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The Mystery of Irma Vep (A Penny Dreadful) poster
2012-2013 Season

The Mystery of Irma Vep (A Penny Dreadful)

Oct 19th - Nov 18th, 2012

Copaken Stage

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Written by Charles Ludlam

Directed by Tom Aulino

Act I: 44 minutes

Act II: 57 minutes

There will be a 15 minute intermission

Approximate Total Run Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

With a dizzying array of lightning-fast transformations and costume changes, two of Kansas City’s finest actors, Mark Robbins and Ron Megee, portray multiple men, women and monsters in The Mystery of Irma Vep.  Cited as one of the best plays of 1984 by The New York Times and TIME magazine, Charles Ludlam's farcical thriller/comedy is a gender-bending tour-de-force that both celebrates and satirizes horror movies, classic literature and the conventions of theatre itself. Set on a “dark and stormy night,” Lady Enid and her husband arrive at a haunted estate. Quoting from a range of literary, cinematic and pop culture sources, The Mystery of Irma Vep is a fun madcap romp with a nod to Shakespeare, Ibsen and Poe; werewolves, vampires and mummies!

                Media Sponsor

KC Star "A comedic showdown that will sear indelible images into the viewer's mind"

InfoZine.com "Sheer fun...spooky, and fully unhinged, fun."

KC Studio "A wacky, crazy and funny play...entire audience in stiches from beginning to end."

Fox4KC "...just the madness you’re looking for."

Examiner.com "enormous talent"

Untitled Document



RON MEGEE (Jane Twisden, Lord Edgar Hillcrest, An Intruder) KC Rep acting debut.  Once upon a Mattress, James and the Giant Peach, Ben Franklin’s Apprentice, The Witches, Wayside Stories from Sideways School, Geppetto & Son, and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (Coterie Theatre acting credits). As Coterie at Night Resident director he has directed Coterie Theatre Children of the Damned Corn (which he also wrote), Sorority House of the Dead, Spooky Dog: A Scooby-Doo-Like Mystery, Maul of the Dead, Breakfast Club Live Mondays and Night of the Living Dead (2007, 2008).  Additional recent directing credits: The Beggars Opera (University of Kansas),  Pink Floyd’s The Wall with Cody Wyoming (The Living Room).  As the founder and artistic director of the “gone but not forgotten” Late Night Theatre, Mr. Megee appeared in more than 35 productions, including Valley of the Dolls; The Birds; The Stepford Wives and Come Back to the 9 to 5 Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton. Other acting credits include: Iggy Scrooge, A Very Joan Crawford Christmas, Sister Mary Ignatius, La Cage Aux Folles, Santaland Diaries, Laramie Project - all directed by Jeff Church (Unicorn Theatre); The Nerd, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, Mousetrap (American Heartland), Mother Trucker 2 for David Wayne Reed, West Side Story (Starlight Theatre), Daughter of the Regiment (Lyric Opera of Kansas City) and Run For Your Wife (New Theatre). Awards:  Charlotte Street Award for Generative Performing Artist and The Pitch Mastermind Artist Award.


MARK ROBBINS (Nicodemus Underwood, Lady Enid Hillcrest, Alcazar, Pev Amri) KC Rep: A Christmas Carol (20 seasons), Circle Mirror Transformation, Bus Stop, A Flea in Her Ear, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (title role), The Voysey Inheritance, Man and Superman, Liliom, The Front Page, Guys and Dolls, Saint Joan, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, The Winter’s Tale, Major Barbara, The Sea Gull, Inherit the Wind, Oedipus the King, The Deputy, Romeo and Juliet, Nicholas Nickleby. Local acting: title role in Titus Andronicus (The Living Room), The Sound of Music, Run for Your Wife (New Theatre); title roles in Macbeth and Richard III, Prospero in The Tempest (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Time Stands Still, Next Fall, Closer, Speed-the-Plow, The Goat (Unicorn Theatre); American Heartland Theatre; Coterie Theatre. Local directing credits: As You Like It (HASF); Next of Kin, Orson’s Shadow, Topdog/Underdog, Fully Committed, Lobby Hero, Bee-Luther Hatchee (Unicorn). Founding member of Kansas City Actors Theatre: directed The Mousetrap, The Real Inspector Hound, God of Carnage (Unicorn coproduction), Translations, Private Lives, Fifth of July, Absurd Person Singular, The Seafarer; performed in The Pinter Project, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Dinner with Friends, True West. Education: BA, Webster College Conservatory; MFA, Wayne State University.


