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Tag Archives: MET

I am proud to announce (and happy to congratulate) the Anderson Award winners for June 2016.

Best Play:  Arcadia (Olathe Civic Theatre)
Best Musical:  Parade (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre)
Best Actor:  Michael Dragen (Parade)
Best Actress:   Kimberly Horner (Parade)
Best Cake:  Big River (Musical Theatre Heritage)

Please continue to support local theatre and these award-winning theatres and theatre artists.  They have much more to come!

Next up at OCTAAlter Boyz (Aug 26-Sept 11)
Next up at the METPicasso at the Lapin Agile (Sept 8-24)
Next up at MTHNext To Normal (Aug 4-24)

Need theatre sooner? (Of course you do!)

Most theatre artists here in Kansas City are gearing up for the annual Fringe Festival (July 21-31).  Get out and Fringe, it is an outstanding festival of theatre, music, film, and art sure to surprise, excite, and inspire.
Or check out the KC Theatre Calendar for currently running professional productions.

For more information on the Anderson Awards (and the beautiful people they are named after) please see this post.

Preview by Robert Trussell:

“The Kentucky Cycle” consists of nine one-act plays. The first is set in 1775, the last in 1975. What connects them is a specific piece of land, a homestead acquired in an act of violence. It changes hands more than once through deceit and treachery and is eventually ecologically raped by coal companies.

It also tells the stories of three families — the Rowens, descended from an Irish immigrant patriarch; the Talberts, locked in a cycle of murder and revenge with the Rowens; and the Biggs, an African-American family descended from slaves. A key character early in the saga is Morning Star, a Cherokee whom patriarch Michael Rowen kidnaps, rapes and takes as a wife; from them the Rowen clan descends.

Some characters first appear as young people and reappear in old age. The huge cast of the MET production is anchored by Equity actors Scott Cordes and Manon Halliburton. It features notable young performers, including Matt Leonard, Jessica Franz, Coleman Crenshaw, Kyle Dyck and Chris Roady. Veteran performers Alan Tilson and Sherri Roulette-Mosley are on hand, as is the Paisley family: Karen Paisley, husband Bob Paisley and son James Paisley all appear onstage.


‘The Seagull’: The art of unrequited love

MET seeks the humor and entertainment in Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull.’


The Kansas City Star

Director Karen Paisley summarizes Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” this way: sex, death, love and marvelous clothes.

This week the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre opens the first local professional production of a play by the Russian dramatist in 11 years.

Yes, the denizens of Chekhov’s plays are miserable. But they can also be funny. Chekhov, who died in 1904 at the age of 44, considered “The Seagull” a comedy, and the translation Paisley chose — by British playwright Tom Stoppard — certainly reads funny on the printed page.

“One of the things we always talk about is, you gotta find the funny,” Paisley said. “Nobody’s interested in coming to the theater for two hours of wrist-slitting. … These great plays are like that. You can approach them as if they are sacred text. But I don’t think the playwrights ever intended for them to be that.”


Paisley has put together an impressive creative team for this show. Scenic designer Jason Coale, who has built sets for the Unicorn and the New Theatre, among other companies, has designed his first scenery for the MET since creating a visually striking set for the company’s production of “Copenhagen” in 2008. Newcomer Shannon Smith designed the “marvelous clothes.”

And the cast would be considered exceptional by any theater company in town.

Cheryl Weaver, last seen delivering a powerhouse performance in KC Rep’s “August: Osage County,” plays Irina Arkadina, the fading actress. Forrest Attaway, who has chalked up a series of fine performances at the MET and the Living Room, plays Trigorin, the novelist. Robert Gibby Brand, whose performances at the MET have been exceptional across the board, plays Dorn, a doctor. The excellent Richard Alan Nichols appears as Sorin, Irina’s brother and owner of the estate.

The big cast also includes MET veterans Alan Tilson and Nancy Marcy as the estate manager and his wife, and a group of younger actors who demand our attention: Coleman Crenshaw, Ashlee LaPine, Chris Roady and Jessica Franz.

Read more of Robert Trussell’s preview at The KC Star

The Seagull opens Friday, Jan 13th at 7:30pm at The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and runs until Jan 29th.  Catch a preview performance Thursday (Jan 12) at 7:30!