Reading series continues for KC Rep

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KCRep Announces 2018/2019 Readings and Other Events

in Popular Monday Night Playwright Series

Kansas City, MO – Marissa Wolf, Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Works at Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCRep), today announced the full schedule for the organization’s popular 2018/2019 Monday Night Playwright Series. The series features a line-up of new and returning playwrights including Christina Anderson, Bennett Fisher, Greta Oglesby, Andrew Rosendorf, Bianca Leigh and Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence Nathan Louis Jackson, in addition to the Playwright Slam, hosted by Nathan Louis Jackson. These free public events take place on the UMKC campus at the Spencer Theatre Donor Lounge.

“This season’s Monday Night Playwright Series line up, featuring innovative, adventurous new plays, offers something for everyone!” says Wolf. “We welcome back a few of our beloved artists, including KC natives Nathan Louis Jackson and Christina Anderson both of whom write plays that offer a love letter to their hometown. We’re featuring incredible KCRep actor-playwrights Bianca Leigh (Man in Love), and Greta Ogelsby (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences) who bring humor, music, and breathtaking honesty to their new plays.  We also look forward to supporting the powerful, moving plays by Bennett Fisher and Andrew Rosendorf, who offer fresh, bold voices in the American theatre landscape.”

These events allow theatre lovers to step into a world of a new play as it is being built and meet fantastic playwrights from across the country. Monday Night Playwright Series brings to life script-in-hand reading of future hit shows, as well as other theatre-centric events like Playwright Slams. All events are free and open to the public.

“The Monday Night Playwright Series is a highlight of our season,” says Interim Artistic Director Jason Chanos. “This relevant new work speaks to the central questions of our time, supporting our mission to be at the heart of a great theatre town. I’m excited to build on our past success and welcome this extraordinary line up of talent to KCRep.”

Through OriginKC, KCRep provides playwrights the artistic resources they need to develop new, innovative plays of the highest artistic merit. In 2015-16, the first year of the OriginKC: New Works Festival, KCRep staged the world premiere of Rinne Groff’s FIRE IN DREAMLAND, which just completed a run at New York’s famed Public Theatre with KCRep’s Marissa Wolf taking the helm as director.

The 2018/19 Monday Night Playwright Series includes:

Monday, September 10

the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson

Directed by Marissa Wolf

Over three generations, the Collen family fights to integrate public pools in a Kansas town. It is a battle that defines them, almost destroys them, and changes them forever. Weaving a powerhouse fugue of voices and memories, Christina Anderson (Man in Love), offers a love letter to her hometown of Kansas City through both searing honesty and buoyant transcendence.

Christina’s work has appeared at The Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, and other theaters in the United States and Canada.  Awards and honors: Inaugural Harper Lee Award for Playwriting, two PONY nominations, three Susan Smith Blackburn nominations, and Woursell Prize Finalist. Christina obtained her B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting Program. She’s a resident playwright at New Dramatists, Epic Theatre Ensemble, and a DNAWORKS Ensemble member. She has helmed the playwriting programs at SUNY Purchase and Brown University.

Monday, December 10

Damascus by Bennett Fisher

Directed by Melissa Crespo

When Lloyd, a stranded white kid, begs Hassan, a Somali American airport shuttle driver, to take him across state lines to catch a rerouted flight, the two wary companions set out on a heart-pounding journey through the Midwestern winter. Victory Garden’s outgoing Artistic Associate Bennett Fisher brings us a high-stakes, road-rage thriller that delves full-force into the misguided politics of terrorism.

Bennett Fisher’s plays include Damascus (Samuel Goldwyn Award, O’Neill finalist) Borealis (Alliance/Kendeda finalist), Candlestick, Don’t Be EvilCampo Maldito, and the dialogue for the immersive theater experience The Speakeasy, currently running in San Francisco. Bennett’s work has been produced and developed by the House Theater of Chicago, the Alliance Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Mixed Blood, Florida Repertory Theater, Strawdog Theater Company, Campo Santo, Cutting Ball, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Kennedy Center MFA Workshop, People of Interest, Ubuntu Theater Project, Theater Emory, the Unicorn, New Conservatory, Custom Made, and others. He received his MFA from UC San Diego.

Monday, January 7

Handprints by Greta Ogelsby

Directed by Chip Miller

You’ve loved Greta Ogelsby’s tour-de-force performances in KCRep’s A Raisin in the Sun and Fences, and now you can hear her take the stage for a night with her own incredible story of growing up in a Holy Roller family.  Oglesby weaves images of her childhood with breathtaking original songs, and playful storytelling that will have you laughing and crying in one breath.

