Missouri State University
Theatre and Dance Blog


February 12-15, 2015

Coger Theatre


Costume Design — Brooke Kerperien

Lighting Design — Micheal Foster

Sound Design — Elim Allee

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Maggie Shelton

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Music Director- Heather Chittenden Luellen

Directed by — Kurt Gerard Heinlein


Darian Bengston

Dejuan Boyd

Travis Burbee

Camille Clossum

Alicia Douglas

Reagan Drake

Molly Fowler

Natalie Gorman

Adam Grimes

Carly Hayes

Samantha Hayes

Travis Holt

Noah Jermain

Kristian Jett

Kelly Anne Johnston

Grace Minnis

Chance Nichols

Catherine Oliszewicz

Kate Pennington

Samantha Wilson

Understudies: Brynn Sweere, Katheryn McCaulla



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Inertia Dance Company shakes up spring program

Missouri State’s Inertia Dance Company will present its Springfield spring concert “Peep Show: The First Four Years” on March 3 with a few changes to be expected. This season, faculty director Darryl Clark is taking the company in a new direction, bringing in new choreography or re-staging existing dances.

About Inertia Dance Company

Inertia is the theatre and dance department’s resident student dance ensemble. This show is the company’s main fundraiser for their annual Chicago showcase performance.

Program information

This season’s program will include premieres of:

  • “I Give Up” — a delicate quintet by Inertia alum Victoria Billington,
  • “Irrepressible” — a haunting trio by Inertia alum Dara Nicole Vint
  • “Praying Predator” — a visceral solo by Inertia alum Kristina Carter
  • “Gone Too Soon” — a poetically lyrical solo by Inertia member Melanie C. Sikyta
  • “Rusted Gold” — a forceful group work featuring Inertia alum Abigail Lee Lind

The program will also include choreography by Clark and associate professor Ruth Barnes.

Event details

Date: March 3
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Tickets: General admission is $10. Tickets will be available at the door, or can be purchased in advance by calling 417-836-6071.

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One day left to donate to dance fundraising campaign

17001_6038The dance program will be seeking donations until Friday, Feb. 20, through the Missouri State fundraising initiative, MSU Crowdfunding. The funds will be used to send 10 students and two faculty members to the American College Dance Association (ACDA) 2015 regional conference at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.

About the campaign

The “Let’s Dance! MSU Dance Program Travels to ACDA” campaign has already raised $2,135 of their $4,000 goal. This is the second donation drive the group has done through MSU Crowdfunding, a platform open to all faculty, staff and students seeking support for projects, trips, resources and more. During the first round last semester, “Let’s Dance,” received nearly $950. Unlike other fundraising platforms, like Kickstarter, fundraisers are able to keep all donations even if goals are not met.

Post your project to MSU Crowdfunding

Missouri State students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use MSU Crowdfunding to gain financial support for their projects or initiatives. All donations will be retained by fundraisers regardless if goals are met. To begin the approval process, visit the crowdfunding website or email crowdfunding@missouristate.edu.

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COAL students gear up for New York showcase

College of Arts and Letters students will travel to New York City March 8-9 to participate in the 2015 BFA Musical Theatre Showcase — New York.

Seniors in Missouri State’s musical theatre program will perform for representatives from several leading casting agencies. Each agent will offer individual feedback for performers. Senior design, theatre and stage management portfolios will be on display throughout the showcase, as well.

On March 9, at 7:00 p.m., the group will perform a cabaret show with the MSU Jazz Studies Ensemble at (Le) Poisson Rouge for university-wide alumni and special guests. The 11th Annual Theatre & Dance Alumni Reunion will follow the performance. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required to be added to guest list.

For more information, contact Michael Casey at 417-836-5473 or Heather Luellen at 417-836-4685.


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Tent Theatre sees record-breaking audition sign up

 Heading into the first weekend of Missouri State’s Tent Theatre open auditions, interest has soared to more than 200 applicants, presenting a promising—and record-breaking—start to the season, said theatre and dance managing director Mark Templeton.

Templeton said the turnout is a testament that the summer stock’s success has come into full focus.

“The transition from an academic company to a professional one allows students to work side-by-side with professionals while gaining credit toward the Equity Membership Candidate program—often their first footsteps into the professional world. Not many opportunities exist for students to work with successful alumni and sold-out houses.”

Auditions will be held throughout February and March. All audition spots are full for the local auditions.

Tent Theatre draws attention from schools across country

Interest has come from all over the region, Templeton said, with applicants from as far away as University of Cincinnati, Drake University (Iowa) and University of Nebraska-Kearney, to local high schools and colleges.

“When students outside MSU come and have this experience—from the housing, dining services and rehearsal spaces—they go back and tell their classmates about it. We’re throwing out a wide net and catching more and more people each year. This bodes well for the overall image of the theatre and dance department and Missouri State.”

MSU students also regularly find work on the Tent Theatre set and stage in addition to other campus performance opportunities throughout the year.

2015 will be a compelling season

The talent bound to come out of this year’s auditions, Templeton said, will only lend to the excellence this season’s production lineup promises. Three iconic characters will emerge on the stage in a couple of high-energy, feel-good musicals, rounded out by a dramatic mystery featuring the ever-popular detective, Sherlock Holmes.

