By JENNIFER K. BAUER
Moscow Art Theatre (Too) has signed a year’s contact to be a resident theater at the center, also home to the Moscow Community Theatre.
“We’re excited to be able to get these shows to people in a venue that’s downtown, that’s super accessible, that’s comfortable, that people are familiar with and hopefully use that as a foundation to expand in the future,” says Moscow Art Theatre (Too) Director David Harlan.
Harlan founded the theater company in 2011. Its first shows, including a production of Shakepeare’s “The Tempest,” were staged in a grain silo in downtown Moscow. Harlan says he is still interested in using the silo as a theater space. He remains a tenant there, and it could possibly become a second space for them in the future.
“We’ve been basically using venues of opportunity because the silo is quite seasonal; it’s limited,” he says.
The company staged several productions at the Kenworthy in 2014, and Harlan says he saw an opportunity to stage high-quality shows there on a regular basis.
His next production, “Dear Liar,” telling the story of the contentious but devoted platonic love affair between playwright George Bernard Shaw and the actress known as Mrs. Patrick Campbell, opens next Thursday at the Kenworthy. The play will star Harlan and Chris Stordahl. Most of the actors in the theater’s productions are graduates of the University of Idaho drama program where Harlan was trained. His company is named after a Moscow, Russia, theater founded by Konstantin Stanislavsky, creator of a system of acting that UI students learn. In 2015, the company will stage Shakespeare’s “Romeo And Juliet” in July, followed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning show “The Flick” and a winter holiday comedy.
As part of the agreement between the Kenworthy and the theater company, Harlan will act as the Kenworthy’s technical director.
“As a performing arts center, we want to encourage all theater arts,” Christine Gilmore, the center’s executive director, says about the collaboration.
In another first for the Kenworthy, Gilmore says the theater plans to become a venue for National Theatre Live, a project to broadcast live British theater from the London stage to cinemas around the world. She says broadcasts could start as early as May but should be on the schedule by this summer.
If you go
What: “Dear Liar” by Moscow Art Theatre (Too)
When: 7 p.m. March 12-14 and 2 p.m. March 15
Where: The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 S. Main St., Moscow