Kansas City Actors Theatre Announces 20th Anniversary Season

A Tony-nominated revival.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning drama.
A fresh take on a thrilling Hitchcock classic.
And the KC premiere of what is arguably the most acclaimed epic of 2022.

2024/2025 Season 20

Kansas City Actors Theatre has announced the line-up for its 20th Anniversary season, which will feature one classic work receiving its first professional regional production, a revival of a contemporary classic, the regional premiere of a new adaptation of a classic thriller, and the regional premiere of an award-winning new play.

The four plays to be produced by Kansas City Actors Theatre for its 20th season are The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power, Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, Dial M for Murder newly adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original by Frederick Knott, and Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley.

“Not only have we surfaced four smart plays with rich roles for great local actors, but we’re honoring our ever-expanding and loyal audiences with works that are entertaining, deeply thoughtful, and absolutely compelling,” said co-Artistic Chair Teisha Bankston. “This is a season of amazing storytelling. I personally can’t wait to experience all four of these stories.”

 

 

The season will begin in May 2024 at City Stage in Union Station with The Lehman Trilogy by Italian playwright and novelist Stefano Massini (adapted to English by Ben Power), one of the most highly acclaimed new works of the last five years. The play follows dozens of characters, embodied by three actors, who tell the story of the Lehman family from 1844 through the collapse of their financial empire in 2008. Winner of Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Play, it is a tour de force and wildly entertaining storytelling experience. “When the opportunity presented itself for us to share this unique story with Kansas City audiences, we immediately grabbed it,” said John Rensenhouse, KCAT board president and the director of The Lehman Trilogy. The cast is to be announced, and the production will run in May 22nd to June 9th, 2024.

 

The second play of the season, also to be staged at City Stage in Union Station, is the classic work Trouble in Mind by lauded playwright, actress, and novelist Alice Childress. First produced in 1955 and recently revived on Broadway to great critical acclaim, it tells the backstage story of a play in rehearsal nearly 70 years ago, and how one of the diverse cast members begins to wonder aloud about the stereotypes she’s been asked to portray on stage and in film for years. This will be the play’s regional premiere. “Alice Childress was assessing the role of the Black actor in a most compassionate, humorous, and poignant way decades ahead of her time,” said Teisha Bankston, who will co-direct the production with KCAT co-Artistic Chair Darren Sextro. Trouble in Mind comes to KCAT’s stage August 7th to 25th, 2024,with a cast that will feature Lynn King and KCAT company members Chioma Anyanwu, Jerry Mañan, and John Rensenhouse with the remainder of the nine-person cast to be announced.

 

From September 11th to 29th, 2024, also at City Stage in Union Station, KCAT’s 20th season will continue with the domestic thriller Dial M for Murder, by Jeffrey Hatcher, adapted from the original play by Frederick Knott. The story of a marriage in cat-and-mouse deadly crisis, the story is a perennial and chilling favorite, having been famously adapted for film by Alfred Hitchcock. “While the new adaptation, fully endorsed by the original playwright’s estate, is elevated with some modern twists, the core story maintains its mid-20th-century setting, which makes for a lot of thrilling and fun period intrigue,” said Sextro. This will represent the adaptation’s regional premiere, and the production will be directed by Katie Gilchrist feature company member Hillary Clemens. The remainder of the five-person cast is to be announced.

 

KCAT’s anniversary season will conclude in February/March 2025 (performance dates to be announced) with a regional revival of John Patrick Shanley’s contemporary classic Doubt: A Parable, which will be given a site-specific staging at a local church. The story of an accused priest in opposition with a nun whose certainty is in question, the play will have recently received a high-profile Broadway revival. It is a story that compels conversation about what is truth and what is mere conjecture. Doubt: A Parable will be directed by company member Gary Heisserer and featuring company members Jan Rogge, Matt Schwader, Christina Schafer, and Teisha M. Bankston.

 

“The fact that Kansas City Actors Theatre has hit this 20-year milestone is a proud benchmark for something that began with such simple purpose,” said Walter Coppage, an original founder of KCAT and a current member of the organization’s Artistic Committee. “We wanted to provide more employment opportunities for local actors and theatre artists, to drive more dollars into the pockets of local theatre artisans. Two decades later, we continue to do that while also serving expanding local audiences with both classic and contemporary stories that deliver supreme entertainment, and that compel important discussion.”

As part of its 20th Anniversary season, Kansas City Actors Theatre will also be announcing expanded programming through new artistic partnerships and audience engagement extras, including dramaturgical discussions, and readings.

Season Subscriptions are available now at www.kcactors.org/season-20/ or by calling (816) 361-5228!

Early bird pricing on subscriptions, which is the best deal of the season, is now available to everyone through February 5th. Season subscribers get a slew of amazing benefits including free ticket exchanges, ticket vouchers for friends and family, and first invite to special events all season long. Don’t miss your chance to save on a season subscription at the best price you’ll see all year long!

Coming up next:

Don’t miss the final show in KCAT’s Season 19 GASLIGHT (Angel Street) by Patrick Hamilton starting January 17th at the City Stage in Union Station.

Tickets and info at www.kcactors.org/shows/gaslight/