A letter from Cynthia
44th Season of Intimate, Inspiring and Invigorating Theatre
"Theatre should start serving the revelation and shaping of the process of living, for which it is uniquely suited, for which it, indeed, exists. There is a hunger to see the human presence acted out. As long as that need remains, people will find a way to do theater.” — Zelda Fichandler, 1924 – 2016
You will see shows here that you have never seen in Kansas City. The idea of doing or seeing something you have never experienced before is exhilarating and we want to share that with you. When you attend a Unicorn show, you will know that it has been chosen from the most exciting stories being written today. These plays give you the opportunity to go places, meet people and feel things you don’t encounter every day.
I love working on new plays. There is no blueprint, no precedent. Out of our 324 productions, 65 of them have been world premieres, the first time anyone has seen them anywhere. From the initial reading on the page to the first rehearsal, we go through a year-long developmental process to help bring each new script to life. You can get involved with the development of new plays alongside the playwright with our In-Progress New Play Reading series where you get a glance at the next great play. In addition to our 7 Regional Premieres this season, we are producing the Rolling World Premiere of PROJECT DAWN. As one of the original members of the National New Play Network (NNPN), we share playwrights and scripts with over 100 theatres throughout the country to insure we are bringing the best in contemporary theatre to Kansas City.
We are thrilled to collaborate with UMKC Department of Theatre on two productions this season, combining the next great generation of artists with our professional staff for an experience that transcends any ordinary event. The Kansas City premiere of MEN ON BOATS and STUPID FUCKING BIRD will be our co-productions with the MFA program this year.
I thank you for choosing to support our effort to make an impact on the community with intelligent, provocative and diverse subject matter. Every play we do will move you in a way that is thought provoking and emotionally charged. Whether it’s shooting the rapids on the Colorado River, looking at America through the eyes of an immigrant or questioning the ethics of scientific research, I can guarantee you a wonderful journey this season.
See you in the lobby!
Cynthia Levin, Producing Artistic Director
Cynthia Levin (PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR) is in her 39th season with the Unicorn. Over the years she has served as a director, actor, designer or producer for over 300 productions. At the Unicorn, she recently directed Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (co-directed with Missy Koonce), Eclipsed, Hand to God, Heathers: The Musical (again, with Missy), The Oldest Boy, Women Playing Hamlet (world premiere), Bad Jews, Grounded, Venus in Fur, My Name is Asher Lev, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Soul Collector (world premiere), Hungry (world premiere), Red, Two Jews Walk Into A War…, Distracted, Green Whales (world premiere), Miss Witherspoon, My First Time, The Clean House, Mauritius, 9 Parts of Desire, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy: The Musical and additionally the world premieres of rightnextto me (both at the Unicorn and Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY), How His Bride Came to Abraham, Light:Damage, Mercy Killing, Innocent Thoughts and Jack and Jill. At Coterie Theatre, she has directed Number the Stars, And Then They Came for Me, Frankenstein, Gatherings in Graveyards (I and II), Valley Song and To Kill A Mockingbird. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she directed readings of Occupants, In The Belly Of The Whale, The Friendship Of Her Thighs, The Last Pair Of Earlies, Tigers Be Still and White Devil and Loving Mother for the MFA Playwright’s Workshop. Cynthia is a graduate of Park University which also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2002. She is a founding board member of the National New Play Network, an organization dedicated to the development and production of new works. She has been honored with the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. She shares her home with Zia (the beagle), Dodger (the cat) and the spirit of the big red dog, Sylvia.
Favorite Unicorn Show: My Name is Asher Lev, Falsettoland (and many others)