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When I Come to Die poster
2013-2014 Season

When I Come to Die

Feb 14th - Mar 16th, 2014

Copaken Stage

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Written by Nathan Louis Jackson

Directed by Kyle Hatley

From Kansas City Rep’s new Playwright-in-Residence Nathan Louis Jackson (Broke-ology), comes a stunning, thought-provoking story about the power one action can have over a life and the unique precipice from which meaning and redemption can be attained.  Damon Robinson, a death-row inmate, struggles to find faith and understanding about why his life has been spared after he survives a lethal injection. Befriending the prison’s chaplain he sets about using his unexpected time on earth in search of answers.   Appropriate for ages 13 & up.


Kansas City Star calls this show, "the strongest in the season" and "splendid" in new review! Read the review. 

"The end result is a riveting evening of theater. You won’t get it out of your head." 
- Robert Trussell, Kansas City Star theatre critic

"★ ★ ★ ★ ★"
- The Examiner


Sponsored By: 

US Bank

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts

Copaken Stage Series Restaurant Sponsor


Beverage Sponsor



Cast Bios

Will Cobbs (Damon)

KC Rep: debut. Regional: In the Red and Brown Water (World Premiere), Cuttin’ Up, False Creeds (Alliance Theatre); The Servant of Two Masters (Yale Repertory Theatre); Every Other Hamlet in the Universe (Carlotta Festival); Rikki Tikki Tavi (Aurora Theater); Some Men (Actors Express); Nelson Green (True Colors); The Dutchman (Southwest Arts Center); Secrets (Kaiser Permanente); The Odd Couple (Georgia Ensemble Theatre); Yellowman (Theatre in the Square); for black boys who have considered homicide when the streets were too much (Dad’s Garage). Educational Theatre: Titus Andronicus, The Seagull, Rodeo, Blacktop Sky, Much Ado About Nothing, A Streetcar Named Desire, Two Trains Running (Yale School of Drama); A Thought in Three Parts and Future, Oprah, Lovesong (Yale Cabaret). Training: BA in Drama (Morehouse College); MFA, 2012 (Yale School of Drama).

Kevin Cristaldi (Crouse)

KC Rep: debut. Local: Biloxi Blues, Run for Your Wife (The New Theater). Off-Broadway: A Dish for the Gods (The Lion Theater); Message to Michael (Rattlestick Theatre).  New York: The Dirty Talk (Center Stage); The Saloon (Vampire Cowboys); Dear Darkness (New Ohio); Feeder (Terra Nova Collective). Regional: Cringe, The Strip, The Skin of Our Teeth (Evidence Room, Los Angeles); Eddie Legs (Lillian Theatre, Los Angeles); Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Ten Unknowns (Schoolhouse Theatre); Next Fall, The Triumph of Love (Florida Studio Theatre); The Last Station (Vermont Stage); Hamlet (The Arden Theatre, Philadelphia); The Miser (Hartford Stage); The Foreigner (Cherry County Playhouse); Importance of Being Earnest (Two Rivers Theater); The Magic Lantern (StageWest). Film & TV: “Criminal Minds”, “Medium”, “The Unit”, “Numb3rs”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

Conan McCarty (Roach)

KC Rep: debut. Broadway: A Life in the Theatre, A Few Good Men, Macbeth. New York: When We Go Upon the Sea (59E59 Theaters); Dark Rapture (Second Stage); Beyond Therapy (Phoenix Theatre); Henry IV, pt. 1 (Central Park, Joe Papp). Regional: Henry V, Henry IV, pt. 2 (Shakespeare Santa Cruz); A Walk in the Woods (Cape May Stage); To Kill a Mockingbird (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); The Underpants (San Jose Repertory Theatre); Sorrows and Rejoicings (City Theatre, Pittsburgh); The Hostage (Old Globe Theatre); Of Mice and Men (George Street Playhouse); Othello (Indiana Repertory Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (Center Stage); Dancing at Lughnasa (Cleveland Playhouse); The Grapes of Wrath (Pioneer Theatre); The Tempest (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival); Julius Caesar (Milwaukee Shakespeare Festival).

Janae Nicole Mitchell (Chantel)

KC Rep: Death of a Salesman. Local: Clybourne Park (Unicorn Theatre); Seven GuitarsThe Last Days of Judas Iscariot, A Devil Inside, KC Swing (UMKC Theatre). Regional: A Christmas Carol (Playmakers of Baton Rouge); Self-Defense of death of a some salesmen (Swine Palace Productions); Antigone, The Living, A Night of Pinter, Outworks Play Festival (Louisiana State University). International: Antigone (Young Theatre Festival, Seoul, Korea). Education: BA in Theatre, Louisiana State University; third year MFA graduate student at UMKC.


