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    Posted August 22, 2008

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Kansas City's Fifth Annual AEA Showcase is Big Success

For the fifth consecutive summer, Kansas City members of Actors' Equity Association presented an evening of short plays to "showcase" their talents for local theatres, agents, casting directors and the KC theatre community. Held from July 31 to August 17, the plays were staged at the intimate Studio 116 on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and featured 16 Equity members, 3 EMCs and 11 non-Equity performers.

THE STING OF LOVE, by Ron Simonian. L-R: Dean Vivian*, Scott Cordes*, Tom Moriarty* (*AEA)
Photo: Jinni Pike

The evening included six world premieres, with five penned by Kansas City playwrights, including:

  • THE STING OF LOVE, by Ron Simonian, featuring AEA members Tom Moriarty, Scott Cordes and Dean Vivian, directed by Ron Simonian.

  • I DON"T THINK WE'RE IN KANSAS ANYMORE (An American Fantasy), by Frank Higgins, featuring members Martin English and his wife, Cynthia Hyer, directed by Paul Alan Burns.

  • THUNDERMAN AND KNOCKOUT GIRL, by Sean Grennan, featuring members Martin English, John-Michael Zeurlein, directed by Equity member William J. Christie.

  • THE COVE, by Catherine Browder, featuring members Peggy Friesen, directed by member Michael Andrew Smith.

  • HEAT OF THE MOMENT, by Rosemarie Woods, featuring members Jeannie Averill and Andi Meyer, directed by member Ron Schaeffer

  • THE DOCENT, written by Equity member Cynthia Hyer, featuring members Robert Foulk, Barbara Houston, and directed by member Katie Gilchrist.

THUNDERMAN AND KNOCKOUT GIRL, by Sean Grennan. L-R: Rachael Redler, Martin English*, Andy Perkins (*AEA)
Photo: Jinni Pike

According to Kansas City Area Liaison Chair Tom Moriarty, the event was a huge success:

"We sold out 8 out of the 12 performances, and had overwhelmingly positive response from our audiences and the press," noted Tom. "The shows were reviewed favorably by critics from the Kansas City Star, The Pitch (an arts weekly) and two online pubs, and one of the shows has been picked up and will be moving to Chicago for performances at the Prop Theatre this fall."

The event was also featured on KCUR Radio (

"One of the best aspects of our showcase is that we actually get work out of this. In fact, five EMCs have been able to join Equity as a direct result of the showcase." The shows are performed under the Members Project Code, which allows members to self-produce and showcase their talents in order to get work.

Public Arts : Showcase Spotlights Acting Community's Range (2008-07-30) - make sure you hit the MP3 button to play the story.

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