Greta Ogelsby’s credits include (Rose) KCRep: Fences, A Raisin in the Sun. Broadway: The Marian Anderson Story (title role), A Raisin in the Sun (standby for Phylicia Rashad), American Songbook (A Night with Jeanine Tesori). Regional: The Crucible, Sunshine Boys, Burial at Thebes, Caroline or Change, Crowns, Appatomax (The Guthrie Theatre); Piano Lesson, Ballad of Emit Till, and Black Nativity (Penumbra Theatre Company); Caroline or Change (Syracuse Stage); Hamlet, The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter’s Tale (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Dreams of Sarah Breedlove (Alabama Shakespeare); Gem of the Ocean, The Amen Corner (The Goodman Theatre); Goodbye Stranger (Steppenwolf); A Raisin in the Sun (Timeline Theatre); Shakin’ the Mess Out of Misery, Do Lord Remember Me (Chicago Theatre Company); 1940s Radio Hour (Dreamstreet Theatre). TV & Film: Into Temptation, Conversations with God, Time Served, Four Way Stop; “Chicago PD,” “Betrayal,” among others. Awards: 2009 McKnight Theatre Artist Fellowship, 2009 Ivey Award (Best Actress in Musical), Joseph Jefferson Award (Best Actress in a Play), Black Theatre Alliance Award (Best Actress in a Play and Best Actress in a Musical). Education: BS, Rust College. Ms. Oglesby has recently published a book entitled Mama N Nem: Handprints on My Life (Kirkhouse). AEA Member.

Monday, January 28

Mermaid by Andrew Rosendorf

Directed by Chip Miller

When nine-year-old Everett Berger tells the family that she’s a girl – having been gender assigned boy at birth — the Berger family’s good liberal values are put to the test. A lyrical thought-provoking meditation on gender identity, McKnight Fellow recipient Andrew Rosendorf brings us a profoundly moving play on one family’s journey to support their child.

Andrew Rosendorf’s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla, MCC, the National New Play Network, American Theater Company, Nashville Rep, Local Theater Company, Florida Stage, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, and Palm Beach Dramaworks. He is an alum of NNPN’s Playwright-in-Residence program, the Ingram New Works program, terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm, Tofte Lake Center, VCCA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He was a previous McKnight and Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center. MFA: The New School for Drama, Playwriting.

Monday, February 11

Untitled New Play by Bianca Leigh

From dating to grandchildren to late night conversations over junk food, Bianca Leigh’s new play interweaves the lives of three trans women who find connection in the triumphs and struggles of daily life. Last seen at KCRep in the OriginKC: New Works Festival’s Man in Love, Bianca Leigh offers a hilarious, moving, and important look at how we create family.

Bianca Leigh’s credits include KCRep: Man in Love. New York: Trans Scripts (Tatiana, American Repertory Theater); Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge (Time/Wind, Here Arts Center); Busted: the Musical (writer and actor, Laurie Beechman Theatre). Regional: Tales of the City: The Musical (Frannie Halcyon in workshops, New York and San Francisco). TV & Film: Transamerica, Hurricane Bianca; “Law & Order: SVU.” Education: BFA, Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Miss Leigh was profiled this year in Cranes New York for her work with students at NYU Medical School and was the commencement speaker at Rutgers University’s Lavender Graduation in 2014.

Monday, March 4

A New Untitled Play by Nathan Louis Jackson

Stay tuned for a new play hot-off-the-presses by KCRep’s Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence, Nathan Louis Jackson.

Nathan Louis Jackson’s work has been a celebrated part of KCRep’s recent season line-ups, including the world premiere productions of Sticky Traps and Brother Toad.  Jackson is an alum of Kansas City Kansas Community College and Kansas State University. He received the Lila Acheson Wallace fellowship and did his graduate work at The Juilliard School. His plays include Broke-ology (Williamstown Theatre Festival and Lincoln Center), When I Come to Die (Lincoln CenterThe Mancherios, and The Last Black Play. Jackson has received commissions from Lincoln Center, The Roundabout Theater Company, and Manhattan Theatre Club. At Kansas State University, he was actively involved with the Ebony Theatre (as a director and as president) and participated in The Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive. Jackson has twice won the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, is the recipient of the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award and was awarded the Kennedy Center’s Gold Medallion. He is currently working in his fifth year as Playwright Resident at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Jackson has written for television as well, with credits for “Southland” (NBC), “Shameless” (Showtime), “Luke Cage” (Netflix), and “13 Reasons Why” (Netflix).

KCRep is underwritten in part by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is supported in part by the City of Kansas City, MO Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and The Copaken Family Fund.

For more information about all New Works happenings at KCRep, visit the website at https://kcrep.org/mnps

Image courtesy of KC Rep



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