Breaking the rules of attraction… The Way We Get By


image003In The Way We Get By, after a hot night together, Beth and Doug wake up to the awkward afterglow of a complicated new reality. As they search for their clothes, they must decide if their passion can withstand the public fallout. Is love worth the risk? This sexy and surprising new work from playwright Neil LaBute will keep you guessing. WARNING: Steamy content and adult language, so get your tickets early!

 Critics have praised The Way We Get By as “sexy… a spirited new play… LaBute relishes the art of thwarting expectations” — Ben Brantley, New York Times; “the real pleasure is in LaBute’s quick and witty dialogue… The actors nimbly ping-pong through epic highs and lows with compelling charisma” — Sara Vilkomerson, Entertainment Weekly; and “[LaBute’s] sometimes brutal wit has long been accompanied by an equally fierce moral curiosity…if we see Doug and Beth’s struggle in the context of a world where everyone can seem to be in everyone else’s business—especially when it’s trivial—the focus is on two individuals trying to assess their own capacity for courage” — Elysa Gardner, USA Today.

 Directed by Darren Sextro, the play features Molly Denninghoff as Beth and Matthew Schmidli as Doug.

 The Way We Get By is on Unicorn Theatre’s Jerome Stage located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The show runs October 19th – November 13th, 2016. Previews are October 19th, 20th and 21st. Opening Night is October 22nd. Featured Friday pre-show events are scheduled forOctober 28th and November 4th at 7 p.m. Talk back performances, where patrons are encouraged to stay after the show and discuss the play with the actors and director, are scheduled for October 25th, 30th and November 6th.

 Performances run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. If you are unable to afford a ticket, you may Pay What U Can at performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, because we believe art is for everyone.

 Tickets are now on sale. Call 816-531-PLAY (7529) EXT. 10, go online at or buy in person at the box office located at 3828 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Special discounts are available for seniors (65+), students, and patrons under age 30.

 About the Director, Cast, and Creative Team:

 Cynthia Levin (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR) begins her 38th season as the Producing Artistic Director with Unicorn Theatre. Over the years she has served as a director, actor, designer or producer for over 300 productions.  At the Unicorn, she recently directed Hand to God, Heathers: The Musical (along with Missy Koonce), The Oldest Boy, Women Playing Hamlet (world premiere), Bad Jews, Grounded, Venus in Fur, My Name is Asher Lev, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Soul Collector (world premiere), Hungry (world premiere), Red, Two Jews Walk Into A War…, Distracted, Green Whales (world premiere), Miss Witherspoon, My First Time, The Clean House, Mauritius, 9 Parts of Desire, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy: The Musical and additionally the world premieres ofrightnextto me (both at the Unicorn and Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY), How His Bride Came to Abraham, Light:Damage, Mercy Killing, Innocent Thoughtsand Jack and Jill. At Coterie Theatre, she has directed Number the Stars, And Then They Came for Me, Frankenstein, Gatherings in Graveyards (I and II), Valley Song and To Kill A Mockingbird. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she directed readings of Occupants, In The Belly Of The Whale, The Friendship Of Her Thighs, The Last Pair Of Earlies, Tigers Be Still, White Devil and Loving Mother for the MFA Playwright’s Workshop. Cynthia is a graduate of Park University which also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2002. She is a founding board member of the National New Play Network, an organization dedicated to the development and production of new works. She has been honored with the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. She shares her home with Zia (the beagle), Dodger (the cat) and the spirit of the big red dog, Sylvia.

 Darren Sextro (DIRECTOR) directed Buyer & Cellar for the Unicorn last season. Over the past decade, he has directed more than 20 productions on regional professional and community stages, including Crimes of the Heart for Kansas City Actors Theatre; The House of Yes for The Fishtank; Kindertransport and To Kill a Mockingbird for the White Theatre; God of Carnage and ART for The Wright Opera House; August: Osage County, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Prelude to a Kiss andWonder of the World for The Barn Players; Harvey for the Bell Road Barn; and God of Carnage, Crimes of the Heart, Our Town, Doubt: A Parable, The Glass Menagerie, and The Diary of Anne Frank for OCTA. He is a member of the Artistic Board for Kansas City Actors Theatre. Sincere thanks to Cynthia Levin for the opportunity to wrestle LaBute on her stage, as well as John Rensenhouse for all of the healthy in-house theatrical competition.

 Molly Denninghoff (BETH) is happy to be back at the Unicorn! She was last seen here in Heathers: The Musical and Cock. Select credits: You Can’t Take It With You, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (New Theatre); The Sound of Music (Starlight); A Little Night Music (Spinning Tree); Carousel (TLR / KC Rep); A Christmas Carol (KC Rep); Boeing Boeing, The Unexpected Guest, Camelot, Buddy (Arrow Rock Lyceum); Gypsy (MTH); The Marvelous Wonderettes (American Heartland); Seussical, James & the Giant Peach, Frindle (Coterie); Quilters (Avalon Theatre – Kevin Kline Award Nomination, St. Louis). Molly has had the pleasure of touring with the Legends of Rock n Roll throughout western Canada, and is a proud founding member of the 1940s style girl group, the Star Spangled Betties. Love and thanks to the Unicorn and Z.

 Matthew Schmidli (DOUG) is making his Unicorn debut and is honored to be performing in a wonderful theatre where many good friends have graced the stage. He recently directed Young Sherlock for The Coterie Theatre, and was seen this summer on stage at the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre as Malvolio in Twelfth Nightand Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2016, Matthew has also acted in Amadeus with the Spinning Tree Theatre and A Number with Kansas City Actor’s Theatre. He would like to thank Cynthia and Darren for this beautiful opportunity, Molly for being a fantastic partner on stage, and the rest of the team for their hard work on this production. A special thank you to Mrs. Kelly Schmidli for her endless love and faith, Mary and Joe Schmidli for their endless love and support, and Otto and Mira for their endless love and cat hair all over the loft.

 The creative team for The Way We Get By is Tanya Brown (stage manager), Emily Swenson (assistant director), Bret Engle (scenic/properties designer), Alex Perry (lighting designer), David Kiehl (sound designer), Ian R. Crawford (costume designer), Mitchell J. Ward (production assistant/sound board operator), Gregory Chafin (technical director), Boni Newberry (dramaturg), and Erdin Schultz-Bever (dramaturg intern).

 About the Playwright:

 Neil LaBute (PLAYWRIGHT) received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London, and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. His films include: In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors,Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace, and Death at a Funeral. LaBute’s plays include: The Way We Get By, Bash: Latter-Day Plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here,Autobahn (a collection of five of his one-act plays), Fat Pig, Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, In A Dark Dark House, and Reasons to be Pretty, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces that have been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and Playboy, among others. Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of his short stories, was published by Grove Atlantic.

 About Unicorn Theatre

Founded in 1974, Unicorn Theatre enhances Kansas City by developing and producing professional, provocative new plays. We create opportunities for the advancement of emerging and established actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians and administrative staff. Unicorn Theatre is under the artistic and executive leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, who joined the company in 1979. From a newly expanded home in the Midtown neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, the Unicorn houses two stages—The Levin Stage (formerly The Main Stage) and The Jerome Stage (added in 2008). A fully professional not-for-profit theatre, the theatre operates under agreement with Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. The Unicorn is a founding member of the National New Play Network, an alliance of not-for-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theatre; and is a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national service organization for the not-for-profit professional theatre.  Financial assistance for this theatre has been provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; corporate and foundation gifts; and the generous individuals throughout the community we serve.

 Unicorn Theatre / 3828 Main Street / Kansas City, MO 64111    For more information check

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