High School Workshop

MSU Theatre and Dance High School Workshop

Once again the time is quickly drawing near for MSU's annual Theatre and Dance High School Workshop in conjunction with one of our main stage fall productions. This year, the event will take place on October 24, 2019 with afternoon workshops and a 7:30 p.m. curtain for the non-professional premier of Cats in Craig Hall's Coger Theatre.


The cost of the workshop, including show ticket, is $8 per student. Even if the student is unable to attend the performance, the cost remains the same for any participation in this event. Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and without your check or purchase order, places cannot be held for you and your students.

Schools wishing to attend the performance, but not the workshop, should contact the department directly for ticket pricing and group discount information.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

1:30 PM REGISTRATION (Craig Hall Lobby)
2:00 - 2:50 PM


Meeting with director, designers, actors and technicians of Cats (Coger Theatre)

3:00 - 3:50 PM WORKSHOP Session One
(Mark your workshop preferences during registration.)
4:00 - 4:50 PM

WORKSHOP Session Two
(Mark your workshop preferences during registration.)

  BREAK (Dinner is on your own.)
7:30 - 10:00 PM SHOW Cats (Coger Theatre)
Runtime is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes, including intermission.

We invite your students to participate fully in workshops and see the performance of Cats, so that they might take away not only a greater appreciation of this work of art, but of theatre in general.

See workshop descriptions below.

Make plans to attend

Register as soon as possible. Show tickets are expected to sell out. Please discuss appropriate conduct during the workshops and audience etiquette during the performance.

Drop-Off and Parking

Students can be unloaded on Grand Street in front (south) of Craig Hall. Buses may park in MSU Lot# 44, located to the north of Grand and on the north side of Elm Street.


Please contact Cathy McFall at 417-836-5268 or Dr. Carol Maples at 417-836-6389 with any questions.

Should you need to contact the theatre and dance department office while you are here, the campus extension from a courtesy phone is 417-836-4400. The office is located in Craig Hall, Room 355.


Registration has closed for 2019. See you next year!

Study Guide

Cats Study Guide (PDF)

Workshop Descriptions

Auditioning for the Theatre: This will be a fun presentation of DOs and sometimes, more importantly, DON’Ts of auditioning for a show or university program (acting and musical auditions).

Backstage Tour of Cats: Take a backstage tour for a window into where and how the set was designed and built for Cats.

Costume Design: Presentation of the costume design process for Cats, including research, construction, and actual costumes from the production.

Dance - Cats Choreography: Participants should come dressed comfortably to learn choreography from the show Cats. COMFORTABLE CLOTHING REQUIRED!

Directing: Giving Direction: Fundamental Approaches to the Art of Directing
There’s more to directing than being “the boss” for a production. This workshop explores how directors develop a plan for performance and translate that plan for actors and designers. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at directing, then this is the workshop for you!

Happy Dance/Workout: This master class, with Artist-in-Residence Azaria Hogans, will explore the Kpanlogo dance from Ghana. Literally meaning enjoyment, experience this amazing workout and “happy dance.”

Improvisation: True improv has rules to help you meet this fun but challenging art. Learn to free up body and mind to live in the moment on stage.

Lighting Design: Learn how lighting helps tell the story without words. Also, gain an understanding of how distribution makes light more than color and fade counts.

Makeup for Cats: Demonstration of the makeup development for Cats.

Makeup for Ghouls & Goblins: Demonstration of Halloween makeup basics plus specialties.

MEEP: This is a fun movement and ensemble collaboration workshop led by MSU Artist-in-Residence Actor Ed Swidey, based on his play of the same name. One single word…”meep”…is the means for all communication as students explore how to communicate creatively and effectively using their whole body.

Props Master: Find out about the challenges of being a true Props Master, including prop development for Cats.

Scenic Design: Discover the development for the Cats scenic design. Also, learn a practical approach to developing an environment for a text. This will focus on good design practices and meeting design challenges.

Sound-Be Heard and Understood: The number one complaint from theatre audiences is not hearing or understanding the actors. Learn the basics of good sound design, including mic mounting.

Stage Management: The show must go on! And it’s the stage manager that ensures it does. More than “calling” the show, find out the basics of good stage management from an Equity Stage Manager.

Superstitions of Shakespeare and Theatre: Why do performers say "break a leg?" Why are we not supposed to say the title of "the Scottish play" in a theatre? During what play did the Elizabethan actor Edward Allyn see demons on stage? Explore various theatre practices and superstitions throughout history. And…did Shakespeare write all those plays?

Teacher Talk: An informal discussion of issues involving theatre in secondary schools.

Theatre Games: Stanislavsky said to “create your own method.” Learn some fun and informative tools to help you create.

Theatre for Social Change: Discover the power of theatre, developed by students like you, to change the world for the better.

Viewpoints:  Introduction to the core principles of Viewpoints Training, the ground-breaking physical actor training so necessary for young artists learning to create in our visual culture.