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Princess Squid Productions Presents Kansas

A new theatre piece about growing up in a small town in Kansas premiered recently at the Kansas. As KCUR's Steve Walker reports, local playwright Frank Krainz describes it as performance novel. By Steve Walker

Kansas City, Mo – Monday, June 5, 7pm

Frankie Krainz will be workshopping a series of play excerpts to be directed by Cathy Barnett at The Writers Place, with actors of note from the Kansas City area.

Frank Krainz was raised on a farm in Pittsburg, Kansas. It is the fragmented language of the small Kansas town that influenced his writing. "I was always aware of the strangeness in the way my family spoke to each other, in the way the people we met in our town spoke. The words were carefully chosen as if a great secret had to be protected. But, there was music when conversation happened, as if everyone had memorized one long sentence and simply broke that sentence up into parts. I was bewitched by it all." These short plays are part of a larger work called KANSAS. This "performance novel" is a collection of ten short plays which draw on Krainz' upbringing, on his experiences with mental illness and on the contamination of memory. "I've spent a lot of time in hospitals. They are like Kansas towns. You either take it and move on or you collapse internally. Killings, suicides, dark nights...is it your own history or some guy's half a world away? There's no telling where we are anymore."

Cathy Barnett has delighted audiences nationally and internationally with her musical and comic talents, touring literally around the world appearing in both Forbidden Broadway and Forbidden Hollywood. She has also traveled across the nation from Albany, New York to Los Angeles, California reprising her award-winning performance as Louise in Always, Patsy Cline. She has entertained as a stand-up comedienne in New York, appearing at Caroline's and the West Bank Cafe. Cathy directed parts 1 & 2 of the "Welcome To Paradise" interactive events staged at the Center for Spiritual Living and is delighted to have an opportunity to help develop this work written by Frankie Krainz.

The players reading will be: Nancy Marcy, Cheryl Weaver, Michael Andrew Smith, Julie Taylor, Bob Kohler

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