“Zachary (Zac) Parker is impressive in his second-act appearance as Hades,” the Kansas City Star wrote recently about the Newton native and his role this summer in Kansas City’s “The Death of Cupid.”
Parker has been nuturing his acting skills since his start in Newton.
He graduated from Newton in 2007 and was very active at the high school. He was in show choir, choir, marching band, speech, theater and even had a brief stint as the Pacesetters manager. Parker remembered his favorite production was “Little Shop of Horrors” because he got his first lead role.
“Newton was great for opportunities without an ego, building a strong work ethic in a supportive community,” Parker said. “It was an amazingly supportive place in which to grow, allowing me to participate in so many activities throughout my schooling. I realized that my passion lied in singing and performing, and then I could hone and improve my skills to a level where I could move on to college and then professional work.”
This summer, Parker plays the role of Hades in Kyle Hatley’s dramatic comedy “The Death of Cupid” at the Living Room in Kansas City.
“The Death of Cupid” is a “whiskey musical” that tells the story of the sex strike led by Lysistrata in Ancient Greece to end a fruitless war. The musical weaves blues/folk music, the struggle of mortals and gods, and some inappropriate jokes into a two-hour show that takes place in a giant sandbox.
As god of the underworld, Hades is who Athena (the goddess of wisdom) visits when she desires a way to end Cupid’s manipulation of the human people. Hades entertains her ideas while ensuring she knows the gravity of her demands. Parker sings “Behind the Wheel.”
“My favorite thing about this show is getting to show multiple facets of myself/my acting skill set: serious, funny, sexy, dark, creepy and haunting. The fact I get to sing a song is pretty amazing as well.”
After high school, Parker left Iowa and moved to Kansas City to attend University of Missouri — Kansas City, where he graduated from the school’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.
He returned to Newton for a year in 2012, where he worked at Progress Industries.
“The experiences and relationships I built there will inform me as a person for the rest of my life,” he said.
Now, Parker resides back in Kansas City, and with two jobs and other hobbies, he keeps himself busy. Besides his role this summer in “The Death of Cupid,” he is also a teacher at the Coterie Theatre, a stylist at Ann Taylor on the Country Club Plaza and a singer at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
Parker currently is teaching summer theater camps with students ages ranging from second grade to high school and with themes from Hogwarts to Musical Theatre. He’s excited to start his new production in props & wardrobe for “Kick Me,” a film by fellow Newton alum, Betsy Gran.
Parker loves Kansas City for it’s thriving theater scene, other young talent to learn from, inspiring people, and because of it’s affordable living.
“I am truly so thankful I grew up and was able to later return to such a great community of family, friends, and love in Newton,” he said.
“The Death of Cupid” runs through Sunday at the Living Room, 1818 McGee Street, Kansas City, Mo.
Staff writer Kate Malott may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 422, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.