Grand Ambitions 

As if mounting and staging his own plays while still an undergrad isn’t enough, Adam R. Burnett makes it harder on himself by adding ideas, themes and a cast of more than 15 actors as he aims to give the audience something to think about while not neglecting his duties as an entertainer. In short, Burnett means to accomplish, all at once, all the things that professional theaters have such a hard time managing piecemeal. And A Greater Release, his optimistically titled extravaganza, premiering tonight at Oldfather Studios (1621 West Ninth Street in Lawrence, 785-608-5467), is even a musical. Kind of. “It’s more of a play with music,” Burnett tells the Pitch. “The action isn’t spurred by the music. Instead, it adds flourishes to the dramatic action.” That action comes in the form of a “theatrical travelogue,” a series of loosely related scenes inspired by Burnett’s adventures crossing Europe. “The songs come from a gypsy and a troubadour guide, and they guide the audience into the vignettes,” he explains. “Each of the stories takes place in a new world of its own, and each vignette is broken when the next one starts. I hope this forces the audience to come to terms with new people, situations and events.” Oh, the joy of new experiences. But one experience Burnett might not be savoring is that of profitability — a chance to catch A Greater Release is just five damn dollars (or $3 for KU students).

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