MET Moves to Warwick
The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre is moving south this winter... three blocks south to their new home in the historic Warwick Theatre at the corner of Westport Road and Main Street. In their new space MET will finish their 13th season with productions of Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer prize winning drama Anna in the Tropics, and the spirited American musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. The Warwick will also host the 2018 MET Gala "Dream A Little Dream with Me(t)" on April 28, 2018. The slated production of Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle has been cancelled to facilitate the company's relocation. The current theatre at 3614 Main Street has suffered structural deterioration, and the venue is no longer suitable for producing theatre.
The Warwick marks the 4th home for the multi-faceted non-profit. Originally housed in the Crossroads' Arts Incubator in 2005, the company moved to 1824 Walnut in January 2007. In 2008, the company found a home in midtown at their current space. Over the course of the last decade, over 60 full-scale productions of premieres and classics have been staged in their midtown theatre.
The Warwick Theatre, at 3927 Main Street, was built in 1912 as a 1,000-seat cinema. In 1953, it shut its doors and laid dormant for several years. The building underwent a renovation in the 1970's and served as a retail store until purchased by MET in 2016. Together, with the Unicorn Theatre and Kansas City Young Audiences, the area around the corner of 39th and Main Streets has become a theatre hub.
The Warwick's versatile performance space will give the Kansas City arts community a much needed additional venue. While MET will be the "Anchor Tenant" of the space, other arts groups will be able to stage theatre, dance, music, film, or any civic event looking for a unique space.
Anna in the Tropics, by Nilo Cruz will open the space in late April. The 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning play tells the story of Cuban immigrants working in a cigar factory in Tampa in 1929. The new Lector arrives to read classic literature as the workers hand-roll cigars. As he reads, the story line of Anna Karenina weaves itself into the Latin culture and American Dream.