Kansas City Repertory Theatre announced their 2013-2014 season today. Kicking it off is the world premiere production of The Tallest Tree in the Forest, written and performed by award-winning actor, singer, writer, and composer Daniel Beaty (Through the Night) and directed by Moisés Kaufman. Beaty will portray human rights champion, and stage and screen star Paul Robeson as he explores the daring choices that defined Robeson's extraordinary life. The Tallest Tree in the Forest will also feature excerpts from some of Robeson's signature songs including "Ol' Man River" and "Steal Away." The Tallest Tree in the Forest takes the Spencer Theatre stage from August 30-September 28.
William Shakespeare's beloved tragedy Romeo and Juliet, under the direction of Eric Rosen, will play the Spencer Theatre next from January 17-February 9, 2014. The Repertory's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation playwright-in-residence Nathan Louis Jackson's When I Come to Die will play at the Copaken Theatre from February 14, -March 16, 2014. Directed by Kyle Hatley, When I Come to Die follows death row inmate Damon Robinson as he searches for faith after surviving a lethal injection in prison. When I Come to Die was commissioned by LCT3, a Lincoln Center Theater initiative dedicated to producing new work and building new audiences. The Foreigner by Larry Shue and directed by Jerry Genochio will play the Spencer Theatre from March 14-April 6, 2014. In a mission to get some peace and quiet, Charlie Baker retreats to his friend Froggy's favorite fishing lodge in rural Georgia. As a favor, Froggy convinces locals that Charlie doesn't understand English, but the plan goes awry when the lodge's residents reveal dark secrets and diabolical plans in front of their quiet, not-so-foreign guest. This comedy originally opened in 1984 at New York City's Astor Place Theatre, winning two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards. Playwright Larry Shue died in a plane crash in 1985, never living to see the popularity of the play. The Foreigner graced the Roundabout Theatre Company's stage in 2004 with an Off-Broadway revival starring Matthew Broderick (The Producers).
The season will also feature two holiday events. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol takes the Spencer stage from November 22-December 26. Following the family-friendly favorite is David Sedaris' one-man show The Santaland Diaries at the Copaken stage from November 29-December 22. Reliving his brief career as a Macy's elf, Sedaris satirizes our love for all things Christmas including the happy children, elves, gifts, and of course the good cheer. The Santaland Diaries shows audiences what it is like to work at Santaland. This results in a "merrily subversive" but holly-jolly show.
Two more shows will be announced soon to play at the Copaken Theatre from September 20-November 3 and April 11, 2014-May 11, 2014.
"During my six years at the Rep's artistic helm, we've taken on a variety of challenging issues from civil rights to wars to global warming, and we've balanced those demanding topics with comedies, musicals, and family fare," said Eric Rosen, Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Artistic Director. "I'm proud to say that next season we will continue to examine some of life's most challenging issues: social injustice, love, family dynamics, and soul-searching redemption. All tempered with riotous fun, holiday surprises, and the promise of two musical experiences that we can't release the names of at this time. And, we are adding a holiday bonus, in addition to our perennial production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol."
For more information and ticket sales for Kansas City Repertory Theatre's upcoming season, please visit their website here.