KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Just in time for National Gay and Lesbian History Month, Alphabet Soup: Stories from Queer Voices takes the stage at MTH Theater in Crown Center on October 7, 8, and 9.Soup is an evening of short theater pieces written by Kansas City-area LGBTQ writers. The festival is produced by Whim Productions.
Alphabet Soup first debuted in 2015 as part of the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Kevin King, Whim’s Producing Artistic Director, said, “I was very excited to present those plays. They featured aspects of the LGBTQ community that I’d never seen onstage before.” The experience inspired King to turnAlphabet Soup into an annual festival.
This year, Soup presents six works by another diverse group of playwrights. While a few of the writers were in the festival last year, all of the works are new.
Two Provincetown locals passing time in a post office
A look at the politics of lesbian potlucks
A drag queen visiting his father in the hospital while in full drag
The age old experiences of summer camp
David Wayne Reed: David is a playwright, director, producer, and actor. His plays include Help Yourself, Jolly Rancher, Mother Trucker, and Mother Trucker 2: Ride On. David was also a founding member of Late Night Theatre. This September, he’s debuting the bi-monthly “Shelf Life” storytelling series, which David describes as “The Moth meets Antiques Road Show.” David has received two Inspiration Grant from the Art Council of Metropolitan Kansas City. The second award was for “Shelf Life.” Reed is also a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, an Artist Inc Fellow, and past Charlotte Street Foundation Resident.
Kevin King: Kevin was recently selected to be part of the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency program and is a fellow of Artist Inc. (2016). Whim has produced five of Kevin’s works, including Film Classics Presents: Heaven So Far (2011) and Flowers in the Wardrobe (2014). His work was also featured in Kansas City’s inaugural One-Minute Play Festival (2016) and 12 Plays of Christmas (Fishtank Performance Studio, 2013). Kevin was a finalist in Project Playwright, a 24-hour playwriting competition in 2014. Additionally, King is a regular contributor to the KC Rep’s Playwright Slam.
Cynthia Hardeman: Cynthia was part of the inaugural Alphabet Soup. Her play In Transition, which was excerpted in Soup, was presented in an expanded form by the Unicorn Theatre as part of the New Works festival. Her play Truth Stands… was produced by Coppin State University, The Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City; Dallas, TX; and Chicago, IL. Cynthia is a past winner of Project Playwright, the 24-hour playwriting competition (2013). Her work has also been seen in the 2012 InTENsity Showcase at Fishtank Performance Studio. Her play Truth Be Dead was a finalist in the 2012 WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory at Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore, MD.
Jesse Ray Metcalf: Over the last three years, Metcalf has become a fixture in the KC Fringe festival. He wrote the cult comedies Virgin., Lovesick, as well as this year’s dark atmospheric work The Toymaker.
Jamie Mayo: Jamie is active in the National Storytelling Network and the Healing Story Alliance. She’s currently working with HAS to compile stories significant to the LGBTQ community. Through HAS, she’s working with a group of Kansas City storytellers and healers on a social justice project designed to empower people who have been marginalized by helping them step into their own stories and share them with others. Jamie’s work has been seen in the past two KC Fringe festivals as well as the National Storytelling Network conference.
Diane Hightower: Diane made her playwriting debut in this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. Her play The Last Michigan followed two lesbians deep into a forest full of feminists and was a look into unanswered questions about what makes a relationship work.
MTH Theater, Stage 2. 3rd Floor of Crown Center.
Friday and Saturday, October 7-8: 8:00 pm.
Sunday, October 9: 2:00 pm
Doors open 30 minutes prior to show.
Tickets are $15 (plus a $2.75 ticketing fee). Tickets will be available online and at the door. Watchwww.whimproductions.com for details.
Whim Productions is a theater company based in Kansas City, Mo. Founded by Producing Artistic Director Kevin King in 2011, the company focuses primarily on irreverent and campy original scripts. Whim is a mainstay in the KC Fringe Festival, having produced several plays in the festival including Film Classics Presents: Heaven So Far (2011) and the popular Bad Auditions series. Heaven So Far was the seventh best-attended production in the 2011 Kansas City Fringe Festival. Bad Auditions received the Best Of Venue – Fishtank Performance Studio award. Whim also produced Flowers in the Wardrobe (2014), a world premiere full-length play by King. Additionally, Whim produces the annual LGBTQ short play festival Alphabet Soup: Stories from Queer Voices, a collection of slice-of-life short plays from KC-based LGBTQ writers. For more information, visit Whim’s website.