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Karen Paisley

Producing Artistic Director

Karen is the founding Artistic Director of MET, a veteran professional director, performer, writer and award-winning educator. A graduate of UNCG, she earned her Masters Degree in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College in  Bronxville, NY.  Favorite directing and acting projects include Ragtime, One Flea Spare, The Light in the Piazza, The Time of Your Life, Death of a Salesman, Copenhagen, The Woolgatherer, West Side Story, The Crucible, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire du Lune, Hello Dolly, The Wizard of OZ, The Sound of Music and many others. 


Formed in 2005, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre has been a fixture on the KC arts scene for 17 years.

Our first venue in 2005 was the Arts Incubator on West 18th Street in the Crossroads.  Two years, three productions, a Playwright's Intensive workshop and several readings later, we had gained enough momentum to leave the Incubator and search for our own space.

We moved into an old garage in 2007 that once repaired buses just a few blocks away at 1824 Walnut.  Here we finally hit our stride producing a full season of six shows.

When our lease was not renewed in 2009, we moved to Midtown st 3614 Main Street.  This was to be our home for a decade as we continued to grow.

In 2018 we finally found our dream venue at Warwick.  A century of history waiting to be reawakened

Board of Directors


Brad Dawdy - President

Claudia Grunewald - VP

Bob Paisley

Steve Bennett

Advisory Board


Don Dagenais

Jack Clifford

Kelley Martin

Rob Leigh

Barbara Batts

Alan Tilson

David Emerick

Bob Paisley


John Robert Paisley is an award winning actor and director, working with theatres across North America, UK and Australia. Bob has played such challenging roles as Teach in American Buffalo, the title role in Faustus (LA Dramalogue Award), Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Heisenberg in Copenhagen, The Man in The Event, and the 42nd President in Bill Clinton Hercules.  He has directed productions for Theatre West Virginia, the Birmingham Children’s Theatre, Neptune Theatre, Our Town Theatre Group and Fringe festivals in Kansas City, Bedford, UK, Adelaide, Australia and Edinburgh, Scotland.  TV and film credits include The Rosa Parks Story, General Hospital and the CBS TV murder mystery series, Scene of the Crime

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MET is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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