“Start planning your calendars now because this level of audition interest will heighten the quality of performance. It will be an excellent experience for performers and patrons alike.”

2015 Schedule

Leap of Faith
June 10-13 and June 15-20 at 8 p.m.
A con-artist reverend travels with his ministry, yet romance brings new meaning to his life.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure
June 25-July 3 at 8 p.m.
The world’s greatest detective has seemingly reached the end of his remarkable career when a case presents itself that is too tempting to ignore.

July 8-11 and July 13-19 at 8 p.m.
A girl achieves her dream of performing on a TV dance show in 1960s Baltimore and works to integrate the show in the process.

Box office information

For additional box office and ticket information, please visit the Tent Theatre website.



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Acting students seeking donations for LA Showcase

Theatre and dance seniors are raising money to attend and perform at the April 22 BFA Acting Industry Showcase-Los Angeles at the Falcon Theatre. To donate, visit the group’s indiegogo page.

2015 performers

Mia Craigmile, Mitch Brauer, Alicia Douglas, Cassidy Flynn, Lora Hakanson, Ben Heustess,Melanie Humphrey, Jill Kamler, Maggie Knoedelseder, Zach Malott, Shannon Metts,Christi McCarthy, Caroline Nagel, Kaleb Norman, Chris Parker, Sarah Rebotarro,Dalton Reeves, Michael Reiser, Claudia Rivera, Cody Tinsley, and Rachel Schmeling.

Showcase success

Missouri State’s showcase performers consistently garner a high rate of offers for representation. Alums are meeting with phenomenal success in the industry, a fact growing with each graduating class. Graduates work on and off-Broadway, in equity regional theatres, in feature films, national commercials, soaps, sitcoms and as television hosts.

Alumni events

During L.A. Showcase Week, theatre and dance sponsors a number of events that involve MSU alumni, including an alumni reception, alumni panel discussion for emerging graduates and several alumni-driven industry workshops. If you are an MSU alum that would like to participate in any of these events, please contact the BFA Acting Coordinator.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, April 22
Location: The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles
Time: 4 p.m.: Open dress rehearsal; 8 p.m.: Showcase performance; Reception following the evening performance. Run time approximately 55 minutes.
Admission: Open to industry and MSU alumni/friends




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‘Runaways’ opens Feb. 12

runawaysThe theatre and dance department will debut its first Spring 2015 production with “Runaways,” Feb. 12 – 15 at Coger Theatre.

About Runaways

Drawn from interviews and workshops with hundreds of teens, the production weaves together songs, dances, soliloquies and poems to expose the harsh reality of life on the streets. 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. Although set in 1970s New York City, many youth in Springfield and around the world today can easily relate.

This musical was written by Elizabeth Swados and will be directed by acting professor Kurt Gerard Heinlein. It combines childhood chants and nursery rhymes with the rhythms of rock, pop, reggae, rap, salsa, samba, country and blues.

Event details

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 12-14; 2:30 p.m., Feb. 15
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $18 Adults; $16 Students/Seniors; $12 in advance with MSU ID

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Theatre and dance audition schedule

Missouri State’s theatre and dance department will be interviewing BFA candidates and hosting auditions for upcoming performances throughout February. For updates to this schedule and application information, see the department website.

BFA Auditions*

Feb. 21
St. Louis City Center Hotel (formerly known as Sheraton Center City Hotel and Suites)
St. Louis, Missouri

Feb. 27-28
Craig Hall, Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri

*BFA acting, dance, musical theatre auditions, and BFA design/technology/stage management interviews

Tent Theatre Auditions

Feb. 14-15
Craig Hall, Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri
Visit the Tent Theatre website for sign up information.

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Theatre and dance alumnus joins cast of ‘Nashville’

Kyle Dean MasseyTheatre and dance alumnus, Kyle Dean Massey (’04), has joined the cast of ABC’s country music drama “Nashville” in the recurring role of Kevin Bicks, a very successful, openly gay Nashville singer-songwriter.

About Massey

Massey, 33, has performed in more than 60 productions and just finished a run on Broadway in the title role of “Pippin.” His TV credits include “The Good Wife,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Hart Of Dixie.” He is repped by Abrams Artists and Regarding Entertainment.

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Giving Voice troupe to give free workshop Jan. 27

Giving Voice, a Missouri State theatre and dance group, will present a free workshop Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. for the Division for Diversity and Inclusion’s Shattering the Silences Series, which strives to bring important cultural issues to the forefront. The event is open to the public. The Division for Diversity and Inclusion will provide refreshments.

About Giving Voice

Giving Voice is a nationally recognized interactive theatre troupe that addresses various issues of diversity, oppression and microaggressions. Under the direction of theatre and dance professor Dr. Carol J. Maples, the group offers opportunities for workshop participants to discuss how to approach these situations by creating a safe environment to “try out” solutions. They have presented forums for high schools, universities, national conferences and international companies.

Event details

  • Date: Jan. 27
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Location: Plaster Student Union, Room 303
  • RSVP: Email fctl@missouristate.edu or call 417-836-3059
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