Photo Flash: First Look at KCAT's DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
Kansas City Actors Theatre has completed casting for its production of Ariel Dorfman's "Death and the Maiden," which will run from January 9th to the 27th at the City Stage in Union Station. The production will be directed by Cinnamon Schultz and will star Vanessa Severo, Robert Gibby Brand, and Rusty Sneary. The production team includes Gary Mosby (Scenic Designer,) Deb Morgan (Properties Designer), Georgianna Buchanan (Costume Designer), Shane Rowse (Lighting Designer), Jonathan Robertson (Sound Designer), Mary Allison Joseph (Dramaturg), and Kyle Dyck (Technical Director).
Winner of the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Play in 1992, "Death and the Maiden" is the story of a one-time political prisoner living in isolation who becomes convinced that she recognizes the voice of a good Samaritan as that of the tormentor from her captivity. Can it truly be the same man? At once global and intimate, this bracing play has become a contemporary classic that considers both the social and personal implications of abuse and retribution that is hotly relevant in our current social and political climate.
The production will be directed by Cinnamon Shultz, following up her deeply-felt production of Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind" in 2017. While Shultz's last directorial effort at KCAT was a story of familial struggles, this production is decidedly more political and very current, despite the play having premiered over 25 years ago. "Since (the terrorist attacks on) 9/11, powerful nations have become complicit in the abuses of human rights in order to 'feel safe,'" says Schultz. "So, it could be said that the core dilemmas of 'Death and the Maiden' are more relevant today than they were when original written."
This production will also see the return of Vanessa Severo, who recently appeared in KCAT's "Blithe Spirit" in August, and Robert Gibby Brand, who was last seen with KCAT in the record-breaking production of "And Then There Were None" in 2017. Rusty Sneary completes the cast, and Schultz plans on taking full advantage of a small and experienced cast who are familiar with each other to work on this tense, charged thriller. "I am also very excited," continues Schultz, "to work with a cast that knows each other so well that we can dive even deeper into the uncomfortable nature of the play."
"Death and the Maiden" continues KCAT's commitment to introduce Kansas City audiences to new and newly-relevant classics. Dorfman, a Chilean national who was exiled from Chile following the Pinochet coup in 1973, is a prolific writer whose work has often addressed the horrors of tyranny and the trials of exile. "Death and the Maiden" is his most well-known play, having been produced on Broadway, made into a feature film featuring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley, and revived in the West End in 2011 in a production that featured Thandie Newton. Dorfman is a strong defender of human rights and remains active today.
"Death and the Maiden" will perform at the City Stage in Union Station. Previews start January 9th, opening night will be January 12th, and performances will conclude on January 27th. Audience talk-backs will follow performances on January 13th, 16th, and 25th.
Tickets are between $28 and $47 and are available by contacting the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 or online at www.kcactors.org.
Photo Credit: Brian Paulette
Vanessa Severo and Rusty Sneary