Production Bios: 

Samantha Greene  (Production Stage Manager) KC Rep: Pippin, Another American: Asking and Telling. Broadway: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (Lincoln Center Theatre); New York City Opera (selected credits): Anna Nicole, Turn of the Screw, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Orpheus, A Quiet Place, Margaret Garner, Dead Man Walking (also San Francisco Opera world premiere), Mourning Becomes Electra, A Little Night Music (also Los Angeles Opera), Sweeney Todd, Candide, Pirates of Penzance, The Little Prince, The Most Happy Fella, Cinderella. Regional: Travesties, Skin of Our Teeth: The Musical, Electra (McCarter Theatre); Sleeping Beauty Wakes (La Jolla Playhouse); Wind in the Willows Christmas (Two River Theater), Barber of Seville (Crested Butte Music Festival); HMS Pinafore (Opera Saratoge); Anna Karenina, Street Scene (Opera Theatre of St Louis). Additional Regional Credits: Opera de Monte-Carlo, El Paso Opera, Central City Opera, Florida Grand Opera. Education: Cornell University. Upcoming: The Chase Brock Experience tour.

Kyle Hatley (Director) KC Rep: Associate Artistic Director; Rep directing credits: Romeo and Juliet (Associate Director), Carousel, Little Shop of Horrors, Broke-ology, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Borderland and A Christmas Carol (2010 to Present). Also at the Rep, he was the Associate Director on August: Osage County (Eric Rosen, Director). Acting at the Rep, he has been seen in The Foreigner (Ellard Simms), Death of a Salesman (Happy), The Glass Menagerie (The Gentleman Caller), The Whipping Man (Caleb). Local directing: a musical remount of The Death of Cupid, Titus Andronicus, Carousel (The Living Room); The Darwin Project (Friends of Chamber Music at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center); Red Badge Variations, Ben Franklin’s Apprentice (Coterie Theatre); Hamlet (Two Third’s Theatre). Local writing/directing/acting: Master of the Universe (The Living Room Theatre, June 2014); Head, The Death of Cupid and Watering the Grave (Kansas City Fringe Festival); Eddie in Hurlyburly (The Living Room Theatre), Jerry Genochio’s Tack Driver (Kansas City Fringe Festival). TV & Film: “Prison Break” and “As the World Turns”. Awards: Best Director (2009, The Pitch); a 2011 Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Artist Fellow. Hatley is a Rhodes College graduate and the artistic director of Chatterbox Audio Theater, a non-profit, web-based theatre that produces fully sound-scaped audio plays for free streaming and download at

Nathan Louis Jackson (Playwright).  KC Rep: Broke-ology (also at Lincoln Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival), First|Page New Works Festival Playwright Slam.  Plays include: The Mancherios, The Last Black Play. Mr. Jackson has participated in The Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive, William Inge 24-Hour Play Festival, Ebony Theater’s “The Word” (monthly poetry slam), Kansas State Speech Team. Directing: The Colored Museum, The Island (Ebony Theatre). Awards & Honors: Two-time AFA Prose Interpretation Champion, two-time Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award Winner, Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award, ACTF Region V Best Acting Partner, President of Ebony Theatre, and recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Gold Medallion. Television: currently writes for NBC’s  “Southland.” Education: BS, Kansas State University; The Juilliard School.

Georgianna Londré Buchanan (Costume Design) KC Rep: debut. Regional: Creede Repertory Theatre, 24 productions including The Taming of the Shrew, Fools, Life is a Dream, Sweeney Todd. Local: Resident Costume Designer for the Coterie Theatre, 38 productions including Lucky Duck premiere and tour to The New Victory Theater in NYC, Dracula, Red Badge Variations, Tell-Tale Electric Poe, Shrek The Musical, Spring Awakening, Once Upon a Mattress, The Wrestling Season, The Outsiders, Ben Franklin’s Apprentice,  premiere of The Happy Elf with Harry Connick Jr.; The Unicorn Theatre, 34 productions with the recent Venus in Fur, BlackTop Sky, Everyday Rapture. Other Local Credits: Three Viewings, Good People, Glengarry Glen Ross (Kansas City Actor’s Theatre); Weekend Comedy (New Theatre); Paul Mesner Puppets, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Starlight, Civic Opera Theatre, and Late Night Theatre. For the Kansas City Art Institute, she taught courses in costume design, and directed student art fundraising gala performances 2006-2012. Awards: a Mastermind Award in Performance Arts from The Pitch, and a Ribbon of Hope Award from the Kansas City AIDS Service Foundation.

