Monday, November 21, 2016

Iconic Women Theatre Series will premiere in Kansas in 2017

by Kevin Surbaugh

Topeka - A series of one act plays are coming to Baldwin City.  According to a press release sent to the Gazette

The Iconic Women Theatre Series will premiere in Kansas in 2017, featuring five full-length, one-actor plays on the lives of women who history has either failed to correctly or completely remember. The first play in the series, The Hours of Anne, about Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s Henry VIII and the first to be beheaded, ran in Topeka as part of a touring company in the Spring of 2016.
Photo courtesy of Mike Brommel

The release continued, that each of the five plays will be recast with Kansans, Kansas directors and other crew members. All of the plays that are coming to the state were written or co-written by Mike Broemmel and Seth Holley. The plays will be performed on stage in various communities throughout the state, including Baldwin City, during 2017. According to Brommel the plays will be performed in Topeka, Kansas City (Kansas), Salina and Wichita.In addition, they would like do some smaller communities, like Baldwin City and Atchison as well, where they may only do one or two plays, rather than all five plays.

“The response to the plays in the Iconic Women Theatre Series has been amazing,” explained co-playwright of the project, Broemmel, a former resident of Topeka. “We had the privilege of bringing one of the plays to Kansas in 2016 and are extremely excited about the whole series running in Kansas next year.”

At this time, it is unknown where in Baldwin City, the productions will be performed.However, since they are one person plays they can be performed almost anywhere. A community center, art center or a library, it doesn't have to be on a stage in a theater.

The plays in the series are:

1. The Hours of Anne
Myths and legends abound about Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII. The Hours of Anne takes a theatre goer through the final day in the life of this young woman who met her ultimate destiny on the executioner's block. The Hours of Anne relies on historical records and the actual words of the young queen during the final hours of her short life.

2. The Bonfils Girl
Frederick Bonfils was a down and dirty businessman in the days when Colorado was still a part of the proverbial Wild West. Frederick founded the Denver Post -- as well as gambling casinos and (some say) houses of prostitution. Frederick fathered two daughters, the younger being Helen.  Helen would achieve amazing success in the early part of the 20th century in her own right -- including being the first female producer on Broadway and taking the reins as publisher of the Denver Post among other achievements. Helen Bonfils always felt she lived in her father's shadow. The Bonfils Girl brings Helen to the stage, reflecting on the ins and outs, ups and downs (and maybe a few vices) in her life.

3. La Primera Mujer: The True Story of Eva Peron
La Primera Mujer tells the tale of the former Argentine First Lady, Eva Peron, who garnered international renown during her lifetime and gained further recognition in the 1980s as a result of the widely-acclaimed musical Evita. However, this is very different from the musical.  La Primera Mujer tells the true story of Eva Peron … and it’s completely different from the one told by Andrew Lloyd Webber in Evita. Despite the portrayal in "Evita," Eva Peron was neither a social climbing whore or a money grubbing thief. Rather, she was a complicated woman committed to reaching out to the poor of her nation. Witness her story of taking the helm of a country through the majestic power of her voice.

4. Stand Still & Look Stupid
Stand Still & Look Stupid tells the tale of legend Hedy Lamarr, a world-famous actress in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hedy was the most popular World War II pin-up girl and was known worldwide as "the most beautiful girl in the world." What most people do not realize is that Hedy Lamarr was a brilliant inventor. Her work laid the groundwork for the technology that permits us to have GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, television remote controls and a wide-range of other products we depend on each and every day. Hedy Lamarr was a talented actress ... but she truly is also the proverbial "mother of WiFi," among other things.

5. Call Me Mrs. Evers
The final play in the Iconic Women quintet is Call Me Mrs. Evers. The play chronicles the incredible life story of civil rights leader Myrlie Evers, from the night her husband, Medgar Evers, was assassinated on the driveway of their home in Mississippi to her rise as the first woman to head up the NAACP. Call Me Mrs. Evers tells the tale of the journey from the horrific night in 1963 to obtaining justice for her husband, bettering the lives of oppressed Americans in the process.

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