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  • 1. JUNE 2012KCST GE
  • 2. TONYAWARDS2nd Annual Tony Awards ContestThis is way easier than trying to pickyour favorite bracket. If you have aflair for knowing who will win at theTony’s, then you could clean up inKC Stage swag. Prize includes aone-year subscription to KC Stage.Check out KC Stage’s main page and look for thecontest. The link will be up on June 1.Be sure to register by noon on June 10. And the award goes to...
  • 3. NotesArts Asylum Opening June success relies on the approval of the $700,000A new visual and performing space is having appropriation allocated by the Kansas Legis-a launch party on June 2. The Arts Asylum, lature and the hiring of qualified staff. This islocated on 9th St in downtown Kansas City, necessary to create an agency that is success-will be unveiling the James and Marjorie Rus- ful in promoting the arts and restoring federalsell Theater and gallery space and studios. matching funds.The event on Saturday, which goes from 7:30to 11:30 pm, will have the organization’s Lyric Opera Gets New Directorfirst showcase, “Pure Imagination”, which will The Lyric Opera announced the appointmentfeature music, comedy, and performing arts. of Deborah Sandler as the company’s newMore information is available at http://kea. general director, effective July 1. Sandler signednu/asylum. a five-year contract with the Lyric Opera, and Cover photo by Kelly Luck will take over once current director Evan LuskinDikenga Films Premiere in NY retires. As general director, Sandler will beLocal production company Dikenga Films will responsible for directing all aspects of the com- Top Billingbe premiering their latest film, Culture Shock, pany’s administration, fundraising, marketing, Spotlight on Marcus Mull.......................... 2as part of Visionfest 12 in New York City on artistic production, and education programs.June 22. Last year, Dikenga Films won five In collaboration with artistic director Ward StarringIndependent Vision Awards for their film The Holmquist, she also will plan the company’s Gladstone Theatre in the ParkCasserole Club. More information, including artistic offerings. Sandler currently is director Celebrates 25 Years............................ 3 of development and external affairs at the Ken- Hanging Fringe on the Arch...................... 4a trailer, can be found at And the Cappie Goes To........................... 5films/cultureshock. tucky School of Art at Spalding University in Heart of America Shakespeare Festival....... 6 Louisville, and previously worked with Kentucky The View from the Bench......................... 14 Opera and the Opera Festival of New Jersey.ArtsKC Awards Grants NotesThe Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas Cityhas approved $7,000 in Inspiration Grant KC Rep Gets Drama Desk Nods And the Cappie Goes To........................... 5 Blue Star Awards.................................... 16funding for nine local artists. The ArtsKC Several of Kansas City Rep past and current art-Fund’s Inspiration Grant program funds spe- ists have received nominations for the 2011-12 Stand-Inscial projects and professional development Drama Desk Awards. The Drama Desk Awards, Auditions............................................... 21for individual artists. The nine artists which which are given annually in a number of cat- Calendar............................................... 10received funding were selected from twenty egories, are the only major New York theater Events.................................................... 13eight applicants after a two part application honors for which productions on Broadway, Film Clips.............................................. 13 Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway com- Notes...................................................... 1process which includes review by a panel of pete against each other in the same category. Performances........................................... 8community members. Annually, approximatelyeighty artists apply, all of which receive indi- Nominations include Claybourne Elder for Out- Cast of Charactersvidualized coaching on their proposals. Out of standing Actor in a Play for One Arm, David Cromer for Outstanding Director for Tribes, Scott Bowling.............................Webmasterthe nine, one was performance based, going to Tricia Kyler Bowling................Subscriber RepTara Varney to help produce Sexing Hitler for Martin Pakledinaz for Outstanding Costume Richard Buswell..................Managing Editorthis year’s Fringe Festival. For more informa- Design for Nice Work if You Can Get It, and Bryan Colley..................... OffStage Curatortion, visit David Lander for Outstanding Lighting Design Jamie Lin.......................... Editorial Assistant for One Arm. The New Victory Theatre, which Angie Fiedler Sutton............. Associate Editor presented the Kansas City Rep’s The Adventures Martha Maggio................ Graphic DesignerKansas Creative Arts Industries of Tom Sawyer and the Coterie’s Lucky Duck, Letters to the Editor....... editor@kcstage.comGovernor Brownback signed the Kansas Cre- was also given a special award in recognitionative Arts Industries Commission into law on of excellence and significant contributions toMay 10. The new agency will be tasked with theatre for “providing enchanting, sophisticated KCSTAGEthe promotion, support and expansion of the children’s theater that appeals to the child increative industries in order to drive the Kansas all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater ineconomy, grow jobs, and enhance the quality young people.” Rof life for all Kansans. The new commission’s Vol. 15 • No. 8 • Issue 154 • June 2012 • (816) 23-STAGE PO Box 410492 • Kansas City, Missouri 64141-0492 July Deadline: June 10 © Copyright 2012 by KC Stage. All material contained in this pub- lication is the property of or licensed for use by KC Stage. Any use, duplication, or reproduction of any or all content of this publication is prohibited except with the express written permission of KC Stage or the original copyright holders. Printing by Alphagraphics.  JUNE 2012 1
  • 4. Spotlight on Marcus Mullby Jeanne BeechwoodRumor has it the Martin City Melodrama is being tions and marketing our unique theatrical product. Evenrenamed the Marcus City Melodrama. Is this true? when I am out of the office, I continue to think of showThis was originally a joke because every once in a while ideas and really enjoy that creative process that keepsI would answer the box office phone at Martin City spinning and spinning.with “Marcus City Melodrama, how may I help you?”. When and where did you graduate from college?Is that your job for the Martin City Melodrama, to I graduated from Sterling College, in Sterling, Kan.,answer the phone? spring of 2011 with a BA in theatre communications.I help Jeanne run the theatre business and act in allthe shows. So how did it happen, you weren’t out of college for barely a year and now you are helping run MartinCan you describe a typical day at work? City?Running a small business has new surprises every day. It happened all at once. I graduated May 13, 2011 fromHelping run a small theatre business never has a typical college and by May 15 I was hired by the Great Plainsday. Last weekend, we took Rumpelstilskin ... Recycled!?!, Theatre in Abilene, Kan. I took on work as an actor,an original show for children that I co-wrote, to the Great set construction, and the box office. I also workedPlains Mall in Olathe. We brought in the sets, costumes, with stage management in the company. This contractand music and I play the titlerole of Rumpelstilskin. Afterperforming the show, we toredown the set and so forth anddrove back to our Metcalf Southlocation to perform our eveningshow. All the while we are stillanswering the phone and sell-ing tickets. After the load in, weprepared the Metcalf theatre tobe audience ready. Sweeping,cleaning the bathrooms, gettingthe snack bar ready, setting thecabaret tables and chairs andthen perform Completely Hol-lywood with as much energy as kelly luckrequired. After that show, wecleaned up the theatre alongwith cast mates Nino Cassi and Dianne Brown, then lasted until August 14. During my employment withyou and I had a production meeting to cover some issues the Great Plains Theatre, I made a trip up to auditionbefore the next day’s performances. for the Mystery Train Theatre. I couldn’t audition for you yet, because you were in New York performing atWas that considered a long day? the International Fringe Festival. The Mystery TrainRunning a small business reminds me of my recent time Theatre offered me work as a stage manager. The nextin college. There are times when everything is crazy week I received a phone call the day before I movedand deadlines are due and you keep going and going to Kansas City that the lead quit in the mystery pro-to make sure everything gets done. Other times are not duction and I would be playing the lead role in Extra!so crazy and we continue writing our original produc- Continued on page 202 KCSTAGE “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock
