Kansas City Repertory Theatre opens its 2022-23 season with Twelfth Night, written by William Shakespeare and adapted and directed by Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III. Performances run September 6 through 25, 2022, at Spencer Theatre. Twelfth Night is a delightful comedy of mistaken identity, music, and the madness of love.
Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III (he/him/his) stated, “I am thrilled to be making my KCRep directing debut with one of the greatest romantic comedies ever written. Twelfth Night is an exciting opportunity to bring a classic to life with an incredible company of artists. It features bold designs built around the identities of a multi-cultural cast and new, original music from Jason Ma that promises to delight in Shakespeare’s most musical play.”
“This tale of love, loss, grief, and isolation has more resonance than ever as we come out of the pandemic. I hope audiences find the joy, laughter, and music in this fresh take on the Bard’s comedy of mistaken identity, gender-bending, and drunken hi-jinks.”
Kansas City Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Stuart Carden (he/him/his) stated, “We are back! And so excited to warmly welcome our KC community to a full and dynamic season of experiences both onstage, under the night sky, and in neighborhoods throughout the city. Kick things off with our brand- new Fall Classic series as Associate Artistic Director, Nelson Eusebio III, leads an extraordinary group of artists from KC and around the country to celebrate Shakespeare’s funniest and most musical of comedies. This season we begin our journey on the Isle of Illyria and end it flying above Neverland– please join us for an extraordinary adventure!”
The cast features Francesca McKenzie as Viola, Brandon Jones as Orsino, Freddy Acevedo as Sebastian, Vanessa Severo as Olivia, Jojo Gonzalez as Feste, Eileen Rivera as Maria, Jimmy Kieffer as Sir Toby, Darrington Clark as Fabian, Sam Cordes as Sir Andrew, Manon Halliburton as Malvolio, and Chelsea Rolfes as Antonia.
The design and production team for Twelfth Night includes VALÉRIE THÉRÈSE BART (Costume Design), LOGAN BLACK (Fight Choreographer), BURKE BROWN (Lighting Design), JORDAN CANON-KRUIS (Assistant Stage Manager) , JENISE COOK (Movement and Intimacy Consultant), TRAVIS CRAFT (Assistant Projection Design), RACHEL DYER (Stage Manager), NELSON T. EUSEBIO III (Director), RANA ESFANDIARY (Scenic Design), HANA S. KIM (Co-Projection Design), JASON MA (Composer), ERIK MEIXELSPERGER (Associate Fight Choreographer), THOMAS NEWBY (Assistant Sound Design), RANI O’BRIEN (Associate Director), SARTJE PICKETT (Sound Design), ANN SLOTE (Co- Projection Design), TERRANCE VOLDEN (Automation Associate), and GAYLE VOSS (Hair, Wig, Makeup Consultant).
FREDDY ACEVEDO (Sebastian) (he/him/his) KCRep: Ghost Light 2021, A Christmas Carol. Local: La Intrevista (Playwright/Producer); Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Jack & the Bean Mágico, Secret Soldiers (The Coterie); Blind Faith (Unicorn Theatre); King Lear, Dracula (Kansas City Actors Theatre); El Amor Que Mueve El Sol y Las Demás Estrellas, El Árbol de Aguacate (KC Public Theatre). Regional: Dia y Noche, Mask Play (LAByrinth Theater Company); Lydia, Santos & Santos (William Inge Theater Festival); Justice Delayed (Playwright, A Call to Conscience Theatre). International:Pachakutec (Bolivia National Tour). Education: MFA Acting, UMKC; Intensive Ensemble 2020, LAByrinth Theater Company. AEA Member @freddyacevedo
DARRINGTON CLARK (Fabian) (he/him/his) KCRep: debut. Local: The Inheritance, Tiny Beautiful Things, Dance Nation, Kill Move Paradise, Who’s Your Baghdaddy (Unicorn Theatre). Hairspray, Godspell (Starlight Theatre); Once on This Island (Spinning Tree Theatre); Cats, My Fair Lady (Musical Theatre Heritage); Charlie Brown Christmas, Puffs, We Shall Not Be Moved, Garfield, Madagascar (The Coterie). Regional: Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); A Christmas Carol, A Year with Frog and Toad (Children’s Theatre of Madison); Ghost, Newsies (Circa 21). Upcoming: A Christmas Carol (KCRep), Dreamgirls (The New Theatre). Education: BS in Theatre, Kansas State University. AEA Member
