A brand-new play, by Kelly Adrian, To Make It Right, debuts this week at the Kansas City fringe Festival through July 26 at The Unicorn Theatre, tells the story of a gay ex-seminarian named Josiah who returns home to face a choice at his cousin’s funeral.
Adrian, employed by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre as the media coordinator, performed for Walt Disney Entertainment and makes his play writing debut with this piece. Even though To Make It Right is his first play Adrian created award-winning commercials in the past.
“The story follows a gay ex-seminarian named Josiah as he is confronted with the choice to read at his cousin’s funeral,” Adrian said of his piece. “The compact resting issues of Christianity and homosexuality are dressed with humor and painful truth as he confronts the strengths of his faith with the decision to forgive while trying to hide his relationship from his family.”
According to Adrian, the one-hour production of To Make It Right gives the audience a chance to challenge current views on important social issues such as, equality, forgiveness, acceptance, religion, family, guilt, love, and more.
To Make It Right features a cast of local actors and authors. Those familiar with the Kansas City theater scene will recognize the names and talents of the cast; Gil Perez Abraham, Jr., Jon Bowles, Kyle Dyck, Ann Lehane, Evan Lovelace, Tim Marks, Emily Shackelford.
Of the cast, Abraham, Dyck and Lehane preformed with the greatest expertise and skill. All three understood and developed characters that audiences can identify. Each actor enabled the audience to see the challenges in their characters and understand the gravity of their situations. Also, give some credit there to Adrian, who also directed his play, To Make It Right, and understood what he wanted from his actors.
Abraham and Dyck’s characters form the crux of the story, though Dyck only remains on stage a few minutes. Still, his character serves as the catalyst for the piece and he works though it without emotional overkill. Abraham, the central character of the piece deals with more issues, and, as such, his character must change as the piece unfolds. Abraham gives a very strong performance as navigates the piece with believability in his angst with society, his family, and religion.
The play, funny at times and dramatic at others, invites audiences to think and rethink some of the issues presented. As a first play, Adrian shows promise. As for To Make It Right, the show has an unfinished feel to it. It ends, but too many questions remain. Perhaps a longer version needs penned to develop the characters and the back story. Some of the social issues do not currently have resolution, so maybe the piece tries too hard to be too far-reaching for a one hour performance.
Still To Make It Right deserves the large crowds it draws. Adrian needs further encouragement to continue to develop other thought-provoking pieces. To Make It Right demonstrates his ability to create a story and touch the issues of concern. Applause deserved for fresh local playwright, Kelly Adrian.