Updated March 29, 2011
(Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre)
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EARTh (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre) announces the fourth presentation of its Inaugural Series: Paddy Chayefsky’s GIDEON, Monday, April 11, 7:30PM at St. Teresa’s Academy/KCYA.
About the Play:
A STORY 3000 YEARS IN THE MAKING—,br> It is 1100 BC, in the hill country of Manasseh, west of the Jordan River in Biblical Palestine. A simple, ill-regarded Israelite farmer, Gideon, is dutifully going about his assigned tasks in preparation for the inevitable invasion by the warring Midianite hordes assembled across the river. The Israelite tribal elders are making last-minute sacrifices to pagan gods and scurrying to hide their goods from the sight of the invaders. An Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and informs him that he, Gideon, is God’s chosen one to lead Israel from the oppressors. Gideon wonders why God would choose one so unlikely and unworthy? The answer is that the Angel wants the Israelites to know that their emancipation and liberation is God’s miracle.
With great reluctance Gideon accepts the assignment and does, indeed lead the (vastly outnumbered) people of Israel over Midian. Having led the victory, he then wonders if it might not be possible for him to accept the glory offered him by his people? Must it all go to God? Might he not be made king, as the people wish? What could possibly be wrong with that?
In the hands of the award-winning American dramatist, Paddy Chayefsky, this story, 3000 years old, becomes the vehicle for exploring nothing less than Man’s relationship with God and God’s with Man. Chayefsky—the only author to win three solo Best Screenplay Academy Awards (for MARTY, HOSPITAL, and NETWORK) uses his remarkable sense of language, humor, poetry, and irony to examine this intricate web of faith and dis-belief, of acceptance and defiance, of free will and destiny. It is a profound piece of theatre.
About the Presentation:
Gideon will be the fourth presentation of the Inaugural Series of EARTh (Equity Actors’ Readers’ Theatre). Featuring some of the finest professional actors in the Greater Kansas City area, this concert-style stage reading will be presented—one night only—on Monday, April 11, at 7:30PM, in the Music & Art Building on the campus of St. Teresa’s Academy/KCYA, 5601 Wyandotte (between 55th & 57th, between Wornall & Brookside Boulevard), in Kansas City, MO. Ample free parking is available in the lot accessed from 57th Street, between Wyandotte and Main. Admission is free, though donations are welcome and encouraged.
As with all of EARTh’s presentations, the company features—exclusively—Kansas City-area professional Theatre Artists. This cast includes (in alphabetical order): Teri Adams, Kevin Albert, Ruth Baum Bigus, Doogin Brown, Kevin Fewell, Evan Gamsu, Laurie J. Hamilton, Brad Jackson, Kelly Main, Kyle Mowry, Paul Orwick, John Robert Paisley, Emily Peterson, Richard Preis, Michael Rapport, Victor Raider-Wexler, Jan Rogge, Margaret Shelby, Karl Walter, and Ron Willis, with Matt Rapport as Gideon and Jim Birdsall as The Angel of the Lord. Doug Weaver directs, with Jim Mitchell as Production Stage Manager.
All EARTh readings are presented in association with Kansas City Young Audiences, under the auspices of Actors’ Equity Association’s Member’s Project Code, with the overview of Equity’s Kansas City Area Liaison Committee.
EARTh was formed to feature the extraordinarily talented Kansas City-area Members and Member Candidates of Actors’ Equity Association in magnificent plays that are rarely presented—outside academic theatre—because the production costs (large casts, multiple sets, costumes, etc.) are often prohibitive for a typical professional theatre’s season.
EARTh’s readings are presented on Monday nights—the customary theatre “dark night,” when performances are rarely scheduled. EARTh can, therefore, access the cream of the KC theatre community crop—even while actors and stage managers might be otherwise employed at other local theatres. Our commitment is to insure that at least 75% of each EARTh cast will be AEA Members and Candidates.
The first reading in EARTh’s Inaugural Series was Jean Giraudoux’s 1945 comic fantasy THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, presented October 11, 2010. The holiday offering was Kaufman & Hart’s hilarious THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, December 13. Nikolai Gogol’s classic comedy THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR was presented February 21. And, thanks to the generosity of our contributors, we will be able to add one additional presentation to our Inaugural Season, Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s, THE PHYSICISTS, May 9.
All of EARTh’s presentations are performed under AEA’s Member’s Project Code: no admission can be charged and there are no ticket sales. Instead, donations are accepted (and encouraged) at the door and all of the donations are then shared equally among all of the Equity Members and Candidates in the Company of any given EARTh presentation.
Contributions are also sought to help defray the numerous overhead expenses for each presentation—production
rights, script purchases, script enlarging and photo-copying, rental of the hall, program printing,
concessions, etc. To help underwrite EARTh presentations and to ensure their continuance,
individuals or institutions who wish to make in-kind or cash donations are asked to contact Kip
Niven at EarthKC.email@example.com. Your support will be graciously received.