Superior Donuts Makes KC Area Premiere at Olathe Civic Theatre Association
Thought-Provoking Comedy Runs April 6-22
Olathe, KS (April 2, 2018) – Olathe Civic Theatre Association continues its 2017-2018 season with Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of August: Osage County. With Superior Donuts, Letts shifts from the highly charged physical tone and dark humor of his previous works, but retains his contemporary flavor with a lighter touch to address complex social issues. OCTA’s stage will transform into a Chicago donut shop for the three-weekend run of this KC area premiere April 6–22.
The story centers on Arthur Pryzbyszewski, who owns a run-down donut shop in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. His world is turned upside down when Franco Wicks, an ambitious young black man who is his only employee, wants to change the shop for the better. This dramatic comedy addresses the challenges of embracing the past while celebrating the redemptive power of friendship.
Director Diane Bulan brings the donuts, the drama, and the comic relief needed for the complex issues addressed by Superior Donuts. Although this is Bulan’s directorial debut at OCTA, audiences will recognize her as “Steele” from the drama A Piece of my Heart in 2013. When describing Superior Donuts, Bulan highlights the “culturally diverse neighborhood,” and states that the diversity in the play will “…appeal to audiences who appreciate variety of human expression as well as the commonalities of the psyche.” The donut shop is “…a microcosm of our society, which comprises the people Langston Hughes wrote about in his poem ‘Let America Be America Again.’ Everyone gets along, but often, underneath their civility lies deeply ingrained prejudices.”
Bulan noted the timing of the CBS sitcom of the same name, but hasn’t seen it. She wanted to keep her interpretation and staging true to the original script, but is excited that the story (however adjusted) is being produced for a wider audience via television. Bulan hopes that the sitcom will pique the interest of local audiences in seeing the play.
The big question for Bulan, of course, is: “What is your favorite kind of donut?” Her response: “Boston Cream.” To add to the fun of the play-going experience, a variety of donuts will be available at concessions during the run of the production.
Sprinkled throughout the story are dynamic actors (several of whom are making their debut at OCTA), including: Evan Lovelace as Franco Wicks, Dennis Jackson as Officer James Bailey, longtime Kansas City actress Carol Leighton as Lady Boyle, and Addison Parker as Max Tarasov. Returning OCTA veterans include Bill Pelletier as the owner of the donut shop Arthur Przbyszewski, Ellen “Ellie” DeShon as Officer Randy Osteen, Dave Fullerton as Kevin Magee, Dan Heinz as Kiril Ivakin, and Michael Juncker as Luther Flynn.
Production team members include: Diane Bulan (director), D.K. Evenson (stage manager), Meghann Deveroux (assistant director/assistant stage manager), Camille Lerch (lighting designer), Chuck Cline (projections designer), Cynthia Hyer (fight choreographer), Michael Bunn (sound), Eric Palmquist (set/props designer), Darcy Russel (costumes designer), Alex Leondedis (sound technician), Ted Collins (production manager), and Quinn North (dramaturg).
Tickets are available online at www.olathetheatre.org, or at the door an hour before performances. OCTA season ticket holders are encouraged to make seating reservations early by calling 913-782-2990 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket prices range from $18 to $13 as follows: adults $18, seniors 55+/students/military $15, and groups (8 or more) $13 prepaid.
On opening night Friday, April 6, guests will be treated to a post-show celebration with the cast and crew. Superior Donuts is appropriate for ages 13 and above.
A Special THANK YOU | Building Update: We’re Over Halfway There!
As part of OCTA’s $130,000 fundraising campaign to make critical repairs and updates to the organization’s nearly 150-year-old building, the board is thrilled to announce that, with the help of its patrons, the theatre met a $10,000 calendar year end match offered by an anonymous donor. Combined with a generous grant from The Sunderland Foundation and efforts from board and volunteers, this has allowed OCTA to complete phase one of work to the interior of the building. Fundraising for phase two, which consists of outdoor projects such as painting/siding, replacement of the parking lot, and replacement of two new HVAC units continues, with the goal to complete the work this summer. To read more, visit olathetheatre.org/donate.
ABOUT OLATHE CIVIC THEATRE ASSOCIATION
Olathe Civic Theatre Association is a 501(c)3, all volunteer 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, and donors, OCTA has grown into one of the most successful and progressive community theaters in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
OCTA’S Remaining 2017-2018 Season
Ticket information for all productions and special events can be found at www.olathetheatre.org.
Superior Donuts – April 6-22, 2018
By Tracy Letts
Directed by Diane Bulan
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of August: Osage County comes this moving comedy-drama set in an Uptown Chicago donut shop. Facing age 60 and all alone, proprietor Arthur has his dreary world turned upside down by the arrival of Franco, an ambitious employee in his early 20s. Both learn to accept the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship.
SPECIAL EVENT: Roundabout! Or the Completely Contrived Chronicle of Lucie Mahaffie and the Endless Right Turn – April 28-29, 2018
Written by Shelly Stewart Banks and Peter Leondedis & Directed by Shelly Stewart Banks
In celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of James Beatty Mahaffie, the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm and Olathe Civic Theatre Association are cooking up some fun for the whole family with an old-fashioned melodrama packed with more fiction than fact, but a whole lot of fun that gives Olathe’s history with the ’roundabout’! The melodrama takes place on the grounds of the historic Mahaffie Farm and is one hour. Choose between two performance times—5 pm or 7:30 pm on Saturday (food served between performances on Saturday), or Sunday at 2 pm.
Unnecessary Farce – June 1-17, 2018
By Paul Slade Smith
Directed by Bill Pelletier
Two cops, three crooks, eight doors…go! In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s watching the video, who’s taken the money, and who’s hired a hit man. This fast-paced physical comedy is a comic gem!
SPECIAL EVENT: New Works Playwright Competition Winner Workshop – July 13 & 14, 2018
See the full-length workshop reading of the winning play, Jessie Salsbury’s Adoption of Grief, from the March finals!
About Adoption of Grief: An African-American college student seeks answers after her sister unexpectedly dies, having left behind notes indicating that the decedent’s daughters are to be adopted into the same white family that her son was secretly adopted by years before. The student must discover the reasons why her sister would trust her children to an unknown white woman, uncovering the difficulties of interracial adoption and dealing with society’s view of an “acceptable” family. This winning teaser presented at the March finals was directed by Phil Kinen.
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For further information or tickets, please visit our Web site at www.olathetheatre.org.
Reservations can be made by calling the reservation hotline at 913-782-2990 or by writing email@example.com.