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The Kansas City Repertory Theatre and UMKC Theatre are co-producing "Death of a Salesman." Photo Credit: Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
The Kansas City Repertory Theatre and UMKC Theatre are co-producing "Death of a Salesman." Photo Credit: Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

UMKC’s weekly arts and culture roundup

Every week, the University of Missouri-Kansas City offers an array of on-campus activities. It’s nothing new. UMKC has a long legacy of hosting countless culturally enriching events. These activities are part of what has made UMKC an arts and culture powerhouse. The influence of UMKC-based and UMKC-trained artists extends well beyond the campus’ edge, so their activities are listed here as well.

Featured Event: “Death of Salesman”

Gary Neal Johnson , one of Kansas City’s most acclaimed actors and a UMKC alumnus, is set to star as the iconic Willy Loman in Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s Tony® Award-winning Death of a Salesman. Eric Rosen will direct the production, which runs January 18-February 10 at Spencer Theatre as a co-presentation with UMKC Theatre. Miller’s classic play about a down-on-his-luck salesman searching for his American Dream remains one of the most profound dramas in the canon of American theatre.

Rosen is a writer, director and producer who has been Kansas City Rep’s artistic director since 2007.  His Rep directing projects include Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses; The Trip to Bountiful; Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; the world premiere of A Christmas Story, the Musical!, which was a 2012 holiday hit on Broadway; Venice; Cabaret; August: Osage County; The Whipping Man and Pippin. Rosen will also direct the New York premiere of his musical Venice, co-written with Matt Sax, when it opens at the Public Theatre (May 28-June 23).

The complete cast for Death of a Salesman includes:

Kyle Hatley (Happy Loman) is an actor, director and playwright and also serves as the Rep’s Associate Artistic Director.  His Rep directing credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Nathan Louis Jackson’s Broke-ology, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Borderland and A Christmas Carol since 2010He has also acted at the Rep in The Glass Menagerie and The Whipping Man.

Gary Neal Johnson (willy loman) is an associate artist at the Rep, where he has appeared in many productions over almost three decades, including most recently in A Christmas Carol; Little Shop of Horrors; August: Osage County; Cabaret; Bus Stop; Winesburg, Ohio; The Drawer Boy; King Lear; Give ‘Em Hell, Harry and The Voysey Inheritance (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where he received the Dean Goodman Award for best supporting actor). He has also acted at Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (HASF), Starlight, Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT), Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. and Utah Shakespeare Theatre.

Merle Moores (Linda Loman) has an extensive list of Rep credits, including: August: Osage County, Machinal, A Christmas Carol, Man and Superman, Major Barbara, The Seagull, Oedipus the King, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Hamlet. She has also appeared at the Unicorn, KCAT, HASF and New Theatre.

Kip Niven (Ben) has appeared at the Rep in August: Osage County, the world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical!, Into the Woods, Later Life and Blithe Spirit. His extensive credits also include productions at Spinning Tree, the Coterie, New Theatre, Starlight, KCAT, American Heartland Theatre and Quality Hill Playhouse.

Brian Paulette (Howard) has appeared in The Front Page, Saint Joan, The Philadelphia Story, Inherit the Wind, Royal Hunt of the Sun and several years of A Christmas Carol, all at Kansas City Rep. Local credits include productions at KCAT, HASF and the Unicorn.

Michael Pauley (Stanley) is making his KC Rep debut.  UMKC Theatre acting credits include The Lady from the Sea, the Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Winter’s Tale.

Chris Roady (Bernard) is making his KC Rep debut. Local credits include productions at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, The Living Room, the Unicorn and KC Fringe Festival.

Mark Robbins (Charley) is a veteran of more than two decades of Rep productions including, most recently: The Mystery of Irma Vep, A Christmas Carol for 20 seasons, Circle Mirror Transformation, Bus Stop, A Flea in Her Ear, the title role in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure and The Voysey Inheritance (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco).  He has also acted in or directed many productions at the Unicorn, The Living Room, American Heartland Theatre and HASF. Robbins is a founding member of Kansas City Actors Theatre.

Rusty Sneary (Biff Loman) has appeared at the Rep in August: Osage County, A Christmas Carol and Liliom. He has also acted at the Coterie Theatre, Unicorn, New Theatre, HASF, American Heartland Theatre and The Living Room, of which he is co-owner and artistic director.

Cheryl Weaver (The Woman) has acted at the Rep in August: Osage County, Bus Stop, A Christmas Carol for three seasons, The Voysey Inheritance (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco), The Trip to Bountiful and Living Out.  She has also appeared at the Unicorn, KCAT, New Theatre, the Coterie and Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.

