Past Productions

2016-2017 Productions


O Beautiful

Spencer Theatre
Oct 14-23

By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Stephanie Roberts and Theodore Swetz

This fiercely funny and disturbingly shocking story explores the lives of high school students, teachers, and their families as they cope in a world of real personal problems and extreme ideologies. Jesus, Joan of Arc, and Benjamin Franklin, among others, show up to weigh in and mix it up. As topical as tonight’s newscast, O Beautiful lands the complex realities of our culture squarely on the stage in an electrifying blend of ancient characters, founding fathers and your neighborhood high school.

Photo from MFA production of Desire


Adaptations of Tennessee Williams Short Stories

Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Nov 25-Dec 10

Directed by Darren Sextro

Tennessee Williams’s life-changing short stories depict loss of innocence, coming of age, fighting loneliness and isolation, and what it means to love and to lose it.  Adapted by some of America’s leading playwrights, Williams’s striking stories explode off the page.

The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin by Beth Henley
The Field of Blue Children by Rebecca Gilman
Tent Worms by Elizabeth Egloff
Oriflamme by David Grimm
Desire quenched by touch by Marcus Gardley
You Lied to Me About Centralia by John Guare

Way of the World poster

The Way of the World

Grant Hall
Feb 10-19

By William Congreve
Directed by Theodore Swetz

The Way of the World is about money, sex, power, appearances and deception, and finally, love.  Mirabell and Millamant love each other, but they endlessly deceive other people, and each other, in order to achieve that love. And that is probably the truest relationship in the play! It’s a huge comedy of deception, set in a society that really has money and sex at the heart of its concerns.” (Michael Kahn)

Written in 1700, Congreve’s The Way of the World continues its life as a classic Restoration comedy because its language is musical and its social commentary is timeless.


Julius Caesar/ X: Or, the Nation vs Betty Shabazz: Politics, Power, and the High Cost of Real Change

Feb 21-23
Spencer Theatre

The Acting Company and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas, University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri-Columbia are embarking on an exciting artistic and educational collaboration featuring Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and a newly commissioned play about the life and assassination of Malcolm X by Marcus Gardley; X:Or, the Nation vs Betty Shabazz in rotating repertory.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Directed by Devin Brain

Tackling essential questions about the balance of ambition, personal loyalty, and love of country, Shakespeare’s timeless political masterpiece has never been more relevant. Through the story of Julius Caesar, a rising political star torn down by his most trusted allies, audiences witness the art of persuasion, the ugliness of backroom politics, and the historical patterns we can’t stop repeating.

X:Or, the Nation vs Betty Shabazz by Marcus Gardley

Directed by Ian Belknap

The assassination of Malcolm X-both the story we think we know and illuminating details that have seldom been shared-is brought to vivid, lyrical life in award-winning writer Marcus Gardley’s new play. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar provides a framework for Gardley to deepen our understanding of one of America’s most complex, compelling historical figures and explore the tumultuous landscape of ideology and activism in the 1960s.


Animal Farm

Fishtank Performance Studio
Sept 22-25

Directed by Brian Buntin

Twice a year The Fishtank works with theatre students on a production that fuses form and idea – this fall we approach ANIMAL FARM with a foundation in commedia dell’ arte. Directed by Fishtank Resident Artist Brian Buntin and coached by Commedia scholar Patrick Rippeto



An Octoroon

Unicorn Theatre
Nov 30-Dec 26

By Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins

An Octoroon transforms a 19th century plantation melodrama with a beautiful maiden, Indians, and slaves into a theatrical event that is equally hilarious and moving, subversive and provocative. Part period satire, part meta-theatrical middle finger, it’s a shocking challenge to the racial pigeonholing of 1859-and of today.


