and teaches empathy, two things we must continue to kindle for future generations.



A special THANK YOU to Amelia Fischer for taking the time to give us a sneak peek behind the curtain for the upcoming production of Landscape with Weapon. This production features not only Guest Artists from across the country, but also Lamar University alumni & faculty. Tickets are on sale now at or you may reserve seats by calling the box office at 409.880.2250. Performances will be held in the Lamar University Studio Theatre on February 1st – 4th, 2024.