Previous Special Events

Sunday, March 6, 2016
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books while young audience members can “jump into the story,” adding their own improvisation. Appropriate for all ages.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Library continues its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances and more than six months of special programming surrounding one of the cultural events of the year – an exhibit featuring a rare, nearly four-centuries-old First Folio collection of Shakespeare’s plays.

These two comedies by American playwright Charles George reflect on the notions of love and romance through witty repartee, puns, and direct references to the Bard’s folio.


Thursday, March 3, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

At 83, SuEllen Fried’s social conscience has scarcely ebbed. The Prairie Village native – one of former President George H.W. Bush's Points of Light – continues to visit prisoners across Kansas as part of the Reaching Out from Within self-help program she co-founded. She also founded the Kansas Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse as the model chapter for what is now Prevent Child Abuse America.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The latest installment of Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III spotlights two of the Midwest’s greatest artists, Kansas City’s Thomas Hart Benton and Iowan Grant Wood, painter of the iconic American Gothic.

Kemper, the Library’s director, holds a public conversation with Benton and Wood as respectively portrayed by veteran actor Robert Gibby Brand and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s Matt Rapport. The event is co-presented by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in conjunction with its production of The Elixir of Love later in March. Taking inspiration from Benton for its costumes, and from Wood for scenery, the Lyric resets Gaetano Donizetti’s sentimental comedy in early 20th-century America.


Sunday, February 28, 2016
2:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Area high school students bring Shakespeare to life, lending their own interpretations of his monologues and sonnets as they compete for a berth in the national competition in New York City.

The 32nd annual event, sponsored by the Kansas City Branch of the English-Speaking Union, is designed to develop students’ speaking and critical thinking skills as they explore Shakespeare. It features the winners of preliminary competitions at KC-area high schools, plus a contest for home-schooled students. Local champions twice have gone on to win in New York, where the national event – this year tentatively scheduled for May 1-3 – is held in the Lincoln Center.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Everyone has a reason to kill Lady Katheter DeVane, but only one guest at William Sheepsheare’s Twelfth Night party could have done it. Take on one of the many comic roles (no acting experience necessary) for an afternoon of murder, mayhem, quips, and quotes in high Shakespearean style.


Friday, February 26, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Celebrate the Irish in everyone with a performance by the dancers of Kansas City’s O’Riada Manning Academy of Irish Dance, which has offered a wide range of classes for both children and adults of all levels and backgrounds for more than 20 years. Appropriate for All Ages.


Thursday, February 25, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Nearly three years before the Supreme Court’s ruling against school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka – the commonly acknowledged start of America’s civil rights movement – the burgeoning struggle for equality was stirred by a 1951 case in Kansas City. The local branch of the NAACP filed suit, successfully, to force the city to end racial segregation at the Swope Park swimming pool.

The plaintiffs’ lead attorney was a future Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall. His son, Thurgood Marshall Jr., joins longtime Kansas City activist and former mayor pro tem Alvin Brooks in a discussion of the case, examining the arguments on both sides, the social context of the times, and the elder Marshall’s role in the outcome. KCUR-FM’s Steve Kraske moderates the conversation.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

William Blake gets his due today as not only a great poet but also an extraordinary, 18th-century English engraver, artist, and visionary. A boldly imaginative rebel in both his thought and his art, he combined poetic and pictorial genius to explore important issues in politics, religion, and psychology.

His poetry, however, could be undeniably strange. Deeply spiritual, he professed to visions. And in his own lifetime, Blake was generally neglected or dismissed (improperly) as mad.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is more than a place or a terrorist group. It is a set of ideas rooted in centuries-old beliefs and wrapped in a philosophy of violence. Adherents believe they are an army of the righteous working to create an ideal state for today’s believers and fighting a war that is destined to end with the coming of Jesus and defeat of the Antichrist.


Kansas City Public Library Beta