Unicorn’s 17/18 Season Includes Seven Kansas City Premieres Unicorn’s 17/18 Season Includes Seven Kansas City Premieres
Pictured: Ayad Ahktar. Photo by Nina Subin. Unicorn Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, has announced their 44th season of... Unicorn’s 17/18 Season Includes Seven Kansas City Premieres

Pictured: Ayad Ahktar. Photo by Nina Subin.

Unicorn Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, has announced their 44th season of radical new plays that speak to our changing world, including seven Kansas City premieres and one world premiere yet to be announced.

The season will open in September with a co-production with UMKC Theatre of MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus. Later in the fall Unicorn will produce the Pulitzer Prize Winner DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar, followed by STUPID FUCKING BIRD by Aaron Posner. In early 2018 Lee Blessing’s CHESAPEAKE opens followed by a to be announced world premiere. The season will conclude with INFORMED CONSENT by Deborah Zoe Laufer, VIETGONE by Qui Nguyen and HIR by Taylor Mac.

In addition to the eight productions mentioned, Unicorn will also continue the In-Progress New Play Reading Series, bringing scripts in development and under consideration for production in upcoming seasons before the public.

Unicorn Theatre’s 17/18 Season (from the press release): 

By Jaclyn Backhaus
A Co-Production with UMKC Theatre
Sept. 6 – Oct. 1, 2017
On the Levin Stage

Ten manly explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. And an all-female cast! Men on Boats tells the true story of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of daring volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River, dodging rapids and naming everything in sight. This rowdy satire written in modern vernacular about intrepid pioneers takes on a whole new meaning with women at the helm.

By Ayad Akhtar
Oct. 18 – Nov. 12, 2017
On the Jerome Stage

The personal is political in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. Amir Kapoor is a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. His wife, Emily, is a white artist whose work explores Islamic imagery. When this couple hosts a dinner party for their colleagues, the veneer of civility gives way to a damaging encounter in this unflinching tale of big-city aspiration, cultural assimilation, and the truth hiding just below the deception.

By Aaron Posner
A Co-Production with UMKC Theatre
Nov. 29 – Dec. 23, 2017
On the Levin Stage

An aspiring director, a beautiful young actress, an aging Hollywood star and a famous author discover the messed up joys and thrilling heartbreaks of the struggle to create new art. In this hilarious reimagining of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner pits two tangled generations of star-crossed lovers against each other in the search for love and true meaning. With original songs, boundary-crossing innovation, and irreverent wit, Stupid Fucking Bird gives the finger to one classic play.

By Lee Blessing
Dec. 19, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018
On the Jerome Stage

In a strained political season, the provocative work of one performance artist comes up against a conservative senator running for re-election. The senator has a lovable dog; a charming, folksy manner; and a campaign to cut frivolous arts spending. The artist has a plan for one final shocking performance with his NEA funding. How much could a dognapping really cost, anyway? In this tale of an attempt to kidnap and retrain a politican’s pooch, Lee Blessing explores the mysterious connections between dogs and their humans, politics and artists, and supernatural wonder in our lives.

Jan. 24 – Feb. 18, 2018
On the Levin Stage

Next season will include a world premiere production to be announced soon. In recent years, Unicorn Theatre has worked with the National New Play Network to bring amazing rolling world premiere productions to Kansas City. Some of our recent world premieres include How to Use a Knife by Will Snider, The Ghosts of Lote Bravo by Hilary Bettis, Grounded by George Brant, and Women Playing Hamlet and How to Steal a Picasso by William Missouri Downs.

By Deborah Zoe Laufer
March 7 – April 1, 2018
On the Jerome Stage

A genetic anthropologist, Jillian, is driven to map out futures and reveal histories through DNA, desperately fighting to save her own young daughter from developing early-onset Alzheimer’s. When the opportunity to research the genes of an isolated Native American tribe battling high rates of diabetes arises, Jillian sets out on a mission to make a break-through discovery. Inspired by a recent court case between a Native American tribe and an Arizona university, Informed Consent takes a balanced approach to the personal and national debate about science vs. belief, and whether our DNA will write our life stories.

By Qui Nguyen
April 18 – May 13, 2018
On the Levin Stage

In Vietgone, award-winning pioneer of “geek theater” Qui Nguyen brilliantly chronicles the love story of his parents’ meeting in an Arkansas refugee center after fleeing Vietnam. It’s a buddy story, an all-American romance, and a motorcycle road-trip adventure that revisits how we think about the heroes and victims of the Vietnam War. Vietgone skips through time and roams the globe with snarky humor, hip-hop, and lots of sex. It’s one ironic, foul-mouthed, and bad-ass new play.

By Taylor Mac
May 30 – June 24, 2018
On the Jerome Stage

When a soldier returns from war to his suburban home, he discovers a household undergoing a total upheaval. His mother has been liberated from an oppressive marriage after her husband’s non-fatal stroke, and with the help of her newly out transgender son, she is passionately dismantling the patriarchy. In Taylor Mac’s progressive and absurd comedy, this family may find that even the most radical changes can’t always free you from the weight of the past.

For more information on Unicorn Theatre’s 17/18 season visit UnicornTheatre.org.

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