THE LEHMAN TRILOGY Kicks Off Kansas City Actors Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Season

May 22 to June 9 at the City Stage in Union Station

By Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power
Winner of 2022 Tony Award® for Best Play!

Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) starts their 2024/2025 20th Anniversary Season off with a bang! The most epic theatrical event of the summer, The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power. This incredible American story stars Robert Gibby Brand, Eric Palmquist, and R.H. Wilhoit, playing more than 50 different characters, over 160+ years, across 3 incredible acts. Directed by KCAT Company Member John Rensenhouse, this production runs from May 22 to June 9 at the City Stage in Union Station. Tickets available at www.kcactors.org/shows/the-lehman-trilogy/ or by calling (816) 361-5228,

The Lehman Trilogy tells the decade-spanning story of ambition, risk, the American Dream, and a family and company that changed the world. The story follows the original Lehman Brothers, Jewish immigrants from Bavaria, across 163 years as the brothers (and their descendants) build their business empire in 1840s Alabama to early-2000s New York City. “A must-see event. Epic in every conceivable way. You dare not miss.” (New York Post) Experience the legendary, decade-spanning tale of one family’s passionate pursuit of a new life in America, as they journey from rags, to riches, to ruin. This “dazzling piece of storytelling” (Time Out) is both an intimate look at a Jewish immigrant family and a biting exposé of American greed under capitalism, told in three parts.

 

The Lehman Trilogy stars Robert Gibby Brand as Henry Lehman, the unshakable eldest brother, as well as Phillip Lehman, Pete Peterson, and many more characters. He has been seen on KCAT’s stage in The Pests, Death and the Maiden, And Then There Were None, and more. Eric Palmquist stars as Emanuel Lehman, the no-nonsense middle brother, as well as Herbert Lehman, Lewis Glucksman, and others. He has been seen previously on KCAT’s stage as Agatha Christie’s Spider’s Web, as well as locally at The Unicorn and The Coterie. R.H. Wilhoit stars as Mayer Lehman, the charming youngest brother, as well as Bobby Lehman, Pauline Sondheim, and many more. Last seen on KCAT’s stage in The Pests, and seen yearly starring in The Coterie’s Electric Poe. 

“When the opportunity presented itself for us to share this unique story with Kansas City audiences, we immediately grabbed it,” said John Rensenhouse, director of The Lehman Trilogy and KCAT Board President. Director John Rensenhouse has been a KCAT Company Member for 17 years, and has directed many productions for the company including Long Day’s Journey into Night, Glengarry Glen Ross, And Then There Were None, and The Realistic Joneses. “It’s a riveting piece of theatre. It’s an engaging, phenomenally entertaining way to learn the history of a very important family, and how their story represents America as a whole. It’s the perfect play to kick off our 20th Season, and I can’t wait for audiences to experience it!”

The creative team for The Lehman Trilogy includes scenic design by Ian R. Crawford (KCAT’s Smart People), costume design from Nancy Robinson (KCAT’s Gaslight), co-lighting design from Kylor Greene (KCAT’s Blithe Spirit) and Shelbi Arndt (KCAT’s Smart People), projections design by KCAT Company Member Jerry Mañan (KCAT’s Four Children), sound design and music composition by Mary Louise Robinson (KCAT’s Little Women), and properties design by Taylor Jene Sullivan (KCAT properties design debut). The production stage manager is Pamela A. West, and the assistant stage manager is Meg McSweeney, with technical direction by Gavin Merrill.

Tickets for The Lehman Trilogy start as low as $20 and can be purchased online at www.kcactors.org/shows/the-lehman-trilogy/ or by phone at (816) 361-5228 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm). The Lehman Trilogy has a pay-what-you-can performance on Monday, June 3rd.

The Lehman Trilogy is generously sponsored by Theater League (https://www.theaterleague.org/).

Season 20 Continues through March, 2025

Coming up after The Lehman Trilogy, comes Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress from August 7 to 25. Don’t miss this funny, biting, and moving comedy-drama looking at racism, identity, ego, and the high-pressure world of 1950s Broadway. Starring Lynn King and John Rensenhouse. From September 11 to 29, a new adaptation of classic thriller, Dial M for Murder, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original play by Frederick Knott. Suspicion, deception, and murder-that-goes-awry in this “smartly adapted” psychological thriller. Starring Elise Poehling, Darren Kennedy, and Hillary Clemens.

Closing out KCAT’s anniversary season in March of 2025 comes Doubt: A Parable, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play from John Patrick Shanley. A nuanced tale of suspicion and morality, performed at the site-specific Kansas City United Church of Christ. You don’t want to miss Kathleen Warfel and Matt Schwader in this powerful piece.

Subscribe to the whole season and find out more at www.kcactors.org/season-20/

 

About Kansas City Actors Theatre
Formed and overseen by a collective of local theatre artists, Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) produces thought-provoking plays that explore, celebrate, and share what it is to be human with sensitivity, intelligence, and humor. KCAT nurtures the local artistic community by employing the finest talents of Kansas City’s diverse professional theatre community, which in turn makes Kansas City a more vibrant, vital place to live and work.