A Single Play Written by TEN Kansas City Playwrights
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One playwright begins a script. They write ten minutes of a play, then hand it off to another. Like keeping a top spinning, each successive writer sends the script to another writer, then another, then another. The result will be a single play, written with one voice, more or less. This is Pastiche, the latest show by Whim Productions.
Drawing on Kansas City’s wealth of powerful playwrights, Whim invited 10 writers to create a new play which will be presented as a staged reading at The Buffalo Room, May 26, 2017. The writers are Emma Carter, Diane Hightower, Alli Jordan, Michelle Tyrene Johnson, Prisca Jebet Kendagor, James P McNamara, Jesse Ray Metcalf, Vicki Vodrey, plus Whim’s Playwright-in-Residence Pete Bakely and Whim’s Producing Artistic Director Kevin King.
King describes the event as “improv for writers.” He wrote the first 7 pages of the work. “I left my section at kind of a crossroads. The next writer had several choices to make, including determining the gender of one of the characters.” The writers were told they could even end the script in mid-sentence, forcing the next writer to guess where a character’s dialogue was headed. Playwrights can introduce new characters, write off existing ones, or even kill them off.
King’s pages set the scene: Two characters, a woman and a busker (of unspecified gender as of the initial pages) are waiting for a much-delayed train to Brooklyn. From a platform across the way, a man strikes up a conversation. “I threw in a number of small details in the dialogue that future writers could pick up or disregard. I introduced these characters and placed them in this subway station, then I set them free. I’m really curious to see where they end up, and frankly a little nervous for them.” From there, the script has taken a twisty tone that one of the writers described as being similar to the television show Alias.
The Buffalo Room. 817 Westport Road. Behind the Westport Flea Market
DATE/TIMES: One Night Only
Friday, May 26. Show starts at 8.
Seating starts at 7:00.
Tickets are $10. Tickets are online at pastiche.eventbrite.com and at the door. Watch www.whimproductions.com for additional details. PRESS CONTACT: Kevin King 816-399-0929 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Writers of Pastiche:
Pete Bakely is known for his plays Skillet Tag, which had productions in Kansas City and Columbus, OH., and Drunks, which just enjoyed a run at MTH in Crown Center (Whim Productions). His short plays were part of the Along The Line short play festival (2017, Fishtank) and the local production of After Orlando (2016, Whim Productions). He was previously the playwright in residence for Play On. Productions and is currently the Playwright-in Resident for Whim Productions. Bakely is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Emma Carter is a playwright, actress and teaching artist currently based in Kansas City, MO. She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Music from Stephens College. Her play Wicked Creatures was produced by the Living Room Theater in the 2016 KC Fringe Festival. She also co-wrote, directed, and produced 7 Deadly Women at The Buffalo Room in November 2016. Carter is a member of the Midwest Dramatists Center.
Diane Hightower’s work was featured in Whim Productions’ Alphabet Soup: Stories from Queer Voices (2016). Her play The Last Michigan was presented in the 2016 KC Fringe Festival and at a special encore presentation later that year.
Michelle Tyrene Johnson’s work has been produced locally and around the country. The National Black Theatre in New York recently produced a staged reading of her play The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip. In 2014, the award-winning productions Trading Races and Wiccans in the Hood were produced by Philadelphia’s BrainSpunk Theater. Johnson was named BrainSpunk’s Playwright-in-Residence. Her Echoes of Octavia, produced locally by KC Melting Pot Theater, will be in the 2017 season of NYC’s Rhymes Over Beats Theater Company. Her play Rights of Passage has been seen in Springfield, MO., NYC’s UP Theater reading series and featured in the 2016 Kansas City Repertory Theater’s OriginKC New Works Festival. Johnson’s play Justice in the Embers, co-produced with StoryWorks, KCPT, and The Living Room Theater, had successful productions in Kansas City and the Bay Area in 2016. In 2017, Johnson was one of the featured playwrights in the Obie Award-Winning The Fire This Time Festival in NYC. Johnson is a member of the Midwest Dramatists Center.
Alli Jordan received an MFA in Creative Writing from UMKC and is a published poet in such publications as Midwestern Gothic and Lantern Journal. Her meta-theatre play An Evening of Alli Jordan received a “Best of Kansas City” award from The Pitch. Her plays have been featured at Operation Breakthrough, Emporia Arts Council, The Fishtank, Potluck Productions, and The Kansas City Fringe Festival.
Prisca Jebet Kendagor wrote the 2015 KC Fringe festival hit Cycle and currently teaches playwriting for The Kansas City Black Repertory Company. She also participated in Kansas City’s Project Playwright, a 24-hour playwriting competition. PRESS CONTACT: Kevin King 816-399-0929 email@example.com
Kevin King, aside from being the Producing Artistic Director for Whim Productions is known for his plays Film Classics Presents: Heaven So Far and Flowers in the Wardrobe plus his series of Bad Audition shows. His short plays were part of the Along The Line short play festival (2017, Fishtank) and the local production of After Orlando (2016, Whim Productions) He was a finalist in the 2015 Project Playwright competition. King is also a Charlotte Street Studio Resident for his playwriting. His work is regularly featured in the KC Fringe Festival.
James P. McNamara is a poet and collage artist based in Kansas City, Mo. He is a poet in residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation and alumnus of Artist Inc arts development course. In 2013, a play he wrote, Talking to No One: A Ghost Story, was produced at The Fishtank Theater. He also contributed 2 one-minute plays to The Fishtank’s Along the Line short play festival in 2017. His poetry was featured in the anthology Desolate Country: We The Poets, United, Against Trump (2017).
Jesse Ray Metcalf has regularly been featured in the KC Fringe Festival since 2014, when he made his debut with the dark comedy (Virgin.). He followed up in with the campy Lovesick (2015). In 2016, Metcalf produced his atmospheric play The Toymaker (2016). His short play Boys Suck was included in Whim Productions’ 2016 Alphabet Soup LGBTQ short play festival. In April 2017, Metcalf self-produced his end-of-the-world comedy Not With A Bang But A Whimper.
Vicki Vodrey is a prolific and much produced playwright. She is a founding member of The Midwest Dramatists Center in Kansas City and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays have been produced from coast to coast, including Hard Day’s Night which played to full or sold out crowds in the New York International Fringe Festival. In February of 2017, Vodrey’s new play, The Exit Strategy Club, received a staged reading at Script2Stage2Screen in Palm Desert, CA. This past January, Thank You Notes: Headed To Heaven W/Flat Jimmy Fallon received a staged reading at The Fresh Grind Festival in NYC. In April of 2016, Vicki’s one-act play, Platter Tudes, was part of the William Inge Play Lab, celebrating the 35th year of the William Inge Theatre Festival. Her play, Just Between Friends, was featured in the Unicorn Theatre’s In-Progress Play Reading Series in January 2016.
Whim Productions is a theater company based in Kansas City, Mo. Founded by Producing Artistic Director Kevin King in 2011, the company focuses primarily on irreverent and campy original scripts. It also produces the regular Bard on Booze series, which is Kansas City’s version of the popular Drunk Shakespeare shows. Whim is also a mainstay in the KC Fringe Festival and produces the annual LGBTQ+ short play festival Alphabet Soup: Stories from Queer Voices, a collection of slice-of-life short plays from KC-based LGBTQ writers. For more information, visit www.whimproductions.com.