Hana’s Suitcase

The Coterie
Jan 3-Mar 4

In Partnership with Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and Tradewind Arts

By Emil Sher
Directed by Walter Coppage

An investigative play by Emil Sher, based on the book by Karen Levine and directed by Walter Coppage. Past and present mysteries come together in this captivating true story spanning 70 years and crisscrossing three continents. Fumiko Ishioka, a Japanese Holocaust educator, and her students set out to track down information about a suitcase from Auschwitz. It is a worldwide search for information about its owner, Hana Brady, whose fate is pieced together from her suitcase and artifacts. Hana’s story reaches through time into the lives of the young Japanese students in a Holocaust story like no other – providing a contemporary global perspective and a fascinating history of love and tragedy from Hana’s courageous life story.

Antony and Cleopatra

Spencer Theatre
May 5-May 14

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jason Bohon

A new translation by Christopher Chen, commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! Program co-produced by Kansas City Repertory Theatre

A new modern language adaptation of Shakespeare’s story of two lovers torn between their passions for each other and their duties to their countries. Performed by an ensemble cast of only eight, this epic story is produced as part of Kansas city Repertory Theatre’s Origins KC festival and commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! Program.


The Comedy of Errors

Grant Hall Theatre
Oct 4-16

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Scott Stackhouse

“A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind;Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.” (Dromio of Ephesus)

Two sets of twins, mistaken identity, superstition, slapstick, wild wordplay, a gold chain and a prostitute are the perfect ingredients for a wild night in the theatre. This comic gem is Shakespeare’s shortest play but it’s long on laughs.

Fabulation, Or the Re-education of Undine

Studio 116
April 8-16

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Amanda Davison

Fabulation is a social satire about an ambitious and haughty African-American woman, Undine Barnes Calles, whose husband suddenly disappears after embezzling all of her money.  Pregnant and on the brink of social and financial ruin, Undine retreats to her childhood home in Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman projects, only to discover that she must cope with a crude new reality.  She faces the challenge of transforming her setbacks into small victories in a battle to reaffirm her right to be.

2015-2016 Productions

Graduate Productions

The Learned Ladies
by Moliere & Richard Wilbur translation,
directed by Theodore Swetz
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Oct. 16-31
Immeasurable Heaven
by Stephanie Roberts and ensemble
directed by Stephanie Roberts
April 29-May 8


Heaven and Hell
conceived and directed by Heidi Van
Fishtank Performance Studio
Oct 1-4
Mr. Burns: A post-electric play
by Ann Washburn
directed by Theodore Swetz
Unicorn Theatre
Dec. 2-27
And Justice for Some: The Trial of Anthony Burns
by Wendy Lement & Bethany Dunakin
directed by Jeff Church
Jan 19-Feb 21
Greek Winter Intensive 
directed by Heidi Van
Fishtank Performance Studio
Feb 18-21

Undergraduate Productions

by David Davalos
directed by Tom Mardikes
Grant Hall Theatre
Oct 9-25
Medea by Euripides
directed by Joshua Brody
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Feb 26-Mar 12

2014-2015 Productions

Graduate Productions

Caucasian Chalk Circle
by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Spencer Theatre.
Oct. 17-26
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
by William Shakespeare
directed by Joshua Brody
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Dec 5-14
The Liar
by Pierre Corneille, adapted by David Ives
Directed by Theodore Swetz
Olson Performing Arts Center
April 24-May 3
Freedom Rider
by Murray Horwitz, Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, Nathan Jackson, Nikkole, Salter
directed by Ricardo Khan
Spencer Theatre
May 1-10


Our Town
by Thornton Wilder
directed by David Cromer
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Sept 5-Oct 5
Death by Shakespeare
Conceived and directed by Heidi Van
Fishtank Performance Studio
Oct. 2-5
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Ian R. Crawford
Unicorn Theatre
Dec 3-28
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
directed by Jeff Church
Coterie Theatre
Jan 27-Mar 1
Lasso of Truth
By Carson Kreitzer
Directed by Johnny Wolfe
Unicorn Theatre
Jan 21-Feb 15
Winter Intensive: The American Musical
Directed by Heidi Van
Fishtank Performance Studio
Feb 19-22

Undergraduate Productions

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by William Shakespeare.
directed by Scott Stackhouse
Grant Hall Theatre
Oct 10-19
Rocky Horror Picture Show
By Richard O’Brien
Directed by Steven Eubank
Grant Hall Theatre
Feb 27-Mar 8



