A letter from Cynthia
43rd Season of Intimate, Inspiring and Invigorating Theatre
"Theatre should start serving the revelation and shaping of the process of living, for which it is uniquely suited, for which it, indeed, exists. There is a hunger to see the human presence acted out. As long as that need remains, people will find a way to do theater.” — Zelda Fichandler, 1924 – 2016
We all seek mentors and teachers in our community and profession to lead and inspire us. This past summer I lost a mentor, Zelda Fichandler, Founding and Artistic Director of the Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She was one of the most courageous women in theater and a daring pioneer in the regional theatre movement. She was my hero.
You are now taking a brave and daring step towards the unknown. Once you step into this building, you open yourself up for an intoxicating adventure. My energy and enthusiasm comes from the innovative, the unexplored and the unexpected story. The idea of doing or seeing something you have never experienced before is thrilling, and I want to share that with you. It can be a revelatory and life-changing event. That is why each and every play we produce at the Unicorn has never been seen in the Kansas City area.
I love new plays and I love working with playwrights. Out of our 316 productions, 64 of them have been world premieres, the first time anyone has seen them…anywhere. From the initial reading on the page to the first rehearsal we go through a year-long developmental process to help bring each new script to life. The plays that I choose are not always commercial but they are important. They give us the opportunity to go places, meet people and feel things we don’t encounter in our everyday lives.
What a wonderful journey awaits you!
Cynthia Levin, Producing Artistic Director
Cynthia Levin (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR) has been working with the Unicorn for 38 seasons as the Producing Artistic Director. Over the years she has served as a director, actor, designer or producer for over 300 productions. At the Unicorn, she recently directed Hand to God, Heathers: The Musical (along with Missy Koonce), The Oldest Boy, Women Playing Hamlet (world premiere), Bad Jews, Grounded, Venus in Fur, My Name is Asher Lev, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Soul Collector (world premiere), Hungry (world premiere), Red, Two Jews Walk Into A War…, Distracted, Green Whales (world premiere), Miss Witherspoon, My First Time, The Clean House, Mauritius, 9 Parts of Desire, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy: The Musical and additionally the world premieres of rightnextto me (both at the Unicorn and Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY), How His Bride Came to Abraham, Light:Damage, Mercy Killing, Innocent Thoughts and Jack and Jill. At Coterie Theatre, she has directed Number the Stars, And Then They Came for Me, Frankenstein, Gatherings in Graveyards (I and II), Valley Song and To Kill A Mockingbird. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she directed readings of Occupants, In The Belly Of The Whale, The Friendship Of Her Thighs, The Last Pair Of Earlies, Tigers Be Still, White Devil and Loving Mother for the MFA Playwright’s Workshop. Cynthia is a graduate of Park University which also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2002. She is a founding board member of the National New Play Network, an organization dedicated to the development and production of new works. She has been honored with the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. She shares her home with Zia (the beagle), Dodger (the cat) and the spirit of the big red dog, Sylvia.
Favorite Unicorn Show: My Name is Asher Lev, Falsettoland (and many others)