In Press Release

Kansas City, MO, April 28, 2023:

Elizabeth Bettendorf Bowman -Executive Artistic Director 

Nathan Bowman -Producing Artistic Director 

What: Join Kansas City Public Theatre for the World Premiere of TIPTON by Ahafia Jukiewicz-Miles at our 2nd Annual Theatre Lab Fest on the Charlotte Street Campus. 

TIPTON is an experimental exploration of jazz musician Billy Tipton’s life through his own writing, written accounts from his friends and family, and the music he made. This musical revue interweaves Tipton’s vaudevillian performance style with a nuanced story of transgender identity in the world of music. This production will both celebrate one of the unsung heroes of Kansas City jazz and provide a thoughtful perspective on transgender identity in navigating a life in the arts. 

THEATRE LAB FEST is a celebration of our city’s playwriting talent. Over the course of the festival weekend, audiences can attend nightly performances of the world-premiere production of TIPTON, new play-in-development readings, and participate in several interactive events such as a PLAYWRITING JAM and 5-PAGE FRINGE.  


  • Tuesday, May 16,

7:30 pm – TIPTON Press Preview 

  • Thursday, May 18,

7:30 pm – TIPTON Preview 

  • Friday, May 19,


Opening Festival Reception to Follow 

  • Saturday, May 20,

1:00 pm – “Under the Table” by Ruthie Wu (Reading and Talkback) 

7:00 pm –Pre-show Community Discussion 

7:30 pm –TIPTON 

9:30 pm –Playwriting Jam 

  • Sunday, May 21,

12:00 pm – 5-Page Fringe 

3:00 pm –” Smile, You’re On Camera” by Ash Bowen (Reading and Talkback) 

7:30 pm –TIPTON 

  • Monday, May 22

7:30 pm – TIPTON, Industry Night 


Stern Theatre at Charlotte Street Foundation 

3333 Wyoming, Kansas City, MO 64111 


General Admission is free at the door. 

A limited number of seats will be reserved for advance purchase; $20/seat or 4 for $60 


Ahafia Jurkiewicz-Miles as Billy Tipton on Piano 

Recent Credits: Hir—Unicorn Theatre, American Idiot—Padget Productions 

Vanessa Davis plays various characters from Billy’s life 

Recent Credits: Sweat—Unicorn Theatre, Love Song—The Living Room  

TJ Warren on Drums 

Grant Klinksick on Bass

About Kansas City Public Theatre

Kansas City Public Theatre, a not-for-profit company, provides access to the arts through year-round theatre entertainment free of charge to the public. This mission is carried out in two activities: first, through producing aesthetically and ideologically diverse new works and reimagined classics which reflect the unique history and concerns of the Kansas City community; and second, to cultivate civic-minded artists, audiences, and citizens through community-based devised theatre workshops. 



email: [email protected] 

phone: (402) 443-7295


Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $2 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit



Recommended Posts