"The Invisible Hand" by Ayad Akhtar, at New York Theatre Workshop in New York City through Jan. 4. Pictured: Usman Ally and Justin Kirk. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

KC Rep Announces Classics and Premieres for 2016–17 Season

Ayad Akhtar, Nick Payne, Larissa FastHorse, Lorraine Hansberry and more will be part of the lineup.

KANSAS CITY, MO.: Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KC Rep) has announced its 2016–17 season, featuring classics, local premieres, and a new-works festival.

“We’re proud to offer a robust, vibrant season that deeply engages with global politics and the connective tissues that bind a family,” artistic director Eric Rosen said in a statement. “In this critically important upcoming election cycle, our 2016–17 season brings a series of rich, buoyant conversations to the stage.”

First up will be Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita (Sept. 9–Oct. 2), based on the life of the Argentine political leader Eva Peron. Rosen will direct.

Next will be the Kansas City premiere of Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand (Oct. 14–Nov. 13). The play explores the power dynamics in global terrorism, as two captors and their American hostage negotiate in a holding cell. Jerry Genochio will direct.

For the holidays, two Kansas City favorites will return. Barbara Fields’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 18–Dec. 24), directed by Genochio, and Joe Mantello’s adaptation of David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries (Dec. 8—24), directed by Rosen, will take the stage.

The Kansas City premiere of The Fabulous Fitches (Jan. 27–Feb. 19, 2017) will be onstage next. With book by Robert Cary and Benjamin Feldman, music by David Gursky, and lyrics by Cary, this screwball musical comedy features a colorful cast of characters in a series of mishaps and mix-ups. Scott Schwartz will direct.

Then Nick Payne’s Constellations (Feb. 24–March 26, 2017) will have its Kansas City premiere. The play follows the nuances of a relationship between a man and a woman as they explore different ways their love could go. Rosen will direct.

A Raisin in the Sun (March 17–April 9, 2017), by Lorraine Hansberry, will be the final play in the season. The story follows the Younger family’s efforts toward upward mobility out of their black Chicago neighborhood in the segregated 1950s.

The Origin KC New Works Festival (April 21–May 21, 2017), curated by Marissa Wolf, the theatre’s director of new works, will feature new plays by Larissa FastHorse and Christina Anderson. FastHorse’s What Would Crazy Horse Do? follows twin siblings, the last members of their tribe, after they lose their grandfather and the KKK comes to them in hopes of forming an alliance. Anderson’s A Man in Love is set in a segregated, Depression-era city where a series of murders occurs and no one has any idea who the murderer is. Wolf will direct A Man in Love.

Founded in 1964, Kansas City Repertory Theatre aims to build community by staging new plays and classics that cultivate artists, audiences, and advocates who will invest in the region’s future. The company is also the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri—Kansas City.

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