Kansas City, Mo. – Later this month, a production from the University of Central Missouri is set to be remounted in Kansas City as part of the Kansas City Fringe Festival. The play, “Absence Makes the Heart” was a finalist for the John Cauble Short Play Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last year. The production is performed, directed and designed by both alumni and current students of the University. Smashing Frames Productions, a production company formed by Professor of Theatre, Dr. Julie Rae Mollenkamp, will produce the play.
“Absence Makes the Heart” is a one-act play performed in monologues inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Red Shoes.” The story centers on the ripple effect caused by the disappearance of a ballet dancer, as told to us in monologues by those affected, near and far. While meeting several characters that were affected in some way or another by the vanished dancer, we come to learn of the inner turmoil she was disguising in every aspect of her life. The play is written by Sean Abley of Hollins University. Dr. Mollenkamp describes the play as “such a beautiful play by Abley about an affecting life, championed with the talents of the University of Central Missouri theatre artists. A winning combination!”
Gabriel Livingston, UCM alumnus, serves as director of the play. Current students Elise
Marshall and Ethan Anissy will serve as stage manager and light/sound designer, respectively. The original UCM production was staged as part of the Richard Herman blackbox series in March 2018 and featured Lexi Poindexter, senior musical theatre major; Reilly Mullaney, sophomore musical theatre major; Jackie Price, senior musical theatre major; Alley Pettey, senior speech communication and theatre major; Matthew Briggs, junior speech communication and theatre major; Nathan Endreshak, junior performance major; and Tristan Jordan, junior speech communication and theatre major. Current student, Omari Collins, and alumni, Jessica Baxter and Mattathias Davis, will join the Kansas City run. “Most of our actors are making their Kansas City debuts” says director Gabriel Livingston, “Omari Collins and Jackie Price were recently in the Black Rep’s production of ‘Memphis’, but most are new to the Kansas City scene.”
Performances will take place Saturday, July 21 at 6 p.m., Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m.,
Monday, July 23 at 8 p.m., Friday, July 27 at 6 p.m., and Saturday, July 28 at 8 p.m. Tickets are
$10 and require the purchase of a $5 Festival Admission Button. All performances will be held at The Buffalo Room, 817 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo. For more information on the show or the festival, visit kcfringe.org