KC Melting Pot Theatre has announced its 2020-2021 season, themed “This is America.” Inspired by Donald Glover’s 2018 video essay of the same name about the history of race relations in American culture, the season will feature four main-stage productions that examine “democracy, civility, truth, and acts of complacency that disfigure public discourse,” according to a press release.
“Our national discourse is fractured, which hinders our efforts to evolve,” said Artistic Director Dr. Nicole Hodges Persley. “We must learn from the mistakes of our past in order to move toward new futures that are free of systemic inequalities. Theater is a place where we can reimagine and rehearse solutions for new beginnings.”
The season opens in September with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The America Play” which tells the story of an African American gravedigger who resembles Abraham Lincoln and creates a vaudeville-style act where customers pay to see him in a reenactment of Lincoln’s assassination. November brings James Baldwin’s Tony Award-winning play “The Amen Corner,” about a pastor at a storefront church in 1960s Harlem whose racy past and troublesome relationships come back to haunt her. February’s offering is Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage,” winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. “God of Carnage” follows two couples who reside in a chic Brooklyn neighborhood. After a playground incident leaves one of their children injured, the parents all agree to get together to discuss the matter. As the couples get to know one another over drinks, politeness and decency break down to reveal the impact of excess, bigotry and privilege on the lives of children who model at school the behaviors they see at home. The season ends in May with the world premiere of Lewis J. Morrow’s “Begetters,” a dark comedy about Spicer and Norma, a long-married couple in their twilight years who reach a crossroads of discontent.
As Kansas City’s premier African American theater company, KCMPT continues to offer diverse and inclusive theatre experiences that teach, critique and model a better America for us all.
KC Melting Pot Theatre productions are held at Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central, KCMO.