Kansas City Actors Theatre Previews Its Thirteenth Season

The Kansas City Actors Theatre is proud to announce their lineup of plays for 2017-2018 at the H&R Block City Stage in Union Station and the Spencer Theater on UMKC’s campus. This is KCAT’s 13th season of productions showcasing Kansas City’s own top theatre professionals and they’re excited to share it.

KCAT’s Season 13 is one of personal passions and an expanded mission. This is the first year they are doing five full productions in a season, and each show has a personal connection for a member of KCAT or the KC theatre community. A tangled murder mystery. A family in fallout. A mad king. A lonely romantic. A night where a past love comes to call. These five stories have touched artists’ souls, and KCAT is excited to share the stories that live up to their mission: Great Actors. Smart Plays. 

The season will open in August with Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which is playing August 9-27 in the H&R Block City Stage in Union Station and will be directed by John Rensenhouse. Ten suspicious and malicious souls are alone on an island when murder ensues, but who is the killer? Considered by many to be Christie’s masterpiece, she described it as her most difficult mystery to write. It’s the ultimate stylish, witty, and nerve-wracking whodunit with a built-in puzzle that keeps you guessing.

In September KCAT will present their second production by the great Sam Shepard with A Lie of the Mind, which is playing September 13-October 1 at the H&R Block City Stage and will be directed by Cinnamon Schultz. This story of two families linked by an act of violence is marked by Shepard’s measured humor, heart, and steady eye in examining humanity’s potential for both compassion and destruction. This play’s first off-Broadway production in 1985 won both the Drama Desk Award and the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Play and is generally considered to be among Shepard’s greatest works.

October delivers a new take on Shakespeare’s King Lear as KCAT partners with the UMKC Theatre Department. Playing October 13-22 at the Spencer Theater in the James Olson Performing Arts Center on UMKC’s campus and being directed by two-time Tony Award winner Ed Stern, the production will star Theodore Swetz with a cast that includes Mark Robbins, Peggy Friesen and Logan Black. This is a classic tale of tragic hubris, sibling rivalry, and heated passions.

The new year will kick off with Gardner McKay’s Sea Marks, which will be directed by Jan Rogge and will play from January 10-28 at the H&R Block City Stage. Like KCAT’s production of My Old Lady last season, this romantic comedy examines loving relationships in all their complications. It’s the story of a fisherman from a remote Irish island who falls in love with a woman he’s seen only once. As he attempts to woo her by mail, she falls in love with his words. As these two people from very different worlds meet, they realize they must also reflect on what it is to know who they are and where they belong.

Sparks of another sort fly in the final show of the season. David Hare’s Skylight will play from May 23-June 10 in the H&R Block City Stage and will be directed by Darren Sextro. In Skylight, abandoned love and clashing social views collide with wit and wisdom when an older, successful restaurateur comes to visit his much younger former mistress, a schoolteacher in a poor London neighborhood. Over the course of the evening (and the on-stage preparation of an actual meal), they revisit what brought them together and pushed them apart in this love affair that, strangely enough, reflects our world today. One of David Hare’s finer works, Skylight has won both the Olivier Award for best play and a Tony Award for Best Revival.

Season subscriptions are available now at www.kcactors.org/season13 or by calling the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222.

–Matt Sameck

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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