  • 5. Gladstone Theatre in the Park Celebrates 25 Yearsby Jamie LinThis summer marks the 25th season of Gladstone and there have been no further incidences of arson orTheatre in the Park, the only community theatre in vandalism.the Northland. In 1988, Van and Susie Ibsen of Ibsen In the face of a crisis, the community rose up to helpDance Theatre decided that their community needed GTIP have a successful season, but they don’t just showlocal opportunities to participate in theatre so that they up in times of tragedy. The Ibsens have a team of fivewouldn’t have to drive so far south. They wrote a letter advisors that help them keep things running on a day toto the City of Gladstone and proposed doing one show day basis: Becky Clark, Michelle Coon, Julie Crawford,in Oak Grove Park (Ibsen Dance Theatre would provide Lennette Johnson, and Jennifer Kessler. The advisoryall the sets, lights, sound, scripts, etc. and the city would board is on a 2 to 3 year rotating membership and isprovide the electricity, the park, and the parking) to responsible for selecting the shows and the directorssee if the community would support a summer the- of both musicals every summer. They also make sureatre program. The city agreed and GTIP put on its first the operation is well organized with every person,production, Oliver, with almost 50 people in the cast staff member, volunteer, deadline, and future growthand over 800 audience members for each of the three accounted for. GTIP also has an operation manual thatperformances. Sheila Lillis, head of Parks and Recre- the board follows and updates each year using theation, loved the response and proposed doing summer feedback from the major participates and in the park to the mayor and the city council. It Gladstone Theatre in the Park is a well-oiled machinewas unanimously accepted. From 1988 to the present, and that is why they have been able to be so successfulGTIP has produced two musicals every summer with for 25 years.casts ranging from 50 to 130 people and the audience Because the shows are so popular and so manyusually averaging around 3,000 to 3,500 each night. patrons show up early to save themselves seats, they It seemed that the Ibsens had found a recipe for suc- have even devised a system to ensure that the blanketscess: family friendly musicals with large casts and free and chairs don’t damage the grass. This long standingadmission for all. This formula enabled thousands of tradition is known as “the blanket run”. At 3 pm onpeople in the Northland to be a part of the theatre scene show days, hundreds of excited audience members linethat was previously out of their reach. With the efforts up at the edge of the seating area and wait for a whistleand donations of the community and local businesses, to blow. Once they hear the whistle, they rush to beatGladstone Theatre in the Park was able to build a per- each other to the piece of grass with the best view ofmanent structure in Oak Grove Park in 1995 so that the stage. You can watch a video of a blanket run onthey no longer had to build a stage from scratch every their website.summer. In 2001, however, it was tragically burned to Any theatre company that can generate that muchthe ground in an act of arson on July 15, Van Ibsen’s excitement year after year, show after show, must bebirthday. The community was devastated by the loss but doing something right. Susie Ibsen attributed much ofrather than canceling Lil’ Abner, which was in its second the success to the actors that audition year after year.week of rehearsal at the time, they gave new meaning “The level of talent continues to grow. We have manyto the phrase “the show must go on”. “We had more performers who have gone on to perform profession-volunteers than I have ever seen come to our assistance,” ally.” Among those performers are well known namesVan said. “We cleared away the old stage, cleaned the such as Lauren Braton, often seen at the American Heart-concrete platform and built the set in one weekend with land Theatre and Musical Theatre Heritage, Robert Erikthe assistance of people from almost every theatre in Sobbe, fresh off his starring role in Egads! Theatre Com-town including Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park, pany’s Zombie Prom, and Brian Shortess, another EubankQuality Hill Playhouse, Missouri Rep, River City Play- favorite and commercial actor.ers, and so many more that I can’t remember! We opened Not only do they put on phenomenal shows that leadon time with a wonderful production and with great to successful acting careers, they are bringing familiesaudience support.” A new structure has since been built Continued on page JUNE 2012 3
  • 6. Hanging Fringe on the Arch: St. Louis Starts Fringe Festivalby Angie FiedlerEmily Piro, the executive director of the new St. Louis yet, but the idea had always stuck in the back of myFringe Festival, actually had the idea for something mind,” she says.similar back in 2007. “I’m from Seattle originally and I However, in 2011, a series of events started with amoved to St. Louis, and really started getting involved discussion with the New York playwright of the showin the art scene here, especially the performing arts Piro was touring — she worked for the Seattle Fringeand theatre scene,” Festival and rememberedPiro says. “What Piro’s show. “I was like,really struck me is ‘You worked for thethe really unique tone Seattle Fringe — tell methat every theatre more about that,’” Pirocompany here has. continues. “And she said,You really can’t inter- ‘You know, it was justchange one show for something that a groupthe next, you know? of people started becauseWhen you go to see they felt the city reallya company show, needed it.’ And I said,you really kind of ‘Well, I think St. Louisknow how it’s going really needs it.’ That’s allto feel, how it’s going it takes — that notion to beto work, what kind able to say that it’s some-of work’s going to thing the city there. And that “And this time whenwas something that I started floating the ideawas really exciting to around again, differentme, and I wondered people in the communityif all the audiences instead of being, ‘no, thatthat are in St. Louis will never work’,know about the really they were, ‘Yes, weincredible diversity of need it, we want and all the dif- This is somethingferent types of work really necessarythat are here. There’s brian peters right now andreally something for everybody. So, if you’re goingI had this idea: what if we had this to put thefestival where all these different com- work into it,panies could really showcase what they we’ll backdo really well and then we get a sense you 100%.’of the type of work that’s already going I don’ton in this city.” know if At the time, no one she talked to really this isjumped on the idea. Worries about shar- happening ining resources and space were predominant, the rest of the country, butand Piro shelved the idea — but never really I know in St. Louis definitely there’sgave up on it. “I didn’t have the name ‘fringe’ been this incredible wave of the creative culture, Continued on page 174 KCSTAGE “The virtue of dress rehearsals is that they are a free show for a select group of artists and friends of the author, and where for one unique evening the audience is almost expurgated of idiots.” ~ Alfred Jarry
  • 7. And the Cappie Goes To...On May 26, the 10th annual Kansas City Cappies were Female Dancer: Hayley Farrell, Raymore-Peculiarpresented. The Kansas City Cappies works with high High School, Legally Blondeschool theatre students all over the metro area; cultivat- Male Dancer: Reuben Hoyle, Blue Springs Southing their writing skills, improving their critical analysis High School, Brigadoonabilities, and honoring their talents and skills in and on Female Vocalist: Taylor Carr, Summit Christiantheir school plays and musicals. The Kansas City Cap- Academy, Hello, Dolly!pies recognizes these excellent students in 37 different Male Vocalist: Daniel Verschelden, Lee’s Summitcategories. The voting was held on May 1. For more High School, Guys & Dollsinformation, including a list of all the nominees, visit Comic Actress in a Play: Sarah Goodman, High School, See How They Run Comic Actor in a Play: Nathaniel Weber, Raymore- Marketing and Publicity: Amber Coultis, Chloe Jack- Peculiar High School, The Foreignerson, Belton High School, The Crucible Comic Actress in a Musical: Lara Ware, Belton High Sound: Mathias Ham, Ryan Rouse, Summit Christian School, Bye Bye BirdieAcademy, God’s Favorite Comic Actor in a Musical: Austin Welhoff, Harri- Lighting: Brendon Dale, Ruskin High School, Almost, sonville High School, FootlooseMaine Supporting Actress in a Play: Nellie Maple, Raymore- Sets: Ingrid Roettgen, Lee’s Summit West High Peculiar High School, The ForeignerSchool, A Christmas Carol Supporting Actor in a Play: Jacob Bogart, Lee’s Sum- Costumes: Shelby Hulsey, Sarah Muir, Kayla Redd,, mit West High School, A Christmas CarolLee’s Summit West High School, A Christmas Carol Supporting Actress in a Musical: Haley Crane, Ray- Make-up: Kylee Schuh, Summit Christian Academy, more-Peculiar High School, Legally BlondeHello, Dolly! Supporting Actor in a Musical: Ben Nickols, Excelsior Props: Sonia Jacobson, Morgan Shea Lyle, Raymore- Springs High School, Zombie PromPeculiar High School, The Foreigner Lead Actress in a Play: Hayley Farrell, Raymore- Special Effects and or Technology: Tyler Fleming, Peculiar High School, The ForeignerExcelsior Springs High School, Zombie Prom Lead Actor in a Play: Dane Schnake, Raymore-Pecu- Stage Crew: Jake Salm, Shannah Withrow, Summit liar High School, The ForeignerChristian Academy, God’s Favorite Lead Actress in a Musical: Nellie Maple, Raymore- Orchestra: The Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Peculiar High School, Legally BlondeDreamcoat Orchestra, Lee’s Summit West High School Lead Actor in a Musical: Jon Gibson, Lee’s Summit Choreography: Austin Welhoff, Emily Tracy, Har- West High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolorrisonville High School, Footloose Dreamcoat Creativity: Austin Strassle, Violin, Ruskin High Song: “Luck Be A Lady”, Lee’s Summit High School,School, Fame Guys & Dolls Ensemble in a Play: The Carolers, Lee’s Summit West Play: The Foreigner, Raymore-Peculiar High SchoolHigh School, A Christmas Carol Musical: Hello, Dolly!, Summit Christian Academy Ensemble in a Musical: Cornelius, Irene, Barnaby, Female Critic: Michaela Wiehe, Raymore-PeculiarMinnie, Summit Christian Academy, Hello, Dolly! High School Featured Actress: Chloe Jackson, Belton High School, Male Critic: Austin Strassle, Ruskin High SchoolThe Crucible Critic Team: Raymore-Peculiar High School R Featured Actor: Bobby Turnbough, Raymore-Pecu-liar High School, The JUNE 2012 5
