‘Gut-level drama’ featuring gay character to be performed at Wichita Community Theatre

By Jamie Rhodes

27-Dec-17 35WICHITA - Wichita Community Theatre opens its 2018 season with Hugh Whitemore’s play Breaking the Code. Directed by Leroy Clark, the production focuses on Word War II hero Alan Turing. Two predominate things stand out with Turing: one, he was a brilliant mathematician who invented the computer and helped put an end to WWII by breaking Nazi Germany’s secret Enigma Code, and two, he was a homosexual.
    Due to Turing’s classified work during the war, most were not aware of his role in ending it until many years later. He didn’t receive any public credit for his brilliancy. What the public chose to see was his “crime” of homosexuality during a time when it was outlawed in Great Britain. After his conviction, he was punished with chemical castration undergoing a series of dangerous hormonal therapy drugs which left him impotent and incapacitated both physically and mentally. Turing died alone and forgotten after committing suicide.
    The beginning of the play takes place in 1952. Throughout the play, the audience can expect to see flashbacks of Turing’s life starting from 1929. Although the play does address Turing’s role in the war, it focuses primarily on his personal life as a gay man.

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Ken N Barbie’z Rollin Diner launches in Wichita

01-Dec-17 08By Ciara Reid, staff reporter

WICHITA - As the weather gets colder, thoughts naturally turn to the warmer seasons and all that comes with it: baseball games, beer drinking on patios and porches, and delicious food trucks. Those lucky enough to live in the Wichita area should keep their eyes peeled for a food truck that looks like it could be the Barbie Dream Camper. Yep, you read that right: your next favorite food truck obsession will likely come in the form of the vehicle of our childhood dreams, aptly named Ken N Barbie’z Rollin Diner.
    The owners of this magical food truck are Kelly Ake and Barbie Taber, a lesbian couple who have been together for more than three and a half years. To understand the story behind the name of the food truck, all you need to know is how they met.
    “She invited me and a few other friends over to swim and eat,” Ake recalls. “When I found out her real name was Barbie, I popped off and said my name was f***ing Ken. We all laughed and so our friends kinda know the inside joke to Ken N Barbie.”
    Ake says that Taber has always loved to cook and wanted to own her own restaurant. Ake is the complete opposite. One evening, the couple started seriously discussing the possibility of running their own food truck. The discussion spiraled from types of food they would offer, to looking at food trucks for sale.
     “We started to look at food trucks immediately and went out of town to look at a truck in Lawrence,” Ake says. “I made some phone calls on all the licensing and BOOM it became a reality in about two to three weeks.”

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Local film Rosemary and Juliet debuted at Tallgrass Film Festival

01-Dec-17 15By Ciara Reid, staff reporter

WICHITA - The short film Rosemary and Juliet contains no dialogue or plot, but it may be one of the most gripping, unique films you see all year – and it was created locally in Wichita. Directed and produced by Shane Wallace, the film stars Shanna Berry, Kaemie McCanless, Beckie Jenek, Mark Anderson, and Byron J. Love in a 30-minute visual experience.
Rosemary and Juliet made its debut at this year’s Tallgrass Film Festival. Liberty Press had the chance to interview Wallace about the film.

Liberty Press (LP): How did the idea for Rosemary and Juliet originate?
Shane Wallace (SW): Rosemary and Juliet is an experimental film in terms of editing and artistic design. I wanted to make a film that was free of dialogue, melodrama, or any other filters to allow me to directly impact the audience through visual storytelling. We consider it a visual film rather than a silent film. I also have an amazing group of actors and other filmmakers who I want to constantly work with. Rosemary and Juliet was an excuse to work with [these] fine actors.

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Marcia McCoy, Ph.D.

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