Jack Magaw (Co-Set Design) KC Rep: Romeo and Juliet, The Foreigner, Pippin and The Whipping Man, among others.  Other Chicago area and regional theatre design credits include The Who and the What (La Jolla Playhouse), Hedda Gabler and The Letters (Writers’ Theatre); Giovanna d’Arco (Chicago Opera Theatre); Clybourne Park and Beneatha’s Place (Centerstage); A Raisin in the Sun (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Disgraced (American Theatre Company); Superior Donuts (Geva Theatre); Gee’s Bend (Cincinnati Playhouse); 4,000 Miles and Detroit ‘67 (Northlight Theatre).  His eight Joseph Jefferson Award nominations include his designs for The Caretaker and Bus Stop (Writers’ Theatre) and The Whipping Man (Northlight Theatre).  Upcoming projects: The Who and the What (Lincoln Center Theatre-LCT3) and Awake and Sing (Olney Theatre).  Mr. Magaw lives in Evanston, IL with his wife, director Kimberly Senior, and teaches design at The Theatre School, DePaul University.

Courtney O’Neill (Co-Set Design) KC Rep: Debut. Local: Bud, Not Buddy (Coterie Theatre). Broadway: Of Mice and Men (Assistant Design). Regional: The Little Prince (Lookingglass Theatre); The Mountaintop (Virginia Stage Company); Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money and Bud, not Buddy (Chicago Children’s Theatre); Life and Limb and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf Theatre); Our Town, Oedipus, The Bald Soprano, and Mud (The Hypocrites); Song Man Dance Man (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); Sons of the Prophet, Noises Off, and Sundown Town (Theatre Squared); Freshly Fallen Snow (Chicago Dramatists); Forever Plaid, Sirens, and Plaid Tidings (Fox Valley Repertory); Dirty, Cloud 9, Talk Radio, Stop/Kiss, Wit, and Blithe Spirit (The Gift Theatre). Awards: 2013 United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Award for Outstanding Scenic Design (Mud); Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Scenic Design (Mud); Jeff Award Nomination (Talk Radio). Education: MFA in Stage Design, Northwestern University; BFA in Theatre Arts, DePaul University.  Courtney lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul University.
Jeffery Cady (Lighting Design) KC Rep: A Christmas Carol (2010-2013), The Glass Menagerie (lighting and projections), Circle Mirror Transformation (lighting and projections), Harriet Jacobs, Palomino, Back Home Again: a John Denver Holiday Concert, Under Midwestern Stars, Love, Janis, Give ‘em Hell, Harry (projection design); Incognito, Later Life (lighting design). Regional projection credits: Mary Wilson Holliday Spectacular (Harris Theatre, Chicago); The Gay Bride of Frankenstein, Rooms (Seacoast Repertory Theatre, New Hampshire); The Wiz and Always, Patsy Cline (Main State Musical Theatre); Lombardi (Cleveland Playhouse); Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, [title of show], Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Arizona Theatre Company); A Perfect Wedding, Shake Rattle and Roll, and Smokey Joe’s Café (Florida Studio Theatre). National credits: Love, Janis (lighting and projections, Columbia Artists Theatricals’ tours); Fellowship! (lighting and projections, New York Musical Theatre Festival); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (lighting, Theatre League). Mr. Cady served as the Head Projections Programmer for: Green Day’s American Idiot (Broadway production) and Wintuk (Cirque du Soleil).
Joseph Concha (Sound Design/Composer)  KC Rep: The Santaland Diaries. Local: Red Badge Variations (Coterie Theatre); The Mistakes Madeline Made and The Death of Cupid (The Living Room Theatre); Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Paul Mesner Puppets).  Non-theatre credits: the video game Dead Space 3 by EA-Visceral Games.  Mr. Concha currently works as an audio contractor at Bazillion Pictures, Liquid 9, and several other small studios around Kansas City.  He is also designing Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins for Paul Mesner Puppets. Education:  MFA in Sound Design/Technology from UMKC; BSE in Theatre/Sound Engineering from Purdue University.  Upcoming: Fat Pig at The Living Room Theatre.  


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