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"The play's the thing..."

Since its inception The Culture House has acknowledged the significance and power of the story and contemporary voices. The artists that we empower are committed to telling good and great stories. We are excited to launch this new era at The Culture House with Balladeers led by Will Gurley. Let the games begin!

Balladeer Theatre Company is a professional theatre company developing excellent new artistic voices and producing new works regularly. There is an emphasis on collaboration between playwrights, actors, and directors, as well as audience members, to help these ideas reach their fullest potential. Artists are encouraged to explore stories that matter— stories that impact audiences and inspire our imaginations for good.

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Statement from Artistic Director, Will Gurley

I first got involved in theatre as a high schooler. I fell hard and I fell fast! Before my first performance at Kansas City Christian school (we were doing The Sound Of Music), I was incredibly nervous. My director and mentor, Brian Miller, gave me the best piece of advice he could have: “just tell the story.” Since then, I have been obsessed with telling good stories. I’ve worked all over Kansas City and studied under top professionals at Shenandoah Conservatory. But one thing was constantly missing: good stories with good messages. Art influences culture, and a lot of the art that I had been seeing was telling the audience messages that lead to destruction, division, and confusion. In the summer of 2023, I came to Jeremiah Enna and the Culture House with an idea: a brand new professional theatre company that tells stories that matter, good stories with good messages. That idea evolved into the Balladeer Theatre Company. I hope to foster an artistic community of collaboration through an all-hands-on-deck approach: everybody who is a part of the company helps out with anything they can. For our first show on October 13th, the actors you see on stage for the short plays also wrote and directed each other for these plays, allowing for deep collaboration and invaluable experience. I also hope to invite the audience into this collaborative spirit through talk-back discussions and receptions after the shows. Theatre doesn’t happen without the audience, and your input matters! 

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