Kansas City Actors Theatre has announced its 2020 – 2021 season, directors and partial casting.
Selected by KCAT’s artistic committee headed by John Rensenhouse, the 16th season will include five productions and feature a combination of artists both new and familiar.
“In choosing our seasons, it’s always our primary goal to produce projects that reward actors with great roles harnessed to smart text,” says Darren Sextro, KCAT’s current board president. “But I’ve noticed in recent years that our artistic committee has begun to lean toward projects that also measure their success in storytelling social profit. Nearly every story in our Season 16 leans in toward that goal.”
Kansas City Actors Theatre’s 2020/2021 Season (from the press release):
by Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Missy Koonce
May 20 – June 7, 2020
When an upbeat bakery owner in North Carolina (played by KCAT artistic committee member Jan Rogge) is asked to bake a cake for the wedding of a woman she helped raise, she finds herself reconsidering her views when she discovers the other half of the couple is also a woman. “The Cake” is a funny, thoughtful, and heartfelt story that focuses on building bridges.
“Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train”
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Brian Paulette
August 5 – 23, 2020
Wild and surreal: “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Stephen Adly Guirgis, follows Angel Cruz’s irreverent journey though spirituality and the justice system. Featuring a diverse lineup of sympathetic characters, Guirgis’s play was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play when it premiered in 2002. In turns crude and rapturous, “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” will mark the directorial debut of longtime KCAT company member Brian Paulette.
By Ronald Harwood
Directed by Darren Sextro
September 9 – 27, 2020
An elegy to a by-gone era of British theater where esteemed actors ruled the stage with near impunity, “The Dresser” follows an aging actor as he fights through a challenging performance of “King Lear” with the help of his longtime theatrical dresser. This play, written by the Oscar-winning Ronald Harwood and featuring John Rensenhouse, Phil Fiorini, and Carla Noack, will deliver powerhouse performances in a contemporary classic.
By Harold Pinter
Directed by Cinnamon Schultz
January 13 – 31, 2021
Following its “Pinter Project” summer nine seasons ago, KCAT will return to Nobel Prize-winner Harold Pinter in January 2021 with “Betrayal.” Hailed as one of the most influential modern British dramatists, Pinter has been a favorite of KCAT’s audiences, and this award-winning play tracing the reverse chronology of a 7-year affair is a classic of characterization and emotion.
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by John Rensenhouse and Gary Heisserer
March 2021 (exact dates tba)
In March of 2021, KCAT will stage Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in midtown Kansas City. This marks a return to environmental theater for KCAT, where a play is performed in a locale that serves its storytelling. A pastor delivers a sermon that shakes the faith of the congregation he has shepherded from storefront to mega-church. Hnath’s play is a contemplation on faith in America and the real consequences of choices based in spirituality. This show, which includes a choir, will be a singular experience.
For more information on KCAT’s season visit KCActors.org.
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