The Living Room has announced a 2012-2013 season that includes surprises, a couple of reprises, two slots yet to be filled and a new staging of a show that was first seen at the KC Fringe Festival in 2009.
The season kicks off in September (specific dates to come) with a production of “Sex, Drugs, Rock Roll” by Eric Bogosian and performed by Forrest Attaway. Attaway has delivered memorable performances in a string of shows at the Living Room and the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, but this is a solo performance and as such will pose a special challenge because he’ll be working with more than one director.
Bogosian’s script, in which we meet a panhandler, an aging British rock star and a gallery of other characters offering grim commentary on the state of the Earth, is organized in roughly 12 parts. And so the Living Room will bring together 12 directors, each assigned a specific passage.
Among the directors lined up are Shawnna Journagan, the Living Room’s executive director; Rusty Sneary, the company’s artistic director; Jerry Genochio of Kansas City Repertory Theatre; actors Matt Weiss and Chris Roady; and Scott Cordes and Mark Robbins, both actors with estimable directing credits.
Following a TBA slot in October, director Bryan Moses, the Living Room’s associate artistic director, will restage David Harrower’s “Blackbird” in January. This serious and disturbing drama, in which a child molester is contacted by his victim years after the fact, will star Scott Cordes and Vanessa Severo, who first performed the piece at the Living Room in early 2011.
Another TBA slot is on the calendar in February, but in March director Kyle Hatley will restage his stripped-down version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” at the Spencer Theatre at the UMKC Performing Arts Center. The production is also on Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s season. Hatley is associate artistic director at the Rep, which is officially presenting the Living Room production and staging it in the round.
In April the company will present in rotating repertory two searing dramas from the 1980s: “Hurlyburly” by David Rabe and “Burn This” by Lanford Wilson. Each cast will be headed by Matt Weiss, Rusty Sneary and Vanessa Severo. “Hurlyburly,” directed by Bryan Moses, depicts drug-addled Hollywood players confronting their meaningless lives. “Burn This,” directed by Scott Cordes, depicts a gathering in Manhattan of the friends and lovers of a young gay dancer who has died in a boating accident.
In May, Hatley will restage his epic “Death of Cupid: A Whiskey Musical,” which he first directed for the Fringe Festival in 2009. Modeled more or less on “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, this exploration of Greek mythology requires a big cast and incorporates blues, folk and gospel music.
For more information about the theater, 1818 McGee St., call 816-533-5857 or go tothelivingroomkc.com.