Kansas City Actors Theatre Elects New Board President


Posted by Bob Evans

Kansas City Actors Theatre Elects Gary Heisserer as New Board President

Kansas City Actors Theatre

Kansas City Actors Theatre’s governing Board of Directors is excited to announce the election of Gary Heisserer as the next Board President of Kansas City Actors Theatre.

Gary will be the sixth Board President in the company’s 16-year history, succeeding Darren Sextro, who served as President for the last four years.

Gary earned his Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has spent his career working in educational theatre as a professor and administrator. He has directed theatrical productions at the college, community, and professional level, and ran a successful theatre program at Graceland University for 15 years. Most recently he directed KCAT’s 2019 production of Athol Fugard’s “’Master Harold’… and the Boys,” featuring Walter Coppage, Khalif Gillett, and Arthur Clifford, a production that was described as “riveting theatre” by KC Studio.

As a senior administrator at several universities – including Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Graceland University, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Park University, and Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning at Missouri Valley College – Heisserer has had considerable experience in organizational leadership. He also previously served as Board President for Kansas City’s Unicorn Theatre.

“Gary cares so deeply about KCAT and the broader regional theatre arts community,” said Darren Sextro, KCAT’s outgoing Board President. “He’s a wise director, producer, and educator. Because of all of that, our Board’s unanimous selection of him was no surprise to me. Gary will be a thoughtful caretaker of what KCAT’s original founders created, and he’s particularly sensitive to the need to shepherd that legacy into new places. I’m already proud to have him as KCAT’s new leader.”

John Rensenhouse, Chair of KCAT’s guiding Artistic Committee, sees a continuation of the organization’s growing esteem with Heisserer at the head. “It’s great to have Gary stepping up as our new President,” said Rensenhouse. “He’s experienced, organized and brings a new passion to our organization. We are ready to step into the future with confidence and shape our post-pandemic identity.”

“I’m deeply honored to serve as the new President of Kansas City Actors Theatre,” said Heisserer. “I will strive to help maintain the artistic excellence that signifies our work. KCAT will continue its efforts to reopen our theatre safety and with an intensified commitment to diversity and inclusion. I look forward to being part of this collaborative process.” 


Formed and overseen by collective of local theatre artists, Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) produces thought-provoking plays that explore, celebrate, and share what it is to be human with sensitivity, intelligence, and humor. KCAT nurtures the local artistic community by employing the finest talents of Kansas City’s diverse professional theatre community, which in turn makes Kansas City a more vibrant, vital place to live and work.

Among financial supporters of KCAT’s programming in 2021-2022 are Theater League, the Ellis Foundation, and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, whose gift is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kansas City Actors Theatre is set to premiere Season 2 of Kansas City Actors Radio Theatre (“KCART”) beginning on Friday, May 14. Featuring metro area actors and theatre artists, KCART is broadcast on 90.1 FM KKFI Fridays at noon, available online through most major podcast distribution platforms, and on their website at www.kcactors.org.



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