Adding to their 40th season and following the successful run of Venus in Fur, The Unicorn Theatre prepares to launch Seminar, a dark comedy from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Redbeck where four New York City novelists sign up for a seminar with an international literary figure.
The Unicorn’s version of Seminar comes to life via the direction of Theodore Swetz. The provocative comedy peeks in on Kate, Izzy, Douglas, and Martin who enroll for a private writing class with Leonard, the well-known literary figure.
According to information provided, “under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder while learning what it takes to get ahead. Vicious wordplay, romance and biting comedy all become weapons as each student fights for success.”
Like many modern plays, Seminar features strong language, and in this case some brief nudity–nothing new here for Unicorn productions, known to push the envelope and grow their audiences.
Seminar features a cast of five actors from the metro area. The cast is: Robert Gibby Brand as Leonard, Chioma Anyanwu as Izzy, Noah Whitmore as Douglas, Courtney Salvage as Kate and Logan Black as Martin.
Seminar is on Unicorn Theatre’s Mainstage located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The show runs Oct. 16-Nov. 10. Previews are Oct. 16, 17, and 18. Opening night is Oct. 19.
Performances run Tues., Wed. and Thurs. at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.. Talks back performances, where patrons are encouraged to stay after the show and discuss the play with the actors and director, are scheduled for Oct. 22, 27, and Nov. 3.
Tickets are now on sale. Call 816-531-PLAY (7529) EXT. 10, online at www. UnicornTheatre.org 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.
Unicorn Theatre announces a new pricing for Seminar, Pay What U Can, a spokesman for the theatre said.
“In an effort to break down social and economic barriers, Unicorn Theatre has turned each Tuesday and Wednesday evening performance of Seminar into an opportunity for patrons to pay what they can afford for their ticket. Pay What U Can tickets are available the day of the show and can be purchased by visiting the Unicorn Theatre during Box Office hours, 30 minutes prior to the show or by calling 816.531.7529 ext. 10. Box Office hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are 12pm-7:30pm.” the spokesman said.
The Unicorn’s production of Seminar includes a strong creative team as well as a cast of actors with long, well-developed biographies. Information self-provided to The Unicorn follows:
Theodore Swetz (director) (The Patricia McIlrath Endowed Professor - Head of Acting UMKC) began his career with the NY Shakespeare Festival, at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park and Lincoln Center. He later went on to be a founding member of the Tony Nominated, American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI. Some Kansas City directing credits include - Sideman, Rabbit Hole, Inspecting Carol (Unicorn Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (KC Rep), Ferdinand the Bull (The Coterie) Tally’s Folly (KCAT), and Twelfth Night and Killer Joe, (UMKC Theatre). He is currently an artistic associate of the celebrated Riverside Theatre in the Park, Iowa City, where he has played the role of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and has directed As You Like It, Ah Wilderness! and The School for Scandal. Ted received his training from legendary teachers Stella Adler, Morris Carnovsky and Phoebe Brand, all original members of the historic Group Theater.
Robert Gibby Brand (Leonard) was last seen at Unicorn Theatre in Inspecting Carol. A familiar figure on KC stages, Bob was most recently seen in Ragtime at the MET, and in The Butterfly Effect during the KC Fringe Festival. He has also appeared with Quality Hill Playhouse, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, KC Rep, New Theatre, The Coterie, KC Lyric Opera as well as five productions at the lamented American Heartland Theatre.
Chioma Anyanwu (Izzy) returns to the Unicorn after being seen in Hungry, Ruined, Everyday Rapture, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Mountaintop.
Noah Whitmore (Douglas) is making his debut on the Unicorn stage. He has performed on other stages around Kansas City, most recently with Egads! Theatre as Brad in The Rocky Horror Show. Other recent credits: Life Could Be A Dream (Denny, American Heartland Theatre), Spring Awakening (Moritz, Coterie Theatre) and Once Upon A Mattress (Minstrel, Coterie Theatre).
Courtney Salvage (Kate) is in her third and final year as a graduate actor at UMKC and is making her Unicorn Theatre debut. Favorite KC credits include: Death of a Salesman (Miss Forsythe) at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre; A Devil Inside (Lily), Lady from the Sea (Ellida), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Cunningham) with UMKC.
Logan Black (Martin) is a third year MFA acting candidate at UMKC where he has been seen in Burnt by the Sun, The Lady from the Sea and Devil Inside. He was last seen at The Riverside Festival Theatre in Hamlet and The School for Scandal.
The creative team for Seminar is comprised of many UMKC student designers as well as UMKC Alumni: Jeff Ridenour (scenic design), Adam Raine (lighting design), Kris Kirkwood (assistant lighting design) Aaron Chvatal (costume design), Trevor Frederiksen (prop design) and Michael Heuer and Jason Bauer (sound design). William J. Christie is the Stage Manager, Alyson Germinder is the dramaturg and Erin Ray and Victoria Mueller are the Production Assistants.