Three second-year MFA graduate students in the UMKC Department of Theatre acting program are making their Rep debuts:

Jessica Biernacki-Jensen (Letta) UMKC Theatre credits: The Winter’s Tale and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.  Local credits: Unicorn, KC Fringe Festival.

Janae Mitchell (Jenny) UMKC Theatre credits: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Cymbeline, The Lady from the Sea, A Devil Inside and upcoming KC Swing.

Courtney Salvage (Miss Forsythe) UMKC Theatre credits: A Devil Inside, The Lady from the Sea, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline.

The creative team for Death of a Salesman includes: Meghan Raham (Set Design); Lindsay W. Davis (Costume Design); Victor En Yu Tan (Lighting Design); Tom Mardikes (Sound Design); Larry Bailey (Composer); John Wilson (Fight Director). Mary R. Honour is production stage manager.

What: The Kansas City Rep and UMKC Theatre co-present “Death of a Salesman.”
Where: Spencer Theatre, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo.
When: Runs through February 10.
Get more details.

Friday, January 25 – Thursday, January 31

What: Bach’s Lunch featuring Jessica Diana Salley, soprano and faculty member Raymond Feener, baritone performing Bach’s cantata Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212, conducted by Robert Bode. Bring your lunch!
Where: Grant Hall, Room 122, 5227 Holmes Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Friday, January 25, 12 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: Kids Club: “How the Camel got his Hump.” Learn how the camel got his hump in this new operetta for young audiences, by UMKC’s own Leah Sproul Pulatie. This work is based on the Rudyard Kipling “Just So Story” of the same title, and will feature singers, piano and percussion. Tickets are $10; each ticket is good for one child and one adult companion
Where: White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo.
When: Saturday, January 26, 10 a.m.
Get more details.

What: Conservatory Connections: Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City. The museum partners with UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance’s Academy to offer gallery performances for audiences of all ages.  Sight, movement and sound mingle in the spaces of the Museum to offer exciting art interactions.
Where: Sculpture Hall, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 2:30 – 3:30pm
It’s free. Get more details.

What: Master’s Recital with Ryan Morris on bassoon, with John Woller on piano.
Where: White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Saturday, January 26, 2:30 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: Doctoral Recital with Stephanie Meyer, soprano and Richard Williams, piano; Christopher Puckett, tenor; and Vincent Conor, stage director.
Where: White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Saturday, January 26, 7:30 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: Senior Recital with Jeff Millen on cello and Richard Jeric, piano.
Where: White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Sunday, January 27, 7:30 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: The Conservatory Chamber Orchestra performs, directed by Robert Olson.
Where: White Recital Hall, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Wednesday, January 30, 7:30 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: 5th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. The keynote address will be provided by Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D., an American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner. Dyson is one of the nation’s most influential and renowned public intellectuals. He has been named one of the 150 most powerful African Americans by Ebony magazine. The Philadelphia Weekly contends that Dyson “is reshaping what it means to be a public intellectual by becoming the most visible black academic of his time.”
Where: UMKC Student Union, Multipurpose Room, 5100 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Wednesday, January 30, 6 – 7 p.m.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: The UMKC Gallery of Art’s new exhibit is Robert Howsare’s “Rational Aesthetics.” Howsare’s kinetic multimedia installations deal with the limitations of human optical perception. Utilizing found tools such as turntables and film projectors, he creates abstract imagery that emphasizes rhythm and color.
Where: UMKC Gallery of Art, Room 203, 5015 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.
When: Opening reception Thursday, January 24, from 5 – 7p.m. The exhibit will run through February 15.
Get more details.

What: The Coterie Theatre and UMKC Theatre co-present “Number the Stars,” based on Lois Lowry’s book on the rescue of the Danish Jewish population during World War II.  The Johansen family faces soldiers, interrogations, fierce dogs and the loss of loved ones to help their neighbors, the Rosens, escape across the sea to Sweden and safety.
Where: 2450 Grand Blvd., Suite 144, Kansas City, Mo.
When: January 22 – February 21, 2013
UMKC Connection: Two UMKC graduate theatre students founded the Coterie.
Get more details.

What: Broadway Rocks. The evening features songs from the latest generation of Broadway musicals like Wicked and Mamma Mia.
When: Friday, January 25, 8 p.m.
Where: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.
UMKC Connection:
The Kansas City Symphony was founded by faculty member Karl Krueger in 1933.
Get more details.

What: “On Golden Pond” is a poignant comedy about the seasons of life and the bond that can develop between the very young and the very old.
Where: The New Theatre Restaurant, 9299 Foster, Overland Park, Ks.
When: Through March 31, 2013.
UMKC Connection: Co-owners Dennis Hennessy and Richard Carrothers are both UMKC graduates and both were presented this year with honorary doctorates by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences.
Get more details.

 

 

 


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