Collisions

Rachel May Roberts and Evan Absher

Collisions examines a conflict between members of “The Greatest Generation” and underemployed twenty year olds in the coffee shop of a suburban shopping mall. The seniors are insecure because of declining health and bitter at what they perceive as a lazy younger generation that takes for granted benefits people like themselves made possible by hard work and courage: “People like us made this a country to be proud of. Now these damn kids are flushin’ the whole works down the crapper.”

The twenty year olds are angry at diminishing opportunities in an economy they believe offers them little cause for optimism. They regard older people as “lucky.” They are embittered by their perception that previous generations wasted natural resources and the national treasure in pursuit of shortsighted and selfish goals. As one of them says,  “They basically gut-shot the environment and left it to bleed to death in a ditch…Things have to change big-time or this is gonna be a third-world country by the time we’re forty.”

Both of these generations are frustrated by their lack of power and influence. The seniors feel lost and obsolete in a rapidly changing world dominated by new technologies that offer no place for their experience or gratitude for their contributions. The youngsters want to make their marks, but the corridors of power remain closed to them. This makes for an explosive confrontation on a snowy morning in a quiet shopping mall.

2007 Production

Tara Lane Productions presented the world premiere of Collisions at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri on the evening of January 6, 2007. Stuart Rider directed. Jaclyn Larson was stage manager, Tyler Miller was production manager, David Hawkinson designed the set, Patrick Farmer was technical director and lighting designer, Ashley Turner designed the sound,and Nigel Delahoy created the graphics.

Cast

Rachel May Roberts, Linda Levin, Amanda McCoy, Herman Johansen*, Evan Absher, Nigel Delahoy, Richard Gorell, and Gil Sanders.

*Equity actor appeared with permission of Actors Equity Association

2008 Production

-Collisions was produced in association with City Theatre of Independence for the Kansas City Fringe Festival in August, 2oo8. Patricia McLauglin directed, R. J. Parish was stage manager and designed the set, Jack McCord designed sound and lights, and Nigel Delahoy created the graphics.

Cast

Nicole Hall, Lyndsey Ogle, Dwenah Tomlin, Jack McCord, Richard Gorell, Matthew Schmidli, Kyle Wallen, and Tyler Miller. (A sad note: Jerry Stark who was originally cast in the play, passed away during the rehearsal period)

**THE 2008 PRODUCTION OF COLLISIONS RECEIVED KCSTAGE MAGAZINE’S AWARD FOR THE HIGHEST RATED SHOW IN KANSAS CITY DURING 2008!

A Sample of  Collisions

What the critics say

“Had I not known that Rogers teaches history in Kansas City, I’d have assumed that these were New York shows finally making it out here.” Alan Scherstuhl, The Pitch, January 11, 2007

“…cutting dialogue, thought-provoking content.” Russ Simmons, Olathe Sun, January 17, 2007

“Reminiscent of William Inge’s Bus Stop…the dialogue is almost a dance.” Deborah Ground Buckner, KCStage, July 28, 2008

Collisions 2008

Herman Johansen, Amanda McCoy, Linda Levin, Richard Gorell, Gil Sanders

Kyle Wallen, Matthew Schmidli, Nicole Hall, Lyndsey Ogle

Stuart Rider, Patrick Farmer, Jaclyn Larson, David Hawkinson, Ashley Turner

Jack McCord, Dwenah Tomlin, Tyler Miller, Richard Gorell

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