Known for high-quality productions and successful collaborations with Kansas City and nationwide theatre companies and ranked by Hollywood Reporter as having the #17 best graduate acting program in the English-speaking world as well as being selected one of the top ten Costume Design and Technology programs in the country, UMKC Theatre announces its 2018-19 season.
“We are thrilled to offer our students and audiences this astounding lineup of plays,” stated Carla Noack, UMKC Theatre chair, “and we are grateful to our professional co-producers and partners—Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre, The New Theatre & Restaurant, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, The Fishtank, among others—who exponentially enrich and distinguish UMKC Theatre’s graduate and undergraduate training programs, contributing to a vibrant Kansas City theatre ecosystem.” She continued, “Imagine the synergy as we look to join forces with the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance over the coming year! There is much to look forward to.”
The 2018-2019 UMKC Theatre season opens in October with an undergraduate production of Women by Chiara Atik, directed by Nicole Marie Green. Scott Stackhouse will direct The Tempest in an undergraduate production in March, followed by a graduate production of The Game of Love and Chance by Pierre De Marivaux, directed by Theodore Swetz. Five co-productions will be presented throughout the season: Dracula, adapted by Mitch Brian and directed by John Rensenhouse with Kansas City Actors Theatre; Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, directed by Jason Chanos with Kansas City Repertory Theatre; The Wolves by Sarah De Lappe, directed by Heidi Van with the Unicorn Theatre; Secret Soldiers: Heroines in Disguise by Wendy Lement, directed by Jeff Church with the Coterie Theatre; and a TBA new work as part of the Origins KC New Play Festival in May.
By Chiara Atik and directed by Nicole Marie Green
Jo March really thinks she could be the voice of her generation. But being a “little woman” in 1800s New England is just so hard, you know? Women is a hilarious, and entertaining mash-up of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in the style HBO’s Girls. A contemporary spin on a timeless classic, you’ll never look at these “little women” the same way again.
The production will preview Oct. 5 – 8, open Oct. 10 and run through Oct. 14 at Grant Hall Theatre, 5200 Charlotte St., Kansas City, Mo.
By William Shakespeare and directed by Scott Stackhouse
A raging storm crashes a ship on a remote island in the sea, igniting a revenge plot twelve years in the making. Sorcery and spirits abound in this epic tale of romance and betrayal. Considered by many to be Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage, The Tempest explores the path through darkness and isolation to the freedom of forgiveness.
The production will preview March 8 – 11, open March 13 and run through March 17 at Studio 116, Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo.
Playwrights and directors TBA
April 11- 15
The production will preview April 11, open April 12 and run through April 15 at Grant Hall 105 (5200 Charlotte Street, KCMO 64110).
The Game of Love and Chance
By Pierre De Marivaux and directed by Theodore Swetz
Unrequited love, mistaken Identities and the uncontrollable power of love make up the heart of this hysterical romantic comedy. This play will tickle your funny bone as it challenges your heart and mind.
The production will preview April 26 – 29, open May 1 and run through May 5 at Studio 116, Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo.
New Work TBA
As part of OriginKC: New Works Festival
Co-produced with Kansas City Repertory Theatre
The production will preview May 3 – 6, open May 8 and run through May 12 at Spencer Theater, Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo.
Co-produced with Kansas City Actors Theatre
Adapted by Mitch Brian and directed by John Rensenhouse
Sensuous. Seductive. Sinister. Kansas City Actors Theatre presents its first-ever original production in this fresh adaptation, commissioned by Kansas City Actors Theatre, of Bram Stoker’s gothic classic, “Dracula.” Produced in partnership with UMKC Theatre, this classic tale of obsession and desire arrives just in time for the Halloween season. Directed by John Rensenhouse after his record-breaking KCAT production of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” last season, “Dracula” promises wickedly delicious fun, thrills, theatrical magic and intense performances.
This production will preview Oct. 12 – 15, open Oct. 17 and run through Oct. 21 at Spencer Theater, Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. For tickets, please call 816-235-6222 or purchase them online.
Of Mice and Men
Co-produced with Kansas City Repertory Theatre
By John Steinbeck and directed by Jason Chanos
A pair of migrant workers in Depression-era California move from town to town in search of work, and dream of buying land and owning a ranch someday. Straight-shooter George protects Lennie, whose sweet, simple-mindedness is juxtaposed by his formidable strength. When the two find work on Curly’s ranch, a series of tragic events lead to one of the most heartbreaking conclusions in American literature. John Steinbeck’s classic text explores the decay of the American dream, and the enduring kindness that bond friends together for life.
With support from the Hall Family Foundation.
This production will preview Oct. 18 – 25, open Oct. 26 and run through Nov. 11 at Copaken Stage, 1 H&R Block Way, Kansas City, Mo. For tickets, please call 816-235- 2700 or purchase them online.
Co-produced with Unicorn Theatre
By Sarah De Lappe and directed by Heidi Van
Left Quad. Right Quad. Lunge. A fierce girl’s soccer team warms up for games and practice. From the safety of their indoor soccer field, the team kicks around everything from balls to politics. Each one struggles to hang on to her individuality while remaining a part of the group. Take a first-hand look at nine young women exploring who they are and who they want to become in a complicated world.
This production will preview Nov. 28 – 30, open Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 30 at Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. For tickets, please call 816-531-7529 or purchase them online.
Secret Soldiers: Heroines in Disguise
Co-produced with the Coterie Theatre
By Wendy Lement and directed by Jeff Church
True accounts of four women who, for different reasons, served as men in the Civil War. Woven into this unique and interactive play: early suffrage movement as well as the formation of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment (the first African American regiment in U.S. history) and Harriet Tubman.
This production will preview Jan. 22 – 24, open Jan. 25 and run through Feb. 10 at Coterie Theatre, Crown Center, 2450 Grand Ave., Kansas City, Mo. For tickets, please call 816-474-6552 or online.
Single ticket adult prices are $20 for any performance. All UMKC faculty and staff tickets are $13 and UMKC student tickets are $10 for any performance (limit one per ID). Senior (60+) ticket prices are $15. Groups of 10 or more are $13 each. For tickets, call the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 or purchase them online.
Ticket sales for the co-productions are available through Kansas City Actors Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Unicorn Theatre and Coterie Theatre box offices. Ticket sales for Dracula with Kansas City Actors Theatre are available through Central Ticket Office.
Free event parking for Olson Performing Arts Center is on level 5 of the Cherry Street Parking Structure. Park near the Northeast Tower and use the skywalk to the theatres. The Olson Performing Arts Center is at 4949 Cherry Street on the UMKC campus.