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KC Repertory Theatre Announces American Crossroads Residency With First Indigenous Playwright

The American Crossroads Residency continues KCRep's ongoing work to facilitate meaningful connections between Kansas City communities, organizations, patrons, and artists

KC Repertory Theatre Announces American Crossroads Residency With First Indigenous Playwright

Kansas City Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Stuart Carden has announced the launch of KCRep's American Crossroads Residency, with Mary Kathryn Nagle as its inaugural playwright resident and the recipient of the first American Crossroads commission.

American Crossroads will be a part of OriginKC, KCRep's new works program which offers long and short-term support for playwrights, composers, and musicians developing powerful new voices and stories that originate from Kansas City and beyond. The goal is to create a pipeline through these commissions that directly speaks to KCRep's mission for supporting diverse stories, community, and multigenerational audiences. OriginKC will support artists from the seed of an idea through to a world premiere production or offer a second development process toward a second production, which will be on KCRep's stages.

The American Crossroads Residency continues KCRep's ongoing work to facilitate meaningful connections between Kansas City communities, organizations, patrons, and artists. Through this program, playwrights from across the country will travel to Kansas City for a residency dedicated to the research and creation of a work of theatre that illuminates the real-life events, people, and history of Kansas City. Resident playwrights, working alongside a dramaturg, will embed themselves directly with the people and places that spark and inform their creativity. Each residency culminates in a public workshop reading of the playwright's work.

Carden stated, "American Crossroads Residency is a significant new initiative of our OriginKC New Works program. Conceived during the pandemic and activated by Director of Artistic Development, Hallie Gordon, American Crossroads Residency invites extraordinary playwrights, like Mary Kathryn Nagle, to be in "residence" and engage with the people, events and communities that have profoundly impacted the spirit and culture of the Kansas City region. With an emphasis on meaningfully exploring the untold and under-told stories from our region to broaden and deepen our collective understanding and appreciation for all of the voices and peoples that intersect at the American Crossroads that is Kansas City."

"As my first significant commission as the new Director of Artistic Development, I am beyond thrilled to have Mary Kathryn Nagle as our inaugural American Crossroads playwright," Gordon stated. "Mary Kathryn spent her formative years in Kansas City and has a wealth of knowledge and insight into many of Kansas City's lesser told and untold stories. Her combined background as a lawyer who advocates for tribal sovereignty and one of the country's most-produced Native playwrights makes this residency very special. I'm excited she will have an opportunity to engage with our diverse communities and reconnect with her home. For me this is also a step forward in putting into action our organization's land acknowledgement of honoring the elders both the past and present, with a commitment to continuing to learn the stories of Native Americans, Indigenous, and First Nations people as well as how to be better stewards of the land that we inhabit."

Ms. Nagle stated, "Having grown up in the Kansas City area, I am thrilled to return home and work with KCRep to tell a Kansas City story about the Indigenous peoples and Native Nations who have shaped Kansas City into the community that Kansas City is today. It's an incredible opportunity, and I'm excited to get started!"



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