The Royale

Mar 8Mar 27, 2022
Written by:Marco Ramirez
Directed and Choreographed by:Steph Paul
Located at:Copaken Stage

From playwright Marco Ramirez (Orange is the New Black, Daredevil) comes a story inspired by real-world boxer Jack Johnson who, as a Black man at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the heavyweight champion of the world. A knockout award-winning new play and winner of two Obie Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk Award, and multiple others, this tour-de-force sold out houses in London, New York, and LA. The Royale is an electrifying adrenaline rush that shows us the human cost of making history. Learn more by reading the show program. After finishing its public run at Copaken Stage, The Royale will make history as we embark on our first-ever community tour.

Please be advised that this production features smoke/fog effects.

This production is appropriate for ages 14+. The performance is 80 minutes long with no intermission.

Why you Should See The Royale

Because this knockout award-winning new play inspired by real-world boxer Jack Johnson is a New York Times Critic’s Choice pick and the winner of two Obie Awards. The critics are raving! KC Studio: “exquisitely produced” and “powerfully electric“; The Independent:The Royale is a powerfully crafted piece of theater!”

KCRep for All Tour

Following its public run at Copaken Stage, The Royale embarked on a tour across the Kansas City metro, with performance dates from March 31-April 10th. Thanks to everyone who came out and made our first-ever KCRep for All tour a success!

March 31st at 6pm
Mohart Multipurpose Center

April 1st at 3pm
Southeast Community Center

April 2nd at 3pm
Gregg/Klice Community Center

April 3rd at 2pm
KC Public Library: North-East Branch

April 5th at 6pm
KC Public Library: Central Branch

April 6th at 6pm
Brush Creek Community Center

April 7th at 6pm
Hillcrest Community Center

April 8th at 2pm
KC Public Library: Bluford Branch

April 9th at 3pm
Mattie Rhodes Cultural Center

April 10th – for center residents only
Don Bosco Senior Center


Walter Coppage as Wynton

Joshua Gleeson as Max

Rasell Holt as Fish

Semaj Miller as Jay

Robert Vardiman in the ensemble

Teonna Wesley as Nina

Terrace Wyatt Jr. in the ensemble

Creative Team & Management

Marco Ramirez

Steph Paul

Scenic Design
Yu Shibagaki

Costume Design
Izumi Inaba

Lighting Design
Minjoo Kim

Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel

Wig & Hair Designer
Kelley Jordan

Associate Director
Allison Jones

Hallie Gordon

Casting Agency
Geoff Josselson, CSA
Katja Zarolinski, CSA

Casting (Local)
Yetunde Felix-Ukwu

Production Stage Manager
Alex Oparka

Assistant Stage Manager
Jordan Canon-Kruis

Boxing Consultant
Rasell Holt

Understudy, Wynton
L. Roi Hawkins

Understudy, Nina
Markeyta Young

Craig Lindsday

Franklin Wagner



WALTER COPPAGE (Wynton) KCRep: A Christmas Carol, Pride & Prejudice, Fences, Welcome to Fear City, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, A Raisin in the Sun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Carters Way. Regional: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Portland Center Stage), Radio Golf (Studio Theatre DC). Local: Master Harold and the Boys, Hamlet, A Lesson from Aloes (Kansas City Actors Theatre); The Mountaintop, How to Steal A Picasso, Water by the Spoonful, The Clean House, Ruined (Unicorn Theatre); Becoming Martin, Our Town, The Miracle Worker, My Children My Africa, The Giver, Frankenstein, Valley Song, Jekyll & Hyde (The Coterie); Amadeus (Spinning Tree Theatre). TELEVISION: “The Chi” (Showtime), “61st St.” (AMC/Guest Star), “The Shining Girls” (Apple TV), “Sprung” (IMDB TV), “Detroiters” (Comedy Central/Guest Star), “Chicago Med” (NBC). FILM: All Creatures Here Below, Jayhawkers, Goodland, The Profit, 12 Days of Giving, The Only Good Indian, Destination: Planet Negro! AEA Member  

JOSHUA GLEESON(Max)  KCRep: Noises Off. Local: The Tempest, Shakespeare in Love, Much Ado About Nothing (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Milking Christmas, The Ballad of Lefty and Crabbe (The Living Room Theatre); Heirlooms, Deceit (KC Public Theatre). Improv: Kansas City Improv Festival (2014-19); Detroit Improv Festival (2016-19); San Diego Improv Festival (2019); Honolulu Improv Festival (2018); Chicago Improv Festival  (2017). Education: BFA in Theatre Arts, Avila University.  AEA Member 

