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After A Pandemic Year, Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s New Season Mixes Indoor And Outdoor Performances

Kansas City Repertory Theatre brings back A Christmas Carol in 2021. In 2019, Matthew Rapport, as the Ghost of Christmas Present, scattered glittered on children in the audience.
Don Ipock
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Kansas City Repertory Theatre plans to bring back "A Christmas Carol" in 2021. In 2019, Matthew Rapport, as the Ghost of Christmas Present, scattered glitter on children in the audience.

KC Rep’s 2021-2022 season features six shows, including the return of the holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol” to the stage.

Love during the first World War, a feminist romp, a folktale — and ghost stories.

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre on Thursday announced its 2021-2022 season with six productions — three special events and a three-play subscription series.

“This upcoming season is going to look a little different than we had all planned," said artistic director Stuart Carden in a preview Zoom call Wednesday night, "just like life for all of us looks a little different in this pandemic and post-pandemic moment."

The productions range from “Mary’s Wedding,” a story of love and remembrance set during World War I, which will take place on the grounds of the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City; to “The Old Man and The Old Moon,” a new American fable performed by folk musicians at the Spencer Theatre on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

Executive director Angela Gieras described the season’s offerings as “theater that sparks imagination, awakens resilience and hope, and inspires wonder and joy.”

Gieras added, "We truly believe that theater is part of the healing of our community and by gathering again, we will be able to see each other and understand each other better."

KC Rep officials said they plan to follow COVID-19 guidelines and will provide more specifics on safety protocols closer to performance dates.

In 2020, KC Rep presented GHOST LIGHT on the lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where patrons sat in socially distanced pods.
Don Ipock
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
In 2020, KC Rep presented GHOST LIGHT on the lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where patrons sat in socially distanced pods.

Here’s a look at KC Rep’s 2021-2022 season:

  • “Mary’s Wedding,” written by Stephen Massicotte and directed by Stuart Carden, is described as an “epic, unforgettable story of love, hope and survival” during World War I. "The poetry and adventure of this love story," said Carden, "will fill your heart in ways I think we all need right now." Aug. 27 – Sept. 19, on the south grounds of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
  • This marks the second annual hybrid music and ghost-story telling event called “Ghost Light: A Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads.” Conceived and directed by Stuart Carden, Enrique Chi and Juan Carlos Chaurand of the Latin Grammy-nominated band, Making Movies are this year's musical headliners. Sept. 30 – Oct. 17, on the south lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  • The beloved holiday classic by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” returns after a year off. Adapted by Geoff Elliott, and directed by Jason Chanos, the annual production, which follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey to redemption, is likely to feature lots of Kansas City talent. Nov. 19 - Dec. 26, at the Spencer Theatre.
  • "(The Extremely Thrilling & Occasionally Shocking Mis-Adventures of Mesdames) Holmes & Watson.” KC Rep patrons might recall Kate Hamill’s fast-paced version of “Pride and Prejudice” in 2019, adapted from the Jane Austen novel. Now, the Rep launches the world premiere of Hamill’s take on Sherlock Holmes, which turns Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories into a “fast-paced feminine farce.” Feb. 1 – 20, 2022 on the Copaken Stage.
The cast of The Royale at City Theatre Company.
Kristi Han Hooover
The cast of The Royale at City Theatre Company.

  • "The Royale” is a new play by Marco Ramirez (Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil), directed and choreographed at KC Rep by Steph Paul. It's inspired by boxer Jack Johnson's rise to fame as the first Black world heavyweight champion during the Jim Crow era. Mar. 8 – 27, 2022, on the Copaken Stage and other community locations.
  • "The Old Man and The Old Moon” features music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. and is directed by Stuart Carden. The Old Man, tasked with making the moon glow each night, takes an epic adventure told through "resonant storytelling, spirited indie-folk music and inventive puppetry." May 3 – 22, 2022, at the Spencer Theatre.

KC Rep’s Box Office can be reached online or by phone at 816-235-2700.

The deadline to renew subscriptions is June 7. Single tickets for “Mary’s Wedding,” “Ghost Light” and “A Christmas Carol” will be available on July 26. The other productions will offer single tickets in the fall.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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