Theatre and dance

 
 
 

Productions

Current Season (2014-15)

Missouri State University Theatre & Dance weaves a Theatrical Tapestry!

Comedy and tragedy are the warp and weft from which the fabric of life is woven. The multi-hued threads of thought, feeling, action and imagination are expressed and evoked by the performance arts at Missouri State. From classic plays to contemporary musicals, compelling docudramas to exuberant neo-vaudeville, the six productions of our 2014-2015 Season weave a rich tapestry of the human experience. Enjoy!

columbinus

Written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli
Dramaturgy by Patricia Hersch
Conceived by PJ Paparelli
Directed by Sarah J. Wiggin
7:30 PM September 18-19, 21-26 & 28
2:30 PM September 21 & 28
Craig Hall Balcony Theatre
Please note: There is no late seating for performances in the Balcony Theatre.
Cost: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID

columbinus imageOn Tuesday morning, April 20, 1999, senior classmates Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold arrived at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, a Denver suburb. Armed with guns and home-made bombs, the pair proceeded to kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before killing themselves.

In the days following this massacre that shocked the world, media coverage was full of the “Who, What, Where, When and How” of this horrific event, but the question “Why?” remains.

The documentary drama columbinus explores this complex question as it weaves together courtroom testimony by survivors and witnesses; police evidence; interviews with students, parents, teachers and community members; and, most chilling of all, excerpts from the personal journals, emails and home videos of the shooters themselves.

Act One features eight fictionalized, archetypal characters — Perfect, Jock, Rebel, Prep, Faith, AP (Advanced Placement), Loner and Freak — whose interactions reveal the often extreme social pressures and angst of American adolescent culture. In Act Two, Loner and Freak become Klebold and Harris, whose alienation, rage and twisted thinking erupt in violence.

Rather than providing a definitive answer to the “Why” of Columbine, the play leaves us to draw our own conclusions — and ponder what we can do to prevent the next such tragedy.

 

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City of Angels

Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Book by Larry Gelbart
Directed by Michael R. Casey
7:30 PM October 23-25
2:30 PM October 26
Craig Hall Coger Theatre
$18 Adults; $16 Students/Seniors; $12 in advance with MSU ID

Sponsored by KTXR

City of Angels logoSet in Hollywood in the 1940s, City of Angels weaves together two plot lines: the “real” world of Stine, a young crime novelist, with the “reel” world of P.I. Stone, his hard-boiled, fictional hero. Writer Stine has been commissioned to adapt his latest detective story into a screenplay, but soon finds that the movie biz is far from glamorous. The film’s egomaniacal producer/director, Buddy Fidler, demands endless rewrites, with which Stine complies. Then, in addition to compromising his artistic integrity, Stine risks his marriage by becoming involved with Fidler’s secretary.

The plot thickens when Stine’s own creation grows frustrated with his creator’s lack of integrity and challenges him.  In classic Hollywood happy-ending style, gumshoe Stone helps author Stine to win back his wife and his self-respect, while also solving the murder case in his own story-within-the-story.

Both an homage to and a spoof of the film noir genre, this Tony Award-winning musical (1990) combines a clever plot and creative staging with witty lyrics and seductive jazz!

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

Our Town

Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Melanie Dreyer-Lude
7:30 PM November 20-22
2:30 PM November 23
Craig Hall Coger Theatre
$14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID 

The 2014 High School Theatre Workshop will be held in conjunction with the November 20 performance.

Our Town logoSet between 1901 and 1913 in the fictional village of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, Our Town looks at the everyday lives of ordinary people and weaves their stories together over a 12-year timeframe.

The three acts progress from the seemingly inconsequential routines of small-town daily living...to love and marriage and the pivotal decisions that determine life’s course...to death and eternity and the seldom-realized significance of each moment of our earthly existence.

Since it premiered in 1938, this Pulizer Prize-winning drama has been recognized for its universal theme. Performed with a minimal set, scenery and props, this modern classic engages our imaginations and reinforces the metaphysical reality that underlies our day-to-day experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runaways

Music, Lyrics & Book by Elizabeth Swados
Directed by Kurt Gerard Heinlein
7:30 PM February 12-14
2:30 PM February 15
Craig Hall Coger Theatre
$18 Adults; $16 Students/Seniors; $12 in advance with MSU ID

Runaways logoDrawn from interviews and workshops with hundreds of teens, Runaways weaves together songs, dances, soliloquies and poems to expose the harsh reality of life on the streets. The world of the runaways is a precarious one, fraught with emotional turbulence and myriad dangers. The characters — who span the spectrum of socio-economic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds —talk about why they ran away from home, their daily struggles and their hopes for the future. They are at once vulnerable and tough, and their stories are both touching and unsettling.

The setting is New York City in the late 1970s, yet the situations and experiences portrayed are all too familiar for many children and youth in Springfield, and around the world, today.  Composed in the ensemble style of Hair and A Chorus Line (which were also produced by Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater), this musical combines childhood chants and nursery rhymes with the rhythms of rock, pop, reggae, rap, salsa, samba, country and blues.  Underlying all is the longing for a true home and family.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Tartuffe

Written by Molière
Directed by Sara Brummel
7:30 PM March 26-28
2:30 PM March 29
Craig Hall Coger Theatre
$14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID

Sponsored by KTXR and Missouri State Dining Services presented by Chartwells.

Tartuffe logoThe gullible Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle, have fallen under the influence of Tartuffe, a charlatan whose false piety and ulterior motives are obvious to the rest of Orgon’s family and friends.  So blinded is Orgon by misplaced admiration of his duplicitous houseguest, that he announces his daughter Mariane will marry Tartuffe, although she is already engaged to Valère. Alarmed by the degree to which Tartuffe has insinuated himself into the household, the family devises a plot to entrap Tartuffe into confessing his desire for Elmire, Orgon’s wife. The plan backfires, and Orgon responds by banishing his son from the house and signing over all his worldly possessions to Tartuffe!

A humorous satire of bourgeois values and religious hypocrisy, Tartuffe was banned by King Louis XIV soon after its premiere in 1664. The Archbishop of Paris issued an edict threatening excommunication for anyone who watched, performed in or read the play. Molière defended his work, noting that the juxtaposition of opposites — good and bad, right and wrong, wisdom and folly, truth and falsehood, the rational and the unreasonable — is at the heart of comedy.  Fortunately for generations of happy theatre-goers, the controversy surrounding the play eventually lifted, and Molière’s insightful work has endured as one of classical theatre’s most popular comedies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strutting & Fretting: a neo vaudeville

Choreographed by MSU Faculty
Coordinated by Ruth Barnes
7:30 PM April 30 - May 2
2:30 PM May 3
Craig Hall Coger Theatre
$14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID ?

Spring Dance LogoLife is a carnival — and this year’s Spring Dance Concert celebrates the joy of dance with a neo-vaudeville flair. Venturing beyond choreography, the devised entertainment weaves magic, whimsy, nostalgia and visual spectacle with the grace, athleticism and energy of dance.

The program of new works, conceived by our faculty and performed by our students, is playful and fun, designed to engage the imagination and delight the senses.

So step right up and be amazed by the wonderful diversity of dance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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