RASELL HOLT (Fish)  KCRep: debut. Regional: Airness (Geva Theatre Center); The Realness (Hangar Theatre); Skeleton Crew (American Stage Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Twelfth Night (American Players Theatre); Dracula (Actors Theater of Louisville); The Hairy Ape (Oracle Productions). TV/Film: Drive Slow by Terrence Thompson; Chicago PD (NBC). Upcoming: The Brothers Size (American Players Theatre). Mr. Holt has received additional training as an apprentice with The Actors Theatre of Louisville and American Players Theatre. AEA Member 

SEMAJ MILLER (Jay) KCRep: debut. Regional: Elaborate Entrance of Chad Delty (World Premiere, title role understudy, Victory Gardens). Elaborate Entrance of Chad Delty (title role, Red Theatre); The Scottsboro Boys (Chicago Premiere, Raven Theatre, Joseph Jefferson winning production); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Syracuse Stage); Riff Raff (Dream FIRECE); The Lake Effect (World Premiere, Joseph Jefferson winning production); Great Expectations (Silk Road Rising); Incident at Vichy, Angels in America, Midsummer Night’s Dream (Jones Playhouse); The Learned Ladies (Penthouse Theatre); among others. Film: #MoreLife (short-film, co-writer and co-producer), Mending Fences, Breathe. Education: BFA, Syracuse University; MFA, University of Washington. AEA Member

ROBERT VARDIMAN (Ensemble) KCRep: debut. Local: Hair: Then & Now, Blame it on the Boogie, A Spectacular Christmas Show, Ragtime, In the Heights, Oklahoma!, Nelly Don the Musical (Music Theater Heritage); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Memphis, The Meeting (The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City); Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly (Theater for Young America); Footloose (Robidoux Resident Theatre). Educational Theatre: Cronkite, School House Rock Live!, Eclipse, The Wedding Singer, Cabaret. Education: BM, General Studies, Minor in Music and Dance (Missouri Western State University).

TEONNA WESLEY (Nina) KCRep: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, A Christmas Carol. Local: Honky!, The Colored Museum (The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City); Tomorrow Inshallah (The Living Room Theatre). Education: New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. AEA Member   

TERRACE WYATT JR. (Ensemble) KCRep: A Christmas Carol (2014, 2015). Local: Something Rotten! (The White Theatre); Memphis, Big River, Honky, Blood at the Root (The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City); Camelot (Music Theater Heritage); West Side Story, Seussical, Our Town (Leawood Stage Company); Sweep Around Your Own Front Door (Faith Unlimited Productions); Footloose (Starlight Theatre); A Christmas Story (Music Theatre Kansas City Pro); Hairspray, Sweet Charity, Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bring It On, 42nd Street (Music Theatre Kansas City); The Snowy Day (Mesner Puppet Theater); The Music Man (Theatre In the Park). Educational: The Election, Crimes of the Heart, Carrie: The Musical, In the Time of the Butterflies, Much Ado About Nothing, Radium Girls, The House of Blue Leaves, A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love & Murder (Jewell Theatre Company). TV/Film: Great Escape, Solid Light (Wide Awake Films); Wendy’s (Bark Productions, TikTok). Playwright: Mel n’ E: Melanin & Educated (Jewell Theatre Company). Education: BFA in Theatre, William Jewell College. Awards: Austin Cooper Edwards Acting Award (Recipient), Alpha Psi Omega Key Award (Former member of Alpha Psi Omega at Jewell), two-time BroadwayWorld KC Regional Awards nominee. Upcoming: Workshop: Black Man, MO (Playwright, Kansas City Public Theatre), FB: Terrace Wyatt, Jr.  



MARCO RAMIREZ (Playwright) has had plays produced at Lincoln Center Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Humana Festival, The Old Globe (San Diego), The Bush Theatre (London), American Theater Company (Chicago), Soulpepper (Toronto) and Center Theatre Group (LA). Honors include Helen Hayes and Drama Desk nominations, the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Playwriting Award, Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship, Lincoln Center’s Le Comte du Nouy Award, and TCG’s Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Marco is also a WGA and Emmy Award-nominated TV writer and producer, where his credits include Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix), Marvel’s The Defenderes (Netflix), Sons of Anarchy (FX), Orange is the New Black (Netflix), and Fear the Walking Dead (AMC). 

