One of the most belovedcharacters of American literature comes to life in an imaginative new adaptation of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Twain's enduring paean to the joys of childhood is adapted for the stage by Laura Eason and directed by Jeremy B. Cohen. The production runs January 20-February 12 at Spencer Theatre in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the UMKC campus.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic coming-of-age story that since its first publication as a novel in 1876 has continuously fired the imaginations of young and old alike. Growing up in a small Missouri town on the banks of the Mississippi River, young Tom's adventures – both real and imaginary – encompass every fantasy every boy ever had. From hunting for treasure, to making mischief, to avoiding school and tricking others into doing his chores, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer delights in the beauty, amazement and freedom of childhood.
The Rep's restaged Tom Sawyer is the second transfer of a Rep production to a major New York stage during artistic director Eric Rosen's tenure at the theatre. After its 2010 premiere at Hartford Stage, and runs at Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will have its New York premiere at the famed New Victory Theater, March 2-11. Tom Sawyer will prepare for its move to New York while at Kansas City Rep where, at night, the show's cast will perform at Spencer Theatre, and, during the day, they will rehearse the technical demands at Copaken Stage.
The cast of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer includes young adult actors Tim McKiernan as Tom Sawyer (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The History Boys – New York); Robbie Tann as Huckleberry Finn (History of War, Much Ado about Nothing, Horatio's Rise – New York) and Hayley Treider as Becky Thatcher (Double Falsehood – Off Broadway), and also features Joseph Adams as Muff Potter (Come Back Little Sheba, The Real Inspector Hound, The Survivor – Broadway), Justin Fuller as Joe Harper (The Orphans Home Cycle – Off Broadway); Michael Nichols as Injun Joe/Minister/School Master (November with Nathan Lane, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest with Gary Sinise – Broadway, Exit the King, Iphigenia at Aulis – Off Broadway), Nate Trinrud as Sid Sawyer/Doc Robinson (The Verona Project – California Shakespeare Theatre; Peter Pan – Lookingglass Theatre) and Nance Williamson as Aunt Polly/Widow Douglas (Syrano and Henry IV, both with Kevin Kline; Broken Glass – Broadway).
The creative team includes Jeremy B. Cohen, Director (Snow Falling on Cedars, I am My own Wife, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune – New York); Daniel Ostling, Set Design (The Arabian Nights, Metamorphoses – Kansas City Rep; Mary Zimmerman's La Sonnambla, Lucia di Lammermoor –Metropolitan Opera of New York; Durango – Public Theater); Lorraine Venberg, Costume Design (Love, Janis – Kansas City Rep; productions at many regional theatres); Robert Wierzel, Lighting Design (upcoming: Ghost Brothers of Darkland County by John Mellencamp/Stephen King – ALLIANCE THEATRE); Broken Chord|Daniel Baker and Aaron Meicht, Sound Design and Original Music (Iron Kisses – Geva Theatre; Gee's Bend – Hartford Stage; Eclipsed – Yale Repertory Theatre. Fight/Movement Director is Tommy Rapley. Production Stage Manager is Mary R. Honour.