How to Use a Knife
A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere
By Will Snider
Directed by Sidonie Garrett
Will Snider’s How to Use a Knife is a world premiere play bursting with energy, secrets and suspense. It isn’t easy running a busy restaurant kitchen in New York City, but it may be the last chance Chef George gets to turn his life around. Behind the scenes, the kitchen sizzles with two rowdy Guatemalan line cooks, an entitled young busboy, and an eerily quiet African dishwasher. When secrets from the past bubble to the surface, Chef George discovers he holds more than his own life in his hands.
“‘How to Use a Knife”…is new play about a collision of cultures and worldviews was part of our In Progress New Play Reading Series last season. This microcosm of world politics and conflicts is full of the chaotic hustle and bustle of busy dinner shifts with a cast of memorable New York charactera,” the Unicorn said.
Directed by Sidonie Garrett, the play features Matt Rapport as George, Damron Russel Armstrong as Steve, Brian Paulette as Michael, Justin Barron as Carlos, D’Andre McKenzie as Miguel, J. Will Fritz as Jack, and Carla Noack as Kim.
How to Use a Knife is on Unicorn Theatre’s Levin Stage located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The show runs January 25th – February 19th, 2017. Previews are January 25th, 26th and 27th. Opening Night is January 28th. Featured Friday pre-show events are scheduled for February 3rd and 10th. Talk back performances, where patrons are encouraged to stay after the show and discuss the play with the actors and director, are scheduled for January 31st, February 5th and 12th.
Performances run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. If you are unable to afford a ticket, you may Pay What U Can at performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, because we believe art is for everyone.
Tickets are now on sale. Call 816-531-PLAY (7529) EXT. 10, go online at www.UnicornTheatre.org or buy in person at the box office located at 3828 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Special discounts are available for seniors (65+), students, and patrons under age 30.
About the Director, Cast and Creative Team:
Sidonie Garrett (DIRECTOR) is Executive Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival where she directed The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, King Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Richard III, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. She also directed the past three season’s productions: The Winter’s Tale, King Lear and Twelfth Night, all awarded Best Play in Pitch’s BEST OF KC. She directed The Merchant of Venice, presented by the Jewish Community Center and JCCC, the first HASF indoor production. Prior to joining the Festival, Sidonie worked as a freelance director. Her experience working with new plays took her to New York City, and the off-off-Broadway production of Thanatos. Sidonie was the A.D. for the off-Broadway premiere of the interactive Aunt Chooch’s Birthday Party. Locally she directed The Whale, I’ll Eat You Last, Other Desert Cities, The Motherf*&#%er With the Hat, Time Stands Still, In the Next Room: the vibrator play, Faith Healer, Rising Water, Iron Kisses, Retreat from Moscow, Omnium Gatherum, Thanatos, SubUrbia, The Waiting Room, Desert Holiday, Spinning Into Butter, SantaLand Diaries and co-directed Light/Damage with Cynthia Levin at the Unicorn Theatre. Sidonie directed A Streetcar Named Desire for Kansas City Actors Theatre. At The Coterie, she directed The Macbeth Project: In Spite of Thunder, the U.S. premiere of After Juliet, Mr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays, Little House on the Prairie, Little House by the Shores of Silver Lake, Of Mice and Men, Playing for Time and co-directed The Hobbit. Sidonie directed Rose’s Dilemma and Greater Tuna for the American Heartland Theatre, Reckless and Too Clever By Half for UMKC’s Rotating Repertory, and co-directed Tony & Tina’s Wedding (Kansas City and St. Louis) for Fourth Wall Productions. She was the stage director for four seasons of the Kansas City Symphony’s “Magic of Christmas” and How the Symphony Saved Christmas. She directed Dancing at Lughnasa at the J, a Script-In-Hand reading of Much Ado About Nothing as part of the First Folio exhibition at the KC Public Library, eight plays in the first KC One Minute Play Festival and a staged reading of Rights of Passage as part of the KC Rep’s Origin KC new play festival. Next up, she will direct Hamlet for HASF’s 25th anniversary season, June 13 – July 2, 2017 in Southmoreland Park.
Matt Rapport (GEORGE) is always happy to return to the Unicorn stage, having been seen most recently in Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. Matt has been a professional actor and performing arts instructor in the KC area for over 20 years. He is also the Director of Education for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
Damron Russel Armstrong (STEVE) is excited to be back at the Unicorn after recently directing An Octoroon. Now the Executive Artistic Director of The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City, audiences may remember Damron from such Unicorn shows as: The Brothers Size, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Exonerated, Bat Boy, Topdog/Underdog, and Ruined. Other KC credits include: KC Rep: Harriet Jacobs; New Theatre: Buddy Holly Story; Living Room: Race; Coterie Theate: The Wiz; Late Night Theatre: Valley of the Dolls; Theatre for Young America: Junie B Jones. Regionally: OSTC, RI: Rent; Palace Theatre, NH: Dreamgirls; Showpalace, FL: The Full Monty. Off Broadway: The Cradle Will Rock (Theatre 1010, NY), Children of Eden (Paper Mill Playhouse, NJ).
