The Kansas African American Museum's First Theatrical Production

CANAAN

Canaan tells the coming-of-age story of a teenager and his community, caught between love, activism, and spirituality during one of the most tumultuous years in American history – 1968. 


In Canaan, generations collide as Washington, D.C. neighbors must decide where their loyalties lie when the Civil Rights Movement takes a downward turn.

Written by Micah Ariel Watson, an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and screenwriter, from Wichita, has a gift for bringing powerful stories to life, on stage, and on screen. Watson's work centers the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in Black culture, often employing poetry and hip-hop to do so.


Sheila Kinnard, a noted performer in numerous productions, will be making her professional directorial debut. Ms. Kinnard brings to Canaan her decades of experience in the Wichita educational system, as a drama instructor, and her countless roles as a Thespian in the theatrical community.

 

“Having lived through the 60s, it’s important that we never forget these years of struggle and progress. I am excited to bring to the a fresh look at the other issues that plagued our country then and continues to persist today”. 

-- Sheila Kinnard, Wichita, Ks

      

 

Stay Connected!

Canaan was last shown September 16 at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Performance Center and September 17 & 18 at the White Theatre at the J. Stay connected for future performance updates!

Meet the Playwright & Director

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Playwright

Micah Ariel Watson

Micah Ariel Watson is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright, and screenwriter, from Wichita, who has a gift for bringing powerful stories to life, on stage, and on screen. Watson's work centers the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in Black culture, often employing poetry and hip-hop to do so.

 

 Micah’s words and images seek to remind people of the African Diaspora that they are complex, beautiful, diverse, and made in the image of God.

 

In 2018, Micah graduated from the  University of Virginia (African American Studies and Drama) and received her MFA (Dramatic Writing) from New York University Tisch School of the Arts (2020). Currently, Micah serves as an Artist in Residence at the Democracy Initiative – University of Virginia.

 

Micah’s theatrical work has been recognized by the Kennedy Center, receiving multiple awards for Canaan and other theatrical presentations. She has also received multiple screenwriting awards from various film festivals.

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Director

Sheila Kinnard

Sheila Kinnard, retired Drama Teacher from Wichita Public Schools is well known in the community for her beautiful signing with ARISE, as well as her immense talent in local theatrical productions, extensive community service and wonderful, cheerful personality that brings love and joy to everyone she meets!

 

Ms. Kinnard is no stranger to performing, and has portrayed a wide array of characters, in addition to directing the performances of her students, collaborating with colleagues, and singing with church members.

 

As Director of the Canaan project, Ms. Kinnard will achieve another accomplishment in her stellar career.

The Cast

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ShonMichael Anderson

A senior at Northeast High School and a member of the Thespian Society, ShonMichael Anderson has had roles in a number of performances, including The Lion King (as Mufasa), Alice vs. Wonderland, Crazytown, and Bonnie and Clyde.  This focused young man shines on the stage!

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Cydnee A. Reese

Cydnee Reese honed her acting skills in numerous high school performances in Kansas City.  She first brought her talents to the Wichita area for a performance in “The Wild Women of Winedale” at the Wichita Community Theater.

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Gregory Cole

After serving in the Armed Forces for over 25 years, Greg Cole currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of Good Life Company, LLC, a company he started in 2010.  Mr. Cole has performed in numerous comedy events in Wichita as well as on cruise ships and other comedy venues around the country.

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Emerson Ross

A Wichita native, Emerson Ross has charmed audiences with his talents in numerous theatrical performances, including Memphis (The Forum Theater). Mr. Ross will graduate in May 2022 with a BFA in Performing Arts (Musical Theater) and a minor in Dance.

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Dr. Shareika Fisher

Dr. Shareika Fisher is the Executive Director/CEO of Rise Up for Youth.  She discovered her acting skills in Kentucky with roles in both Once on this Island and Beauty and the Beast.

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Ke'Juan Moses

Wichita native Ke’Juan Moses has graced the stages of Wichita with roles in Memphis (the Forum) and in Yellowbrick/A Raisin in the Sun (Crown Uptown).  Mr. Moses is also a stand-up comedian (Crown Uptown) and a film actor.  He can be seen as the lead in the motion picture “PPP Loan Gone” in April 2022 at the Wichita Warren Theater.

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Shirley Smith

Shirley Smith serves in the Human Resources Department of Healthcore Clinic and loves being on stage.

Her past experience includes performances at local venues including the Wichita River Festival, the Wichita Center for Performing Arts, and local churches.

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David Williams

From community theater to Century II, from television to film, David Williams’ acting has been showcased in a variety of formats.  Among his many talents, Mr. Williams is also an artist, an author and a business owner.