  • 8. Heart of America Shakespeare Festival: 20 Years Under the Starsby Thomas CanfieldOn a rainy June evening in 1993, the inaugural produc- donor meetings, and founding a Strictly Shakespearetion of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, The organization of supporters. Londré’s many contributionsTempest, opened in Southmoreland Park. For Marilyn included supplying model budgets, writing preliminaryStrauss, the festival’s founder, this was “such stuff / As proposals for a free Shakespeare festival, and creatingdreams are made on.” Yet realizing an outdoor, pro- a persuasive slide lecture on “The Shakespeare Festivalfessional, free summer Shakespeare production was a Phenomenon.”hard-won battle, and no one could predict its future In October of 1992, Strauss produced a gala fund-over the next two decades. raiser at the Folly Theater starring Kevin Kline, who Strauss, who grew up in Kansas City, began her pro- performed scenes from Shakespeare’s works. The sold-fessional theatre career in the 1970s when she organized out benefit, for which Kline generously donated histhe Leonard Bernstein Festival with the Kansas City talent, netted $100,000. “Now, we could choose a play,Philharmonic. This propelled her to a career on the Great hire a director, actors, designers, and technical experts,”White Way, where Strauss co-produced five plays and Strauss says. “We could build a set, make costumes,discovered Da, Hugh Leonard’s Irish comedy/drama, tailor the park, garner hundreds of volunteers, and begin 1978. When the production was transferred to Broad- all kinds of services.” From its conception, the festivalway, it earned six Tony awards — including Best Play took nearly three years to premiere.— and garnered Strauss a Tony. She also received an A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Antony and Cleopa-Obie for the off-Broadway play Getting Out and a Tony tra, performed in rotating repertory this summer, willnomination for the musical Pump Boys and Dinettes. mark 26 total productions of 18 different plays in the Homesick for the Midwest, Strauss returned to Kan- festival’s history, and it will be the first time the festivalsas City eleven years later to begin another chapter in performs Anthony and Cleopatra. To achieve a sharedher career. “I had a secret thought that I wanted to vision, executive artistic director Sidonie Garrett anddo theatre,” she says. Determined for success, Strauss assistant director Todd Lanker will juggle simultane-recalls thinking, “’Nobody turns away from Shake- ous rehearsals. Eventually, Garrett hopes that the entirespeare. That’s a safe way to go.’ I wanted to be sure.” canon will be produced since a two-show season —Aside from reading a few plays, however, she admits: “Ireally didn’t know much about Shakespeare” at the time. brian collins As luck would have it, a local Shakespeare scholarwith an identical dream was eager to collaborate. In1990, Strauss met Felicia Hardison Londré, curators’professor of theatre at UMKC, who became the festival’shonorary co-founder. While researching her book onShakespeare Companies and Festivals: An InternationalGuide, Londré had been travelling to Shakespeare fes-tivals throughout the United States and Europe. Founding a Shakespeare festival meant courting thecity, potential funders, and the community. At the time,it would be the only free outdoor Shakespeare festivalin a tri-state area. Convincing Kansas City to join theranks of approximately 100-120 Shakespeare compa-nies in the United States was “an uphill climb,” Strausssays. Advised to start small, Strauss replied, “I’m notgoing to start small. I’m going to go full force, and if itworks, it’ll work.” She spent countless hours planning, Bruce Roach in Richard III.gathering information, making phone calls, attending6 KCSTAGE “Tallulah Bankhead” ~ Tristan Bernard
  • 9.  Heart of America Shakespeare Festival: 20 Years Under the Stars ing rehearsals forced everyone to take refuge under doug hamer a tent. The director, Bruce Levitt, told jokes while “actors emptied the fast-accumulating rain from the canvas overhead and others blocked holes where rain was coming through,” she says. “That also may have been the summer when we sank in mud to the top of our tennis shoes in spite of the bales of hay the Parks and Recreation Department strewed around the paths.” Garrett’s first year with the festival as a young assis- tant director was on The Taming of the Shrew in 1995. Charged with maintaining the show after the director departed, she says, “It was the hottest summer on record that any of us can recall. We would leave the park and it would still be 100 degrees.” During one performance, Continued on page 19 Jason Chanos in Hamlet.which the festival hopes to continue — allowsfor greater flexibility in choices than a singleoffering. “Traditionally, Shakespearean plays wereviewed outdoors by boisterous crowds whoroutinely ate and drank during the perfor-mance,” an early festival brochure notes. Formany audience members, the performancesin the park are their only exposure to live the-atre, and the casual atmosphere is frequentlypunctuated by animated conversation, thecrumpling of potato chip bags, and the crackof opening soda cans. Last season, almost23,000 people attended Macbeth. Space is typi-cally at a premium during the last weekendof the run; Garrett recalls that the final perfor-mances of Twelfth Night in 2001 saw close to2,500 people crowded into the park at once. Rehearsals begin indoors, but once in thepark the company is at the mercy of insects,unpredictable weather, sirens, and even fire-works and helicopters overhead. Rain canforce a hasty retreat to the hall, which meansreduced time rehearsing on the actual set. doug hamerMovement coach Jennifer Martin remembers Robert Gibby Brand in The year when a furious thunderstorm JUNE 2012 7
  • 10. Barn Players, Inc.* marianne kilroy/coterie theatre101 Dalmatians, Kids - Session # 1 byMel Leven, Randy Rogel, Richard Gibbs,Brian Smith, Martin Lee Fuller, DanRoot, Marcy Heisler and Bryan Louiselle:Jun 19-21: 7:30 pm Tue-ThrIn a loving home in the city of London, Dalma-tian parents, Pongo and Perdita happily raisetheir Dalmatian puppies, until the monstrousCruella De Vil plots to steal them for her newfur coat! Join all the dogs of London, as theydaringly rescue the puppies from Cruella andher bumbling henchmen. With a delightfully funscore, lovable characters, and one of the mostdeliciously evil villains in the Disney canon,this stage adaptation is certain to charm anddelight all audiences. Directed by Jason Coats.$5. The Barn Players, 6219 Martway St, (913)432-9100, www.thebarnplayers.orgPrelude To A Kiss by Craig Lucas:Jun 1-17: 7:30 pm Fri-Sat; 2 pm SunAt Peter and Rita’s wedding, a mysterious oldman insists on kissing the bride. While hon-eymooning, Peter gradually realizes that thewoman by his side is not his wife. The weddingkiss caused Rita’s soul and the old man’s tochange places. Peter must track down the oldman and free his young love’s spirit trappedin an aging and diseased body before it’s toolate. Directed by Darren Sextro. $18; seniors$15; students $10; 10 or more $12. The BarnPlayers, 6219 Martway St, (913) 432-9100,www.thebarnplayers.orgCharlotte Street FoundationExhibit Sway: In the Current: Jun 2:6 pm Fri; 12 pm SatNew dance works exploring the human psycheinspired by and presented with photographicwork by Elijah Gowin. Free. La Esquina,1000 W 25th St, (816) 221-5115, AChestnut Fine Arts Theatre Julie Shaw in Once Upon a Mattress at the Coterie Theatre.And The Oscar Goes To ... : May 17-Jun 17: 8 pm Thr-Sat; 2 pm SunAnd the Oscar Goes To … celebrates the silver your favorite Oscar-winning songs - “Lullaby $23, discounts for seniors, children, & groups.screen and Hollywood. Since the invention of of Broadway”, “When You Wish Upon a Star”, Chestnut Fine Arts Center & Theatre, 234 Nthe motion picture, movies and music have “Buttons and Bows”, “Thanks for the Memory” Chestnut St, (913) 764-2121, chestnutfinearts.been intertwined … so take your seat and enjoy and many more! Directed by Brad Zimmerman. com *Affiliate Organizations offer discounts to subscribers of KC Stage. Display your member- Content Guide: Unless otherwise noted, the subject matter of performances should ship card at the box office or mention it when ordering tickets over the phone. For a list be suitable for general audiences. Shows marked with A contain adult material that of discounts and other offers, visit Don’t forget to rate or review the may not be appropriate for children under the age of 18. Shows marked C contain shows you see online! material that is specifically intended for children. Please note that these content markings are designated by the individual arts organizations, not by KC Stage.8 KCSTAGE “The center of the stage is where I am.” ~ Martha Graham
  • 11.  PerformancesCorbin Theatre Company turing Natalie King, Colter Lemmon, Casey Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre37 Postcards by Michael McKeever: McCabe, Lindsey Oetken, Annie Rosenbrook, and Andrew Walker. $4-$15. Karl C. Bruder A Funny Thing Happened on the WayMay 31-Jun 9: 7:30 pm Thr-Sat to the Forum by Burt Shevelove, LarryAfter eight years of traveling abroad, Avery Sut- Theatre, King Hall, (620) 341-6378, www. Gelbart, & Stephen Sondheim: May 30-ton is coming home - home to the warmth and Jun 17: 7:30 pm Wed-Sat; 2 pm Suncomfort of his family. Unfortunately, things aren’t Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight! Outra-quite as comfortable as Avery remembers. 37 Kacico Dance geous, farcical things pile upon one anotherPostcards shows that you can, in fact, go home Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled to create a glorious car wreck in this riotousagain. You just never know what you’re going to Prairie Tale: Jun 8: 2 pm, 7 pm Fri “Roman” musical farce. The slave Pseudolusfind. Directed by Maggie Thomas. $10. Corbin Kacico Dance’s telling of Little Red Riding strikes a bargain with young Hero. If Pseu-Theatre Company, 15 N Water St, (816) 476- Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale is a dance dolus can arrange for Hero to get the girl of2705, narrative based on the book by local Missouri his dreams, then Hero will give Pseudolus his author Lisa Campbell Ernst and published by freedom. And from this, all else ensues. Win-The Coterie Theatre Simon & Shuster Children’s Publishing. This is ner of multiple Tony Awards, this play couldOnce Upon a Mattress by Mary Rodg- a family friendly show that is intended for a have be accurately titled, “Many, many funnyers, Marshal Barer, Jay Thompson, and multigenerational audience. Through original things happened on the way to the Forum.”Dean Fuller: Jun 19-Aug 5: 11 am choreography, live music by KC Singer/Song Directed by John Robert Paisley. $35 Fri-Sat,Tue-Fri; 2 pm Sat-Sun; 7 pm Fri; writer Dave Patmore, bright costumes and $30-Thur-Sun, $20 student. Metropolitan1:30 pm Wed-Fri props, Kacico Dance will bring this traditional Ensemble Theatre, 3604 Main St, (816) 569-Control-freak mom, Queen Aggravain, chases story to life… with