September 28, 2015
HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider, announces that STAND, a play by Nashville-based playwright Jim Reyland, will be presented at The Mohart Community Center Theatre at Friday Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.. The acclaimed play will appear in six U.S. cities, including Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Jose to raise funds and awareness for local organizations that work with the homeless. Reyland worked with Johnny Ellis, the subject of STAND, for 10 years on the streets of Nashville. After Ellis died, Reyland was inspired to write a play about his plight and real-life challenges.
“STAND is traveling the country so that many more people can come to know Johnny and consider the world of the homeless and addicted,” Reyland says. “I am pleased that Kansas City is one of the cities that will have the opportunity to hear this important and compelling message.”
Proceeds from the Kansas City run of STAND will benefit the initiatives and shelters of Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City, which started in 1988 as a networking organization in and since 1992 has been a 501c3. There will be a question-and-answer session following each performance with Reyland, Vickie L. Riddle, ACSW, Executive Director of Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City and other local providers who work with the homeless population.
“We are delighted that the play will appear in Kansas City,” Riddle says. “Although there aren’t simple answers to complex problems—such as the issue of homelessness, which is often misunderstood—STAND will provide another way to raise the awareness we so desperately need. I hope the film will help people who previously thought homelessness was either too overwhelming or too removed from their lives see the issue differently.”
Riddle notes that homelessness is not a problem of “single men who drink and drug. It impacts families, too—nearly 50 percent of the homeless in Kansas City are living in an intact family of one or two parents and children. Homeless are also people who lose jobs and then their homes because they not able to save money on their minimum wage salaries or a are a victim of domestic violence or perhaps have a catastrophic illness that wipes them out. Homelessness is not an isolated problem, but one caused by systemic poverty.”
“HCA Midwest Health, who encourages employees to volunteer for organizations that help improve the welfare and well being of our community, is proud to sponsor this play,” says M.L. Lagarde III, President of HCA Midwest Health. “It’s important to highlight the problem of homelessness in the Kansas City metropolitan area and STAND tells a compelling story that resonates with audiences.”
“Our goal is to raise money to fight homelessness and addiction across our country,” Reyland says. “The Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City will receive 100% of the proceeds in Kansas City. The same thing will happen in the other cities we are visiting.”
The Mohart Community Center Theatre is located inside Homeless Services Coalition of Greater Kansas City at 3200 Wayne Ave. in Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are free and can be obtained by hscgkc.org or by calling 816-924-7997.
For more information on HCA Midwest Health, visit hcamidwest.com.