KC Rep Sets New Dates for Origin KC New Works Festival

Marissa Wolf, Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Director of New Works, today announced additional programing and dates for KC Rep's new play program, Origin KC. Featuring the Monday Night Playwright Series, Playwright Slams, the Origin KC New Works Festival and the Mainstage, Origin KC offers audiences a unique experience to engage with the process of creating theater, and gives emerging and established writers the resources to develop plays for future seasons at KC Rep and beyond.

Spring 2016 will feature a powerful line up of new play readings in the Monday Night Playwright Series with fantastic local playwrights including KC Rep's Artistic Director Eric Rosen, Nathan Louis Jackson and Darren Canady, and a Playwright Slam in which everyone is invited to participate as a playwright or performer. These events are FREE and open to the public.

Kicking off the final slot in KC Rep's 2015-16 season, Origin KC New Works Festival will feature two WORLD PREMIERES, Fire in Dreamland and Lot's Wife presented in rotating repertory April 22 through May 22 at KC Rep's Copaken Stage. The festival will include two new play readings by acclaimed national playwrights Christina Anderson and Larissa Fasthorse.

Origin KC offers playwrights the financial, creative, and artistic resources required to develop vital, diverse, theatrical work while forwarding Kansas City as a major national center for the development and production of new plays and musicals. Providing each project with processes best suited to the needs of the creators, Origin KC includes commissions, workshops, and staged readings alongside world premiere productions in the mainstage season, and the Origin KC New Works Festival at the end of each season. Throughout the rich development process, audiences are invited to engage with the next generation of great American playwrights. Building on the great success of world premiere productions including Venice by Eric Rosen and Matt Sax, and A Christmas Story, The Musical by Joseph Robinette, Origin KC's recent work includes Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin by Michael Benjamin Washington, Tallest Tree in the Forest by Daniel Beaty, When I Come to Die, Brokeology, and Sticky Traps by KC Rep Playwright in Residence Nathan Louis Jackson, and new musicals such as Stillwater by Nathan Tysen and Joe's Pet Project, Clay by Matt Sax and Eric Rosen, and A Little More Alive by Nick Blaemire.

KC Rep Artistic Director Eric Rosen says, "Placing the playwright at the center of the theater has been a lifelong pursuit, and in my seven years at the Rep, Kansas City has become an influential center for the development of new plays - not just at the Rep, but across our theater community. Origin KC was launched to build on the Rep's success and secure our position as a truly great theater town for writers and audiences. Partnerships with major theaters across the country will deepen and expand the impact of the Rep's artists on the national field, while deepening our commitment to the people of our region."

"I'm thrilled to welcome Kansas City audiences into the creation process of resonant new plays and musicals," says Marissa Wolf. "We're committed to building long term relationships with playwrights, from the seed of an idea through to production, supporting the creation of a contemporary cannon of exciting new American plays."

The Monday Night Playwright Series provides a rare opportunity to step into the world of a new play as it's being built, and meet playwrights whose work electrify stages across the country. Supporting hot local and national playwrights, Monday Night Playwright Series brings to life script-in-hand readings of future hit shows.

The Playwright Slam brings together Kansas City's artistic community for a night of theater revelry in which everyone is invited to participate. The public is invited to bring a 1-3 page script that will be read out loud by actors chosen from the audience.

Origin KC Monday Night Playwright Series additional programming and dates include:

January 18, 2016 at 7pm: Public New Play Reading @ Spencer Theatre Lounge (4949 Cherry Street, UMKC's James C. Olson Performing Arts Center). Lot's Wife written by KC Rep Artistic Eric Rosen (Clay, Winesburg, Ohio, Venice). A 1930s noir thriller about a promising playwright with a troubled past.

February 15, 2016 at 7pm: Public New Play Reading @ Spencer Theatre Lounge (4949 Cherry Street, UMKC's James C. Olson Performing Arts Center). Untitled Play by KC Rep Playwright-in-Residence Nathan Louis Jackson (Sticky Traps, Broke-ology, When I Come To Die). A Jon Stewart-like talk show host takes on gun control and America's political divide.

