SM East grads getting great reviews for work in Fringe Fest’s ‘Virgin’

Will Fritz
Will Fritz

Three SM East graduates who fell in love with the theatre in high school are part of a Fringe Fest production that’s getting rave reviews.

2005 SM East grad Will Fritz is the co-director of “Virgin,” an irreverent dark comedy that centers on a Catholic high school girl whose mother fits her with a chastity belt. The play was written by Fritz’s co-director and UMKC classmate Jesse Ray Metcalf.

“We actually been sitting on it for three years,” Fritz says of the production. “This just seemed like the right time and place to debut it.”

Kenna Hall, who plays the protagonist Mary Sue, is getting favorable notices for her work, as is Fritz’s SM East classmate Ellen Kirk, who plays Mary Sue’s mother.

“They tell you when you’re learning how to direct in college that 90 percent of your job is casting – if you can get that right, even if you’re a terrible director, you can still produce an amazing show,” he said. “We lucked out landing some incredible talent from around the city.”

SM East graduate Katie Vaughters is the costume designer for the production.

Fritz is actually taking part in another Fringe Fest production as well — Kings of Israel, directed by former SM East theatre director Phil Kinen. The play, also making its world debut at the Fringe Fest, explores the story of King Saul and David from the perspective that they were having a homosexual relationship. Fritz plays David.

“It’s been busy,” Fritz said. “But it’s all fun.”

Virgin has two remaining performances scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central in Penn Valley Park. Kings of Israel has performances scheduled at 9 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday at Phosphor Studio, 1730 Broadway.