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July 27, 2008    Publication: The Kansas City Star

The fifth annual Equity Actors' Showcase brings together some of the Kansas City area's best professional actors, directors and playwrights. Performances begin Thursday and continue through Aug. 3. Subsequent performances are scheduled Aug. 8-11 and Aug. 14-17 in Studio 116 on the first floor of the UMKC Performing Arts Center. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. except the Aug. 17 matinee, which starts at 2 p.m. Tom Moriarty, the local Equity liaison, said the idea for an annual showcase began early in the tenure of former Kansas City Repertory Theatre artistic director Peter Altman. Local actors feared that Altman would not hire many of them for Rep productions. As it turned out, he did hire Kansas City actors, but never as many as his predecessor, George Keathley."What he tried to do was reach out, I think, specifically to the Equity community here in Kansas City, and someone on his staff began meeting with us," Moriarty said. "Somebody tossed out the idea of doing a 10-minute-play festival. The first year we did seven pieces, three performances and a world premiere." This year all six shows will be world premieres and five are by Kansas City playwrights. The playwrights are paid, and the actors will divide what's left after expenses. The plays range from about 13 minutes to 28 minutes, he said. The plays:** "Sting of Love" by Ron Simonian. Simonian directs the comedy about a prostitution sting. Cast: Scott Cordes, Tom Moriarty, Dean Vivian, Peter Weber and Sarah Nickerson.** "I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore" by Frank Higgins. Moriarty said the play depicts a "fantasy culture clash between American and Iraqi culture. It's a comedy." Cast includes Martin English, Cynthia Hyer, Nathaniel Card and Teresa Spoon. Paul Burns directs.** "Thunderman and Knockout Girl" by New York-based Sean Grennan. William J. Christie directs the superhero story about a clash between good and evil. Cast: Martin English, John-Michael Zeurlein, Andy Perkins, Rachel Redler and Lauren Lubow.** "The Cove" by Catherine Browder. Michael Smith directs the piece about a marine biologist who "puts a career at risk because of an extraordinary natural phenomenon." Cast: Peggy Friesen and Andy Garrison.** "Heat of the Moment" by Rosemarie Woods. Set on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, the play takes a look at tribalism. Ron Schaefer directs. Cast: Jeannie Averill, Andi Myer and Vi Tran.** "The Docent" by Cynthia Hyer. Described by Moriarty as a "supernatural museum tour." Cast: Robert Foulk, Barbara Houston, Daniel Hillaker.Moriarty, who has been in Kansas City about 13 years, said he plans to move to Chicago in the fall." This will be my final year doing it," he said. "I've talked to a couple of people about taking it over and hopefully they can keep it going." Seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call 816-420-7213. A $12 donation is requested. Kansas City Star, The (MO) Date: July 27, 2008

Equity Actors' Showcase begins this week: Press
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