KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT Featuring Jojo Gonzalez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Vanessa Severo, Eileen Rivera, Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, and Chelsea Rolfes

Events, Performances, Photography, Theater

After spending the summer with Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afrofuturistic production of Twelfth Night helmed by Carl Cofield, I decided to take another trip to Illyria, this time heading to Kansas City, MO for KCRep’s production of Twelfth Night, which has performances through September 25, 2022. I caught up with Nelson T. Eusebio III, who began his position as KCRep’s Associate Artistic Director last October, and is making his KCRep directorial debut withTwelfth Night featuring bold designs built around the identities of a multi-cultural cast. I also chatted with my frequent collaborator Jason Ma, who created new, original music for the production, as well as my dear friend, New York based actor Jojo Gonzalez, who plays Feste.

Nelson T. Eusebio III and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

It is a reunion for the trio and a return to Twelfth Night, having worked on an all-Asian American cast version of Twelfth Night, produced by Leviathan Lab in New York in 2011. Eileen Rivera, who plays Maria in KCRep’s production, played Olivia in 2011.

The cast and creative team of Leviathan Lab’s Twelfth Night on the set at the Arclight Theater in New York on November 11, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang

Leviathan Lab founder Ariel Estrada, composer Jason Ma, director Nelson T. Eusebio III and choregrapher Dax Valdes. Photo by Lia Chang

Preview performances began on September 6 and will continue through Sept 25, 2022 at Spencer Theatre, located in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Volker Campus, 4949 Cherry St, Kansas City, MO 64110. The production opened on September 9.Twelfth Night is a delightful comedy of mistaken identity, music, and the madness of love.

The cast features Francesca Fernandez 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 Malvolia, and Chelsea Rolfes as Antonia.

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

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).

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Darrington Clark, Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Darrington Clark. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Chelsea Rolfes and Freddy Acevedo. Photo by Lia Chang

Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer, Sam Cordes and Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer, Francesca Fernandez Rivera, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez, Chelsea Rolfes, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Chelsea Rolfes, Darrington Clark and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer, Eileen Rivera, Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang

Eileen Rivera and Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez and Manon Halliburton. Photo by Lia Chang

Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang

Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Jones and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Darrrington Clark, Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Chelsea Rolfes, Darrington Clark and Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Chelsea Rolfes, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Eileen Rivera, Vanessa Severo and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo, Sam Cordes, Jimmy Kieffer, Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo, Freddy Fernandez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo, Freddy Acevedo, Brandon Jones, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Vanessa Severo, Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon Jones and Francesca Fernandez McKenzie. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez, Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Vanessa Severo, Manon Halliburton, Eileen Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

Eileen Rivera, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Vanessa Severo and Chelsea Rolfes. Photo by Lia Chang

Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Jojo Gonzalez, Sam Cordes and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez, Darrington Clark and Brandon Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

The Company of KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Sam Cordes. Photo by Lia Chang

Eileen Rivera and Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Jimmy Kieffer. Photo by Lia Chang

Rani O’Brien and Nelson T. Eusebio III. Photo by Li Chang

Composer Jason Ma, Associate Director Rani O’Brien, Director Nelson T. Eusebio III and Costume Designer Valérie Thérèse Bart. Photo by Lia Chang

 

Jojo Gonzalez. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang, KCRep’s Associate Artistic Director Nelson T. Eusebio III, Eileen Rivera, KCRep’s Artistic Director Stuart Carden, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Composer Jason Ma and Associate Director Rani O’Brien.

Jason Ma, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Valérie Thérèse Bart, Lia Chang

Jojo Gonzalez and Lia Chang

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.

COVID Protocols
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

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. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and MNN2.

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com

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