STEPH PAUL (Director) Steph Paul is a director/choreographer who clears space for uninhibited physical truth. What comes up must come out. She weaves together her lived experience as a first-generation Haitian-American, body percussionist, dancer, athlete, and is passionate about art as a means to build a team. Steph is honored to be directing and choreographing The Royale by Marco Ramirez at KCRep. Next, she will be co-directing How to Defend Yourself by Liliana Padilla alongside Rachel Chavkin and Liliana Padilla at New York Theatre Workshop. Movement/choreography credits include America v2.1 (Definition Theatre); The Last Match (Writers Theatre); How to Defend Yourself (Victory Gardens Theater, Humana Festival); Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (Humana Festival); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Company – Helen Hayes Award Nomination, Outstanding Choreography in a Play); The Wolves (Studio Theatre – Helen Hayes Award Winner, Outstanding Choreography in a Play); The Royale (City Theatre Company, Repertory Theater of St. Louis). Directing credits include Learning Curve (Albany Park Theater Project, Third Rail Projects); Amor de Lejos, Ofrenda, Feast, Home/Land, God’s Work, I Will Kiss These Walls (Albany Park Theater Project); The Boxing Play by Marisa Carr (Goodman Theatre – Playwrights Unit). International credits include Royal Opera House Muscat and National Theatre of Scotland. Steph is an Artistic Associate of Chicago Dance Crash, a proud member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and a 2021 Princess Grace Award-winner. She is also a lover of acai bowls and improbable comebacks.

YU SHIBAGAKI (Scenic Design) KCRep: debut. Regional: School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre); I, Banquo, I, Cinna (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Dishwasher Dreams (Writers Theatre); Her Honor Jane Byrne (Lookingglass Theatre); America v.2.1 (Definition Theater); among others. Upcoming: Sense and Sensibility (American Players Theatre). Affiliations: United Scenic Artists USA-829. Ms. Shibagaki is a NYC based set designer, originally from Nagoya, Japan. Education: Northwestern University.    

IZUMI INABA (Costume Design) KCRep: debut. Regional: Dishwasher Dreams (Writers Theatre, Hartford Stage); Fahrenheit 451 (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Million Dollar Quartet Christmas (Evan Barnardin Productions, The Phoenix Theatre Company); Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf Theatre); King of The Yees (Goodman Theatre, Kirk Douglas Theatre); Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens Theater, City Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory); The Who And The What (Milwaukee Rep); Animal Farm (Milwaukee Rep, Baltimore Center Stage); Faceless (Northlight Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.) Other credits: Animal Farm, The Crucible, We Are Proud To Present…, The Constellations, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); An Issue Of Blood, The House That Will Not Stand, A Wonder In My Soul, If I Forget (Victory Gardens Theater); Smart People, A Doll’s House (Writers Theatre); The Mousetrap, Charm, You Can’t Take It With You, The Mother of the Maid, Mansfield Park, How A Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre); Harvey, Titanic (Court Theatre). Affiliations: United Scenic Artists USA-829. Education: MFA in Stage Design, Northwestern University.  

MINJOO KIM (Lighting Design) KCRep: debut. Regional: Best Lesbian Erotica 1995, One in Two (Diversionary Theatre); Life Sucks, The Great Leap (Cygnet Theatre); The Great Leap (Round House Theatre); The Chief (Pittsburgh Public Theater); Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies (Mile Square Theatre); Sensoria (The New Renaissance Dance); Quiet No More (San Diego Women’s Chorus); Qulili (The Blindspot); IDEAS-Cetacea (Calit2 Theater, Atkinson Hall). International: The Two (Space Owul); Crimson Girl, A Story of Sorastar (Dongsoong Art Center); Die or Not (Seoul Art Space Mullae); Mask on/off (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre); The Last Day (Chung-Won Art Center); Story of Arang (The Central Academy of Drama, Grand Hall); The Glass Menagerie (The Central Academy of Drama, North Theatre). Assistant Designer: Working in DC (BLM Plaza); Celia and Fidel (Arena Stage, Kogod Cradle); Mother Road, Disney’s Newsies (Arena Stage, Fichandler Stage); Dear Jack, Dear Louis (Arena Stage, Kreeger Theater); What You Are (The Old Globe, White Theatre); Seize the King (La Jolla Playhouse, Potiker Theatre). Upcoming: Water by Spoonful (Cygnet Theatre); Henry V (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company); A Few Good Men (Bristol Riverside Theatre). Education: MFA in Theatrical Lighting Design (University of California San Diego); BA in Theater and Film Design (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea). 

