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K-State News
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Dr North
Manhattan, KS 66506


Barrier-Free Theatre presents original one-act play in Purple Masque Theatre

Monday, April 9, 2018


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Barrier-Free Theatre, in collaboration with the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department, will present an original one-act play at 7:30 p.m. April 20 and 21 and 2:30 p.m. April 22 in the Purple Masque Theatre in West Stadium.

Founded in Washington, D.C., almost 30 years ago by Sally Bailey, Barrier-Free Theatre includes actors with and without disabilities. When Bailey came to Kansas State University to teach drama therapy, she established the program here. It has now been presenting original one-act plays for 20 years in Manhattan. Bailey is director of drama therapy for K-State Theatre and the Barrier-Free Theatre program director.

The number of actors who want to participate grows each year, as have their skills. Up to 25 actors with disabilities are cast, along with students from Kansas State University and community members who love the challenge of devising a totally new play each season.

This year's cast and production staff includes 11 Kansas State University students and 22 people from Manhattan and the surrounding area, most of whom have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Riley Gray, drama therapy master's student, West Lafayette, Indiana, is the script writer/director.

"Barrier-Free Theatre is a win-win experience for everyone," Bailey said. "In addition to all the skills the actors learn, they are able to share their creation with the entire Manhattan community. Students at K-State learn how to devise theatre and how to work creatively with people with disabilities. The community is able to witness how creative and talented our actors, who tend to be dismissed as having little to offer, truly are."

Tickets for the production are $5 for everyone. They can be purchased online at k-state.edu/mtd/tickets or by calling 785-236-8638. Tickets may also be purchased one hour prior to the performance at the Purple Masque Theatre.

Cast and production staff members from Kansas State University:

Lori Cruz, senior in psychology, Junction City; Ryan Dillon, December 2017 bachelor's graduate in music education, Emily Fraser, master's student in theatre, and Emily Trube, master's student in drama therapy, stage manager, all from Manhattan; Christina DeGraffenreid, December 2017 bachelor's graduate in family studies and human services, Overland Park; and Hannah Erdman, master's student in theatre, Park City.

From out of state: Katherine Boulanger, master's student in theatre and modern languages, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Garrett Fuentes, master's student in theatre, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

From out of country: Lars Quincke, sophomore in applied music, Germany, accompanist; and Benedicta Akley-Quarshie, master's student in theatre, Ghana.

Cast members from Manhattan include Donovan Barber, Jodie Barta, Steve Braden, Michael Carpenter, Jamie Chambers, Karl Drown, Myrna Filion, Pamela Fisher, Dorie Foster, Monica Fredericks, Carley Garrett, Susie Hensel, Amy Kells, Mary Kufahl, Tasha Leininger, Laura Lynch, Emily Lutz, Charles Manz, Michael Masterson, Paul Rice, James Willms and Derek Wilson.


Julie Lea


Theatre program

News tip

Junction City, Manhattan, Overland Park and Park City, Kansas; West Lafayette, Indiana; and Bartlesville and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.