Arts & Culture

Modern shows make up Wichita Center for the Arts’ new season

Editor's note: Catherine Trieschmann's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.

The Wichita Center for the Arts recently announced its 2012-2013 theater season, complete with three shows recently on Broadway and one original play premiere.

The center is banking on its selection of modern shows to draw crowds, as this will be the first time any of these shows will be performed in Wichita, director of theater John Boldenow said.

“With as many wonderful theater venues in Wichita, I think it’s important for us to be on the edge of what’s recent,” he said.

The season opens Sept. 19 with the premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s “Seminar.” In this comedy, four young novelists sign up for a writing class with an international literary figure. “Seminar” played in the Golden Theatre on Broadway from last fall to this spring. It will run in Wichita until Sept. 23.

Boldenow said the play will correlate nicely with the rest of the season because it highlights the art of writing, which is not frequently discussed in stage drama.

“Visual arts and the art of language are central to what makes us human,” Boldenow said.

From Nov. 14 to 18, the creation of visual art will be discussed in John Logan’s “Red,” about a painter and his assistant. The play won six Tony Awards in 2010, including Best Play.

Both of these plays are recommended for mature audiences.

Then, from Feb. 13 to 17, the theater will debut an original play, adapted from Myrne Roe’s book “Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement.”

“It’s about strong Wichita women who have made a contribution to the women’s rights movement,” Boldenow said. “It’s going to be a women’s collaborative.”

Finally, the season will close with the production of “How the World Began,” by Kansas native Catherine Trieschmann. The show runs April 17 through 21. Set in Plainview, Kan., the play deals with a teacher and her remarks about the origins of the universe and creationism in a conservative town.

In addition to entertaining, Boldenow said the plays were meant to be informative to audiences.

“They’re all instructive in some way or another,” he said. “That’s what theater does when it’s at its best.”