SAM CORDES (Sir Andrew) (he/him/his) KCRep: Mary’s Wedding, Pride and Prejudice, Pippin, A Christmas Carol, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Local: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Henry V, Julius Cesar (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Our Black Death, Hir, RED, Farragut North, Mineola Twins (Unicorn Theatre); Wrestling Season, Ben Franklin’s Apprentice, Everyday Heroes (The Coterie); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (New Theatre); Talk Radio (The Living Room). Regional: Richard Oberacker’s ACE, As You Like It, Hound of the Baskervilles, Much Ado About Nothing (Nevada Conservatory Theatre); Bad Jews, Diary of Anne Frank (Nevada Jewish Repertory Theatre); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Foreigner, Glass Menagerie, Little Shop of Horrors, The Game’s Afoot (Okoboji Summer Theatre). Upcoming: 2023 Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theatre. Education: MFA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; BFA, Stephens College. AEA Member samcordes.org agilerascaltheatre.com
JOJO GONZALEZ (Feste) (he/him/his) KCRep: debut. Regional: Mlima’s Tale (The Public Theater); The Public Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, DR2, Culture Project, Queens Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, LA Theater Center, Laguna Playhouse. International: Thalia Hall (Romania), The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila). Awards: OBIE The Romance of Magno Rubio, Ma-Yi Theatre Company. TV: New Amsterdam (NBC), Maniac (recurring, NETFLIX, with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill), The Path (recurring, HULU), Madame Secretary, The Blacklist, Blindspot, Mysteries of Laura, Deadbeat, White Collar, Without a Trace, Law and Order SVU. FILM: Going in Style (with Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman); Pirates of Somalia (with Al Pacino); Antarctica, The Smurf’s Movie, A Kiss for Jed, Disoriented. AEA Member
MANON HALLIBURTON (Malvolia) (she/her/hers) KCRep: August Osage County, The Flying Doctor, Plaza Suite, The Proposal. Local: A Doll’s House Part II, Asher Lev, Farragut North, Mr. Burns, The Effect, The Whale (Unicorn Theatre); And Then There Were None, Good People, Crimes of The Heart (Kansas City Actors Theatre); And Then They Came For Me (The Coterie). Regional: Our Town, Huckleberry Finn, The Crucible (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Macbeth, Three Musketeers, Henry IV Part I (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Love Song, Almost Maine, The Tempest (Chester Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol, Murder on The Orient Express (Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre); A Christmas Carol, Wit, Old Times, Boyd and Oscar (Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park); Camino Real (Riverside Theatre); Present Laughter (Century Center for The Performing Arts). TV: Law and Order, The Sopranos. FILM: I Am Lisa (Mutiny Pictures). Education: MFA in Acting Ohio University; BA in Theatre, UMKC. AEA Member
BRANDON JONES (Orsino) (he/him/his) KCRep: debut. Regional: Valley Forge (First Flight); War Words (NewYorkRep); Yuri and Malcolm X and Chasing The Wolf (LA Writers Center); Meet you at the Galaxy Diner (New Light Theater Project); Amen Corner (Classic Stage Company); The Mountaintop (Capital Rep); Coming Up For Air (EST); The Sting of White Roses (NC Black Rep); Trouble In Mind and You Can’t Take It With You (The Actors Theatre Company NYC); ReEntry (Actors Theatre of Louisville and Roundhouse Theatre; References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (Garson Theatre Company); Race Music (Samuel Beckett Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello (Livermore Shakespeare Festival).