Brian Paulette (MICHAEL) returns once again to the Unicorn, having previously appeared in Clybourne Park, as well as 13 other Unicorn productions, including God of Carnage, Next of Kin, Blue/Orange, Lobby Hero, Proof, and many others, beginning with Mad Forest in 1993. Brian is a core artistic member of Kansas City Actors Theatre, and has also been seen on the stages of The Kansas City Rep, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, The Coterie, The New Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, the Heartland, and others. He lives right here in Kansas City with his lovely wife Cinnamon, and their two amazing children.
Justin Barron (CARLOS) couldn’t be happier to be back at the Unicorn. He previously took the stage as El Reloj in The Ghosts of Loté Bravo. Recent work includes Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Creede Repertory Theatre), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Coterie Theatre), South Pacific and Guys and Dolls (Musical Theatre Heritage). Justin has a BFA in Musical Theatre from University of Central Missouri. All the love and thanks to his family and Deanna for their unending support.
D’Andre McKenzie (MIGUEL) is thrilled to be making his Unicorn debut! Previous local credits include: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Coterie), Parade (M.E.T.), No Sex Please, We’re British (O.C.T.A.). He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and would like to dedicate this performance to his Grandma Helen.
J. Will Fritz (JACK) is so pleased to be making his Unicorn stage debut after six seasons of having the pleasure to bar tend and house manage at this beautiful gem of a theater in the heart of KC. You may have seen him on stage with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Starlight, the Fringe Festival, the Barn Players, the Fishtank, The Living Room, Theatre for Young America, and many other places. Please come check out his next project playing the role of Orson in Not With a Bang, But a Whimper written by Jesse Ray Metcalf at the Just Off Broadway Theater at the end of April. Enjoy the show!
Carla Noack (KIM) returns to the Unicorn, having previously appeared in Grounded, Lasso of Truth and Time Stands Still. Prior to moving to Kansas City from Minnesota, she was a co-artistic director of the Commonweal Theatre Company and a company member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Other recent credits include the Guthrie Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Kansas City Actors Theatre (core artistic member 2010-20013). She looks forward to playing Jennifer in KCAT’s spring production of The Realistic Joneses. Carla teaches acting in the MFA program at UMKC.
The creative team for How to Use a Knife is Tanya Brown (stage manager), Gary Mosby (scenic designer), Alex Perry (lighting designer), David Kiehl (sound designer), Sarah M. Oliver (costume designer), Bret Engle (properties designer), Gregory Chafin (technical director), Nicole Jaja (master electrician), Taylor Jene Sullivan and Kylor Greene (electricians), Alyson Germinder (dramaturg), Mitchell Ward (assistant to the director), Chloé Robbins-Anderson (production assistant), Scott Wilson and Margot Adolphe (technical interns), Hannah Taylor (dramaturg intern), and Margot Adolphe (sound board operator).
About the Playwright:
Will Snider (PLAYWRIGHT) was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC. His play How to Use a Knife is receiving a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere through Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City, MO), Capital Stage (Sacramento, CA), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis, IN), and InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia, PA) in the 2016-17 season. Other plays include The Big Man (Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Marathon of One-Act Plays), Strange Men, and Death of a Driver. His work has been developed at MCC, NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, The Kennedy Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Great Plains Theatre Conference, #serials@theflea, the claque, and MAKEHOUSE. He is a member of Youngblood and recipient of an EST/Sloan Grant and The Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. He spent three years working in agricultural development in East Africa and is pursuing an MFA at UCSD under Naomi Iizuka.
Sponsorship for How to Use a Knife is provided by The National New Play Network.
National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 200 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program, which provides playwright and production support for new works at its Member theaters. Additional programs – its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors; and the organization’s member accessed Collaboration, Festival, and Travel banks and online information sessions – have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the new play landscape. NNPN also strives to pioneer, implement, and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange, is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on more than 9,500 new plays by living writers. NNPN’s 30 Core and more than 75 Associate Members – along with the more than 150 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year – are creating the new American theater. nnpn.org
About Unicorn Theatre
Founded in 1974, Unicorn Theatre enhances Kansas City by developing and producing professional, provocative new plays. We create opportunities for the advancement of emerging and established actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians and administrative staff. Unicorn Theatre is under the artistic and executive leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, who joined the company in 1979. From a newly expanded home in the Midtown neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, the Unicorn houses two stages—The Levin Stage (formerly The Main Stage) and The Jerome Stage (added in 2008). A fully professional not-for-profit theatre, the theatre operates under agreement with Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. The Unicorn is a founding member of the National New Play Network, an alliance of not-for-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theatre; and is a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national service organization for the not-for-profit professional theatre. Financial assistance for this theatre has been provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; corporate and foundation gifts; and the generous individuals throughout the community we serve.
Unicorn Theatre / 3828 Main Street / Kansas City, MO 64111