Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association

Olathe Civic Theatre Association continues its 2017-2018 season with Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of August: Osage County. With Superior Donuts, Letts shifts from the highly charged physical tone and dark humor of his previous works, but retains his contemporary flavor with a lighter touch to address complex social issues. OCTA's stage will transform into a Chicago donut shop for the three-weekend run of this KC area premiere April 6-22.

The story centers on Arthur Pryzbyszewski, who owns a run-down donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. His world is turned upside down when Franco Wicks, an ambitious young black man who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better. This dramatic com­edy addresses the challenges of embracing the past while celebrating the redemptive power of friendship.

Director Diane Bulan brings the donuts, the drama, and the comic relief needed for the complex issues addressed by Superior Donuts.Although this is Bulan's directorial debut at OCTA, audiences will recognize her as "Steele" from the drama A Piece of my Heart in 2013. When describing Superior Donuts, Bulan highlights the "culturally diverse neighborhood," and states that the diversity in the play will "...appeal to audiences who appreciate variety of human expression as well as the commonalities of the psyche." The donut shop is "...a microcosm of our society, which comprises the people Langston Hughes wrote about in his poem 'Let America Be America Again.' Everyone gets along, but often, underneath their civility lies deeply ingrained prejudices."

Bulan noted the timing of the CBS sitcom of the same name, but hasn't seen it. She wanted to keep her interpretation and staging true to the original script, but is excited that the story (however adjusted) is being produced for a wider audience via television. Bulan hopes that the sitcom will pique the interest of local audiences in seeing the play.

The big question for Bulan, of course, is: "What is your favorite kind of donut?" Her response: "Boston Cream." To add to the fun of the play-going experience, a variety of donuts will be available at concessions during the run of the production.

Sprinkled throughout the story are dynamic actors (several of whom are making their debut at OCTA), including: Evan Lovelace as Franco Wicks, Dennis Jackson as Officer James Bailey, longtime Kansas City actress Carol Leighton as Lady Boyle, and Addison Parker as Max Tarasov. Returning OCTA veterans include Bill Pelletier as the owner of the donut shop Arthur Przbyszewski, Ellen "Ellie" DeShon as Officer Randy Osteen, Dave Fullerton as Kevin Magee, Dan Heinz as Kiril Ivakin, and Michael Juncker as Luther Flynn.

Production team members include: Diane Bulan (director), D.K. Evenson (stage manager), Meghann Deveroux (assistant director/assistant stage manager), Camille Lerch (lighting designer), Chuck Cline (projections designer), Cynthia Hyer (fight choreographer), Michael Bunn (sound), Eric Palmquist (set/props designer), Darcy Russel (costumes designer), Alex Leondedis (sound technician), Ted Collins (production manager), and Quinn North (dramaturg).

Tickets are available online at www.olathetheatre.org, or at the door an hour before performances. OCTA season ticket holders are encouraged to make seating reservations early by calling 913-782-2990 or by e-mailing tickets@olathetheatre.org. Ticket prices range from $18 to $13 as follows: adults $18, seniors 55+/students/military $15, and groups (8 or more) $13 prepaid.

Superior Donuts is appropriate for ages 13 and above.

Watch rehearsal clips and an interview with Ms. Bulan in this episode of "Taking Stage at OCTA".

As part of OCTA's $130,000 fundraising campaign to make critical repairs and updates to the organization's nearly 150-year-old building, the board is thrilled to announce that, with the help of its patrons, the theatre met a $10,000 calendar year end match offered by an anonymous donor. Combined with a generous grant from The Sunderland Foundation and efforts from board and volunteers, this has allowed OCTA to complete phase one of work to the interior of the building. Fundraising for phase two, which consists of outdoor projects such as painting/siding, replacement of the parking lot, and replacement of two new HVAC units continues, with the goal to complete the work this summer. To read more, visit olathetheatre.org/donate.

Olathe Civic Theatre Association is a 501(c)3, all volunteer organization, producing theatre in Olathe since 1974. Performing in the Buddy Rogers Family Playhouse, OCTA produces five high-quality, engaging, and thought-provoking theatre productions a year. Through the generosity of volunteers, season ticket holders, and donors, OCTA has grown into one of the most successful and progressive community theaters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

high res photos

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Bill Pelletier as Arthur in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Bill Pelletier (Arthur) and Evan Lovelace (Franco) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Evan Lovelace (Franco) and Bill Pelletier (Arthur) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Evan Lovelace (Franco) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Evan Lovelace (Franco) and Michael Juncker (Luther) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Ellie DeShon (Officer Randy Osteen, back turned), Bill Pelletier (Arthur), Evan Lovelace (Franco) and Bill Pelletier (Arthur) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly St

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Cast of Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Dennis Jackson (Officer James Bailey), Ellie DeShon (Officer Randy Osteen), and Bill Pelletier (Arthur) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Dave Fullerton (Kevin), Evan Lovelace (Franco) and Michael Juncker (Luther) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Dan Heinz (Kiril), Dave Fullerton (Kevin), and Addison Parker (Max) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Dan Heinz (Kiril), Addison Parker (Max), and Dennis Jackson (Officer James Bailey) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Carol Leighton (Lady Boyle) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Michael Juncker (Luther) and Bill Pelletier (Arthur) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

Photo Flash: SUPERIOR DONUTS Makes KC Area Premiere At Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Addison Parker (Max) and Ellie DeShon (Officer Randy Osteen) in SUPERIOR DONUTS at Olathe Civic Theatre Association. Photo by Shelly Stewart Banks.

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