JIMMY KIEFFER (Toby) (he/him/his) KCRep: debut. Off-Broadway: Alf in Peter and the Starcatcher (New World Stages); Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol (Canal Park Playhouse). Regional: Clown in The 39 Steps (Repertory Theatre St. Louis); Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Maurice in Ever After, Ben Davis in Nick’s Flamingo Grill (Alliance Theatre); Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Pittsburgh Public Theater); Ed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Repertory Theatre St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Luther Billis in South Pacific (Guthrie Theater); Squash in Victor/Victoria (Theatre Under the Stars); Brian in Avenue Q (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); Charles Dickens/John Allan in The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe, Bob Acres in The Rivals (Baltimore Center Stage); Amadeus, Ross in Macbeth (Chautauqua Theatre); Pap Finn in Big River, Frank Lubey in All My Sons, Lane/Merriman in The Importance of Being Earnest, Touchstone in As You Like It, Carl in Opus, Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, John Browdie/Sir Mulberry Hawk in Nicholas Nickleby (PlayMakers Repertory Company). Film/TV: Ocean’s Eight, Ricki and the Flash, A Place Apart, Criminal Minds, among others. Education: MFA in Acting, UNC Chapel Hill. jimmykieffer.com AEA Member
FRANCESCA MCKENZIE (Viola) (she/her/hers) KCRep: debut. New York: Gloria: A Life (Daryl Roth Theatre); Kenny’s Tavern (59E59); Sorry/Not Sorry (Ars Nova/Ant Fest); Not So Long, Love: Medea, Export Quality, …what the end will be (u/s, Roundabout). Regional: Good Person of Szechwan (CalShakes); Lily’s Revenge (Southern Rep); Twelfth Night (Theater Mu); SYZYGY (Two Rivers Theater); Nanay (Magic Theatre), Sheddin’ (Horizon Theatre); 10 Minutes in 2020, Liébling, King Lear, Oresteia, Mister Paradise, Electra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and more. Film/TV: Blue Bloods, Arcadia, The Hardest Part, Mooshrooms, Locker Room Series, TimeCode NOLA, PBS’ Great Performances recording of Gloria: A Life. Yale: Blood Wedding, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Hour of Great Mercy, Salt Peppa Ketchup, Wrong River, Lear, As You Like It, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Wait… Now, What?!, Death of Yazgherd, Thunder Above, Deeps Below. Education: MFA Acting, Yale School of Drama (now David Geffen School of Drama at Yale). Francescafm.com @cheskamckenzie. AEA Member
EILEEN RIVERA (Maria) (she/her/hers) KCRep: debut. Regional: Tiger Style! (TheatreSquared in NW Arkansas and Olney Theatre Center in Maryland); Men on Boats, The White Snake, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Baltimore Center Stage); Vietgone (Studio Theatre, DC); The Hour of Great Mercy (Diversionary, San Diego); The Long Season (Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska); The Comfort Team (Virginia Stage Company). Off-Broadway: Beast (New York Theater Workshop); Dogeaters (The Public); A Fable (Rattlestick); King Lear (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); Sides: The Fear Is Real (Culture Project). TV: Law & Order; Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Ms. Rivera is the co-founder of The Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC). Awards: AAPAC received a 2022 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as a Special Obie Citation in 2020 for advocacy in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Upcoming: Extrapolations (Apple TV+). Education: BFA in Acting, Boston University. AEA Member EileenRivera.com
CHELSEA ROLFES (Antonia) (she/her/hers) KCRep: debut. Local: Dance Nation (Unicorn Theatre); The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Dragons Love Tacos (The Coterie). Regional: Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Muse of Fire Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (First Folio Theatre); Henry V (Babes with Blades); Starcrossed Stagecoach (Montana Shakes!); It’s a Wonderful Life (Oil Lamp Theatre). Education: MFA, UMKC; BFA, Syracuse University. chelsearolfes.com
VANESSA SEVERO (Olivia) (she/her/hers) KCRep: Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Frida…A Self Portrait (Playwright/Frida), Sex with Strangers, Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike, August: Osage County, Cabaret, Roof of the World, Lot’s Wife, A Christmas Story: The Musical, A Christmas Carol. Regional: Frida…A Self Portrait (Playwright/Frida, Portland Center Stage). Local: Collective Rage; A Play in 5 Bettys (The Black Box); Desdemona, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Death and the Maiden, Blithe Spirit, Taking Sides, Hamlet (Kansas City Actors Theatre); Dance Nation, The Revolutionists, Venus in Fur, Men on Boats, Motherf**ker with the Hat, The Clean House (Unicorn Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); The Miracle Worker (The Coterie); Annapurna, Black Bird, Burn This (The Living Room Theatre); Black Pearl Sings!, West Side Story (Spinning Tree Theatre). Ms. Severo is the recipient of the 11th Round of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships, 2017. Upcoming: Frida…A Self Portrait (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) as well as (The Pittsburgh Public Theater). AEA Member
For more information about the 2022-2023 season, call Ticketing Services, 816-235-2700, or click here. Single tickets begin at $35.00. For group ticket sales, call 816-235-6122.
Lead production support for Twelfth Night is generously funded by Theater League. Additional funding provided by the William T. Kemper Fund for Classic Theatre.
KCRep’s 2022-2023 season is underwritten by the Hall Family Foundation, Hallmark Corporate Foundation, Muriel McBrien Kauffman Family Foundation, The McDonnell Foundation, Inc., The Shubert Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council (a state agency, whose gift is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts), and University of Missouri Kansas City.
KCRep is ready to welcome patrons safely back to the theatre and will continue to follow local, national and union(s) COVID-19 guidelines. Please visit https://kcrep.org/safety/ for the latest information.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on MNN.org.
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