And so the artists at Kansas City Actors Theatre wrestled with the question all theater professionals have confronted this year: What are we gonna do? The COVID-19 pandemic basically shut down theater everywhere — Kansas City, Chicago, New York and all points in between. Actors Equity Association, the union for actors and stage managers, enacted strict guidelines that largely prevented conventional rehearsals.
Cynthia Levin, the longtime artistic director of the Unicorn Theatre, couldn’t stand the idea of a dark theater building with no audiences, no working actors, no opening nights. But that became the summer reality for the Unicorn and other Equity theater companies.
Kansas City Actors Theatre in its 15-year history has performed the works of famous and obscure playwrights alike — from the Americas, Europe (including Britain) and South Africa. But missing from the respected theater company’s record of productions is a single play by a writer of color.
Kansas City Repertory Theatre has cancelled its previously announced 2020-21 season, yet another example of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disastrous effect on live theater and all performing arts. Artistic Director Stuart Carden and Executive Director Angela Gieras released a joint statement on Aug. 5 explaining the decision to pull the plug on what looked like a potentially exciting season.
This is the time of year when the KC Fringe Festival is gearing up for big crowds attending shows by diverse performers at multiple venues. But that won’t be happening. The KC Fringe Festival, a showcase for performers, musicians, playwrights and visual artists, was set to unfold July 12-26 at downtown and midtown performance spaces.