a twist! Directed by Allison 3226, www.metkc.orgoff her son’s chances of finding a Princess by McKinzie, Holly Noel Harmison, and Maggiecreating unbeatable tests. Along comes klutzy Osgood Nicholls. $8. Cultural Arts Center -Metropolitan Community Center- Longview, Mid-America Arts AlliancePrincess Winnifred from the swamp (who swims LIVE! in the Crossroads, featuring Mak-the moat) to set the Prince’s heart aflame. So, 500 SW Longview Rd., ing Movies: Jun 1: 6:30 pm Frithe Queen plans her most difficult challenge Mid-America Arts Alliance is proud to presentyet. The palace is filled with merriment and The KC Improv Company LIVE! in the Crossroads on First Fridays in themischief while everyone wonders: will Prin- The KC Improv Company’s Big Show: Crossroads Arts District. Our LIVE! activities arecess “Fred” pass the Queen’s test? Directed May 5-Jun 30: 8 pm Sat free and family-friendly. On Friday, June 1, theby Jeff Church. Adults: $15; youth, students, The KC Improv Company has been doing it public is invited to join us for a performanceor seniors: $10. The Coterie Theatre, 2450 however the audience wants it since 2000. by the Latin/Salsa/Rock fusion band, MakingGrand Blvd, Ste 144, (816) 474-6552, www. Tonight they do an adults-only improvised show Movies. Individuals interested in presenting featuring fast-and-furious games, plus Chi- performing at a future LIVE! event may contact cago-style long-form improvisation. Directed Christine Bial, Curator of Performing Arts, atEmporia State University Theatre by Tim Marks, Scott Connerly, and Keith Curtis. or 816-421-1388, ext.Dearly Beloved by Jones, Hope, and $10; $5 for students. The Kick Comedy Theater 227, for more information. Mid-America ArtsWooten: Jun 13-16: 7:30 pm Wed-Sat (Westport Coffeehouse Theater), 4010 Pennsyl-The three Futrelle Sisters are throwing a wed- vania, (913) 486-6861, A Continued on page 12ding. But nothing is working out and now thebride and her groom are missing. As they try rita marksto figure out a way to salvage the wedding,they reunite their old singing group “The Ser-monettes”. Directed by Jim Bartruff. FeaturingKylie Geiman, Jeannie Harper, Colter Lem-mon, Carolyn Lohkamp, Casey McCabe,Andrew McCutcheon, Noah Mefford, AubreyNear, Annie Rosenbrook, Trinity Standridge,and Christina Hardin. $4-$15. Karl C. BruderTheatre, King Hall, (620) 341-6378, Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig:Jun 27-30: 7:30 pm Wed-SatLudwig’s tribute to the great English farces ofthe 1930s and 1940s, A Fox on the Fairwaytakes audiences on a hilarious romp whichpulls the rug out from underneath the stuffydenizens of a private country club. Filled withmistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it is a furiouslypaced comedy. Directed by Jim Ryan. Fea- Members of the KC Improv JUNE 2012 9
  • 12. *Affiliate TheatreKCSTAGE JUNE 201228 MON 29 TUE 1 FRI 2 SAT 3 SUNNO PERFORMANCES The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant Everyday Rapture • Unicorn Theatre 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Chicago • Music Theatre for Young People30 WED 31 THU Everyday Rapture • Unicorn Theatre Chicago • Music Theatre for Young People Everyday Rapture • Unicorn TheatreThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • Exhibit Sway: In the Current • Charlotte Street Everyday Rapture • Unicorn Theatre A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant Foundation Exhibit Sway: In the Current • Charlotte Street Metropolitan Ensemble TheatreEveryday Rapture • Unicorn Theatre 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Foundation Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill PlayhouseA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Everyday Rapture • Unicorn Theatre The Night of the Assassins • The Mystery Train Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The KC Improv Company’s Big Show • The KC Dinner Theatre Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Improv Company Visiting Mr Green • The White Theatre Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse The Night of the Assassins • The Mystery Train Dinner Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Visiting Mr Green • The White Theatre Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre4 MON 5 TUE 8 FRI 9 SAT 10 SUNPete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison The 39 Steps • Theatre Atchison And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts6 WED 7 THU And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum •The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill PlayhouseA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • 37 Postcards • Corbin Theatre Company Hula Heart • University of Central Missouri Theatre* The KC Improv Company’s Big Show • The KC Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Little Red Riding Hood: A Newfangled Prairie Tale • Improv Company The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets*Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Kacico Dance The Night of the Assassins • The Mystery Train Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the ParkThe Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre The Night of the Assassins • The Mystery Train Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Visiting Mr Green • The White Theatre Hula Heart • University of Central Missouri Theatre* Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Dinner Theatre The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the Park Visiting Mr Green • The White Theatre Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the Park Visiting Mr Green • The White Theatre Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre Dinner Theatre11 MON 12 TUE 15 FRI 16 SAT 17 SUNPete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The 25th Annual Spelling Bee • New Theatre The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for Young America* New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant New Theatre Restaurant Hula Heart • University of Central Missouri Theatre* The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Young America* Young America* A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre13 WED 14 THU Dearly Beloved • Emporia State University Theatre Dearly Beloved • Emporia State University Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill PlayhouseThe 25th Annual Spelling Bee • New Theatre The 25th Annual Spelling Bee • New Theatre
  • 13. The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Young America* Young America* Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets*Dearly Beloved • Emporia State University Theatre And The Oscar Goes To... • Chestnut Fine Arts Hula Heart • University of Central Missouri Theatre* The KC Improv Company’s Big Show • The KC Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the ParkA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Dearly Beloved • Emporia State University Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Improv Company Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.* Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill PlayhousePete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Prelude To A Kiss • The Barn Players, Inc.*The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Hula Heart • University of Central Missouri Theatre* Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the Park The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the Park The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Dinner Theatre The Three Billy Goats Gruff • Puppetry Arts Institute Sweeney Todd • The Theatre in the Park Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Who’s in Bed with the Butler • Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre18 MON 19 TUE 22 FRI 23 SAT 24 SUNNO PERFORMANCES 101 Dalmatians, Kids - Session # 1 • The Barn The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park Players, Inc.* Young America* Young America* Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park The KC Improv Company’s Big Show • The KC Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Young America* Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Improv Company The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets*20 WED 21 THU101 Dalmatians, Kids - Session # 1 • The Barn 101 Dalmatians, Kids - Session # 1 • The Barn Players, Inc.* Players, Inc.*The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for Young America* Young America*Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie TheatrePete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill PlayhouseThe Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets*25 MON 26 TUE 29 FRI 30 SAT 1 SUNNO PERFORMANCES The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park Young America* Young America* Young America* Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre The Fox on the Fairway • Emporia State University The Fox on the Fairway • Emporia State University Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Theatre Theatre The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park The KC Improv Company’s Big Show • The KC Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Improv Company27 WED 28 THU Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park AUDITIONSThe Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking • Theatre for JUN 1 • Christian Youth Theatre The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Young America* Young America* JUN 2-3, 9-10 • The Barn Players The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets*The Fox on the Fairway • Emporia State University The Fox on the Fairway • Emporia State University JUN 4-6 • River City Community Players Theatre Theatre JUN 9-11 • The Theatre GymOnce Upon a Mattress • The Coterie Theatre Legally Blonde • The Theatre in the Park JUN 18 • The Culture HousePete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse Once Upon a Mattress • The Coterie TheatreThe Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* Pete ‘n’ Keely • Quality Hill Playhouse The Stinky Cheese Man • Paul Mesner Puppets* *Affiliate Theatres offer discount tickets to subscribers of KC Stage. Display your membership card at the box office or mention it when ordering tickets over the phone. For a list of discounts and other offers, visit Don’t forget to rate the show you see online!
