You're out under the stars, holding court in the front of your car, the bed of your pickup and/or in the lawn chair of your choice. The massive outdoor movie screen glaring back at you. Kind of like a poor man's Starlight Theatre...
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the arts community in Kansas City. As the much-anticipated Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts prepares to open its doors, and the Kansas City Ballet makes itself at home in its new studio, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, groups for young professionals are preparing to take advantage of all the new opportunities and growing enthusiasm.
The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is bursting at its seams.
Inadequate facilities, increasing enrollment and the potential to be a part of Kansas City’s emerging cultural scene have led to a bold new proposal.
August 24, 1986 – it was a Sunday night – The Kansas City Jazz Festival, on a stage at the south end of Volker Park, presented its finale: Jay McShann with Buddy Tate, Harry Edison, Al Grey, Gus Johnson and Major Holley. I was one of the festival organizers back then. The show lasted two hours. About an hour and a half in, tired at the end of a weekend-long event, our sound man asked me to signal the group to end. I told him I couldn’t do that. He turned, angry, and walked off (he later apologized). I continued listening to some incredible Kansas City jazz.
The Maplewood Barn Community Theatre production, dubbed by box office workers as a cross between “Grease” and “Star Wars,” resumed last Sunday in the amphitheatre at Stephens Lake Park after a rainout the night before. Directed by Kayla Kauffman, the show involved a slew of 1950s and ’60s music and several helpings of audience participation.
If you like everything spelled out for you in black and white, Harold Pinter is not your playwright. The late British author deals in alienation, love, power, menace, marital stress, sexual longing, and the sort of quotidian absurdity that lurks around the edges of bourgeois life. But such a description hardly embraces the entirety of Pinter’s genius, for beneath the purported comedic surface of his plays lies a profound sense of mystery – a dull uneasiness about some unknown force that runs through his oeuvre like an undertow. During August and September the Kansas City Actors Theatre is presenting a rare treat for these parts: not one but four of Pinter’s plays, including his celebrated early work The Birthday Party, in absolutely
The University Theatre Association presented “Woyzeck” at the Performing Arts Center Aug. 19-26. Although the German playwright of “Woyzeck,” Georg Buchner, died in 1837 before he could finish his work, the production has since become one of the most influential and performed plays in German theatre history.
And they’re off! In a fall cultural season to be filled with exciting “firsts,” the Kansas City Ballet leapt from the starting gate on August 26th with the inauguration of its new Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, located in the restored Power House just west of Union Station.
You are invited to nominate an outstanding individual, arts organization, or community for the 2012 Missouri Arts Awards. Missouri citizens, organizations, and communities who have made significant contributions in the following categories are eligible: Arts Education, Arts Organization, Creative Community, Individual Artist, Leadership in the Arts, and Philanthropy.
The Missouri Arts Awards ceremony will honor the recipients in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
Nominations must be postmarked by Friday, September 2, 2011. Send the Nomination Form, Narrative and Supplemental Materials to: 2012 Missouri Arts Awards Nominations, Attn: Virginia Sanders. Missouri Arts Council, 815 Olive St., Ste 16, St. Louis MO 63101.
"I was always interested in live theatre, because it was magical to me." So says Heidi Van, actor, director, producer, and curator of the Fishtank Performance Studio. "My mother was involved in a children's theatre production with the Junior League in Kansas City, Kan. For years, every year they would do this show. And so she would be in it or she'd direct it, but she'd always take me with her, especially when I was young, and I'd just sit there and sometimes I'd be like an animal or a tree, but I was always involved in the production."
The board of directors of the Olathe Community Theater Association (OCTA) is looking for directors for our 2012-2013 season. We'd like to invite you to submit a slate of NO MORE THAN THREE scripts you'd like to direct at OCTA. Send them to us at this email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org), accompanied by your theatrical resume, by September 30, 2011. Additionally, please indicate the months of the year, from late Fall 2012 to late Spring 2013 that you are available.
This year OCTA is selecting its season from submissions from directors and selections from the OCTA Season Selection Committee. We encourage all directors to submit shows that you have a passion for. However, an important consideration to keep in mind when you submit shows to OCTA is that our season is typically five shows, only one of which is a musical. The rest of the season is usually a mix of comedies and dramas. For the best chance of having one of your scripts selected for the 2012-13 season, please include a variety of genres in your submission. If, however, there's one show that's your dream show, by all means, submit it. We'll review it and see if we can fit it into our season. At OCTA we respect and encourage your passion for the material.
