Poor Relations Makes KC Area Debut at OCTA
Original Drama by Local Playwright Explores Family Secrets and Forgiveness
Olathe, KS (January 25, 2017) – A new year means new plays for Olathe Civic Theatre Association! Next up is a story about three adult siblings as they uncover new levels of their relationships, perhaps leading them towards an uncertain future. Poor Relations makes its debut in the Kansas City area and runs February 17 – March 5. Audiences can thank local playwright Robert Flaherty Hart for penning this fresh drama and director Tina Morrison for bringing it to life.
Tina Morrison and Bob Hart are no strangers to this script and are both excited to see it realized on the OCTA stage. In fact, they shared a similar story when asked about their journey with the show. Tina reveals: “I was supposed to see the debut production at the University of Arkansas. Just as some friends and I were arriving in town to see the matinee performance, I got a call from Bob telling us that part of the ceiling in the Performing Arts Center had caved in and the performance was canceled. We were devastated. So we decided to read the play aloud in Bob’s apartment. I fell in love with it immediately. Plus, I’ve met Bob’s family and while the play is not strictly autobiographical, the characters were easy for me to recognize.”
Bob’s journey started long before then with his venture as a third-year MFA Acting student at the University of Arkansas. He had also been in a playwriting class and rehearsing A Streetcar Named Desire. He divulges that: “My mother was very ill at the time and passed away during the production of that show. Issues of family were on my mind, and I began writing Poor Relations in a state of grief and with a simple desire to meet my class deadline! Ultimately, I entered the MFA Playwriting program the following fall and, among other projects, had the opportunity to complete and refine Poor Relations.”
While the drama brings out the best and worst in family dynamics, there are moments for the audience to laugh. Tina hopes the audience can “take away a sense of forgiveness” and “look around at their own families and remember that time is fleeting and that the time to communicate to the people we love is now.” In addition to making her return to OCTA, Tina works as a substitute teacher in the Lee’s Summit School District, is an assistant director for Lakewood Middle School, and is a mother of two.
Audiences will also enjoy four talented actors: Stasha Case (Karen), David Martin (Jeff), Matt Leonard (Richie), and Michael Juncker (Charlie). The show’s staff includes: Tina Morrison (director), DK Evenson (stage manager), Philip Leonard (lighting design), Kate Haugan (properties design), Michael Bunn (sound design), RickL Riley (set design), Mickie Riley (set design), Marla Gonzalez (run crew), and Bill Case, Max DeShon, Larry Goodman, Ken Schmidt and Deb Hodge (set construction). Catch this compelling new drama before it closes March 5.
Listen to our 90.1 FM KKFI interview with Michael Hogge at http://www.kkfi.org/program/arts-magazine/. Additionally, audiences can learn more about the process of bringing this show to life and the art of playwriting at three post-show talkbacks with the playwright guest-hosted by local playwrights: Michelle T. Johnson (Feb 19), Ron Simonian (Feb 24), and Victor Wishna (March 4).
About Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Olathe Civic Theatre Association is a 501c3 organization producing theatre in Olathe since 1974. Performing in the Buddy Rogers Family Playhouse, OCTA produces five high-quality, engaging, and thought-provoking theatre productions a year. Through the generosity of volunteers, season ticket holders, donors, and the City of Olathe, OCTA has grown into one of the most progressive community theaters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
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OCTA’s Remaining 2016-2017 Season Productions at a Glance
February 17 – March 5, 2017 | By Robert Flaherty Hart | Directed by Tina Morrison
A KC Area Premiere!
This original play by Kansas City native Robert Flaherty Hart takes place in suburban St. Louis, where decades-old secrets are uncovered as three adult siblings navigate their changing relationships and uncertain futures. When one of the three comes into a substantial fortune, will it soothe old wounds and lead to forgiveness or drive a permanent wedge into already shaky bonds?
New Works Playwright Competition (Special Event)
March 10 – 11, 2017
See 10-15 minute teasers of five plays written by local playwrights. Vote on the one you’d like to see workshopped as a full-length play on the OCTA stage!
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
April 21 – May 7, 2017 | By Christopher Durang | Directed by Nino Casisi
Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Adding to the ensemble are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and Nina, a lovely young aspiring actress.