KC Fringe Festival- July 21-July 31
The KC Fringe Festival is the largest theater event to happen in KC all year. With the most shows going on at the same time along with other mediums the Fringe Fest should not be missed. KC Fringe is a 10-day event happening in theaters all over the KC area. This festival is a collaboration of dancers, filmmakers, musicians and actors of all genres.
With the $5 purchase of a Fringe Button, patrons can purchase tickets as well as gain free admission to certain events. The KC Fringe Festival was inspired by the festival of the same name that takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland each year.
With dramatic and comedic plays, art exhibits, puppetry, fashion shows, films and much more, there is something for everyone. Tickets vary from free to $30, so there is a show for every budget.
Shows take place at all times of the day throughout the 10-day period and are open to anyone with a Fringe Button. Common Fringe show theaters include The Living Room, The Off Center Theatre, The Fishtank, The Unicorn and La Esquina.
Shakespeare in the Park- MacBeth: June 14- July 3
Every year in Southmoreland Park, right in the backyard of the Nelson Art Gallery, the spacious green lawn is transformed into a medieval community centered around Shakespeare. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, also known as KC Shakes, is a completely free show that takes donations at the door.
This years production will be Macbeth and stars many notable actors from the KC area including Matt Raport, Cinnamon Schultz, Bruce Roach, and John Resenhouse as Macbeth.
On the way to the theater there are restaurant booths and pre-show Shakespeare activities. Brio’s Tuscan Grille offers a buffet for a fee and a festival wouldn’t be complete without kettle corn, Dippin’ Dots and funnel cakes. The audience must supply their own chairs or blankets. Macbeth will be playing from June 14 to July 3.
Theatre in the Park-
Each summer The Theatre in the Park, also known as TTIP, presents four well-known musicals, but it is the personal atmosphere that makes the shows unique. With free seating and “blankets only” sections, it isn’t uncommon to see audience members on blankets with picnics as well as people dancing in the grass during musical numbers.
Along with professionals from around the KC area, TTIP also employs students in the cast and crew. Sophomores Emmy Hadley and Chase Ainsworth will be performing in “The Sound of Music,” while sophomore Lily Kaufman and seniors Amy Cosgrove and Emily Welter will be playing multiple roles in “Les Miserables.” Freshman Madison Stottle, junior Meghan Spivak and senior Alex Rorie are in the ensemble of “Aida” and freshman twins Alec and Justic Armer will be dancers in “Seussical.”
With so many East students acting in the four shows and a number of students working back stage you may even see someone you know. TTIP tickets are $8 per show.
Sound of Music- June 10-19
Les Miserables- June 23-July 3
Aida- July 8-17
Seussical- July 22-31
Coterie- The Wiz: June 21- August 7
The Coterie is a common field trip for elementary schools, but this summer they will be presenting something less educational and more focused on fun. Located in Crown Center, the Coterie is one of Time Magazine’s top five children’s theaters in the country.
“The Wiz” is a Tony Award winning modern version of “The Wizard of Oz” and will be directed by the Coterie’s Artistic Director Jeff Church. The show, like most Coterie productions, will include professionals from around the area as well as student actors.
Set to run from June 21 to August 7 “The Wiz” will be performed with morning shows, matinees and nightly shows. Student tickets are $10 while adult tickets run for $15.
Living Room- Carousel: June 11-13, 16-20, 25-27
The Living Room is one of the newest theaters around the KC area and has many unique aspects including two floors, live music during intermissions and sofas and lounge chairs as seating.
The theater is known for plays with dark subject matter, such as “Blackbird,” which deals with a victim’s confrontation with the man who sexually assaulted her. But the Living Room will be warming up a bit this summer with their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Carousel.”
The musical is set to take place during June after the Living Room wraps up their production of A Tribute to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” “Carousel” will be directed by Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Kyle Hatley and will run from June 11-13 and June 16-20 with possible extensions date of June 25-27.
Off Center Theatre- Gypsy: May 12-29
While most shows this summer will be creating intricate and detailed sets for their productions the Off Center Theatre will be presenting a stripped down concert version of the Stephen Sondheim’s musical drama “Gypsy.” The Off Center Theatre is one of three theatres in Crown Center.
Set in the 1920’s, this dark musical is centered on Rose and her two daughters, Louise and June, who she uses in her vaudeville circus act. “Gypsy” is the classic story of a stage mom living vicariously through her children only to end up without the family she once had.
The concert version will include a stripped down version of a set, all actors in black and very little blocking. Sophomore AJ Orth will be playing the role of Anjie, a newsboy and performer, in his first performance as a paid actor.
Tickets are between $15-30 and the show will run from May 12-29.