Another point to think about is the size of the facility. OCTA productions have certainly stretched and put the facility to the test, but we're not going to be putting on Starlight Express in our space. The OCTA stage and theater are both wonderfully intimate spaces that are geared toward smaller shows -- although many of our past productions have used quite imaginative staging to stretch the space. Please contact us for information on stage dimensions to use as a guideline for any scripts you care to submit. Also, you can obtain a list of our past shows, to give you a sense of the sort of productions that we've done before. (Don't be afraid to submit a show that you see on the list, at OCTA we're open to reviving a production from our history).
At OCTA we own our own building. You get to rehearse in the performance space from Day One. You won't be lugging props or costumes from one location to another. Also, we don't interfere with your artistic decisions. Show us you can do it and we'll help make it possible!
If one of your submissions is considered for our season, we'll contact you to set up an interview. So, take a moment to consider partnering with us to produce a great piece of theater. Send in your suggestions and resume today!
The past few weeks of Grant Fonda’s life would not make for a very stirring motion picture. Although Fonda participated in an international contest that tested his skill and resolve, there was no final scene of victory, only quiet affirmations. No triumphant hoisting of a trophy over his weary head, only subtler moments to be cherished and worthwhile lessons to be tucked away for a future date.
Kansas City Actors Theatre's production of three one-act plays by Harold Pinter doesn't offer the same level of excitement as its remarkable production of Pinter's "The Birthday Party," but it does showcase some exceptional performances and consistently captures Pinter's unpredictable sense of humor.
Mark Dirks wipes the sweat from his face. Since morning, he’s met about 650 visitors, handing each a gift tote holding a bit of coffee, some brochures and a few sweets. The cloying humidity from the revolving doors doesn’t faze his grin. Smiling at every person as they enter, Dirks is a genuine, heartfelt, happy greeter at Saturday’s Kansas City Ballet open house at the new Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.
This is a historic time for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Sporting the most famous brand name in the concert dance world, the troupe is changing artistic leadership for only the second time in its 53-year history.
We'll conclude this workshop's batch of interviews with trombonist Ryan Heinlein. Ryan's band "Project H" will be doing a preview performance as part of this Friday's show at La Esquina. Ryan has established himself as one of the top jazz trombonists in KC and it's been great get him in a Black House workshop.
If you’re an arts lover in Kansas City, you might as well dismantle your rearview mirror and throw it away. You won’t need it, because this town is on the cusp of change that seems certain to recast Kansas City in the eyes of residents and visitors.
This fall, Kansas Citians have even more chances to experience the city’s rich jazz heritage. The eclectic lineup of international visiting artists and local favorites showcases many aspects of the genre. The roster for concert venues, along with festivals, clubs, museums and universities, will fill any jazz fan’s calendar to capacity.
Delicious libations abound this fall. With champagne corks popping for the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and area arts groups pouring forth their finest, Kansas City is in for a vintage year indeed.
The fall theater season gets off to a dramatically weighty start with shows that may deliver laughs — potent laughs, in some cases — but are concerned with the meaning of life. And art. And the cosmos. And why people do the crazy things they do.
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts wil host a number of impressive performances. But those are complemented by many high-quality local dance productions. Here is an overview of coming events in the area.
It was hard to ignore the freight trains. As hundreds of artists, arts administrators and representatives from local and state governments gathered under a tent Friday morning near the new $32 million Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, a succession of trains threatened to drown out the grand opening ceremonies.
One hundred years ago Virginia Katherine McMath was born in Independence. Taking her stepfather’s name, she became known as Ginger Rogers and as one of America’s top professional dancers. Maybe it’s time for history to repeat itself with another Independence native, Emily Scott, now 17 years old, who is quickly asserting herself as a formidable competitor in ballroom dance.
The University of Kansas will host a screening of a documentary and panel discussion with Darryl Hunt, a man who spent 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. “The Trials of Darryl Hunt” screening and discussion with Hunt and seminal players in his exoneration will be held from Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Ecumenical Campus Ministries from 4 to 7 p.m.
Still the longest-running theatrical production in history, “The Fantasticks” has come to the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock this week. “At the heart of its breathtaking poetry and subtle theatrical sophistication is a timeless fable of love,” the Lyceum’s website says of the sweeping musical.
Firefighters have put out a small fire at a rural southwest Kansas farmhouse where four family members were killed in 1959, sparking Truman Capote to write the critically acclaimed novel "In Cold Blood."