Graduate Productions

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
by Alex Timbers (book) and Michael Friedman (music and lyrics)
directed by Cynthia Levin
Unicorn Theatre
Oct 10-Nov 4
The Lady from the Sea
by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Pam Gems
directed by Theodore Swetz
Spencer Theatre
Oct. 19-28
A Devil Inside
by David Lindsay-Abaire,
directed by Scott Stackhouse
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Nov 30-Dec 9
Kansas City Swing
By Ricardo Khan and Trey Ellis
directed by Ricardo Khan
April 19-28
Burnt by the Sun
by Peter Flannery, adapted from the film by Nikita Mikhalkov
directed by Tom Mardikes
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
May 3-12
Eat This! KC Chew on the Politics of Food
written from community interviews
directed by Stephanie Roberts
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Mar 1-10


44 Plays for 44 Presidents
directed by Heidi Van
Fishtank Performance
Nov 1-4
Inspecting Carol
by Daniel Sullivan
directed by Theodore Swetz
Unicorn Theatre/Kansas City Actors Theatre
Nov 28-Dec 23
Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
directed by Eric Rosen
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
directed by Eric Rosen
Jan 18-Feb 10
Number the Stars
by Jeff Church from the Lois Lowry book
directed by Cynthia Levin
Coterie Theatre
Jan 22-Feb21

Undergraduate Productions

Cover of Life
by R.T. Robinson
directed by Ron Schaeffer
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Nov 2-11
Winter Intensive
directed by Tom Mardikes, Carla Noack
and Stephanie Roberts
Feb 21-24
Drums in the Night
by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Erin Merritt
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
April 5-14


Graduate Productions

Comedy of Asses
by Plautus
co-directed by Stephanie Roberts and Theodore Swetz
Oct 21-30
Spencer Theatre
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
April 20-29 a
Spencer Theatre


Billy Bishop Goes to War
By John Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson
Directed by John Rensenhouse
Kansas City Actors Theatre
The National World War I Museum
Feb 10-26
God of Carnage
By Yasmina Reza
Directed by Mark Robbins
Unicorn Theatre/Kansas City Actors Theatre
Oct 19-Nov. 13
The Salvation of Iggy Scrooge
By Larry Larsen and Levi Lee
Directed by Missy Koonce
Unicorn Theatre
Nov. 30-Dec 24
The Wrestling Season
By Laurie Brooks
Directed by Leigh Miller
Coterie Theatre
Jan. 24-Feb. 19

Undergraduate Productions

The Farnsworth Invention
by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Ron Schaeffer
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
A Yorkshire Tragedy
by Thomas Middleton
directed by Scott Stackhouse
March 9-18
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116


Graduate Productions

Miss Julie
Strindberg adapted by Craig Lucas
Directed by Carla Noack
Olson Performing Arts Center, Studio 116
Oct 2-24
The King Stag
By Carlo Gozzi
Directed by Theodore Swetz and Stephanie Roberts
Spencer Theatre
Oct. 23-31
By Ron Hutchinson
Directed by Barry Kyle
Spencer Theatre
April 23-May 1


by Lisa Loomer
Directed by Cynthia Levin
Unicorn Theatre
Nov 23-Dec 12
Oh! What a Lovely War
by Theatre Workshop
Directed by Barry Kyle
Kansas City Actors Theatre
The National Wold War I Museum
Feb 11-27
The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza
by Don Solids
Directed by Meghann Henry
Coterie Theatre
by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Ricardo Khan
Unicorn Theatre
April 14-May 1
A Christmas Carol
Directed by Kyle Hatley
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Spencer Theatre
Nov 19-Dec 26

Undergraduate Productions

Black Comedy/The White Liars
By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Todd Carlton Lanker
Grant Hall Theatre
Oct 19-30
The Shape of Things
By Neil LaBute
Directed by Ron Schaeffer and Carla Noack
Grant Hall Theatre
Feb 16-26