Performing Arts

Unicorn Theatre packs next season with plays never performed in KC

Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Disgraced” shows an intense evening of two couples at a dinner party. After playing on Broadway, it will make its KC premiere this fall at the Unicorn Theatre.
Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Disgraced” shows an intense evening of two couples at a dinner party. After playing on Broadway, it will make its KC premiere this fall at the Unicorn Theatre.

The Unicorn Theatre will present seven Kansas City premieres and one world premiere in its 2017-18 season starting in September, a mix of comedy, drama and adventure.

Here’s the recently announced lineup for the 44th season, culled by producing artistic director Cynthia Levin:

▪ “Men on Boats,” Sept. 6-Oct. 1: Just to be clear, there are no men in the cast of Jaclyn Backhaus’ satire based on the journals of a 19th-century explorer on the Colorado River. The all-female cast, speaking in modern vernacular, re-creates the crew’s adventures through the Grand Canyon

▪ “Disgraced,” Oct. 18-Nov. 12: The Kansas City Repertory Theatre presented Ayad Akhtar’s “The Invisible Hand” last fall and “The Who & the What” the previous season. Now the Unicorn will present his most acclaimed play, a Pulitzer Prize winner about a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, his white artist wife and the dynamics of cultural assimilation during a dinner party.

▪ “Stupid F---in Bird,” Nov. 29-Dec. 23: Aaron Posner’s snarky reimagining of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” mixes an aspiring director, a beautiful young actress, an aging Hollywood star and a famous author searching for love and meaning.

▪ “Chesapeake,” Dec. 19-Jan. 7: A performance artist takes aim at a conservative senator by plotting to kidnap his dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever. By Lee Blessing.

▪ A world premiere to be announced, Jan. 24-Feb. 18, 2018. The Unicorn’s most recent world premiere was January’s well-received “How to Use a Knife” by Will Snider.

▪ “Informed Consent,” March 7-April 1, 2018: A genetic anthropologist is desperately trying to save her daughter from developing early-onset Alzheimer’s. But when she applies her research to an isolated Native American tribe she begins to cross ethical boundaries. By Deborah Zoe Laufer.

▪ “Vietgone,” April 18-May 13, 2018: Qui Nguyen’s romance chronicles his parents’ meeting in an Arkansas refugee center after fleeing Vietnam.

▪ “Hir,” May 30-June 24, 2018: In Taylor Mac’s dark comedy, a soldier returns home only to find that his mother is happily going about her life while his father, a victim of a stroke, slumps in a corner and his sister Maxine is now a transgender boy named Max.

Season subscriptions to the Unicorn are available by calling 816-531-7529, Ext. 10, or in person at the box office, 3828 Main St.

Sharon Hoffmann: 816-234-4457, @Sharonakc

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