More About Kitchen Dance




Two people meet in a rooming house in Rochester, Minnesota, the "mecca of medicine" in the Midwest. He's a cranky, garrulous radio announcer who is going through the Mayo clinic to determine if he has a brain tumor. She is a quiet, giving housewife whose husband is being treated in one of the city's hospitals. They are thrown together in the common kitchen of the rooming house during the slack Christmas season. The collision sparks an explosion of emotion and wit that has drawn belly-laughs and tears from audiences since the first production of Kitchen Dance in 1983.

In 1991 the play was published as Volume Two of the Wayne S. Knutson Dakota Playwriting Project by USD Press. And in 1998 selections from the play were included in The Call to Care, a text dealing with the problems of caring.

In fact, the play is to a large extent about caring, especially about the extremes afforded to the caregiver, from the therapeutic benefit to the destructive emotional drought that results from giving too much. But the insights are sweetened by humor and demonstrated in the unique interaction of two lonely people.

After three major productions in the Midwest, Kitchen Dance is recognized as a sure laugh-getter and an audience favorite. Subtitled A Pas de Deux in Two Acts , the play puts heavy demands on the two actors who share the stage without respite. Their reward is audience response that is often remarkable. About the first production, one reviewer wrote that the audience "laughed and cried and did everything but climb onstage to take part themselves."

The premiere production starred Frank Shculler and Micki Varro and was directed by Hollywood veteran Phil Bruns. Subsequent productions included one with Arnie Stenseth and Susan McGowan in the roles and another directed by playwright Ken Robbins.

In the words of the play's original director, "Kitchen Dance is timeless, a tour de force for actors and appealing to all ages."


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