Q&A: EXCLUSIVE with KC Fringe producer, Rick Duplissie

Elizabeth Golden

“Last Temptation of Harry” producer and actor Rick Duplissie sat down with the U-News to discuss the ins and outs of what it’s like to be involved in the Fringe Festival.

“Harry” is the story of a recovering alcoholic who can’t catch a break. With a nagging wife, overdue bills and crying kids, can he be saved with just one drink? The performance will take place at the Just Off Broadway theatre July 24 at 8 pm and Saturday July 27 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are available for five dollars.

What shows are you involved in? 

“Last Temptation of Harry” producer and actor – I’m also the Tweet Master for the KC Fringe Festival.

How did you get involved? 

I work at the Kansas City Rep and saw some great Fringe shows last season and thought, “I could do that.”

What was the next step to get your show in the lineup?

I contacted Cheryl Kimmi at the Fringe and she directed me to the Fringe site for the ‘artist application.’ I paid $300 for a spot and they sold out spots in the Fringe lineup. The rest was up to us.

Casting could be listed on KC Stage or on Craigslist or Facebook. Luckily I had been in a show the prior year and contacted 5 members of the cast to join me in a solo project. We had to find a rehearsal space and develop a timeline that worked for everyone.By far, our biggest challenge was scheduling.

Where did you receive your formal training?

I have a BA in Theatre from Culver-Stockton College and an MFA in performance from Western Illinois University

Are you involved in the arts full time? 

Yes I am the Audience Development Manager at the KC Rep. I’m on the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Attractions Association.

What other shows have you done? 

I’ve been in a She and Her Production of “12th Night” and was in a ‘Script in Hand’ show at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre

What is your favorite part of the Fringe Festival?

Experimentation to Fruition – The process of finding a project to produce – I started “Harry” last September with rewriting the script, casting and securing a rehearsal area.

How is it different than working on other shows? 

Time. When you aren’t able to have the entire cast together but once or twice a week – finding a consistent tone for rehearsal is daunting.

What is your favorite part about the arts in Kansas City?

How supportive the arts community is. I’ve worked professionally in Seattle and Chicago and KC rivals both of those established arts communities. Even my friends from the board at the GKCAA are planning on coming out to see our show. It’s a city with a small town feel and I love it.

Image Credit: Rick Duplissie