The KC Melting Pot Theater will be showcasing the play “Barbecue” next month as part of its season titled “Still Standing,” which follows themes of Black resilience.
Laughter is the delectable sauce of “Barbecue,” a comedic satire written by Black playwright Robert O’Hara.
The play “Barbecue” follows the O’Mallery family who have gathered at their local park for a barbecue and intervention with their sister Barbara, who has had a spiral of drugs and recklessness that has worried her siblings.
But what starts as an intervention turns into something much more raucous and unpredictable as the family is played by a White cast in the first act and then by a Black cast in the second act. The difference in the way the two families deal with the same issue explores the themes of family, race and gender.
The audience may feel inclined to write off the first family as White trailer trash, but what will the audience conclude about the second family?
“Barbecue” is the third of the four plays in the season, all directed by Black women, whom the theater’s directors recognize as frequently ignored and left out of the theater industry.
“Many of us Black women directors have been directing for many, many years, and then suddenly, ‘discovered’ by a mainstream White theater or Hollywood, when many of us have 20-plus years of experience working in theater,” said Hodges Persley, who is a nationally recognized scholar and director in Black theater.
Persley directed the first play in the season, “Baybra’s Tulips,” written by Lewis Morrow.
“Barbecue” will be directed by Lynn King, who is originally from Kansas City, KS, and has been performing for Kansas City audiences for more than 30 years.
King received her MFA in acting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has regional and national credits in theater, commercials and film.
During her career as a theater instructor, she has directed more than 30 productions. King is one of the original actors at the KC Melting Pot, appearing in its first production, “Old School Ghetto Gospel,” in 2013.
Her next appearance on stage will be in Lewis Morrow’s play “Begetters,” which begins in May as part of the “Still Standing” season.
“Barbecue” will run Feb. 10-19
Location: Just off Broadway Theater, 3051 Penn Valley Drive, KCMO.
Thu., Feb 10, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb 11, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb 12, 2 p.m.
Sat., Feb 12, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb 16, 7:30 p.m.
Thu., Feb 17, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb 19, 7:30 p.m.
Buy tickets at: www.onthestage.tickets/show/kc-melting-pot-theatreproductions-inc/barbecue-88218.