  • 14.  Performancescontinued from page 12Alliance, 2018 Baltimore Avenue, (816) 421- Puppetry Arts Institute Theatre Atchison1388, The 39 Steps by Adapted by Patrick Bar- Piccadilly Productions low: Jun 1-10: 8 pm Fri-Sat; 2 pm Sun The Three Billy Goats Gruff: Jun 16: $10 adults; $6 students. Theatre Atchison,Music Theatre for Young People 2 pm, 11 am Sat 401 Santa Fe St, (913) 367-7469, www.Chicago: Jun 2-3: 7:30 pm Sat; Young Billy goat Gunther Gruff, has a fear theatreatchison.org2:30 pm Sun problem. You might say he has fearophobia, or phobophobia, if you will. Will a run-in withevents/umkc-theatre.asp for tickets. Directed by the hungry troll Dagmar cure him? And where is Theatre for Young America*Cary Pandzik and Matthew Allen. $15. UMKC Dagmar’s lunch bag? The show features audi- The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking byWhite Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry, (913) 341- ence participation, storytelling, and more of Gene Mackey: Jun 12-30: 12 pm Thr-8156, Piccadilly’s trademark puns and song numbers Fri; 10 am Tue-Fri; 7 pm Fri; 2 pm Sat keep the kids attention riveted. Directed by Lisa Pippi is a high-spirited, warm-hearted incar- Albright. $5. Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E nation of every child’s dream of freedom andThe Mystery Train Winner Rd, (816) 833-9777, power. With her unusual red braids of hair andThe Night of the Assassins by Wendy strange clothing, she is a young lass of unusualThompson: Apr 20-Jun 9: 6:30 pm strength. Though Pippi astounds people with herFri-Sat Quality Hill Playhouse physical strength, she never uses her ability toIn 1893, two of the finest from the wild, wild, Pete ‘n’ Keely: Jun 1-Jul 1: 8 pm Sun- harm anyone. Rollicking adventures abound inwest are called in on a special mission to pro- Sat; 3 pm Sat-Sun; 1 pm Wed-Thr her life in Villa Villekula where she lives alonetect the President. They are met with modern You are the live studio audience of the with her horse and pet monkey while her pirateideas, social reform, steam-powered mecha- 1968 television special reuniting “America’s dad is sailing the South Seas. Directed by Genenisms, and an array of assassins. A delicate swingin’ sweethearts” Pete Bartel and Keely Mackey. $8; group discounts available. Theatresituation, to say the least ... and then a murder Stevens in this hilarious spoof chock full of for Young America, H & R Block City Stage athappens! Directed by Wendy Thompson. $64 American standards (“Fever”, “Lover”, “But Union Station, (816) 460-2083, Ceach. The Golden Ox, 1600 Genessee, (816) Beautiful”) and eye-popping costumes! $29813-9654, A adults; $26 seniors/students. Quality Hill Play- house, 303 W 10th St, (816) 421-1700, www. Unicorn Theatre Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan andNew Theatre Restaurant Sherie Renee Scott: May 16-Jun 3: 8 pmThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spell- Fri-Sat; 3 pm Sun; 7:30 pm Tue-Thring Bee by Rebecca Feldman, Rachel The Theatre in the Park A semi-autobiographical stage memoir by She-Sheinkin, William Finn, & Jay Reiss: Legally Blonde by Laurence O’Keefe, rie Rene Scott, this is the story of a woman’sApr 5-Jun 17: 12 pm Sat-Sun, Wed; Nell Benjamin, and Heather Hach: psycho-sexual-spiritual journey that separates6 pm Tue-Sun Jun 22-Jul 1: 8:30 pm Thr-Sun her mostly Mennonite past from her mostlyDirected by Joe R Fox III. $22.95 - $37.20. Sorority star Elle Woods doesn’t take “no” for Manhattan future. She travels from Topeka,New Theatre Restaurant, 9229 Foster St, www. an answer. So when her boyfriend dumps her Kan, to New York City with a disturbing A for someone “serious”, Elle puts down the through YouTube. Filled with familiar tunes, this credit card, hits the books, and sets out to go musical follows Sherie’s road to Broadway where no Delta Nu has gone before: HarvardParadise Playhouse Dinner Theatre Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true semi-stardom. This is the first production inWho’s in Bed with the Butler by Michael the nation since Sherie premiered the show to yourself never goes out of style. DirectedParker: May 25-Jun 16: 6 pm Fri-Sat; on Broadway. Directed by Jerry Jay Cranford. by Greg Shaw. Prices vary. The Theatre in the7 pm Thr; 12 pm Sun $27.50 - $37.50. Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main Park, 7710 Renner Rd, (913) 236-1237, www.Directed by Larry Tesar. $30 - $32. Paradise St, (816) 531-7529, A APlayhouse Dinner Theatre, 101 Spring St, (816)630-3333, A Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim UCM Theatre* and Hugh Wheeler: Jun 8-17: 8:30 pm Central Missouri RepertoryPaul Mesner Puppets* Thr-Sun Hula Heart by Velina Hasu Houston:The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka: This chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding mas- Jun 15: 10 am Tue, Thr-FriJun 6-Jul 1: 2 pm Sat-Sun; 11 am terpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary “Hula Heart” is the story of a young boy fromWed-Sat; 1:30 pm Wed-Fri crime tells of the unjustly exiled barber who Hawaii who moves to California and is facedAdapted from the wildly popular book by Jon returns to 19th century London seeking revenge with the dilemma of maintaining his nativeScieszka and Lane Smith, this rip-roaring fairy- against the lecherous judge who framed him roots or embracing a new and different culture.tale adventure is loads of fun for all ages. and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood With a cast of fantastic characters, beautifulYou’ll have fun with Jack, the narrator, as he soon expands to his unfortunate customers, hula dancing, and a message of being true totakes you through the twists and turns of this and the resourceful proprietress of the pie oneself, this is an unforgettable performancewacky tale, which contains zany versions of shop downstairs soon has people lining up that you won’t want to miss! Featuring Jus-storybook classics! Directed by Paul Mesner. for her mysterious new meat pies! Directed by tin Barron, Adam Tucker, Angie Benson, and$7 for children; $9 for adults. PMP Studio, Mark Swezey. Prices vary. The Theatre in the Miranda Powers. Whiteman AFB Community1006 E Linwood Blvd, (816) 235-6222, www. Park, 7710 Renner Rd, (913) 236-1237, www. Center, Building 528, (660) 543-8811, A KCSTAGE “If you really want to help the American theater, don’t be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.” ~ Tallulah Bankhead
  • 15.  Performances Events Film Clips by Larry LevensonThe White Theatre Christian Youth Theater Gary Huggins raised $70,000 to make his firstVisiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron: May 31- LOGOS Dance Theatre Fairy Tale Ballet full-length movie entitled Kick Me. Starring inJun 10: 7:30 pm Sat, Thr; 2 pm Sun Camp: Jun 18-22: 9 am Mon-Fri the movie will be Kansas City, Kan., policemanDirected by Mark Swezey. The Lewis and Shirley Your little princess will learn basic dance tech- Santiago Vasquez, and plans are to shoot itWhite Theatre, 5801 West 115 Street, (913) nique, make fun crafts, and enjoy tasty treats. in the KC area.327-8054, A (Ages 4 - 7) All princesses get to take home A national Wal-Mart commercial was sched- their own camp t-shirt and tutu! See your bal- uled to be shot in KC, and SAG/AFTRA extras lerina shine at the Parent Show on Friday, June were being sought.Coming in July 22 at 11:30AM. Camp runs 9AM - noon each day. CYT Offices, 6800A W 153rd St., (913) Rural western Kansas is the setting for a hor-Blue Springs City Theatre* 681-3318, ror movie to be shot over the summer. CrewWilly Wonka the Musical in nearly every department is needed, so if Winnie the Pooh Theater Arts Camp for you are interested, visit www.rabidlovemovie.Paradise Playhouse Dinner Theatre ages 4-5: Jun 4-Aug 3: 9 am Mon-FriOver the River and Through the Woods com or Join CYT Kansas City as we act, sing and dance for information. by Joe DiPietro our way through the Hundred Acre Wood withPuppetry Arts Institute this exciting summer camp for pre-schoolers. A call went out for extras for a print project.Salt N’ Patter Puppets and Brementown Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, The client was a regional KC bank.Musicians Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Tigger will come along Bryan Blakey (Crime Family, Nine Grounds) is on our journey. Crafts and snacks are partRandomosity Productions, LLC looking for someone to play the lead female of the fun! Camps are half days at variousCRISSCROSS by Mark Katzman role of Mary in the movie PMS COP. The movie locations throughout the Kansas City metro. will be shot in Springfield, Mo. If you are inter-Summit Theatre Group Each camp is one week long. (913) 681-3318, ested, visit his website,, toThe Music Man by Meredith Wilson get his contact information. Requirements forThe Theatre in the Park the role are: needs to be athletic, talentedDisney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids Jewell Theatre Company* actress, available May, June, and July.Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids Jewell Theatre Camp: Jun 17-22: 1 amUrinetown by Mark Hollman, Greg Kotis TLC channel is casting for a new documentary Sun-Fri series about extreme money savers. If you haveTheatre for Young America* One Week Residential Theatre Camp for High been described as cheap or frugal, contactFair Ball: Negro Leagues in America by School Students! For more information and to, where you canGene Mackey register go to: describe your extraordinary money-saving tech- Peters Theater, Brown Hall, (816) 415-7588,The White Theatre niques. RThe King & I by Rodgers & Hammerstein R Writer/director Jordan Essary is looking for actors to be in his new Christian short movie entitled “The Tree House”. The movie is set to go into production during the month of August in Missouri. Jordan is looking for boys ages 8-10, and girls ages 13-15. Contact Jordan Essary at: (361)443-2922, conceptoneproductions@, or www.conceptoneproductions. com/the_tree_house_casting_call. Wright/Laird Casting was looking for a late- 40’s Caucasian woman with short, blonde hair for TV commercial. Auditions and call-back were held at Wright/ Laird Casting for a Missouri Lottery commercial to be shot in KC. R Are you a filmmaker in the KC area and want to submit news about your production to KC Stage? E-mail Larry at before the JUNE 2012 13
