College Town. City Life.

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre presents, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest.”

UMKC’s weekly arts, culture and sports 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 give UMKC a vibrant campus life, and make UMKC an arts and culture powerhouse. The influence of UMKC-based and UMKC-trained alumni extends well beyond the campus’ edge, so their activities are listed here as well.

Featured Event: “The Tallest Tree in the Forest”

Kansas City Repertory Theatre kicks off its 2013-14 season with the world premiere of “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” a new work about the life of African American performer and activist Paul Robeson, written and performed by Daniel Beaty and directed by Moisés Kaufman.  The show runs Aug. 30-Sept. 28 at the Rep’s downtown theatre Copaken Stage, 13th and Walnut streets.

The Tallest Tree in the Forest” was commissioned and developed by Tectonic Theater Project and is co-produced with La Jolla Playhouse.

As part of the show, Beaty will perform many of Robeson’s signature songs including “Ol’ Man River,” “Steal Away” and “Ballad for the Americans.”

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was a twentieth-century Renaissance Man who blended athletics, artistry and humanitarianism into an inspiring legacy.  Robeson graduated with honors from Rutgers University in 1919 and Columbia Law School in 1923.  Finding few opportunities for blacks in the legal profession, Robeson joined a New York theatre group where he befriended playwright Eugene O’Neill and appeared in his plays “All God’s Chillun Got Wings” (1924) and and “The Emperor Jones (1924). His other acclaimed acting roles include Othello (1930) and the hit musical Show Boat, in which he gained worldwide fame with his performance of the song “Ol’ Man River.”

Throughout his stage and film career, Robeson was a passionate and frequently controversial advocate for social justice in the U.S. and worldwide. As a result of his criticism of the U.S. government and his affiliation with communism, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Robeson never backed away from his political beliefs and never apologized.  He retired from public life in 1963 and died January 23, 1976 at age 77.

What: The Kansas City Repertory Theatre presents, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest.” As an internationally-renowned vocalist and star of stage and screen, Paul Robeson was one of the best known African American artists in the world in the early 20th century. Through his singing and acting talent, he became enormously popular and wealthy; but as a champion for human rights, he became controversial to his people and his country.
Where: Copaken Stage, 1 H and R Block Way, Kansas City, Mo.
 Now through Sept. 28.
Get more details.

Friday, Sept. 6 – Thursday, Sept. 12

What: The first C4 Fest, a free block party on Locust St. between 18th and 19th streets, is also the first major event for the Ryan Beye Memorial Foundation. Beye, a former Studio Art student, passed away unexpectedly last year. His foundation sets out to celebrate Kansas City through the four C’s: Communicate, Collaborate, Commemorate, and Celebrate. Four murals will be unveiled on the corner of 19th and Locust streets.
Where: Two streets will be blocked off for this event: Locust Street from 18th to 19th streets and 19th Street from Oak to Locust.
Friday, Sept. 6. Murals will be unveiled around 6 p.m.; events will take place all evening.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: Penetopia, a solo exhibition by Christel Highland, current Studio Art and Art History student, will be on display in the Beco Gallery.
Where: Beco Gallery, 1922 Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Now through Sept. 27.
Get more details.

What: Spatial Studies, a solo exhibition by John Lamberton, UMKC alumnus, will be on display in City Ice Arts.
Where: City Ice Arts, 2015 Campbell, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Now through Sept. 27.
Get more details.

What: City of Fountains Foundation Original Art Auction. UMKC graduates Peggy Wilson and Eileen McCoy are among the artists who donated work for the auction, which will benefit Kansas City Fountains.
Where: Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo.
When: 6-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6.
Get more details.

What: The Kevin K. Nunnink speaker series presents: Robert Kaplan, Martin Marshall professor of Management Practice in Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the recently published book: “What You’re Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential,” will share his beliefs that individuals should create their own personal standard for success based on their personal potential.
Where: Bloch Executive Hall, 218, 5108 Cherry St., Kansas City Mo.
When: 7:30-9:30 a.m., Monday, Sept. 9.
It’s free, but you must RSVP. Get more details.

What: Film Screening: “Day for Night.”
Where: Tivoli Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, Mo.
7-9:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12.
Free to UMKC students, faculty, and staff with UMKC ID. All others pay $5. Get more details.

What: The UMKC Art Gallery presents “Anomalous.” This exhibition is inspired by the aesthetics of the science fiction genre, featuring local and national artists Matt Borruso, Jonah Criswell, Scott Dickson, Ari Fish and Colin Leipelt. The exhibition also includes a collection of vintage Philip K. Dick paperbacks, courtesy of Tim Fisher.
Where: UMKC Gallery of Art, Fine Arts Bldg. 203, 5015 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.
  Exhibit runs through Friday, Oct. 4. Free, open-to-the-public film screenings will take place at 7 p.m., in the gallery. “Blade Runner” will be shown Sept. 19, and “2001: A Space Odyssey” will be shown Oct. 3.
It’s free. Get more details.

What: UMKC softball v. Iowa Central Community College
Where: 9600 Blue River Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.
Get more details.

What: UMKC women’s soccer v.  Creighton
Where: Durwood Stadium, 51st and Cherry streets, Kansas City, Mo.
 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Get more details.

What: “The Fox on the Fairway,” starring three-time Academy Award nominee Dyan Cannon. This chaotic comedy takes audiences on a hilarious romp that pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club.
Where: The New Theatre Restaurant, 9299 Foster, Overland Park, Kan.
When: Now through Nov. 3.
UMKC Connection: Co-owners Dennis Hennessy and Richard Carrothers are both UMKC graduates and both were presented in 2012 with honorary doctorates by the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences.
Get more details.



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