By Bob Evans
A new production, free to the public plays currently at Westport Presbyterian Church and confronts issues that many times go unspoken yet need passion, strength, and understanding.
Scott Myers new play, “Oracle of the Ozarks”features a cast of four local actors who work their way through the piece with style by creating rich characters that allow the actors to flex their skills in presenting a fresh piece of theatre to the world.
“Oracle of the Ozarks” takes the audience on a journey that involves stolen guns, illegal gun sales, spousal abuse, rape, abortion, unplanned pregnancy, physical and emotional child abuse (non-sexual), spiritual growth, healing, forgiveness, strength, courage under pressure, tension, and heart. Much is packed into this play, and demands a lot of finesse from the cast as they must constantly alter their characters.
The staging is good and compact. Sets are minimal because the play is performed on the alter of the church, and an elaborate set just cannot work in this facility. So, the actors must create the mystique and convey to the audience. The downside is the acoustics. Opening night, the echo from the microphones made much of the dialogue impossible to understand. Thankfully, by intermission most of the microphones were corrected, but some remained overpowering for the space. When the microphones failed, the dialogue was still awkward because the actors needed to amplify and project.
Even with this problem, the play delivers strong messages and challenges the actors and audience to see circumstances not generally associated normal situations. The play possesses several themes that keep the action moving and intensity building.
Westport Presbyterian Church supports the Arts Community, and Myers efforts are just one example of their outreach programs. “Oracle of the Ozarks” performs free of charge (with donations encouraged) to continue their outreach for the community.
The cast for “Oracle of the Ozarks” is: Jabrelle Jenee as Cass, Elizabeth A. Hillman as Marvel, Justin Speer as Lodi, and Terraye Watson as Price Morgan. The play is directed by Jacqueline L. Gafford with Frances Farah serving as an assistant director, and Vickie Little assistant directing and vocal coaching. Carey Hoffman does the sound and lights. The play is produced by Scott Myers Productions.
“Oracle of the Ozarks” runs weekends through Nov 3 at 7:30 p.m. all nights at Westport Presbyterian Church, 201 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri. As stated earlier, this is a free professional theatre production, and donations are greatly appreciated to keep the Arts alive.
Tags: Westport Presbyterian Church, Oracle of the Ozarks, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment