KC Rep Season Continues with Kansas City Premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand


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Kansas City, MO (Sept. 26, 2016) –Kansas City Repertory Theatre continues its 2016-2017 season with The Invisible Hand by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Ayad Akhtar directed by KC Rep’s Producing Director Jerry Genochio. KC Rep audiences that last saw Akhtar’s acclaimed Kansas City Repertory Theatre Continues 2016-17 Season with The Invisible Hand comedy The Who and The What in 2014 will now experience Akhtar’s internationally lauded political thriller beginning October 14.

In The Invisible Hand, an American banker is taken hostage in Pakistan by captors seeking a ransom – but instead of capturing a high level executive, they mistakenly take Nick Bright, a mid-level trader for whom his country and company will not negotiate. The three captors and their hostage strike a deal: Nick can save his own life if he can earn his ransom through stock market trades. This intense thriller reveals the complicated truth behind our simple perceptions of good versus evil and East vs. West, as we discover that the invisible hand that moves the global market is more easily manipulated than Nick’s captors believe. The Invisible Hand performances begin Oct. 14 at the Copaken Stage, located downtown Kansas City, in the Power & Light District.

Artistic Director Eric Rosen said: “We are so pleased to continue our record-breaking season with Akhtar’s intense, brilliant play. Like the record breaking smash hit Evita, I chose this play to illuminate issues that are at the forefront of minds during this turbulent election cycle. Where Evita looks at 1940s Argentina to illuminate the current political cycle, Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand sets us in faraway Pakistan to examine our nation’s interconnectedness with the countries and people we vilify through their economies. Akhtar is one of the most deservedly celebrated, entertaining, and brilliant writers of our time, and there could not be a better time to share his latest story with our audience.”

“Ayad Akhtar’s fiercely provocative and suspenseful play makes a vital contribution to the ongoing discussion of what it truly means to be the ‘good guy’ in a post 9/11 world,” said Genochio. “It promises to be incredibly real, powerful and scary. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? We are doubly blessed in not only presenting this play, but in hosting Ayad who will engage with the rehearsal process, and participate in several community discussions.” The ensemble cast, drawn from Kansas City and across the country, includes: Jason Chanos as Nick Bright, Neal Gupta as Dar, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte as Bashir, and Rock Kohli as Imam Saleem.

Performances begin Friday, October 14 and run through Sunday, November 13 at the Copaken Stage. Press night is scheduled for Opening Night Friday, October 21.

Appropriate for ages 16+. Adult content and language. Making the Play One half hour before every Preview Performance One half hour before performances on Fri, Sat, and Sun Conversation Series Kansas City Repertory Theatre Continues 2016-17 Season with The Invisible Hand Page 3 Patrons are invited to attend FREE post-show forums to learn more from the artists and creative teams about the production.

Meet the Creative Team: October 19, following the 7 pm performance Scholars’ Forum: October 29, following the 2pm performance Actor’s Forum: October 30, following the 2pm performance and November 1, following the 7 pm performance About the Artists Jerry Genochio (Director) leads the production and artistic teams and is responsible for mounting all productions as well as season budgets, calendars and planning. Before joining the team at KC Rep, Genochio served as production manager for Alabama Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Sacramento Theatre Company and Southwest Missouri State University. He also spent ten seasons as Scenery Director for the Utah Shakespearean Festival and served as Technical Director at Illinois State University, Lafayette College, and Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and toured nationally with Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Company. Genochio has an MFA in Technical Production from Florida State University and a BS from Northwest Missouri State University.

Ayad Akhtar (Playwright) was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Akhtar is a Pakistani American playwright, novelist, screenwriter and actor who is best known for his play, Disgraced. The play received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, and was named the most produced play in America for the 2015-16 Season. His latest play, The Who & The What, premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in February 2014, and was performed in New York at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in June 2014. He is also the author of American Dervish, published in over twenty languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.

The design and production team includes Martin Andrew (Set Designer), Elizabeth Harper (Lighting Designer), Melissa Torchia (Costume Designer), Andre Pluess (Sound Designer), Jeffrey Cady (Projections Designer) and Mary Honour (Production Stage Manager).

Subscriptions and Tickets Tickets to The Invisible Hand start at $30. For 2016-17 season subscription and ticket information, please contact the Box Office at 816.235.2700 or visit www.KCRep.org. Kansas City Repertory Theatre Continues 2016-17 Season with The Invisible Hand

Gala 2017 Save the date for Saturday, May 20, 2017 for A Fearless Fête 2017. Mark and Kathy Donovan are the 2017 Gala Chairs. Proceeds from the Gala help ensure that KC Rep can continue to create professional productions that garner regional and national acclaim and provide lifelong learning opportunities through our Education and Community Programs which benefit more than 10,000 Kansas City area students each year.

For more information, please contact Amanda Middaugh at Middaugham@kcrep.org or 816.235.1489. About Kansas City Repertory Theatre Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation’s creative crossroads.

KC Rep’s mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region’s creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. KC Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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