"Women Playing Hamlet" by William Missouri Downs, at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., through Mar. 29. PIctured: Kathleen Warfel and Katie Karel. (Photo by Cynthia Levin)

Unicorn Theatre’s New Season to Include Two World Premieres

The Kansas City theatre season will include a world premiere from William Missouri Downs, an NNPN rolling world premiere by Hilary Bettis and ‘Heathers the Musical.’

KANSAS CITY, MO.: Unicorn Theatre has announced the eight-show lineup for its 2015–16 season. It will include a mix of new plays and musicals, a world premiere by William Missouri Downs and a National New Play Network rolling world premiere.

The season will open with Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy (Aug. 26–Sept. 20), about a young American boy, believed to be the reincarnation of a high Buddhist Lama, and his parents, who wrestle with whether or not to send him to India.

Following will be The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Oct. 14–Nov. 8). The first of McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays trilogy, Brothers Size follows a man, living in Louisiana, who is trying to restart his life after leaving prison and who turns to his older brother for help.

Next will be Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn, in a coproduction with UMKC Theatre (Dec. 2–27). The play takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with no electricity, where a ragtag group try to reconstruct their favorite episode of “The Simpsons.”

Playing around the same time as Mr. Burns is Jonathan Tolins’s one-man play Buyer & Cellar (Dec. 9–27), about an underemployed actor who takes a job in the private mall in Barbra Streisand’s basement.

The new year will usher in a world premiere by William Missouri Downs called How to Steal A Picasso (Jan. 27–Feb. 14, 2016), which was featured in the theatre’s In-Progress New Play Reading series earlier this year. The play is a dark comedy and mystery about a painting that goes missing and a family that must band together to figure out why. The theatre previously produced the world premiere of Downs’s Innocent Thoughts in 1997 and the National New Play Network rolling world premiere of his Women Playing Hamlet earlier this year.

Following will be Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale (March 2–27, 2016), about a 600-pound man living in Ohio who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Then the theatre will play host to NNPN’s rolling world-premiere production of The Ghosts of Lote Bravo by Hilary Bettis (April 20–May 8, 2016). The play takes place in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico, where a young girl goes missing and her mother discovers that her daughter had hopes and dreams that she never knew about.

The season will close with Heathers, the Musical, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy’s musical adaptation of the ’80s film (June 1–26, 2016), a dark comedy about a trio of popular high school girls, all named Heather, and the plan to kill them.

Founded in 1974, Unicorn Theatre has as its mission to develop and produce professional, provocative new plays.

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