It is with great pleasure that we announce that EARTh (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre) is spinning, once again!
As you know, over the past several years, EARTh has presented a series of one-night-only, script-in-hand, concert-style readings of some of the most wonderful plays ever written—sadly (to our mind) often under-produced, due to their large casts, big production costs, etc. But EARTh has brought them to you in a stage reading format to let you (and us) delight in the wonder of these terrific plays. We have, to date, presented sixteen readings in our five-year history.Then, a while back, we lost our home…The Auditorium in the Music & Arts Building on the campus of St. Teresa’s Academy (STA), in the Brookside/Crestview area, was where EARTh began performing, through the help of STA and, especially, our hosting partner, Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA). However, STA found that their own calendar was so busy that they could no longer have outside groups using their facility (not even KCYA). So EARTh has been homeless for a while. However, the good folks at Musical Theater Heritage, in Crown Center, “made us an offer we couldn’t refuse” and we will be partnering with them–in their Theatre Two—for this season and, hopefully, beyond.Here’s our line-up:September 11, 2017: Inherit the Wind. In Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s magnificent re-telling of the infamous “Scopes’ Monkey Trial,” a young Hillsboro high school teacher is brought to trial for having the effrontery to teach Darwin/Evolution to students in his science class. The cast will feature Victor Raider-Wexler (as Brady/Bryan), William Grey Warren (as Drummond/Darrow), and Robert Gibby Brand (as Hornbeck/Menken) ably supported by 16 other wonderful actors from the Greater Kansas City area as Hillsboro residents and various outsiders. We thought the story needed another viewing/hearing. Amazingly, it seems as though that fight between Evolution and Creationism, Science and Religion, is still being waged today in school districts across the Country.December 18, 2017: A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Though not truly a play, this is EARTh’s Holiday Gift to all of our Supporters, Donors, and Performance Veterans—a reading of a brand new, EARTh-commissioned adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ Christmas memory masterpiece. There will be snacks and cookies and wine and wassail provided after the reading—to show our thanks for your support over our first several years through your attendance, participation, and generosity—your gift to us.March 19, 2018: The Crucible. Continuing with the theme of “if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it”—see Inherit the Wind, above—we thought we should give a listen to Arthur Miller’s magnificent cry of alarm. Not that there could ever be such a thing as “a witch hunt” in these enlightened times in which we currently live. Right?
- Curtain time will be 7:30PM for all of our shows. They are all on Monday evenings—the typical “dark night” for most professional theatres. That way we can even utilize actors who are in other productions at the time.
- Speaking of actors: all of EARTh’s presentations feature the talents of some of the finest professional actors in the Greater Kansas City area. A list of those who have participated in our shows to date reads like a Who’s Who of KC Theatre. We strive to ensure that at least 75% of all of our casts are Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) Members or Member Candidates. We have achieved—or exceeded—that goal in each of our presentations to date.
- There is never a charge for admission. EARTh presents its shows through the auspices of AEA’s Member’s Project Code. This limits the number of performances (one, in EARTh’s case), size of auditorium (130, in MTH’s Theatre Two’s case), and states that no ticket sales are allowed.
- However, we strongly encourage attendees to make a Donation—of whatever amount they choose. That Donation “Pie” is, then, divvied up and shared—equally—by all of the Participants.
- Additionally, we welcome Contributions to EARTh itself. With the Donation Pie going to the Participants, there still remain the numerous additional expenses of presenting a reading: paying licensing fees for the plays, purchasing scripts, enlarging and duplicating scripts, paying rental for the rehearsal/performance space, etc. So after you have made your Donation to the Participants, any Contribution help that can be directed to EARTh—financial or in-kind—is greatly appreciated.
As noted above, our new space is smaller than the 407-seat Auditorium at STA. This means that you should make your plans to arrive early on performance nights. Our method of seating will continue to be “first come, first served.” We are certain that you’ll want to get there in plenty of time to make sure we can accommodate you and your party.Finally, MTH’s bar and concession stand will be open for all of our shows. And there will, of course, be complimentary parking available in Crown Center’s covered parking lot.
So, please mark these dates (above) on your calendars for your “return to EARTh.” And please feel free to visit our newly re-vamped website for more information about EARTh. Please remember “like” us on Facebook, and feel free to share this e-mail with you friends, family, and colleagues.We look forward to seeing you.Thanks, as always,Kip Niven Doug Weaver
EARTh’s Project Coordinator EARTh’s Resident Director