“Audience” that only played twice last summer at the Kansas City Fringe Festival gets new life in a remounting of the unique show that features four different stories in a Twilight Zone type of show.
Author and director David Hanson created four separate stories to create this piece. Each pair of actors performs their piece as the other three pairs also perform. The sets of actors sit randomly in the audience as they perform and must listen to the other sets to hear their cues. It’s quite a strange setting to be in a theater and hear the play going on all around different parts of the auditorium. In this case it is City Stage in the lower level of Kansas City’s historic Union Station.
“In ‘Audience,’ playwright David Hanson brings an immersive theater experience to the traditional theater space of City Stage in Union State. Told as a verbal symphony, the playgoers stand or sit on stage and look onto the theater seats. Four couples sit side by side and listen to the tales of each other’s lives. Who are they? Why are they experiencing this? The audience can choose to follow one of the four couples, switch among couples, or experience the performance in its sound totality,” according to information provided by KC Cares.
The show features another pair of actors, who serve as doormen and circulate among the other actors and interact with them as well. To say more about the play risks giving away too many details and would lessen the experience for future viewers. “Audience” is a unique piece that many will enjoy. The show has humor, drama, but not much of a twist. Still, the quick show pumps a lot of energy and thought into its 30-minute format.
“Immersive theater allows audiences to determine how they view the piece and is a different way to experience storytelling,” notes director and playwright David Hanson. “We are so excited to bring Audience to life again for Kansas City theater lovers. These are provocative and challenging experiences for both the actors and the audience.”
The cast is: Reese Betts, Coleman Crenshaw, Joseph De Maria, Vaughn Harrison, Ellen Kirk, Kelli Hahn Morford, Mike Ott, Alice Pollack, Nicole Santorella, Stephanie A. Spalding.
Four more opportunities to see “Audience” are this weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11.”Audience” will perform at 7 and 8:30 p.m. each evening on City Stage in Union Station. Tickets: $15, both performances on same evening, $25