The Pitch profiles Spinning Tree’s founders

10:30 Michael and AndyMichael Grayman and Andy Parkhurst are featured in The Pitch

Andrew Parkhurst and Michael Grayman first met — and became friends — 15-1/2 years ago on a European tour of West Side Story. Grayman lived in Los Angeles, Parkhurst in New York City, but they kept in touch. “The ‘crush’ was still there for both of us,” Parkhurst says, when they landed on the same national tour of Mamma Mia! five years later, traveling and performing together for three years.

They’ve been in Kansas City since 2010, when they settled in Parkhurst’s hometown to start Spinning Tree Theatre (where both produce and direct). And this past December, just a month after Gov. Jay Nixon ordered that same-sex couples could file joint tax returns in Missouri, they drove to Iowa to get married. “His passion, commitment and artistry … inspire me daily,” Grayman says. “I learn from him constantly,” Parkhurst adds. They took time out from producing, directing and teaching to answer our questionnaire…

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