If you’ve been looking for “something special” to do as your social re-entry not that the pandemic has slowed down, Canaan, is the dinner theater production at the Crown Uptown, April 1-3, has all the makings for “something grand.”
The play has a talented trio at the helm: A talented young playwright, a talented local director, and a talented executive producer, All three are women, and all three are Black.
Here’s the 4-1-1. Canaan is a play by award-winning playwright and Wichita native Micah Watson. Her work centers on the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in Black culture – think Tyler Perry. Canaan a dramady, is set in Washington, D.C., at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. Around this historic backdrop, Canaan tells the coming-of-age story of a teenager and his community, caught between love, activism and spirituality. It’s 1968 and generations collide as Washington, D.C. neighbors must decide where there loyalties lie when the Civil Rights Movement takes a turn.
“Every character shines with their own unique sense of humor and perspective. Watson weaves multiple character storylines together with poetic language and heart.,” writers reviewer Zoe Joanovich.
The play is directed by local Wichita talent Sheila Kinnard, who has appeared in numerous local professional productions. A retired drama teacher, her directorial work has in the past been display through the talented productions of her students This is her first time directing an all-adult cast. She made her task easy, by selected a talented and passionate cast. Eight-member cast.
Cast members are: ShonMichael Anderson, Greg Cole, Dr. Shareika Fisher, Ke’ Juan Moses, Cydnee Reese, Emerson Ross, Shirley Smith, and David Williams.
“I am so excited about this production. I knew that we had outstanding talent here in Wichita, and I am grateful that they decided to join me in bringing this awesome story to life,” says Kinnard.
Executive producing the play is Denise Sherman, backed by her staff and board at the Kansas African American Museum. The play is a unique new fundraiser for the non-profit museum.
This production represents TKAAM’s effort to elevate unique African American stories through a variety of mediums.
On stage at the Crown Uptown, Sherman has selected to pair each of the three performances with a unique, but delectable food offering. Friday evenings menu features small plate offerings, Saturday’s is an elegant prime rib dinner, and Sundays is a Sunday’s Best Southern Style dinner.
The Kansas African American Museum chooses the cast for its upcoming production and Wichita debut of Canaan, April 1st – April 3rd at the Crown Uptown Theatre The Kansas African American Museum (“TKAAM”) congratulates the following individuals who have been selected as cast members for its upcoming presentation of the museum’s first theatrical production, Canaan, April 1st – April 3rd at the Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita, KS. 67218. ShonMichael Anderson, Greg Cole, Dr. Shareika Fisher, Ke’ Juan Moses, Cydnee Reese, Emerson Ross, Shirley Smith, and David Williams Canaan, written by award-winning Wichita native Micah Ariel Watson, tells the coming-of-age story of a teenager and his community, caught between love, activism, and spirituality during one of the most tumultuous years in American history – 1968. In Canaan, generations collide as Washington, D.C. neighbors must decide where their loyalties lie when the Civil Rights Movement takes a downward turn. Canaan is being directed by Wichita’s own, Sheila Kinnard, and will be shown at the iconic Crown Uptown Theatre.
The Friday evening performance will include small plates and a cash bar. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the play begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$45.
The Saturday evening show features an elegant Prime Rib dining experience. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the how begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $100 – $125.
The Sunday afternoon matinee ticket price will include a Sunday’s Best Southern dinner. The doors open at noon at the play begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $65 – $80.
The playwright will be on-hand for the weekend’s performances and a special forum to discuss issues brought out during the play will take place during intermission.
Tickets are sold online @ crownuptown.com.
Micah Ariel Watson is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and screenwriter who has a gift for bringing powerful stories to life on stage and on screen. Micah is a local filmmaker and playwright whose work centers on the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in Black culture, often employing poetry and hip-hop to do so. As a writer, cinematographer, and theatre-maker, her art sheds light on underrepresented, intimate stories and transcends medium and discipline. Micah’s words and images seek to remind peoples of the African Diaspora that they are complex, beautiful, diverse, and made in the image of God. In 2018, Micah graduated from the University of Virginia (African American Studies and Drama) and received her MFA (Dramatic Writing) from New York University Tisch School of the Arts (2020). Currently, Micah serves as an Artist in Residence at the Democracy Initiative – University of Virginia. Micah’s theatrical work has been recognized by the Kennedy Center, receiving multiple awards for Canaan and other theatrical presentations. She has also received multiple screenwriting awards from various film festivals. Sheila Kinnard, retired Drama Teacher from Wichita Public Schools is well known in the community for her beautiful singing with ARISE, as well as her immense talent in local theatrical productions, extensive community service and wonderful, cheerful personality that brings love and joy to everyone she meets! Ms. Kinnard is no stranger to performing, and has portrayed a wide array of characters, in addition to directing the performances of her students, collaborating with colleagues, and singing with church members. As the Director of Canaan, Ms. Kinnard will achieve another accomplishment in her stellar career.