Lawrence Arts Center’s ‘Threads’ to bring local history to life on stage

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A Lawrence Arts Center show this weekend will capture key movements and weave together portraits of people throughout local history.

“Lawrence’s good, bad, and sometimes ugly relationship to abolition and the founding of our Free State is explored as we play out stories from prehistory to the here and now,” the show description states.


“Threads, Weaving the Tapestry of Lawrence Freedom” was shaped by a diversity advisory board of Carole Cadue-Blackwood, Courtney Shipley, Kay Emerson and Krystin Arkeketa. The board was tasked with asking important questions and consulting to help inform the content, ideas, and narrative in and around the production, according to the Arts Center. The production is directed by Ric Averill. 

“Alternately comically absurd and deadly serious, actors will breathe life into each portrait of a Lawrence family facing the winds of temperance, women’s suffrage, civil rights, anti-war, women’s rights, the gay rights movements and more — you’ll be part of healing the past to prepare for a new future.” 

The first show, set for 7 p.m. Friday, will have a Q&A afterward. There are two more performances scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 5. 

The cast, according to the Arts Center website, includes Bailey Cate FitzGerald, Beatrix Johnson, Ben Spencer, Caroline Van Gemert, Carter Fincher, Chloe Novosel, Elsie Neuhofel, Jeffrey Stolz, Sadie Mosier, Lily Otter, Lily Stuke, Michael Whinery, Penelope All, Penelope Salb, Randy Johnson, and diversity advisory board members Cadue-Blackwood, Shipley, Emerson and Arkeketa.

Performances will be in person at the Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., and livestreamed. Tickets are available at this link. In-person tickets are $15 for seniors, students and children, and $20 for adults. Choose-what-you-pay livestream access options are $15, $20 and $25.

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