Phoenix Playwright Kim Porter Takes to the Stage in Her Play, Munched

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Kim Porter has no qualms about acting in her own play; while the local playwright and actress hasn't been on stage with other actors for more than a decade, she jokes that she's had her lines memorized for some time.

Porter quit what she calls "straight acting" (or acting with a group instead of performing a monologue) in 1995. She took up solo performance because she was sick of auditioning.

Recently, the solo performer/writer/performance workshop director realized that she missed the camaraderie of group acting. So when the chance to play a role in Munched, her award-winning play that's on view this weekend at Space 55, she bit. 

"When we had an opening in the play, I told the director [Duane Daniels] that I wanted to audition," she says. "I said, 'Just in case we can't find anybody else, I'd like to see whether or not I'm direct-able."

Munched is a love story/mystery that tells the story of a mother (played by Porter) with Munchausen Syndrome, a psychological disorder in whch a patient tricks a doctor into treating her for a self-induced illness (commonly the result of poisoning, smothering, etc.), and her now-adult daughter, who she lost custody of 25 years ago.

Porter originally wrote the play as a monologue in 2000. She read excerpts from all characters for years. As her show developed, she says it became clear that the characters within the play needed to be acted out by different performers.

Since, it's been performed by troupes across the U.S., and it's been awarded the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award, The LA WEEKLY award and the McDonald Award for Playwriting excellence.

Porter says watching the play has been a great experience, but that she also can't wait to act alongside Space 55 members Michelle Kable, Shawna Franks, and David Weiss.

Munched runs for three weekends, starting tonight with a 7 p.m. show at Space 55, 636 E. Pierce St. in Phoenix. Tickets are $20 and the production closes on October 22.

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