Two months after hitting us with the homegrown Slammed!, a heartening — and heartbreaking — survey of the recession's toll on Kansas City, UMKC's stalwart Department of Theatre is proving once again that theater is a vital source for news, not just of the human condition but of life as it's lived right at this very minute. Premiering tonight, the commissioned work Train to 2010 examines contemporary poverty in one of the world's great cities: this time, Johannesburg, South Africa, where workers struggling for basic subsistence toil to complete the infrastructure that the city requires as host of the 2010 World Cup. Hatched with the World Theatre Lab, the Market Theatre of Johannesburg and the Tony Award-winning Crossroads Theatre Company of New Brunswick, New Jersey, this international local drama imagines two laborers trapped on a fast-moving — and not quite finished — train built to ferry the wealthy from hotels to stadiums. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on the Spencer Theatre stage in UMKC's performing arts center (4949 Cherry); it plays through May 2. For tickets, call 816-235-6222.
Wed., April 28, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., April 29, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., April 30, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 1, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 2, 2 p.m., 2010