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts announced the addition of more Kansas City-area artists to the Grand Opening weekend lineup, including its three resident companies, as well as more than 40 diverse local performance groups.
With all of the historical celebration — and reflection — surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year, it’s no wonder the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville aims to present its own unconventional contribution: a musical one. Among the various events that will take place Wednesday through Saturday, two folk singers cherished in Missouri will wail and holler Civil War tunes, a unique twist compared with the normally operatic and musical feel to the weekend, said Artistic Director David Halen.
In the 1950s the end of the world seemed a real possibility, thanks to the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. But time passed and we didn't blow up the planet. And we came to realize that the apocalypse doesn't have to be global. It can come in increments, every day, in disasters big and small. It could be terrorists flying planes into buildings, a car jacker tailing you on the way home or bad news from the doctor.
I was looking for a musical outlet and a fraternity at the same time. I sang with both the KC Symphony Chorus, and The KC Choral and was still looking for fellowship. So, I looked into the Sons Of The American Revolution and Masons, as my grandfather was a member of those organizations. Then it hit me — I remembered singing songs in four-part a capella harmony back when I was in junior high school.
As one of the directors of the True/False Film Fest, David Wilson spends a matter of days each spring making impassioned introductions, bringing documentaries he and “co-conspirator” Paul Sturtz find compelling and creative before what has become an increasingly diverse audience. Then, in one of the festival’s hallmarks, he helps forge bonds and cultivate conversations between filmgoer and filmmaker, connecting the wide set of eyes that peered behind the camera with the wide sets of eyes processing the work. On Tuesday, Wilson will be on the other side of the ledger. His short film, “Big Birding Day,” will be introduced to a national television audience when it screens on PBS as part of the widely acclaimed “POV” program, a milestone moment for Wilson on a platform that’s “about as big as it gets in terms of exposure,” he said.
Think big. That’s something Kansas City isn’t often known for, but that’s all going to change. Wayne Baruch and Chuck Gayton will see to it. The Los Angeles-based event producers have made a career of doing things in a big way, often marshalling hundreds, if not thousands, of performers and crew members in one-of-a-kind spectacles. Their resume includes Super Bowl halftime shows and anniversaries of world-famous landmarks.
Paul Rudd isn’t the only local boy in the headlines this week. Eric Stonestreet of KCK will star in an HBO biopic about fallen screen legend Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Arbuckle, who grew up in Smith Center, Kan., was a big (in every sense of the word) silent film star, until he was accused of raping and accidentally killing actress Virginia Rappe. Her body was found days after she attended a party Arbuckle hosted at an L.A. hotel. He was later acquitted of all charges, but his career was ruined. The TV-movie will be adapted from David Yallop’s biography, “The Day the Laughter Stopped.”
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Walter Coppage, one of our most respected Kansas City-based actors, has been cast in an adaptation of Carson McCullers’ “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” at the prestigious Steppenwolf theater in Chicago.
A strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves.
This award winning short was created by filmmaker Bruce Branit, widely known as the co-creator of '405'. World Builder was shot in a single day followed by about 2 years of post production. Branit is the owner of Branit VFX based in Kansas City.
More info, background and info on future releases can be at http://www.facebook.com/pages/World-Builder/73936485659 Become a fan and keep in touch.
It's back to school time and almost every public school in the Kansas City area is facing some kind of budget cut. Parents at one local elementary school decided to take matters into its own hands to save a dance program.
Architect Moshe Safdie is one of the guests on the August 23, 2011 edition of “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS. Rose introduces Safdie as “an architect, theorist, urban planner…(with) over 75 buildings and master plans to his name.” One of those buildings is the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
It's an oft-quoted phrase of sales and marketing that it costs 10 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Whether or not that statistic is right, it does make logical sense that it costs more money to attract the attention of someone who doesn't know your product than to maintain relations with someone who already is familiar and uses your product.
David Henry Hwang, one of America's most dynamic and versatile playwrights, is the Honoree of the 31st Annual William Inge Theatre Festival, in Independence, Kansas, on the campus of Independence Community College. Hwang will be at the Inge Festival all its four days, from April 18-21, 2012.
The UMKC Conservatory Academy, a division within the Conservatory which provides non-credit preparatory performing arts education and community engagement programs, is renewing its Conservatory Connections program with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for the 2011-2012 academic year.