KCAT mounts O’Neill drama


Kansas City Actors Theatre announces cast and creative staff for Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten”

 Kansas City Actors Theatre has completed casting for its production of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” the second show of its fourteenth season, which will run from September 12th to the 30th at the City Stage in Union Station.

The production will be directed by Mark Robbins and will star Brian Paulette, Ashley Pankow, Victor Raider-Wexler, Chris Roady and Charlie Spillers. The production team includes Gary Mosby (Scenic Designer), Emily Stovall (Costume Designer), Shane Rowse (Lighting Designer), Jonathan Robertson (Sound Designer), and Kyle Dyck (Technical Director).

A moving exploration of humanity at its basest and most beautiful, “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” revisits protagonist Jamie Tyrone of O’Neill’s acclaimed “Long Day’s Journey into Night” as he returns home to a recently-inherited tenement farm.  There he reconnects with salty Irish farmer Phil Hogan and his larger-than-life daughter, Josie. A rare sympathetic turn from the Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning O’Neill, this play offers powerful reflections on desire, family and sacrifice. Significantly, the role of Jamie Tyrone will be reprised by Brian Paulette, who played the character in KCAT’s 2013 production of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which was recognized by the KC Star as “Best Play” in 2013, and will return to the role for “A Moon for the Misbegotten.”

The show will be directed by Mark Robbins, who last directed “A Number” for KCAT, which performed at Rockhurst University in 2016. Robbins is one of the founding members of the Kansas City Actors Theater.  He has also recently appeared in the role of Gloucester for Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s “King Lear”, the KC Rep’s production of “Angels in America,” and the New Theatre Restaurant’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You.”

KCAT Artistic Chair John Rensenhouse says that after KCAT produced “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” to great acclaim in 2013, it was just a matter of time before “A Moon for the Misbegotten” followed. “Brian (Paulette), who played Jamie Tyrone in ‘Long Day’s Journey,’ was absolutely brilliant in the role and wanted to continue his exploration of that character with ‘Moon,’” says Rensenhouse. “Our production, then, became a matter of timing, and now is the time!  Brian has a few more years of maturity on him and our focus on classics and modern classics has us anxious to, once again, produce a work by the playwright that many consider to be America’s greatest.”

“A Moon for the Misbegotten” continues Kansas City Actors Theatre’s mission to bring professional productions of influential playwrights to Kansas City audiences. American playwright Eugene O’Neill was a Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically-titled plays helped introduce realism to U.S. audiences, a form earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.  Some of his best-known works include “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which KCAT produced in 2013, “Anna Christie” (Pulitzer Prize, 1922), “Desire Under the Elms” (1924), “Strange Interlude” (Pulitzer Prize, 1928), “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1931), and “The Iceman Cometh” (1946).

“A Moon for the Misbegotten” will perform at Union Station’s City Stage. Previews start September 12th, opening night will be September 15th, and performances will conclude on September 30th. Audience talk-backs will follow performances on September 16th, 19th, and 28th. There will be a special pre-performance presentation about the history and distillation of spirits from Tom’s Town Distillery before the performance on the 19th.

Tickets are between $28 and $47 and are available by contacting the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 or online at www.kcactors.org.

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