David Cromer, Gary Griffin, Nathan Louis Jackson and More Set for KC Rep's 50th Season
Eric Rosen, Artistic Director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre has announced his 2014-15 season, its milestone 50th anniversary.
"There has never been a more exciting time for theatre in Kansas City, or for the Rep," said Rosen. "When I think what we have accomplished since our founding by the inestimable Patricia McIlrath in 1964, I am astounded. Fifty years of serving our community as an artistic forum for exploring life's issues in ways that inspire us, challenge us, and even make us laugh. And now, as we are preparing to launch our 50th anniversary, the Rep's 2014-15 lineup resonates with transformative works, both familiar stage classics and innovative new plays. I am especially pleased that David Cromer and Gary Griffin, whose respective productions of The Glass Menagerie and A Flea in Her Ear garnered national acclaim for the Rep, will be part of our artistic celebration this year."
Titles and dates are subject to change.
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by David Cromer
September 5-28, 2014
Three-time Pulitzer prize-winning playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder's enduring American story Our Town examines the everyday lives of an average town's citizens in the early twentieth century. David Cromer, the visionary director and recent recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, brings his highly-acclaimed, award-winning new version of this classic work to the Rep. Cromer's 2009 Off-Broadway revival of Our Town ran for more than 600 performances, making it the longest-running production of the play in its history.
Kansas City audiences are already familiar with Cromer from his 2009 production of The Glass Menagerie. In his glowing review of the Rep's production The Wall Street Journal's theatre critic Terry Teachout wrote: "Mr. Cromer has the uncanny ability to take a too-familiar script and make it seem entirely new ... Such is the essence of re-creative genius."
THE WHO AND THE WHAT
Written by Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Eric Rosen
October 17-November 16, 2014
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Disgraced, comes a thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion and the contradictions that make us who we are. Brilliant Pakistani-American writer Zarina is focused on finishing her novel about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gulf between her modern life and her traditional heritage. But when her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they are all forced to confront the beliefs that define them. A passionate and searing look at a family divided by faith, bonded by love and searching for truth in contemporary America.
At the Rep, Rosen has also directed Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; the world premieres of A Christmas Story, The Musical! and Venice; Cabaret; August: Osage County; The Whipping Man; Pippin; Death of a Salesman and Romeo and Juliet.
Adapted by Denis O'Hara and Lisa Peterson
from the Roger Fagles translation of The Iliad by Homer
Directed by Jerry Genochio
Starring Kyle Hatley
January 23-February 8, 2015
Homer's epic poem roars back to life in a lean and muscular new telling that reunites on stage two members of the Rep's artistic team, Producing Director Jerry Genochio and Associate Artistic Director Kyle Hatley. The two worked together in 2013 as director and actor, respectively, on The Foreigner and they reunite for this tour-de-force production of An Iliad, an enthralling new play that illuminates the human cost of war.
Genochio (American Buffalo, The Foreigner and SantaLand Diaries) made his highly regarded Rep directing debut staging David Mamet's American Buffalo. Hatley is a multitalented writer, director and actor (The Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, The Whipping Man and The Foreigner). Reporting for Fox4 News, Russ Simmons described Hatley's performance in Death of a Salesman as "impressive."
ANGELS IN AMERICA
Part I, Millennium Approaches
Part II, Perestroika
This Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play by Tony Kushner forever transformed the landscape of American theatre. Angels in America is a riveting, thought-provoking masterpiece about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Then, as now, Angels in America explores the social, political and moral issues confronting us as individuals and as a nation. Both parts of Angels in America -- Millennium Approaches and Perestroika -- will be presented in rotating repertory at Copaken Stage.
On a recent visit to the Rep, director Gary Griffin (A Flea in Her Ear, Saved) discussed the landmark play: "No play in my lifetime has been more important than Angels in America. I lived through this time and I knew what it was. There is so much stimuli in this play ... you will never forget it."
March 20-April 12, 2015
Several titles are being considered by the Rep's Artistic Staff for this show at Spencer Theatre.
Written by Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed by Kyle Hatley
April 24-May 24, 2015
In a story that seems painfully too familiar, a grieving mother in a small town not far from Kansas City fights back against a hate-filled church that has come to protest her son's funeral. But her actions have unintended consequences that will test her whole family and the power of their love in the face of hate.
This is Jackson's first new work as the Rep's Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence. His previous plays at the Rep include When I Come to Die and Broke-ology, both directed by Hatley.
Jackson has been hailed by American Theatre magazine as "one of the important new voices of American theatre."
2014 HOLIDAY SEASON
A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- 34th Annual Production
Written by Charles Dickens
Directed by Kyle Hatley
November 21-December 26, 2014
For many Kansas City families, A Christmas Carol is the official beginning of the holiday season. Experience compassion for Ebenezer Scrooge as a boy, delight with him as a merry young man, and watch his transformation into a cold-hearted miser - but don't dismay, hope and redemption await. Directed for the fourth year by Hatley and featuring a cast of Kansas City's favorite actors and up-and-coming young talent, A Christmas Carol is a magical, music-filled holiday event.
Hatley has also directed When I Come to Die, The Little Shop of Horrors, Broke-ology, Circle Mirror Transformation and The Borderland at the Rep as well as productions at The Living Room and Coterie theatres and the Kansas City Fringe Festival.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
Written by David Sedaris
Directed by Jerry Genochio
December 6-24, 2014
Crumpet, America's favorite irreverent elf, returns for an encore production of David Sedaris' hysterical tale of elfin' woe in a hilarious send-up of his brief, misguided career as a Macy's elf. The show skewers our sentimental love of all things Christmas-the happy children, the gifts, the spritely elves and the good cheer. The Santaland Diaries shows us the other side of what it's like to work at Santaland; the result is merrily subversive, but always fun!
For subscription and ticket information for Kansas City Repertory Theatre's 50th anniversary 2014-15 season, please contact the Box Office at 816-235-2700 or visit www.KCRep.org.
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Kansas City Repertory Theatre is one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and the Toronto Sun, the Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen, Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras and Producing Director Jerry Genochio.