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Dec 01

Winning Innovative Theatre Challenge entry “And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT” begins Dec. 11

Posted on December 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM by Becky Burnside

Seven online viewings of the winning entry of the Theatre in the Park’s first-ever Innovative Theatre Workshop are planned between Dec. 11 and 19.

“And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT” by local actresses Sarah Montoya and Kim Kershner was the winning entry selected from 14 concepts submitted during this fast-paced production process. 
So what’s the show about? Here’s a tiny sneak peek:

Dating is hard. Especially in the age of virtual meetings and endless swiping. Swipe left? Swipe right? Whew. It’s a crap shoot. But then… someone catches your eye! Enter Jordan (a self-professed “Grinch”) and Taylor (owner of a delightful reindeer-antlered-hat… ‘nough said). Is it possible that Taylor can crack Jordan’s bah-humbug crusted heart and plant the seed of Christmas cheer? Or will it end up being just another cheer-less holiday? After an endless stream of left swipes… this might be the “right” one!

Opening night will be Dec. 11, with additional showings on Dec. 12, 13, 18, and 19.  Tickets will be $10 through, and information about the production will be posted at

“Our goal is to film the finished product a number of times, and then edit the film for the best ‘takes,’” said TIP Producing Artistic Director Tim Bair, who is also directing this production. “We’ll put it all together, and then broadcast the production mid-December at what would have been the official curtain time for the (pre-COVID planned) live production. We’ll broadcast a total of seven times at curtain time, and then we’ll make the show available on-demand. You’ll be able to watch it as many times as you like!”

“Ok, we know watching a filmed version of live theatre is not as good as watching theater live and in person,” he added. “But you know what? This is good for right now! Things will change… and we will be there ready to go when they do. But right now- this will be fun! We’re so happy to be creating something new and sharing the talent of local writers in a fun and creative way.”
In late August, playwrights from across the Kansas City Metro area were invited to submit new works to compete to be the Theatre in the Park’s first ever new production in its 50-year history! In all, 14 entries were received and were parred down to three for which full scripts were completed by Oct. 30. 

Parameters given to writers were that the show had to be 45 to 60 minutes in length involving two actors (in either single or multiple roles), that had not been previously produced, and is “new, different, and creative.” 

Bair said “And to all… a SWIPE RIGHT” was ultimately selected for production because of its clever dialogue and witty banter between the characters, and because “the story was the cleanest, and the characters were clear. It’s a sweet story, kinda perfect for the holiday season!”
In addition to receiving an honorarium and having their show produced, TIP staff will work with the playwrights towards having the show published.  

Bair said that based on this year’s experience with the Innovative Theatre Challenge, plans are already being made to do this again next year, and it could become an annual gig.