Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Assistant Artistic Director, Chip Miller, takes the helm as director when KCRep mounts Laura Eason's modern take on love in the digital age, SEX WITH STRANGERS, March 2- 25, 2018 on the Copaken Stage.

Desire, intellect, and secret agendas collide in this smart, tantalizing take on love, sex, and the double-edged quest for artistic validation. Olivia, an obscure novelist on the cusp of 40, is trapped in a secluded inn with Ethan, a wildly successful blogger ten years her junior. Opposites attract, passions ignite, and personalities clash as a winter storm rages outside.

Laura Eason is best known for four seasons on the Netflix drama, House of Cards (Emmy Nomination for Drama Series, WGA Nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series.) Eason's feature film debut, Vivienne (produced by and starring Sarah Jessica Parker), is currently in post-production with an eye on a 2018 release.

Eason had more than 20 produced plays and adaptations as a playwright, including the international hit SEX WITH STRANGERS that saw its World Premiere in 2011 at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, Eason's hometown. Her work has been produced internationally in England, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and Finland. Currently, her celebrated adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days is on an 18- city UK tour.

According to Director Miller, "Laura's writing is so incisive and muscular. She's working with these giant ideas about public versus private persona while exploring the toll one's artistic work can have on their personal relationships. It feels incredibly timely to be working on a play that engages so frankly with the complicated questions surrounding sex, power, and intimacy."

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre production of SEX WITH STRANGERS features Vanessa Severo as Olivia and CJ Eldred as Ethan.

In addition to working in her 14th production at KCRep, Vanessa Severo and Kansas City Repertory Theatre are participants in the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships, funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG). Severo's fellowship is one of only six awarded for actors nationwide, following 11 rounds of fellowship activity by the foundation.

"I'm thrilled to have KCRep partner with and champion Vanessa Severo, a top actor in our diverse Kansas City community," says KCRep Artistic Director Eric Rosen. "Connecting Vanessa with our New Work and Education programs will forward our commitment to put artists at the center of our institution, investing more deeply in new, urgent stories."

Here in Kansas City, Vanessa has worked with The Living Room Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, Off Center Theatre, and several others. She was seen most recently as Belle in the KCRep production of Charles Dicken's A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

A native of Seattle, WA, CJ Eldred performed in the national tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON in addition to numerous roles at North Shore Music Theatre and The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, including those in BILLY ELLIOT and ALADDIN.

SEX WITH STRANGERS is part of KCRep's 2017-18 season. Financial assistance for the season has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, whose gift is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Tickets for SEX WITH STRANGERS start at $30 and may be purchased by visiting http://kcrep.org/show/sex-with-strangers or by calling the KCRep box office at

816-235-2700. Groups of nine or more receive discounted tickets, call Andrew Cotlar at 816-235-6122 for details.

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