Oh What A Lovely War
Actors Theatre presents Theatre Workshop’s
Oh What A Lovely War
Co-produced with UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
February 11 – February 27, 2011
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial | Purchase Tickets or call CTO at 816-235-6222
Visit with cast and crew of Oh What A Lovely War during our post show Talk Backs: Friday, 2/18 and Wednesday 2/23 directly following the show.
In a unique collaboration between the National WWI Museum, UMKC Theatre and the Kansas City Actors Theatre, we bring you one of the 20th century’s theatrical masterpieces. A carnival of song, battle and heartbreak as the war to end all wars blazes its way on to the stage at America’s national museum dedicated to that war.
Oh What a Lovely War
Reviews & Press
Photos by Brian Paulette
In a unique collaboration, Kansas City Actors Theatre along with UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum will present “Oh What a Lovely War”
KANSAS CITY, MO (January 5, 2011) – Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT), in a unique collaboration with UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum, will present “Oh What a Lovely War” from February 11 through 27 at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. Directed by UMKC Professor of Theatre Arts Barry Kyle and featuring many graduate students from UMKC Theatre, this 20th−century theatrical masterpiece will also include two prominent local artists, KCAT’s John Rensenhouse and Phil Fiorini. “Oh What a Lovely War” runs Feb. 11-16 in previews and opens Feb. 17 and runs through 27. There will be two 10 a.m. matinee performances for schools and special groups on Feb. 18 and 25.
“The story here, even as it is set in 1914, is the timeless story of every soldier, of their service and sacrifice,” remarks Kyle. “This carnival of song, battle and heartbreak offers a satirical look at World War 1 through the eyes of the everyday man. That message resonates today more than ever.”
The epic musical premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963. It was an ensemble production featuring members of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop. The musical premiered in the United States on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in 1964 and received four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.
The show features such World War I-era songs as “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary“, “Pack up Your Troubles,” and “Keep the Home Fires Burning.” Providing a contrast, harsh images of war and shocking statistics are projected onto the backdrop.
John Rensenhouse has been a member of Kansas City Actors Theatre since 2007 and directed the KCAT productions of “Desdemona: a play about a handkerchief” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.” As an actor, he has toured nationally with the original Broadway productions of “The Lion King” and “Noises Off.” He has played major roles at many Shakespeare Festivals around the country including Oregon, Alabama, Utah and Kansas City’s very own Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. At the Kansas City Rep, he is fondly remembered for his performances as Dracula in “Dracula”, Valmont in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” and Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird.” He has worked extensively at other regional theaters such as the Cincinnati Playhouse, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage and the Resident Ensemble Players at the University of Delaware. Mr. Rensenhouse now serves as President of the Board for KCAT.
Phil Fiorini is a beloved Kansas City actor. He has played Falstaff at Heart of America Shakespeare Festival where past roles include; Ghost/Player King in “Hamlet”, Gremio in “The Taming of the Shrew”, Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the Prince in “Romeo and Juliet.” Local audiences may have seen Phil in “Love, Valour, Compassion”, “Quills”, “Bat Boy: The Musical”, “Spinning Into Butter” and “Mauritius” at the Unicorn Theatre; “Comedy of Errors”, “The Winter’s Tale” and “A Christmas Carol” at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Phil toured for three years in Disney’s Broadway musical “The Lion King” playing Pumbaa, the warthog.
Kat Endsley is also performing in the production and is in her third year pursuing an M.F.A. in acting from UMKC. She received a BA in Theater from the University of Arkansas in 2008. During her time at UMKC she has played Kristine in “Miss Julie”, Dottie in “Killer Joe”, Molly in “Farragut North” (The Unicorn), Estella in “Great Expectations”, Laundress in “A Christmas Carol” (Kansas City Rep), Ariel in “The Tempest”, Melissa in the world premiere of “Train to 2010″ and various roles in “Slammed! KC Speaks Out On the Recession.”
Director Barry Kyle is an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Founding Artistic Director of Swine Palace Productions in Louisiana. He was the first Artistic Director of the RSC’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Mr. Kyle has directed more than 30 productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. These include “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, “Measure for Measure”, “The Two Noble Kinsmen”, “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Richard II”, “Edward Bond’s Lear”, and Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus”. His work has been seen in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Jerusalem, Moscow, Warsaw, Melbourne, and Singapore. He has been twice nominated for Olivier Awards as Best Director for his RSC productions of Shakespeare’s comedies in London. In New York he directed an off-Broadway production of “Henry V” which was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival. Also in New York City, he adapted and directed “Henry VI”, which won a Drama Desk Nomination as Outstanding Revival. He has directed many major British actors including Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, Kenneth Branagh and Ben Kingsley. He was the first Western director to work at the National Theatre in Prague where he directed Shakespeare’s “King Lear” during the ‘velvet revolution’. He was awarded “Director of the Year” by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper in 2006.
