KAACfeature

(Author’s note: I’m on the developing board of this theater company, and I taught the co-executives, Whitten Montgomery and Remy Sisk, when they were in high school. So this post is informational only.)

For thirteen years, the kids of Kids Acting Against Cancer performed Broadway and family-favorite musicals like “Cinderella,” “Annie” and “Grease.”

But these “kids” aren’t kids any more. And for their fourteenth season, the co-executives of KAAC, Whitten Montgomery and Remy Sisk, decided to reinvent themselves and the direction of the company.

But they won’t reinvent KAAC’s mission– they’re still a non-profit that raises funds for pediatric cancer charities.

Janice Walter, Holly Griffitt, Remy Sisk, Charlie Meredith and Whitten Montgomery

Janice Walter, Holly Griffitt, Remy Sisk, Charlie Meredith and Whitten Montgomery

Instead of gently transitioning from family/children’s theater to something a little more challenging for 20-somethings, they pretty much dove right into the deep end.

Sure there was a “testing the waters” moment when they produced the high-emotion, Agatha Christie murder mystery, “Ten Little Indians” in January of this year. But it is a tense murder mystery.

They followed that with the deeply disturbing, drunken upper-middle-class bummer that is “Gods of Carnage.” (“Bummer” is in the script– no reflection on the production itself.)

And now they’re going down the deep, dark rabbit hole with “Rabbit Hole,” the 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire.

From the KAAC website:

Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could ever want until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. Rabbit Hole charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the face of unspeakable tragedy with the help of Becca’s rebelliously carefree sister and her opinionated while occasionally boozy mother. With an emotional mix of laughter and tears, the show illustrates that even in the gravest of circumstances, life does go on, always ready to surprise with unexpected moments of joy and even hope.

Rabbit Hole was first produced in 2006 and won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama while Cynthia Nixon won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Becca. Kids Acting Against Cancer presents this paramount work the first two weekends in September with 100% of the profits being shared between the pediatric Cancer Care Treatment Center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic of Kosair Children’s Hospital.

 

KAAC was founded in 1999 when sisters Whitten and Jaclyn Montgomery were 9 and 12 respectively. Their mother, Sandy, a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, had become a cancer fundraiser and her daughters wanted to help. They started by putting on a production of “Annie” in their parents’ basement. And by their last musical, “Cinderella” in 2012, they were performing in the Kentucky Center.

KAAC has raised upwards of $300,000 for cancer research, pediatric cancer care and support organizations such as Gilda’s Club. In fact, the young adult game room at Gilda’s was fully funded by KAAC.

Directed by Gilmer McCormick

Cast (in order of appearance):

  • Izzy: Holly Griffitt
  • Becca Corbett: Whitten Montgomery
  • Howie Corbett: Remy Sisk
  • Nat: Janice Walter
  • Jason Willette: Charlie Meredith

MeX Theatre
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
September 6, 7, 13, and 14 at 8 p.m.
September 8 at 2 p.m.
General Admission $16