The productions in KCRep’s 2018/19 season range from innovative re-imaginings of classics and a Tony winner for Best Play, to an exciting world premiere and a holiday favorite. Both ambitious and satisfying, the 2018/19 season brings great stories by great story-tellers to Kansas City.
Last Days of Summer
SEP 7 – 30, 2018
Based on the contemporary American classic novel by Steve Kluger, LAST DAYS OF SUMMER is the story of Joey Margolis, an imaginative and tenacious boy being raised by his mother and aunt in early 1940s Brooklyn. He and his best friend Craig Nakamura write letters to their hero, Charlie Banks, the all-star third basemen for the New York Giants, in hopes of his helping them impress and suppress the neighborhood bullies. An unlikely friendship is formed between the two boys and Charlie, and as the turbulent events of the dawn of the Second World War unfold, bonds are formed that will last forever. With music by Grammy winner Jason Howland (Broadway’s LITTLE WOMEN), directed by two-time Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun (last year’s BETWEEN THE LINES), this new musical is a poignant and hilarious tale of baseball, hero worship, and the gift of true friendship.
Of Mice and Men
OCT 19 – NOV 11, 2018
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.
JAN 18 – FEB 10, 2019
On March 6, 1923, a play was shut down at New York’s Apollo Theater, and the show’s entire cast was indicted for indecency. The play is God of Vengeance, written 16 years earlier and performed as a staple of Yiddish theatre. The story centers on a brothel owner whose daughter falls in love with a prostitute, which began a campaign of censorship that lasted decades. Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel tells her story with passion, humor, romance and a breathtaking conclusion that reminds us of the horror throughout Europe that was yet to come. This play is a love letter to theatre, and a testament to its power to change how we see the world.
School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play
MAR 1 – 24, 2019
Paulina is the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, who has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the mid-year addition of Ericka, a student newly-arrived from America with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of both the pageant recruiter and Paulina’s teenage “squad.” Jocelyn Bioh’s hilarious re-imagining of the Mean Girls story is at once joyful and heartbreaking, bitingly funny and poignant – a loving exploration of the real lives of young African women trying to negotiate the confusion of Western beauty ideals.
Pride and Prejudice
MAR 22 – APR 14
Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet’s most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous mother and a string of unsuitable suitors, it’s a difficult subject to escape. When the independent Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, all feelings of attraction are muted by his pride and her prejudice. Kate Hamill’s celebrated adaptation of Jane Austen’s most beloved novel is both reverently devoted to the source material and remarkably hilarious, moving, and full of theatrical surprises that bring one of the greatest love stories ever told to extraordinary theatrical life.
OriginKC:New Works Festival
APR 20 – MAY 19, 2019
FRIDA…A Self Portrait
After suffering polio as a child, a grisly bus accident in her teens that left her with permanent injuries and in almost constant pain, and an addiction to Morphine, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s life is explored in this astonishing play by KCRep’s Fox Fellowship Resident Actor Vanessa Severo. Through beautiful physicality and raw honesty, the triumphs and challenges of the now-celebrated painter and wife of the equally-renowned artist, Diego Rivera, is unearthed in the brave new work.
Three characters are playfully positioned next to one another. They each have their own sense of reality, and maybe even sanity, around a terrorist suspect and a love affair being conducted exclusively via email. Which of these people are grounded in reality? Who is telling the truth? Who is to blame? Playwright Dipika Guha looks at the slippery slope regarding culpability and expectations, using absurdist humor as a powerful tool.
Special Holiday Event
A Christmas Carol
NOV 16 – DEC 30, 2018
Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly, cold-hearted creditor, continues his stingy ways on Christmas Eve. He rejects a dinner invitation and all the good tidings of the season from his nephew, Fred; he yells at charity workers; and he overworks his earnest employee, Bob Cratchit. Until, he is visited one-by-one, by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, who show him the errors of his ways until he ultimately discovers what’s really worth celebrating at Christmas-time and beyond.