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Comedy, ‘By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,’ ends Unicorn’s 40th season

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Kansas City’s Unicorn Theatre, known for pushing the envelope with bold new plays brings a comedy by Lynn Nottage and directed by Missy Koonce, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” as a comedic finale to the Unicorn’s powerhouse 40th consecutive season.

The play centers on a seventy-year journey through the life of a headstrong African-American domestic maid and budding actress named Vera Stark and her relationship with her employer, a white Hollywood star, the Unicorn said. When both women land roles in the same film, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.

Lynn Nottage won the Pulitzer Prize for her play, “Ruined,” seen at Unicorn Theatre in 2011. “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” features: Dianne Yvette as Vera Stark, Katie Karel as Gloria Mitchell, Tosin Morohunfola as Leroy Barksdale, Donnette Coleman as Lottie McBride, Emily Shackelford as Anna Mae Simpkins, Marc Liby as Fredrick Slasvick and Justin Speer as Maxmillian Von Oster.

The creative team for "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark" is Gary Mosby (scenic design), Alex Perry (lighting design), Erica Sword (costume design), Emily Swensen (prop design), David Kiehl (sound design). Tanya Brown is the Stage Manager, Amanda Boyle is the dramaturg and Kelsey Brennan is the Production Assistant.

“By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” performs on Unicorn Theatre’s Mainstage located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The show runs June 4 – 29. Previews are June 4, 5, and 6. Opening Night is June 7.

Performances run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are “Pay What U Can” performances. Talk back performances, where patrons are encouraged to stay after the show and discuss the play with the actors and director, are scheduled for June 10.

Tickets are now on sale. Call 816-531-PLAY (7529) EXT. 10, online at or buy in person at the box office located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. Special discounts are available for seniors (65+), students and patrons under age 30.