One thing is for certain, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre is constantly improving their home at 3927 Main Street, otherwise known as The Warwick Theater. Karen Paisley states, “We are beyond ecstatic to see our marquee light up and shine bright on Main Street after being dark for decades.” Beyond the work currently underway for the building’s marquee and façade, efforts continue for the interior renovations as well. Not only does the stage and seating vary from production to production, but patrons may also notice new work being accomplished everywhere. The aim? Achieve the vision set out in 2015 after purchasing the property. Ms. Paisley calls this the “Warwick 2025 Project.”
Her vision isn’t just about realizing the potential of the building. It also pertains to the mission of MET to bring contemporary and masterwork theatre to everyone, not just traditional theatre patrons. The other notable portion of the mission is to support and grow the performing arts of our community. Over the last year the group has made significant strides in achieving this goal.
Kansas City theatre companies, such as Padgett Productions, brought “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Sweeney Todd” to the Warwick Stage this past season and has 2023 shows already in the works. The Black Repertory Theatre also had their productions of “After Midnight” and “Redwood” onstage here.
The Warwick hosted poetry nights including the Poet Laureate of Missouri, Maryfrances Wagner. There were numerous jazz shows including Eric Marienthal performing with The Boulevard Big Band. What was new for this past year was the number of other concerts held there. The months of July and December both featured premier performances from some of Kansas City’s top musical talent. Midwest Music Foundation held their fundraiser, the 10th Murder Ballad Ball, to a packed house. Blues, rock, jam bands, bluegrass, Americana and folk were among the genres of music present. Karen adds, “Our music programming was such a success, we cannot wait to do more in 2023.”
Of course, MET’s own theatrical productions continue with the musical “Once” March 3-12 and “That Day In Tucson” May 12-21. For more information on the changes at MET and The Warwick Theater, visit the website at www.metkc.org.
–William Saunders, Director of Business Development