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A king of KC theater takes on Shakespeare’s great king — and then steps aside

Shakespeare’s King Lear is the theatrical equivalent of an Olympic decathlon.

UMKC Theatre's Theodore Swetz

Lear may be the most challenging role in the English-speaking theater, one that takes prickly concepts of vanity, loss and madness and pushes them about as far as they can go.

“Of all the roles I’ve done, this is the most demanding,” said Theodore Swetz, who will play the mad king in the Kansas City Actors Theatre production starting Friday, Oct. 13, in Spencer Theatre as a co-production with UMKC Theatre.

“It’s a sustained assault on the mind and body. At the same time it’s fun. Terrific fun.”

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The Beast is Portrayed by Theatre’s Scott Fagan

Theatre's Scoott Fagan is the BeastTheatre in the Park, White Theatre invite you to be their guests

An enchanting fairy tale requires a beautiful girl, a prince with a castle, a villain, a crisis and a happy ending. “Beauty and the Beast” has it all plus a hideous ogre. Kids will love it, and adults will be amazed.

“Beauty and the Beast” is co-produced by The Theatre in the Park and the Jewish Community Center. The two organizations share the expense of costumes, props and sets and use the same cast and director in both theaters. Continue reading

Dorothy Day’s struggle with faith takes the stage

Actor Deuker rehearses fThis Other Love rehearsalPatty McCarty, a former NCR copy editor, will see her two-act play about the life of Dorothy Day staged by a Milwaukee-based theater company this month.

Acacia Theatre Company will present “This Other Love” by Patty McCarty July 14-16 and July 20-23.

The action of the play takes place in August 1927, during a time Day was struggling with her growing spirituality and relationship with her common-law husband, Forster Batterham. The play addresses Day following God’s call to work with the poor. Janet Bouman Peterson is the play’s production director. Continue reading

Broadway World review of Theatre’s Frank Higgins’ play Black Pearl Sings!

Black Pearl Sings!BLACK PEARL SINGS! Drama and Music at Its Best in Kansas City

A line from the play best describes Black Pearl Sings! when Susannah Mullally says, “Pearl is a pearl.” Black Pearl Sings! opened on Saturday March 7 at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. The production marks two firsts for Spinning Tree Theatre, the production of a local playwright and the first time the company utilized a director outside the organization.

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