JIM MITCHELL (Production Stage Manager) Production Management credits include Dartmouth Summer Repertory Theatre, Creede Repertory Theatre, KC Actors Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Owen-Cox Dance. Stage Management credits include King Lear, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Amadeus, All My Sons, Twelfth Night, The Glass Managerie, Oleanna, Romeo and Juliet, M.Butterfly, The Misanthrope, The Seagull, True West, Richard III, Three Tall Women, Hay Fever, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Inherit the Wind, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Comedy of Errors, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and A Christmas Carol.  Jim stage managed Translations, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Private Lives, Absurd Person Singular, Talley’s Folly, Fifth of July, Boston Marriage, The Seafarer, True West, Marion Bridgeand The Pinter Project for the KC Actors Theatre, of which he is a founding member.


TOM AULINO (Director) KC Rep: directing debut; Schultz in Circle Mirror Transformation. Chicago: Mary Zimmerman’s Candide, The Winter’s Tale, She Always Said, Pablo (Goodman Theatre); Take Me Out, Theatre District (About Face/ Steppenwolf co-productions, directed by Eric Rosen); The Dresser, Valparaiso (Steppenwolf ); Jack, The Making of Ashenden, Albert’s Bridge, The Mystery of Irma Vep (Remains Theatre); Nothing Sacred (Northlight Theatre). Washington, D.C. and Boston: Mary Zimmerman’s Candide. New York: Broadway revival of On The Town, Marvin’s Room (Playwrights Horizons); Up Against It!, The Chang Fragments, Henry VIII (The Public Theatre); Sin (Second Stage); UBU (Lincoln Center); Measure for Measure, directed by Barry Kyle (Theatre for a New Audience). Directing credits include a New York revival of Charles Busch’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, as well as solo works by Mary Fulham, Toni Schlessinger and a very original play, The Little Frieda Mysteries, by Amy and David Sedaris, produced at LaMama ETC. Awards: Chicago Jefferson Award (Take Me Out). Education: BS, Northwestern; MFA in Performance Pedagogy, University of Pittsburgh. He is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Auburn University.


LINDSAY W. DAVIS (Costume Design) KC Rep: Bad Dates, The Syringa Tree, The Pirates of Penzance, The Front Page, Major Barbara, Guys and Dolls, The Philadelphia Story. Mr. Davis is on the faculty at UMKC, where he teaches costume design/costume technology, after a successful 30-year career in New York. During those 30 years he designed for 13 Academy Award-winning actors, and designed the Tony Award Best Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. For many years he owned and operated a highly successful commercial costume shop. Professor Davis has won design awards in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and South Florida. He has designed opera in Europe, musicals in Japan and Korea, and multiple shows in London’s West End. The Cleveland Playhouse, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago’s Goodman, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera have all been graced with his work. Mr. Davis has worked professionally in 37 of our 50 states.


WILSON CHIN (Scenic Design) KC Rep: design debut. New York credits include Next Fall (Broadway); 10 Things To Do Before I Die, Len Asleep in Vinyl and The Dear Boy (Second Stage Theatre); Dark Matters and Boise (Rattlestick Theatre); Boom (Ars Nova) and Masked (Daryl Roth Theatre). His opera designs include Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragodie and Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera Company) and The Saint of Bleecker Street (Central City Opera). Regionally, he has designed at American Conservatory Theatre, Barrington Stage, Geffen Playhouse, Guthrie Theatre, Hartford Stage, Indiana Rep, The Old Globe, Portland Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Trinity Rep, Two River Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse and Yale Rep. Current projects include premieres of Rolin Jones’ The Jammer at Atlantic Theatre Company, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Victoria Stewart’s Rich Girl at George Street Playhouse and Cleveland Playhouse. Wilson is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Yale School of Drama.


FERESHTEH ROSTAMPOUR (Lighting Design) KC Rep: design debut. Born in Iran, Fereshteh Rostampour is a full time associate professor of lighting and set design in the Department of Theatre at Auburn University. She holds an MFA degree in set and lighting design from Ohio State University. Ms. Rostampour has worked as a free-lance lighting designer for numerous plays, dance and films internationally. She was one of the five top finalists in the World Stage Design 2009 (WSD) competition in Seoul, Korea. Her lighting design for Jesus Christ Superstar won her the outstanding lighting design at the 20th Annual Charlotte Theatre Awards. She has also delivered seminars on lighting techniques within the retail environment at the International Retail Design Conference in Orlando, FL and Pasadena, CA. She is an associate member of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians) and the professional member of USITT, serving as the international lighting liaison for the USITT Lighting Working Group. www.fereshtehrostampour.com