  • 16. View from the Bench: Two Weeks as a Reality Show Drama Criticby Kelly Luck“AUTHENTIC BOXING”, proclaims the sign outside some exciting performers down there that he feels wouldthe building as I pull up, emblazoned above a silhouette be ideal for the KC Fringe Festival, so the trip was worthraising its gloved hands in triumph. For a moment, I it. Next to him: Edward Einhorn, playwright and artisticwonder if I am at the right place. But no, around the director of New York’s “Untitled Theatre Company #61,”corner of the building, a more modest sign is hung by down for the weekend to lend his insights. He’s a pleasantthe door: “Project Playwright”. It is this that has brought fellow, active in children’s and Jewish theatre, as well asme down to the West Bottoms on a balmy Saturday being the driving force behind the yearly Ionesco festival.night. The parking lot is beginning to fill up already, I make a note to talk to him after the taping.and a few people are standing outside, catching the last The three of us are placed at a table in front of therays of dying sunshine before the show begins. audience, overlooking the black-curtained area that David Hanson breaks off from the group, hurries serves as a simple performance space. Tonight, the stageforward to shake my hand. “We’re just up the stairs,” is set with some airline seats the photography studiohe says, guiding me and a few others up a darkened uses for advertising shots. Behind us, the audience seatsstairwell, past a headless mannequin and gradually fill with excited playgoers: someinto a wide open space. During the week, to root for a particular playwright, otherswe are told, it is a working photo studio; Playwrights just here for the show. Behind the stage areabut for the next two weekends it will be Peter Bakely in the makeshift green-room-cum-dormi-the temporary home of what may well be Bryan Colley tory, final preparations are being made.Kansas City’s first homegrown reality show. Allie Jordan During the weekend, the playwrights live The brainchild of Hanson and Erich Michael Ruth and work in this area, but now it’s full ofMcGrew, the show takes the classic “talent Vicky Vodrey actors and directors doing the last minuteshow” format and brings it into the theatre prep that always comes before Five local playwrights have been Directors All around us, serious-minded studentsselected: over the next two weeks, they will Victor Hentzen with black shirts and expensive camerasproduce plays to order, with stringent condi- Liz Nelson check and double check their equipment.tions and a merciless deadline. And then, one And then, the show begins. Jill Szooby one, each play will be given its premiere David steps out on stage, welcoming theperformance before a live audience and a Winner audience and getting straight into the rules.panel of judges. Which is where I come in. Bryan Colley Five playwrights have been chosen: for each “It’s kind of like American Idol, X-Factor, of four nights, three of them will competethat sort of thing.” It’s two months earlier, for a spot in the fourth and final round.and I’m sitting in an Indian restaurant with Twenty-four hours previously, they wereDavid. He’s been in touch with KC Stage, wanting some- each given an assignment for a ten-minute play. Theyone with a critic’s perspective on the judging panel. A had twelve hours to finish the script, and the actors andquick flurry of e-mails has resulted in this meeting in directors had twelve hours to put a production together.which he explains the details. “All you have to do is Sound and light cues are sparse, props and stagecraftshow up, watch the plays, talk a little about what you minimal. There are no catchy songs to save them, noliked and didn’t like about them. Sound fun?” Indeed elaborate sets, no falling chandeliers. This is storytell-it does. And so, on a balmy spring night with precision ing at its purist. And we are here to watch it happen.chaos all around me, we prepare for the show. The first round is titled “Farce at 24,000 Feet”. The As zero hour approaches, David introduces me to my playwrights are given three actors in four airline seats.fellow judges: Bob Paisley, actor, director, co-founder of They must create a play that follows the rules of farcethe Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. He’s just returned in the space of ten minutes. And since this is apparentlyto town from Australia, where he went to escape what not brutal enough, a final condition has been added: eachturned out to be the mildest winter in years. Still, he found character must change seats no less than three times,14 KCSTAGE “If there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last.” ~ Anton Chekhov
  • 17.  View from the Benchcontinued from page 14and end in the seats in which they began. Daunting, to ups inherent in the ghost that they easily qualified assay the least. farce even without trying to. Really, the only one that The plays are performed for us, one after another. didn’t work for me was one which seemed to pin itsTheir names are given simply as A, B, and C, so we are comedic hopes on a set of “swishy” gay stereotypesgiven no hint as to authorship. The three performances that were outdated in the previous century (a featherwere all quite humorous, handling the seat-juggling boa? seriously?).aspects with skill. At the end of each, David came back Nevertheless, when the dust was cleared, our thirdand asked us our opinion. It was generally agreed they winner was pronounced. We had three playwrights leftwere strong in the comedy, though there was some now. Three to contend in one final round.disagreement among us as to whether one or two of After the episode proper, I stayed behind (as hadthe entries had actually constituted farce per se. In the become my habit), talking with the other guests,end, we ranked our favorites, and the audience ranked swapping notes with the actors, and watching as theytheirs. The winner of the round was announced, the prepared for the last scene-off. This bit, not part of theaudience was invited back for the next round on the show proper, was judged after the main event: a sort offollowing evening, and the show ended. Judges, actors, lightning round. The three writers for the next roundand audience members mingled in the studio, talking were given a topic, as usual, but then given six minutesabout the plays and theatre scene in general. Backstage, to create a sixty-second piece. The scripts were thenthe writers for the next episode were brought together, handed to the actors, who performed them in a coldand given their assignment. read in front of a single judge. They tended to be quick, The next evening found me back in the chair, set- simple concepts: dueling furniture appraisers, creatingtling in for a trio of dramas: three people were to gather a help wanted ad for the worst job imaginable, that sorttogether, with one revealing a secret that would change of thing. Tonight’s theme was the biggest “I Told Youthe relationship between all three forever. If that weren’t So” ever. Ted was in the hot seat for this one, I havingenough, the story had to be told nonlinearly. This in done the one before. David later confided to me thatparticular proved to be an interesting aspect, and the this was his favorite part of the show. It was easy toone that brought the most intrigue to the storylines: one see why: coming up with a coherent story and tellingentry went so far as to include five separate scenes in it in that brief period of time is no mean feat. That theythe allotted time. If the exact sequence of events was were able to accomplish it at all is a testament to theuncertain, it was nonetheless an impressive bit of sto- caliber of talent we had contending.rytelling for all that. It was interesting to note at the Sunday. The final round. Ted and I are joined at theend of the evening that all three entrants started at the judges’ table by Valerie Mackey, associate artistic direc-end, and built up the story behind them. Again, three tor at Theatre for Young America. She apologizes forstrong contenders, and we went to a strict definition of not joining us the night before; her calendar only hadthe rules to make our final decision. her down for tonight. Still, no harm done and we saved The next week brought a new set of challenges and her a seat. The room fills quickly, fuller than I’ve seen it.a new set of judges. Saturday night, it was just myself The preliminary rounds are over with: this is where theand UKMC head of acting (MFA) Ted Swetz, an affable cream of the crop lock horns. After this, there is only in with gray hair and a shaggy beard (not his own, David comes out, as is his custom, and goes over thehe explained: he was playing Shylock outdoors in Iowa rules. They’re more or less the same as they have been,City this summer and stick-on beards and hot summer but with one significant twist: over the last three rounds,nights don’t mix). This evening we were back to comedy: if there was a tie between the audience and judges,a meeting in an office between two people, and a ghost the judges would cast the deciding vote. Tonight, withthat only one of them can see. This proved fertile ground everything down to the wire, it is the audience that getsfor our contestants, and we had three very funny entries. the final say. He jokes that this is so that at the end ofInterestingly, all three took such advantage of the mix Continued on page JUNE 2012 15
  • 18. Blue Star Awards  View From the Bench continued from page 15On May 24, the 10th annual Blue Star the night we judges can get to our make sure. But after what seems aAwards were presented at Starlight cars in safety, but in fact it strikes me small eternity, the three writers areTheatre. The program recognizes as absolutely appropriate and right: led out to the stage, and the finaloutstanding achievement in musical after all, directors can guide the winner is announced. Five hundredtheatre production and performance performance with their knowledge dollars to go toward the produc-among high school students. The and experience, teachers can guide tion of one of their original works.program’s goal remains bringing creative and performing talents to Champagne in the green room.together high school musical theatre greater use of their gifts. Critics can Last shots. The serious-mindedprograms in metropolitan Kansas focus on the positives and negatives students in black pack away theirCity and outlying areas to recog- and provide (we hope) thoughtful gear. Tomorrow morning, the spacenize and celebrate outstanding talent commentary on what makes great goes back to being a working photoamong the area youth. By participat- theatre great. But in the end, it is studio. As I walk through the backing in the Blue Star Awards Program, the audience that decides. What room, already the beds and livingstudents receive feedback from is remembered, what is forgotten. arrangements have been removed.working professionals and interact What tears at the heart, what fills No more overnighters here.on a creative level with their high it with laughter. What is forgotten, We mingle and chat as the worldschool peers from across the metro- and what stays with you forever. is packed away around us, the fanta-politan area. For more information, Tonight, the theme is “Black Box syland of the theatre giving way inincluding a list of all the nominees, Family”: three players, a few chairs, a slow dissolve into the real world.visit and ten minutes. No limitations to The fun part is over: now comes genre, no special tricks, no traps. weeks of editing, boiling down the Outstanding Overall Production: This is time for the playwrights to endless hours of behind-the-scenesBlue Valley High School, Crazy for shine, to show what they are really drama and final performances to aYou capable of. And this they do. As coherent whole. A YouTube release Outstanding Artistic Contribu- we watch the three productions, it is expected, and then ... who knows?tion by a Student: Abigail Karnes, occurs