The Kansas City Public Library continues the sixth season of its signature Script-in-Hand series with a Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre production of Master Class by Terrence McNally on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
With the theme Women of the Years, the 2012 Script-in-Hand season features some of the most compelling female leads in drama.
In this confrontational drama diva Maria Callas, her best years as an operatic sensation behind her, conducts one-on-one singing lessons with promising young vocalists at the acclaimed Juilliard School. Her teaching style can be abusive and the students quickly become disillusioned by their interactions with the once-great star, who is so obsessed with her own image that she barely acknowledges them except to deliver belittling insults.
Reviewing a recent Off Broadway production of Master Class, Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times that "This Callas lives in a more vivid time, in a moment both eternal and fleeting when the glory of her career matched the appetite of her ambition. That moment is still bright and hot inside her - it's the only reality she completely acknowledges - and it turns everything else into shadows."
The Script-in-Hand production is directed by Robert Gibby Brand.
Portraying Callas is local singer Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins, who holds music degrees from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Kansas.
Victoria Botero plays one of Callas' students. She has performed with Kansas City's Quality Hill Playhouse and recently sang Adina in the St. Louis production of The Elixir of Love. Portraying Callas' piano accompanist is J. Kent Barnhart, executive director of the Quality Hill Playhouse.
Admission is free. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Funding for the 2012 Script-in-Hand series is provided by a grant from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee, with additional support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
A public reception following this performance of Master Class is sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library.
This event is co-sponsored by the UMKC Women's Center.
Visit kclibrary.org/scriptinhand for additional information about the 2012 Script-in-Hand series.