Artspeak Radio + Dawn Downey, John Sandbach, & Whim Productions

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes author/artist John Sandbach, writer Dawn Downey, and director Bradley Meyer.

DAWN DOWNEY writes essays about her everyday life—introspective stories to lift your spirits and challenge your assumptions. The dilemma she strives to resolve: how to be a sensitive elder woman of color in an insensitive, white-centered, male dominated, youth-oriented culture.

With multiple WIPs vying for her attention, she’s the author of essay collections Listicles, Blindsided, Searching for My Heart, From Dawn to Daylight, and Stumbling Toward the Buddha. Her publishing career began with a dance review in The Santa Barbara News Press. Since then, her essays have been featured in literary journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Connecting with her readers, she blogs twice-weekly and also hosts Dawn’s Monthly Author Reading on Zoom.

When she’s not writing she binge-watches Somebody Somewhere. Downey lives with her husband in Kansas City, Missouri.

JOHN SANDBACH-I have been an astrologer and teacher of astrology and metaphysics for 52 years. I am also a bodywork therapist who practices deep tissue and myofascial techniques, as well as reflexology. I have written numerous books on astrology and related topics which you can read about at I also paint and write poetry. My haiku have been published numerous times in Tokyo in the haiku journal “Ginyu” by Ban’ya Natsuishi, as well as in New Zealand, England, and America. I am deeply enamored of the modern haiku of Japan, which, like modern art, is of many styles and energies, and which is constantly recreating itself as it unfolds. Unfortunately, the West is still primarily focused on traditional haiku and has not yet tuned in to the wonders of modern Japanese experimental artisans of this form. I hope you get some idea of what it is like through my own work, and maybe would become inspired to write some yourself. Thanks for allowing me into your imagination!

BRADLEY MEYER- Whim Productions, Kansas City’s LGBTQ+ Theater Company, Presents “Playing on the Periphery: Monologues and Scenes for and about Queer Kids” – A Heartwarming Family-Friendly Theater Production.

Whim Productions, Kansas City’s LGBTQ+ theater company, is proud to announce the world-premiere production of “Playing on the Periphery: Monologues and Scenes for and about Queer Kids” by acclaimed playwright Scott C. Sickles. This poignant and family-friendly show explores the challenges and triumphs of four young queer individuals navigating the ups and downs of childhood, self-discovery, and friendship.
Set in the world of third-grade innocence, “Playing on the Periphery” introduces audiences to Robert, Bertram, Zoey, and Daphne – four young characters who may not fully comprehend their queerness yet, but they certainly feel its presence. In a captivating and heartwarming narrative, the play follows them through their everyday lives as they face social and familial pressures while trying to hold on to their precious bond of friendship.

A Message of Empowerment and Acceptance:
Through a remarkable fusion of humor, tenderness, and introspection, “Playing on the Periphery” serves as a powerful love letter to the queer kids of yesteryear, the inquisitive and uncertain queer youth of today, and to all who have ever dared to embrace their uniqueness while carrying the weight of societal expectations. The play fosters an environment of understanding and empathy while emphasizing the importance of self-worth, love, and resilience.

Inspiring Words from Playwright Scott C. Sickles:
“The LGBTQ community is under attack right now, politically, legislatively, and oftentimes physically. The most vulnerable members of our community are the kids. I hope this play helps queer kids of all ages – and we exist in all ages – be more comfortable with themselves and feel empowered to protect themselves. I hope it helps their parents understand and support them. I even hope it enables those who are trying to suppress and erase our community and its children to see us all as human.”
“I wrote this play because I wanted to create characters and a narrative that I wish I had when I was in the third grade. I chose the third grade because that was when I had my first big crush on another boy. So yeah, 8-year-olds crush on each other, and when you’re a gay 8-year-old, you crush on another boy. I want queer kids to understand their worth, the love they’re entitled to, and that they do not have to accept abuse. Most of all, I wrote it so people could see themselves.”
Under the skilled direction of Bradley Meyer (he/him), who also brings his artistry to the scenic design, “Playing on the Periphery” comes to life on the stage. The production features costumes by Karla M. Fennick (she/her), lights by Zoe Spangler, and sound design by Mabel Bell (he/they).
The cast includes Sergio Guerra (he/they) as Robert, Heather Ives (they/them) as Zoey, Pete Kuhn (he/him) as Bertram, and Diana Watts (she/her) as Daphne.

August 10 – August 27 Venue: Whim Space, 415 Prospect, Kansas City, MO 64124
Tickets can be purchased at Adult General Admission – Advanced Tickets: $25 Children 12 and Under – Advanced Tickets: $12.50

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