to me that this is easily the There is talk of marketing the idea,Kearney High School, Direction, most difficult round we’ve had. Pre- possibly to one of the artier cableMusic Direction, Choreography viously, you could count on there channels. We linger, not quite will- Outstanding Orchestra: Olathe being one or two standouts, but ing to break the final bond. Still, it’sEast High School, The Who’s Tommy when all three performances are a work day in the morning, and the Outstanding Scenic Design, Tier standouts, making that final deci- prosaic world beckons.I: Winnetonka High School, Seussical sion becomes an enormous task. We As I step out into the balmy night Outstanding Scenic Design, Tier at the judges table confer in hushed air for the last time, I turn and lookII: Liberty North High School, Oliver! whispers. Consensus does not back at the building, now bathed Outstanding Lighting Design: appear to be forthcoming. Behind in streetlamp yellow. I see the signWinnetonka High School, Seussical us, the audience is also uncertain. again: the boxer still raising his Outstanding Technical Crew: Eventually, however, we make our hands in triumph. And beside him,Lighting Crew, Olathe East High decision, and settle back. The antici- the words “Greatness Will Not BeSchool, The Who’s Tommy pation is electric: up until now, I’d Denied!” Indeed. R Outstanding Costume Design, always had a pretty good idea whoTier I: Winnetonka High School, would win each round. Tonight, I Kelly Luck is a writer and photogra-Seussical am just another member of the audi- pher. Her hobbies are centered around Outstanding Costume Design, ence, on the edge of my seat. theatre, cinema, and being the lastTier II: Lee’s Summit West High The tallying is close. Very close. person you’d ever expect to take part Continued on page 18 In fact, they had to recount just to in a reality show.16 KCSTAGE
  • 19.  Hanging Fringe on the Archcontinued from page 4and this real hunger for things that are new and things cess was unjuried. “We intentionally did 20 local artiststhat are visceral and things that really push the status and 10 national artists,” Piro says. “We could’ve filled upquo and really challenge what is it to make art and entirely with local artists if we had not set that restric-what is it to have a distinct culture and what is it that tion. We filled up our local slots within five minutes ofwe have that defines that. And there’s a lot of passion opening them up. It was really surprising.” Of thosethat already exists in the city. So being able to tap into national artists, one is Kansas City native Brother John.that has been huge.” Unlike the KC Fringe Festival, it’s primarily focused on Piro intentionally gave herself a relatively short dead- performing arts. “But we’ve defined performing artsline. “I know in the creative world people can often fall by the artists’ definition,” Piro says. “I said, ‘If you caninto the trap of planning, planning, planning — having make a case that it’s performing arts, it’s going in.’ So,all these wonderful ideas and then they never flesh out. it’s not just theatre, which I know some fringes can beAnd setting that short term deadline partly had to do heavily theatre based. Ours is actually a really goodwith this wave of creativity that is going on right now balance between theatre, dance, experimental, perfor-and this wave of cultural thriving, and it also had to do mance art, slam poetry, storytelling, kind of vaudevillewith just recognizing if we’re going to do this, we’re — we’ve got a really, really wide range of work, whichgoing to do it now, we’re going to do it right, and we’re is really good.”going to commit to it.” For the first year, Piro’s main goal is to just connect She delved headfirst into researching the fringe with St. Louis audiences. “Our tagline is ‘Brave Artists,model, which brought her in contact with the Chicago Bold Audiences’,” she says, “and what I’ve said is thatFringe Festival, now in its third year. She sat down with if we have an audience member come to see one show,the organizers to pick their brains, and they in turn maybe the same company that they already know or tosuggested she go to the conference for United States see a friend in the show or something like that, and theyAssociation of Fringe Festivals, which in turn led her to see their show, and they think, ‘You know, as long asconnect with Cheryl Kimmi of the Kansas City Fringe I’m here, and as long as I have this little button, maybeFestival. “I contacted the director of [the Association of I’ll stick around and see something else.’ And they stickFringe Festivals], and asked her about it, and she men- around and they see something that they never, evertioned, ‘Well, there’s a fringe festival already going on would have gone and they enjoy it, then we’ve donein Kansas City, which is reasonably close to St. Louis our job.”— are you sure you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Well, As to why people are behind it now when thereI don’t want to step on anybody’s toes.’ But Kansas City didn’t seem to be much support in 2007, Piro is sureis not that close to St. Louis. I mean, I’ve never been to that the economy is a big factor. “Whereas people beforeKansas City actually. But when I got to the conference, really didn’t want to share their resources, now theyI made a point to talk to Cheryl and the other folks that have to and they’re learning that that’s okay,” she sayswere there representing Kansas City Fringe, and asked with a laugh. However, she also attributes the support tothem, ‘Is this okay? I mean, we’re both in Missouri.’ But the Kevin Kline Awards, a local theatre award program.they totally agreed with us — they were like, ‘All this is “We get all excited about them,” she continues, “and thatgoing to do is help the fringe theme. We’re here to sup- led to just an explosion of the theatre scene here. Andport each other.’ And Cheryl — she really lives the whole it’s the people getting mutually excited about somethingmission of fringe. She’s so giving and so supportive of that they can share, you know? It’s surprising, becausenew ventures and totally accessible and always ready you think that it would make people more competitive,for a word of advice. The mentorship that we’ve gotten and of course in some ways it has. But at the same time,from Kansas City — I mean, without it, I don’t know it’s also given people something to share and a reason towhat we would’ve done. It would’ve been a lot harder.” engage with each other and to communicate with each For their first year, the St. Louis Fringe Festival is five other and to really look at what are we producing anddays long with 30 groups — and, as is typical, the pro- Continued on page JUNE 2012 17
  • 20.  Blue Star Awards  Gladstone Theatre in the Park Celebrates 25 Yearscontinued from page 16 continued from page 3School, Joseph and the Amazing Tech- closer together. For example, three asked to bring their own blanketsnicolor Dreamcoat generations of Ibsens are involved or chairs to sit on which, of course, Outstanding Hair and Makeup in shows on a regular basis. “This cannot be placed before the blanketDesign: Winnetonka High School, theatre gives me the opportunity run at 3 pm. Anyone wishing toSeussical to work with my wife Susie, my volunteer is encouraged to contact Outstanding Technical Achieve- daughter Cameo, and my grand- Sheila Lillis at the City of Gladstonement: Shawnee Mission North High children, Evan, Noah, and Roxy or the advisory board via www.glad-School, Cedwan Hooks, Puppet on musicals and meet so many dif- RDesign and Creation ferent people that also love doing Outstanding Ensemble: Blue Val- theatre,” said Van. Becky Clark, one Jamie Lin is a local actress and anley High School, Crazy for You of the advisory board members, also avid collector of all things Beauty Outstanding Actress in a Lead mentioned the effect GTIP has on and the Beast.Role: Brooke Myers as Miss Ade- her family. “[I hope] it continues tolaide, Lee’s Summit High School, be a vibrant, full-fledged commu-Guys and Dolls nity theater, supported by the city  Hanging Fringe on the Arch continued from page 17 Outstanding Actor in a Lead and its citizens so we can all enjoyRole: Tyler Eisenreich as Jimmy performing, viewing and participat- why are we producing it and whatSmith, Blue Springs High School, ing in any way we can — now my we’re bringing to the community.”Thoroughly Modern Millie grandkids come to see and enjoy the It’s that community connection Outstanding Actress in a Fea- shows — the tradition lives on!” that really draws Piro to the concepttured Role: Haley Crane as Paulette Gladstone Theatre in the Park of fringe, which connects to whatBuonufonte, Raymore-Peculiar High would like to invite you to join them draws her to theatre itself and herSchool, Legally Blonde the Musical in celebrating their 25th year. The ‘day job’ of working with social ser- Outstanding Actor in a Featured official party, aptly themed “It’s a vices. “Having that background inRole: Ben Johnson as Orin Scriv- Family Reunion”, will be held on social service: my main focus is onello, Shawnee Mission North High August 4 from 5 pm to 8 pm. There what does culture have to do withSchool, Little Shop of Horrors will be lots of family friendly activi- impacting the community and Outstanding Female Ensemble ties, a performance from the North impacting people’s ability to liveMember: Kelly Phelan as Miss Star Community Band, and a cer- a good life, which I think fringeKrumholtz, Lee’s Summit North emony celebrating the Ibsens and fits in really well for. I really seeHigh School, How to Succeed in Busi- all of those who have ever been it more as a community develop-ness Without Really Trying involved in a show. All former cast ment tool than as an arts thing, if Outstanding Male Ensemble and crew members are encouraged that makes sense, because cultureMember: Bobby Turnbough as to attend so that they can be recog- is community — the arts very muchNikos Argitakos, Raymore-Pecu- nized. Even if you can’t make it to the make up culture, and making thoseliar High School, Legally Blonde the party, be sure to catch a performance arts accessible is what gives peopleMusical of each of the two shows sched- a sense of community identity and 2012 Rising Star Scholarship uled to be performed. Hello, Dolly! cultural identity.” RAward for a Young Woman, directed by Jennifer Kessler, can beSavannah Bell, Shawnee Mission seen on July 6, 7, and 8 and Joseph The St. Lou Fringe is a five day fes-Northwest and the Amazing Technicolor Dream tival from June 21 — 25, with three 2012 Rising Star Scholarship Coat, directed by Danielle Trebus, on venues and over 100 performances inAward for a Young Man, Alex August 3, 4, and 5. All performances midtown St. Louis. For more infor-Petersen, Blue Valley R begin at 8:30 pm with free general mation, visit or admission. Audience members are call 314-643-STLF.18 KCSTAGE