ANDRE PLEUSS (Sound Design/Composer) KC Rep: The Whipping Man, History of Kisses, August: Osage County, Winesburg Ohio. Regional: Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C.); Stage Kiss (Goodman Theatre); Sex with Strangers (Steppenwolf Theatre); Palomino (Center Theatre Group); Equivocation (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Merchant of Venice (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Ghost Light (Berkeley Repertory Theatre); Marcus (American Conservatory Theatre); Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse/Playwrights Horizons); Macbeth and Titus (California Shakespeare Festival). Court Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre (Artistic Associate), Victory Gardens Theater (Resident Designer), About Face Theatre (Artistic Associate), Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre. Broadway: Metamorphoses, I Am My Own Wife, 33 Variations and The Clean House (Lincoln Center). Awards: multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards/Citations, a Los Angeles Ovation Award, Barrymore Award, Drama Critics Circle Award, and Drama Desk/Lortel nominations for composition and sound design. Film: The Business of Being Born (music score). Mr. Pluess is an artistic associate at California Shakespeare Festival.


MARGARET SPARE (Assistant Lighting Designer) KC Rep: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Cabaret (ALD); Little Shop of Horrors, A Christmas Carol (Followspot Operator); The Glass Menagerie, The Borderland, Gee’s Bend, The Syringa Tree, Love Janis, 2 Pianos 4 Hands (Light Board Operator). Local credits: The Drowsy Chaperone (Guest Artist Lighting Designer, University of Central Missouri); Tack Driver (Lighting Designer, Fringe 2012); Back on Cyprus Avenue, Fall Concert 2011 (Lighting Designer, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company ); Spring Festival of Dance, The Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Coppelia (Lighting Designer, Ballet North); The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Norma, Don Giovanni, The Pirates of Penzance, La Boheme, Julius Caesar (ALD, Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Grey Gardens, A House With No Walls, Mauritius, Rabbit Hole (Lighting Designer, Unicorn Theatre). Education: MFA in Lighting Design from UMKC; BFA in Technical Theatre from University of Central Missouri.


ERIC ROSEN (Artistic Director) was founding Artistic Director of Chicago’s About Face Theatre (AFT) (1995-2008), and is a writer, director, and producer. Original projects include Venice (KC Rep, Center Theatre Group - LA, upcoming NYC, “Best Musical of 2010”—TIME Magazine); Wedding Play (Steppenwolf /AFT, Jefferson nomination) Winesburg, Ohio (Steppenwolf, AFT—Jeff Award; Arden Theatre Company - Philadelphia, Barrymore Award; KC Rep), Clay (AFT, Lookingglass Theatre Company - Chicago, Center Theatre Group, KC Rep, Lincoln Center Theater,LCT3 - Drama Desk Nomination, Jeff Award); and Undone, Whitman and Dream Boy (Jeff Award, several productions across the country). In addition to Venice, other Rep directing credits include: Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; world premiere of A Christmas Story, The Musical!, opening on Broadway during 2012 holiday season; Cabaret; August: Osage County; The Whipping Man, Pippin and the upcoming Death of a Salesman). Additional directing credits include productions at Lincoln Center Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Alliance, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, Hartford Stage, 5th Avenue, Prince, Cincinnati, Melbourne (Australia) and workshops at Sundance, O’Neill, Playwrights Horizons, and the Public Theater. He has developed and produced over 40 world premieres, including Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winner, I am My Own Wife, and work by Mary Zimmerman, Frank Galati, Stephen Flaherty, Moisés Kaufman, David Cale, The Civilians, among others. He holds a doctorate in performance studies from Northwestern University, and has twice served as an NEA panelist, and serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of non-profit theatres


STEPHANIE KLAPPER (Casting) Klapper’s casting work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally, on television, internet and film. Selected recent Broadway and Off-Broadway: Dividing the Estate (2009 Tony Nomination); The Temperamentals; A Lifetime Burning; King Lear; Incident at Vichy; A Dangerous Personality; King of Shadows; an oak tree (Artios Award winner), Indoor Outdoor. Resident casting director for Primary Stages. NY casting for Eric Rosen’s Winesburg, Ohio (KCRep); Mary Zimerman’s The Arabian Nights (KCRep & Berkeley Rep), The Sound of Music (The New Theatre); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Round House Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire (English Theatre of Frankfurt), New York, U.S. and international tours of In the Continuum. She has ongoing projects in NYC and with many regional theatres around the country as well as numerous independent films. Klapper is a member of the Casting Society of America and the League of Professional Theatre Women.



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