MIKHAIL FIKSEL (Sound Design) KCRep: debut. Broadway: Dana H. Regional and Off-Broadway: Tambo and Bones, The Treasurer, A Life (Playwrights Horizon); Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theatre, LaJolla Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Mojada and We’re Only Alive A Very Short Amount of Time (The Public); Sweatshop Overlord (NYTW); and other numerous collaborations with The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Center Theater Group, The Old Globe, Victory Gardens, and Albany Park Theatre Project. Audio-centered work includes multiple audioplays for Audible, WBEZ, Studio Theatre and Make Believe Association. Film: original scores for Glitch, The Wise Kids and In Memoriam. Awards: 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, multiple Jeff Awards, and the 2020 Obie Awards for Sound Design. Affiliations: USA-829 and Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA)

KELLEY JORDAN (Hair and Wig Design) KCRep: debut. Regional: South Pacific, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Rock of Ages, Elf – The Musical (Theatre Under the Stars); An Officer and A Gentleman (First National Tour); On Your Feet!, Smokey Joe’s Café, Matilda, Kinky Boots, Footloose, Annie, All Shook Up, Nunsense (The Muny); Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid (Variety Theatre). TV/Film: A New Holiday (PBS); Vanishing Kings, The Documentary (L.G. Reynolds Entertainment); Oprah’s Lifeclass: St. Louis (The Oprah Winfrey Network). Additional Credits: The Wiz (Associate Design: The Muny); IATSE Rotating Wig Supervisor 20+ years (The Muny, The Fabulous Fox, The Stifel Theatre); 30+ years salon experience. Upcoming: Sister Act (North Carolina Theatre); Mary Poppins, The Color Purple, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (The Muny). Affiliations: IATSE Local 805, K. Jordan Theatrical, Licensed Cosmetologist;; @k.jordantheatrical  

ALLISON JONES (Associate Director) KCRep Associate Directing: debut. KCRep Acting: Fun Home, School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play, A Christmas Carol. Local: Ragtime, My Fair Lady (Music Theater Heritage); Baseball: A Musical Love Letter (Lyric Opera Kansas City); Godspell (Starlight); Once On This Island, Emotional Creature (Spinning Tree Theatre); A Charlie Brown Christmas (The Coterie Theatre); Sister Act (The Barn Players Theatre). Upcoming: The Play That Goes Wrong (New Theatre). AEA Member   

ALEXANDRA OPARKA (Production Stage Manager) KCRep: debut. Regional Stage Management: America V2.1, No Child, Moon Man Walk (Definition Theatre); Pussy Riot, In the Blood (Red Tape Theatre); Kentucky, The Pillowman (The Gift Theatre); Barbecue, Take Me (Strawdog Theatre). Production Management: Queen of Sock Pairing (Red Tape Theatre). COVID Safety Manager: Paradise Square (Chicago Pre-Broadway run). AEA Member 

JORDAN CANON-KRUIS (Assistant Stage Manager) KCRep: A Christmas Carol (Production Assistant), What Would Crazy Horse Do?, Constellations, The Invisible Hand, Fire in Dreamland. Regional: Describe the Night, 1984, Quixote Nuevo, Quack, Skeleton Crew, A Christmas Carol (Alley Theatre, Houston); Legally Blonde (Lees-McRay Summer Theatre); Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre). AEA Member 

YETUNDE FELIX-UKWU (Casting) KCRep Casting: Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt 2B, A Christmas Carol, Mary’s Wedding, Ghost Light 2021. KCRep Acting: A Christmas Carol, School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play. Local Acting: Babel, The Wolves, Men on Boats (Unicorn Theatre); Secret Soldiers (The Coterie); Dracula (Kansas City Actors Theatre); Go. Please. Go., The Storytelling Project, Letters from Freedom Summer (UMKC Theatre). Directing: Legacy Land (Assistant Director, KCRep); The Game of Love and Chance (Assistant Director, UMKC Theatre). Education: MFA in Acting and Directing (UMKC). Instagram: yetundelive  

JZ CASTING (Casting) Geoff Josselson, CSA and Katja Zarolinski, CSA are New York-based casting directors, handling productions for theatre, film and television. Recent work includes productions for Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Baltimore Center Stage, Cape Playhouse, Denver Center, The Irish Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Round House Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Theaterworks Hartford, Weston Playhouse. 

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