March 13, 2016 at 4:30pm: Playwright Slam @ Copaken Stage (H&R Block in the Power & Light District) after the public production of Roof of the World.

March 14, 2016 at 7pm: Public New Play Reading @ Spencer Lounge (4949 Cherry Street, UMKC's James C. Olson Performing Arts Center). Ontario Was Here by KC Local playwright Darren Canady. A playful, dark look at the lives of two Kansas City social workers, and the powerful bond they share.

Origin KC New Works Festival

Kicking off Kansas City Rep's final season slot in the downtown Copaken Stage, Origin KC New Works Festival brings together artists and audiences in a month-long spree of world premiere productions running in rep, alongside staged readings, round table discussions, and celebratory parties.

Origin KC New Works Festival World Premiere Productions

Fire in Dreamland written by celebrated playwright Rinne Groff (Saved!, Compulsion) and directed by KC Rep's Director of New Works Marissa Wolf. In this powerful coming of age story, a young woman named Kate is seduced by the vision of an upstart Dutch filmmaker who has thrown himself into an epic film about a tragic 1911 fire at a Coney Island amusement park. As past and present converge in this haunted, battered landscape, Kate must find a way to rebuild her own life amidst the ruins.

Lot's Wife, written by KC Rep's Artistic Director Eric Rosen and directed by Joanie Schultz, tells the story of Adam Mace, a promising playwright with a troubling past, who has written his first new play since the tragic death of his wife and infant child. Set as a 1930s noir thriller, his script raises suspicions that its author is actually confessing to murder. Old wounds between ex-friends and lovers are opened fresh as actors are made to play themselves, a director dreams of a career changing scandal, and even the dead take the stage to tell their side of the story in an epic meta-theatrical murder mystery that is at once heartbreaking and hilarious.

Performances begin Friday, April 22 and run in rotating repertory through Sunday, May 22 at Copaken Stage. Press night for both performances is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th beginning at 7:00 pm. High res rehearsal photos can be found here. Appropriate for ages 17+.

Origin KC New Works Festival Readings, April 14-15, 2016 times TBD: Public New Play Readings @ Copaken Stage (H&R Block in the Power & Light District)

What Would Crazy Horse Do? By Larissa Fasthorse. Based on historic events, playwright Larissa Fasthorse, investigates what happen when two Native American twins are approached by the KKK to form an unsettling partnership. Fasthorse's work has been developed and produced at the Minneapolis Children's Theater, Berkeley Rep, and the Kennedy Center.

Man in Love by Christina Anderson. Kansas City native, Christina Anderson's gripping 1930s drama follows a serial killer in a segregated city roiling with violence, love, and hope. Currently under commission with Yale Rep, Lincoln Center, and Berkeley Rep, Anderson has been hailed by American Theater Magazine as one of the fifteen up-and-coming artists "whose work will be transforming America's stages for decades to come."

Origin KC Mainstage Season: Roof of the World, February 26 - March 27, 2016 @ Copaken Stage. Written by D. Tucker Smith and directed by Eric Rosen, this world premiere production is part spy thriller, part Downton Abbey, and tells an epic love story about a British explorer and an Indian spy during Queen Victoria's rule.

Subscriptions and Tickets

Tickets to the Origin KC New Works Festival range from $20 to $59. For 2015-16 season subscription and ticket information, please contact the Box Office at 816.235.2700 or visit www.KCRep.org.

Gala 2016

Save the date for Friday, May 20, 2016 at the newly renovated Spencer Theatre! Last year's Fearless Fête raised more than $655,000 which helps ensure that KC Rep can continue to create professional productions that garner regional and national acclaim and provide lifelong learning opportunities through our Education and Community Programs which benefit more than 10,000 Kansas City area students each year. For more information, please visit http://www.kcrep.org/a-fearless-fete-2016 or contact Amanda Middaugh at Middaugham@kcrep.org or 816.235.1489.

About Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation's creative crossroads. KC Rep's mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region's creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC 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. KC 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 and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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