  • 21.  Heart of America Shakespeare Festival: 20 Years Under the Stars continued from page 7 an astonished Garrett noticed that the actors performing it raises goes back into the next season. Garrett spends on an overhead scaffold above the stage were consum- most of her time coordinating administrative and finan- ing Gatorade and popsicles — apparently stashed in a cial activities: writing grants, raising funds, soliciting concealed cooler. She then saw them silently offer — and sponsors, marketing, creating a budget, and doing an toss — popsicles down to the performers acting below. annual audit. The festival holds one gala fundraiser Initially shocked, she soon discovered that because of the every February, sometimes supplemented by smaller triple-digit temperatures, the stage manager had given events. This fall, selected festival artists will collaborate them permission to eat and drink on stage. Backstage, with the Bach Aria Soloists to combine Shakespeare’s some actors sneak a round of Frisbee in their off-time, text with orchestral music. The education department, though Garrett dreads they will twist an ankle on the headed by Kara Armstrong, offers summer camps, work- uneven park terrain or get whacked in the head. shops, and year-round school programs, and Strauss Wild animals are another challenge. Southmoreland is particularly proud of their success. A new festival Park was originally named Squirrel Park, and squir- ambassador, an outsized, costumed interpretation of rels have a propensity for raining down walnuts in Shakespeare known as “Good Will,” travels to com- the wooded green patch behind the stage. During one munity events and connects with children and families. particularly rowdy performance last summer, a squir- After 20 seasons, the Heart of America Shakespeare rel leaped from a tree into the audience. Then, halfway Festival is still outdoors, professional, and free, but it through the second act, stage manager Jinni Pike and has grown and evolved from its infancy when the stage, sound designer Rusty Wandall discovered a possum erected at the north end of the park, faced due south and nestled among the cables in the back of the sound board mounted policemen patrolled on horseback. Given the case. The show went on without a hitch, but they had opportunity to begin again, Strauss says, “I wouldn’t to prevent it from escaping until the performance con- do anything differently.” Shakespeare is “the greatest cluded and the park cleared. storyteller that ever lived,” and “the festival has brought With only three year-round employees, the festival me more fulfillment, more joy, and more pleasure than operates on a very tight budget and most of the money Broadway.”  Thomas Canfield is the drama-doug hamer turge for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and an instructor of theatre, English, and humanities. sidonie garrett Mark Robbins and Jason Chanos in Romeo and Juliet. JUNE 2012 19
  • 22.  Spotlight on Marcus Mullcontinued from page 2Extra! Murder All About It! The Mystery Train helped business like a for profit theatre business. We use ourme realize I could think on my feet and improvise in earned income to pay bills, pay the staff, and producefront of an audience. It also helped me realize I could shows. We know the ultimate payoff is that we canlearn a lot of lines in a short amount of time. Working perform all the time shows that we the Mystery Train was a stepping stone for my workat the Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville. What are your next shows? The theatre begins its 17th year of comedy camp June 11.When did you start to work for the Martin City Melo- I am thrilled to get to learn how to throw a cream pie anddrama? work with the students. Our Martin City, Jr. productionTwo days after my first rehearsal with the Mystery of Rumpelstilskin....Recycled!?! is being extended throughTrain, I auditioned for Martin City Melodrama. After July 31. We are going to start casting for our originalchecking my references, you offered me a lead role in holiday 2012 show that I will be directing. Auditionsthe Christmas show playing eight different characters. will be set with actors calling me at the theatre and/orYou also offered me part-time work beginning in Sep- sending me a resume by July 1.tember. I accepted. I was working at the Mystery Trainand Martin City Melodrama at the same time. I was Anything else?literally running two different directions. By November, We are in rehearsal for a full length original show withyou offered me full time work with your company that the mentally challenged adults at Lake Mary in Olatheincluded actor housing. In January of 2012, a position and Paola. Creativity knows no boundaries. The melo-opened up and I became the associate director for the drama has been working with this group for two yearsMartin Melodrama & Vaudeville. Co. and now we will be producing and writing a show with this wonderful, creative group of adults.Do you like wearing all those hats?I am very lucky. Being associate director is nothing When is the show?short of a miracle. I have the opportunity to grow in so We hope to mount the show for fall of 2012. We receivedmany theatrical areas. When I graduated from college, some generous donations to put this particular produc-I envisioned the stereo-typical actor’s life of waiting tion together and we are having a ball.on tables and praying the phone would ring. Instead,everything fell into place so quickly, that I am com- Based on all your new experiences, what would youpletely convinced that this is the life for me. advise theatre students to do upon graduation from college?It sounds like you wanted to be a full time actor and Have a good attitude and work ethic, first and you are a full time actor and helping run a theatre Be grateful for what work you do get, don’t expect thatbusiness. Do you like doing both? you deserve anything. If you choose a professional lifeI knew nothing about theatre as a business before work- in show business it is not an easy ride, but if you loveing at the Martin City Melodrama. Now I love being theatre, nothing else will do. Rimmersed in the business side of theatre. Most actorsthink theatre is a way for them to express themselves Jeanne Beechwood is the artistic director for the Martinand it is. However, you have to accept the reality that City Melodrama & Vaudeville Co. and is currently men-it is show BUSINESS! We treat our non-profit theatre toring Marcus to one day rule the world of melodrama.20 KCSTAGE “The theater is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.” ~ Arthur Miller
  • 23. Auditions A Academic C Community E Equity P The Barn Players, Inc.* life of Jesus, with a message of kindness, toler- P The Theatre GymCurtains by John Kander, Fred Ebb, ance and love. Directed by Amy Sander. Ages The Miser by Molière, adapted by Ste-Rupert Holmes, and Peter Stone: Jun 13+, 2-week summer intensive production. phen Bardell: Jun 9-11: 7 pm Mon; 29-10: 1 pm Sat-Sun Must enroll prior to auditions. For complete pm SatWhen the leading lady mysteriously dies on information, visit The miser Harpagon rules his roost with anstage the entire cast & crew are suspects. Enter summer-programs-theater.php. The Culture iron fist. His rebellious children are afraid to tella local detective, who just happens to be a House, 14808 W 117th St, (913) 393-3141 him of their romantic attachments. Harpagonmusical theatre fan! Directed by Kipp Simmons; reveals his own marital designs and all conspiremusical direction by Martha Risser. June 9: 1 C River City Community Players to foil the miser before arranged marriagespm-3 pm, June 10: 1 pm-3 pm. Callbacks: Happy Days — A New Musical: Jun can take place. When Harpagon’s treasure isJune 23: 1 pm-5 pm. St. Pius School, 55th 4-6: 7 pm Mon-Wed stolen, he rounds up the suspects-includingand Woodson, (913) 432-9100, www.the- Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Join Richie, the audience ­ and threatens torture and — Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable imprisonment. The arrival of Anselm unites the “king of cool” Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli proper couples and restores Harpagon to hisParallel Lives by Kathy Najimy and Mo as the gang teams up to save it with a dance one true love — gold. Directed by Art Suskin.Gaffney: Jun 2-3: 1 pm Sat-Sun contest and TV-worthy wrestling match. Based See website for complete info and to scheduleThe audience is whisked through the out- on the hit television series, Happy Days-A New an appointment or call Art Suskin at the num-rageous universe of Kathy and Mo, where Musical reintroduces the Cunninghams and ber below. All roles open (except Harpagon).talented actresses play men and women the days of 1959 Milwaukee complete with We are looking for 7 men (3 doubling) and 4struggling through the common rituals of varsity sweaters, hula hoops, and jukebox women who play between the ages of 20 andmodern life: teenagers on a date, sisters at sock-hoppin’. This perfectly family-friendly 60. All actors will be paid. Immanuel Lutherantheir grandmother’s funeral, a man and a musical will have you rockin’ and rollin’ all Church, 1700 Westport Rd, (816) 210-6266,woman together in a country-western bar. With week long! Directed by Nino Casisi. Leaven- Rboundless humor, Parallel Lives reexamines worth Performing Arts Center, 500 Delawarethe ongoing quest to find parity and love in St, (913) 250-0417, www.rccplv.coma contest handicapped by capricious gods-orin this case, goddesses. Directed by TiffanyGarrison-Schweigert. June 2: 1 pm-3 pm, June3: 1 pm-3 pm. Callbacks: June 4: 7 pm-10pm. St. Pius School, 55th and Woodson, (913)432-9100, Want to write for KC Stage? Read our submission guidelines atA Christian Youth Theater and Dolls — Summer Camp Inten-sive Show: Jun 1: 4:30 pm FriCYT Kansas City will once again be offering theexperience of producing a full-length musicalin ONE WEEK as we present Guys and Dollsas our summer camp intensive show. Enroll-ment is open now and auditions for roles in theshow will be held June 1 from 4:30-7:30 pmat the CYT Studios. This is a great experiencefor teens that are short on time, love theater,and want to really push themselves to reachhigher this summer. Anyone may enroll in thesummer camp intensive camp but if you areinterested in a role, you must also audition.CYT Kansas City Studio, 6800A W 153rd St.,(913) 681-3318, www.cytkc.orgC The Culture House*Godspell: Jun 18: 9 am MonBased on the Gospel According to St. Matthew,Godspell boasts a string of well-loved songs,As the cast performs “Day by Day”, “PrepareYe The Way Of The Lord”, “Learn Your LessonsWell”, “All For The Best”, “All Good Gifts”, and“By My Side”, the parables of Jesus Christ comehumanly and hearteningly to life. Godspell is agroundbreaking and unique reflection on JUNE 2012 21
  • 24. KCSTAGE Presorted Standard PO Box 410492 U.S. Postage Paid Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City, Missouri 641 Permit No. 2117 64141-0492 Dated material. Please rush! S ummer T heatremanon halliburton maggie thomas 37 Postcards, Corbin Theatre bob compton Prelude to a Kiss, The Barn Playerslarry levenson bob compton Christian Youth Theatre bob compton bob compton Legally Blonde, The Theatre in the Park Sweeney Todd, The Theatre in the Park leslie spindler Pete n Keely, Quality Hill Playhousejohn henningsen The 39 Steps, Theatre Atchison Visiting Mr. Green, White Theatre