August 27, 2014

'Mother of all musicals': Theater company launches first show


'Mother of all musicals': Theater company launches first show
Show draws on real-world motherhood experiences for laughs

Fri., Aug. 22, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO - Sara Stotts and Julie Dunlap met at the
University of Kansas twenty years ago in Lawrence, Kansas. As
members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Stotts encouraged
Dunlap to become involved with 'Rock Chalk Revue,' a musical talent
show that benefits charity. The two collaborated for three years on
the revue: writing, performing, and - ultimately - becoming close
friends and laying the foundation for their future in musical theater.

Each was graduated from KU, got married, and had children. Today,
Dunlap is humor writer, and she and her husband are raising their
four children in Lawrence. Meanwhile, Stotts is a physical therapist
now living in Chicago with her husband and two children. Between
the two moms, that is six kids, ranging in ages from four to
seventeen. So, when Dunlap proposed writing a musical comedy
about motherhood to Stotts, "it seemed like a no-brainer," or so she

The reality: nothing. Stotts didn't respond to Dunlap. Undeterred,
Dunlap wrote stories and songs anyway. Finally, after two months of
no communication, Stotts called Dunlap. Armed with some sample
material, Dunlap was sure she could convince Stotts to come on
board and join her in writing a show. It turned out, Stotts did not
need convincing; she, too, had been writing material. And,
"MotherF*ingHood: The Musical" was born.

Over the course of two years, the pair would video chat, sing songs
to one another via the Internet, and post demos on a private
YouTube channel to make the 550-mile separation a viable
collaboration distance. They held the very first staged reading at
Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence. The reading proved successful
and they mounted a full production, again at the Lawrence Arts
Center. Stotts starred; Dunlap directed; and the show nearly sold
out its run a year ago.

"MotherF*ingHood: The Musical" follows three very different women
as they journey from pregnancy tests to empty nests. Finding
laughter in the labor and glamour in the mundane, Rachael, Angie,
and Marcia discover motherhood is an adventure best shared with
friends. With songs like "Birthing Wars," "Poo-Wop Playgroup," and
"Teenage Driver Hell Zone," this show goes just beyond what
everyone feels comfortable talking about at dinner parties.
Audiences laugh, cry, and know that the stories come from real life
experiences because they can completely relate.

Since the Arts Center production, the duo have teamed up with a
brand new theater group called Moonshine Variety Co. Moonshine's
mission provides for fostering new writers and helping them to
develop new work, especially with talent from the central part of the
United States. Both playwrights hold Kansas City dear to their hearts
and are very much at home with family still in the metropolitan

So, Stotts and Dunlap have focused on the script and score. Gone
are the days of bootstrapping a production with friends and family.
They are neither starring nor directing. These days, they are
concentrating on what they might do to improve the show so they
can eventually publish their first show. Both ladies admit to having
started work on the next shows. For now, they are letting
Moonshine take over the producing duties.

Coming up September 5-6, 2014, Moonshine will present two
staged readings at The Buffalo Room at the Westport Flea Market.
The show stars Katie Gilchrist, Jennifer Mays, and Heidi Van. Co-
starring are Stasha Case and Jordan Lankhorst. Musical direction is
by Don Steele with Daniel Doss conducting the orchestra and
playing piano. Tyler Harvey will be on keyboards; Danny Kaul will
play bass guitar; and Jerod Drivers is on drums. The show is
directed by Les Lankhorst and produced by Seth Eckelman. Tickets
are $18-26 per person both Friday, September 5th and Saturday,
September 6th and are available online at

A full professional production is in the works for a 2015 Kansas City
premiere. Both Dunlap and Stotts never thought as roommates in
college that they would, one day, be writing a musical together.
They remain humble, though, and credit their success to just part of
being a "Go Mom" - a moniker from their show. What exactly is a
"Go Mom"? Dunlap and Stotts will tell anyone, "Buy a ticket and find
out. We've got six kids to put through college."

For more information, visit www.MoonshineVariety.Co on the web.



For more information:

Moonshine Variety Co.
(785) 330-5322 x2

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