The Pinter Project


Two Shows in Rotating Repertory!

The Birthday Party
by Harold Pinter
Directed by Bruce Roach

August 16 – September 11, 2011
Union Station’s H&R Block City Stage

Meg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Melinda McCrary*
Goldberg . . . . . . . . . . . .Mark Robbins*
McCann . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brian Paulette*
Petey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Gibby Brand*
Stanley . . . . . . . . . . . . . TJ Chasteen
Lulu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kelly Gibson
* Denotes Equity Actor
The Birthday Party was the first full-length offering from British playwright Harold Pinter, who is now widely regarded as the theatre’s master of enigma and menace. The play takes us to a godforsaken seaside guest house run by Meg and her husband Petey. The only guest is Stanley, a former pianist with a shady past, upon whom Meg dotes. Into this uneasy family come two additional guests, a pair of suspiciously underworldly types who seem to have some unfinished business with Stanley. The style of The Birthday Party swings from the broadly comic to the deeply unnerving, with a nod to the absurd along the way. It’s easy to see why The Sunday Times critic Harold Hobson, responding to the first production of The Birthday Party, wrote that “Pinter, on the evidence of this work, possesses the most original, disturbing and arresting talent in theatrical London.”


The Collection, The Lover, & Night

by Harold Pinter
Directed by John Rensenhouse

August 18 – September 11, 2011
Union Station’s H&R Block City Stage

The Collection
James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brian Paulette*
Stella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carla Noack*
Harry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Gibby Brand*
Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TJ Chasteen

The Lover
Sarah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Melinda McCrary*
Richard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Robbins*
John, The Milkman . . . . . John Rensenhouse*

Night
Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Rensenhouse*
Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carla Noack*

* Denotes Equity Actor
The Collection focuses on sexual relationships—hetero-, homo- and bi—and shows us the corrosive effects of jealousy and suspicion. The play brings us into the lives of two couples: Bill is a young fashion designer who lives with his older partner, Harry. Across town, Stella, also in the fashion business, lives with her husband Jimmy. A whispered account of a sexual liaison between members of these two households kicks off the action of the play in which mysterious visits and phone calls occur, threats are made, and blood is drawn. The Collection is replete with Harold Pinter’s signature mix of menace and wit, and Pinter’s skill with language heightens the erotic charge that flows among this quartet.

Like The Collection, The Lover centers on extra-marital affairs, but with many more unexpected twists and turns. Richard and Sarah are a couple enjoying a pleasant, if somewhat staid, married life. He works and she keeps house. The unconventional aspect of their relationship is in the fact that they both have lovers, and are quite willing to share information about them with each other. As the play progresses it becomes clear that Richard and Sarah are perhaps not as sanguine about this state of “affairs” as they pretend to be. The Lover explores desire, love, identity, and the lengths people will go to keep a marriage alive, all with Pinter’s usual mixture of laughter and danger.

In his short play Night, Pinter gives us a married couple who, over coffee, reminisce about their first intimate encounter. The thing is, their memories of the moment are strikingly different. The differences in their recollections reflect the differences between the sexes, as seen through Pinter’s incisive vision. Alastair Macaulay of the NY Times wrote, “He is, it often seems, the last modernist, the last classicist, and, in plays likeNight, the last romantic.”

God of Carnage

by Yasmina Reza
Co-produced with Unicorn Theatre in partnership with UMKC Theatre

October 19 – November 13, 2011
The Unicorn Theatre

Two couples meet to have a civil discussion regarding a schoolyard fight between their sons. What results is a savagely hysterical night of tantrums and tears before bedtime — and the kids aren’t even there! This sharp-edged new play is a 90-minute thrill ride that takes you into the most dangerous place on earth: parenthood.

Billy Bishop Goes to War

KCMetropolis picks Billy Bishop Goes to War as an Editor’s Pick!

by John MacLachlan Gray and Eric Peterson
Co-produced with UMKC Theatre and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

February 10 – 26, 2012
The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

Our partnership with UMKC Theatre and one of Kansas City’s true gems, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, continues following last season’s hit Oh What a Lovely War. This contemporary classic of Canadian theater uses music and stagecraft to examine what heroism means…and what it takes to turn an innocent into a warrior.