Tickets are available online at www.kcactors.org or the Central Ticket Office at 816.235.6222.
“Oh What a Lovely War” Performance Dates:
Friday Feb 11 7:30pm
Saturday Feb 12 7:30pm
Sunday Feb 13** 2:00pm
Monday Feb 14 7:30pm
Wednesday Feb 16 7:30pm
Thursday Feb 17 7:30pm
Friday Feb 18** 10:00am* & 7:30pm
Saturday Feb 19 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday Feb 20 2:00pm
Tuesday Feb 22 7:30pm
Wednesday Feb 23** 7:30pm
Thursday Feb 24 7:30pm
Friday Feb 25 10:00am* & 7:30pm
Saturday Feb 26 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday Feb 27 2:00pm
* There will be two 10 a.m. matinee performances for schools and special groups: Feb. 18 and 25. Please call (816) 784-1926 for more group information.
**Post Show Talk Backs Sunday 2/13, Friday 2/18 and Wednesday 2/23. Join cast and crew and a member of the Museum’s curatorial staff following the performance to discuss the show.
The Kansas City Actors Theatre (KCAT) celebrates its sixth season of performing classic and modern classic plays. Founded and still led by local working artists, KCAT is a collective of actors, stage managers, designers and community members who are dedicated to a theatrical experience of the highest quality while focusing on the craft of the actor and the words of the playwright. Beginning in 2005, KCAT has staged 18 productions reaching over 20,000 people in nearly 300 performances. Every year since its inception, KCAT has been acknowledged as having produced the Best Play of the Year or been named the Best Theatre Company by the area’s critics and publications. Among the cited productions have been “The Cripple of Inishmaan” (2005), the Talley Trilogy (2006), “Dinner With Friends” (2007) and “Glengarry Glen Ross” (2009). This season’s “True West” was cited by the Kansas City Star as the “don’t-miss-theatre” production of the summer.
The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes today. Through thousands of artifacts—from hand grenades to handkerchiefs, from howitzers to rare flags—the Museum tells the deeply personal stories of tremendous sacrifice, technological breakthroughs and the horrors and heroics of war. With one of the greatest collections of World War I artifacts anywhere in the world, the Museum uses its world-class collection, along with interactive technology, to tell the story of the war through the eyes of those who lived it. The Museum and its Over There Café are located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Call 816-784-1918 or visit ww.theworldwar.org for details.
UMKC Theatre has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top graduate theatre training programs in the country. The program trains a select group of highly talented actors, designers, stage managers and dramaturgs for careers in the performing arts. Graduates from the UMKC program are invited to the most prestigious New York competitions and auditions to exhibit their work and secure positions with national and international performing companies. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and is a member of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement. UMKC has been designated as Missouri’s Campus for the Arts.
More information is available online at www.kcactors.org
For interviews and press passes to performances, contact Ellen McDonald, 816.444.0052 or email@example.com.
SPECIAL LECTURE – FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
“Bernhardt’s Last Stand in America: How the One-Legged Actress Promoted American Involvement in World War I”
February 19, 2011 11:00 AM
J.C. Nichols Auditorium of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, 100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Londré will detail how French actress Sarah Bernhardt’s ninth and last American tour affected the French and American war effort. Targeted in 1914 by the invading Germans as a French national treasure, Bernhardt was rushed out of Paris to safety. The 1915 amputation of her leg did not abate her zeal to devote her artistry to the patriotic cause, and she arrived later that year in the still-neutral U.S. with a repertoire that included some inflammatory drama.
The free lecture is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ UMKC Theatre and Kansas City Actors Theatre, in conjunction with its production ofOh What a Lovely War.
Londré specializes in French, American and Russian theatre history of the Belle Epoque and Great War eras. She has lectured internationally on subjects ranging from Shakespeare authorship to Tennessee Williams. She has given invitational lectures or lecture tours in Russia, France (including the Sorbonne), Hungary, China and Japan. Her 14 books include the George Freedley Memorial Award-winning “The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater, 1870-1930″. Her current research focuses on American and French theatre artists in the Great War.