University of Central Missouri (UCM) Theatre and Dance presents the play “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son in the Nickerson Black Box Theatre Oct. 6- 9. “Stop Kiss” is the opening play of UCM Theatre and Dance’s 2022-2023 Mainstage Season, which is themed “HERstory,” providing presentations dedicated to women and their stories.

This moving play tells the story of Callie and Sara, their budding relationship and a horrific crime that occurs. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-8 with the play on Oct. 7 including an ASL interpreter. In addition to these evening performances, there are matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9. The matinee on Oct. 9 also is a Pay-What-You-Can event, and there is no evening performance on that day.

This play is for mature audiences only and contains strong language and the description and resulting effects of a hate crime.

Stop Kiss” takes place in the mid-‘90s in New York City. After Callie, a traffic reporter, meets a school teacher named Sara, the two unexpectedly fall in love. While sharing their first kiss a violent attack takes place, transforming their lives in a way they could never anticipate. The play journeys through the aftermath of the attack and relationship between Callie and Sara.

When asked about the play, Director Aaron Scully stated, “Though this play deals with heavy subject  matter, it is, at the same time, a very sweet, moving and funny play. Watching actors Hanna Wilson and Emily Turner inhabit their roles of Callie and Sara, respectively, is a joy to behold. At its heart, it is a love story which asks the question: when love is such a pure and beautiful thing, why would anyone be angry about it?”

During the Sunday, Oct. 9, Pay-What-You-Can performance, audiences may choose to pay any amount, $1 or above, for a ticket. On Oct. 7 an ASL interpreter will be provided for the performance for anyone hearing impaired who would like to attend.

The cast includes: Hanna Wilson as Callie, Emily Turner as Sara, Jace Nielsen as George, Cameron Morrison as Peter, Finn Juliano as Det. Cole and Stephanie Heathcock in dual roles as Mrs. Winsley and the Nurse.

Crew members are: Aaron Scully, director; Luke Englert, stage manager; Brittany Brandt, scenic designer; Luke Habjan, technical director; Jameson Gresens, lighting designer; Wesley Freeman, props master; Hollie Neumann, costume, hair, and makeup designer; Molly Blackburn, sound designer; Jenise Cook, intimacy coordinator; Kierra Kellum, dramaturg; Gracie Heath, head electrician; Hollie Neumann, lighting assistant; Thomas Clark, house manager; Ray Boessen, house manager; Jennifer White, box office manager; Lilly Wade, assistant director/deck chief; Cassie Hoppas, costume design mentor; Spencer Musser, scenic design mentor; Keyvon Lewis and Joseph Clark, run crew; Kennedy Keele, Arianna Kendrick, Claire Groos, wardrobe crew; Maryn Edwards, Hollie Neumann, Cydni Stafford, Kennedy Keele and Kennedy Reisdorph, costume shop assistants; Rosalyn Schuster, Alyna Matthews, Gracie Heath, Jared Dosch, Luke Habjan and Brittany Brandt, scene shop assistants, stagecraft class and theatre practicum students; Joseph Clark, Claire Groos, Maleena Johnson, Arianna Kendrick, Madeline Otero, McKenna Sanford, Alannah Trigg, Ryan Verheek, scene shop workers; Dr. Aaron Scully, publicity and marketing director; Molly Blackburn, Jace Nielsen, Katie Kaminski, Thomas Clark, Luke Habjan, publicity and marketing team; Mallory Griffin, social media marketing specialist; Holden Childress, trailer director, graduate shop assistant; Dalima Kapten, Lars Jepsen, office professionals; Jennifer White and Mekdelawit Keller, office assistants.

Tickets are available at the UCM Theatre and Dance Office in Martin 113, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 660-543-8811 or online at https://ucmboxoffice.universitytickets.com. For any questions about tickets, please call 660-543-8811 or email boxoffice@ucmo.edu.

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