Missouri State University
Theatre and Dance Blog

BFA Technical and Design Students Take New York!

The BFA Design, Technology, and Stage Management seniors had a successful time in New York over Spring Break! They connected with alumni who gave them tips on New York living, Graduate Programs, and looked at their portfolios. They then displayed their work at the 2nd Annual Connection Cabaret Event. Congratulations on their events and wherever they go from here!


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Congratulations to the Seniors for a Successful Event in New York!

Missouri State theatre students had a successful time in New York! Students participated in workshops with our incredible alumni, Deidre Goodwin and Kyle Dean Massey! Along with our successful alumni, students had the privilege to participate in workshops with Natalie Weiss, Georgia Stitt, and Joey Contreras. Seniors then participated in the 2nd annual Alumni Connection and Cabaret featuring the Musical Theatre Seniors and the Jazz Ensemble. Congrats to a successful event!


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T&D alum joins cast of Pippin on Broadway

Kyle Dean MasseyKyle Dean Massey will be taking over the Broadway stage as Pippin in New York on April 1. Massey recently wrapped production on Broadway’s Wicked as the character Fiyero. Other theater credits include Next to Normal, Xanadu, Lucky Guy and Altar Boyz.

On the small screen

Massey has amassed a number of television credits, including: “Inside Amy Schumer ” on Comedy Central, “Up All Night” on NBC, “Hart of Dixie” on the CW, “Cupid” on ABC, and “The Good Wife” on CBS.

On the silver screen

Massey’s films credits include Sex and the City 2 and the independent feature, The Contest.

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February 13, 14, 16, 24, 25, & 26, 2014

Balcony Theatre


Scenic Design — Deborah Baxter

Costume Design — Melinda Robinson

Lighting Design — Micheal Foster

Sound Design — Graham Howatt

Assistant Director- Emily Feldt

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Maggie Shelton

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Directed by — Dr. Carol J. Maples


Catherine- Rachel Schmeling

Robert- Derek Munson*

Hal- William Bixby

Claire- Cecilia Dorhauer

*Appears by special permission of Actor’s Equity Association, The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


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Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

February 20,21,23,27,28, March 2

The Balcony Theatre


Scenic Design — Deborah Baxter

Costume Design — Elizabeth Verslues

Lighting Design — Blaine O’Donnell

Sound Design — Graham Howatt

Assistant Director- Nick Oswalt

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Graham Howatt

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Directed by — Maggie Marlin-Hess


Frances-Melanie Humphrey

Meredith-Carly Hayes

Trisha-Ashley Wells-Thulin

Georgeanne-Elise Watson

Mindy-Ally Dixon

Tripp-Justin DeFreece



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Staff Spotlight: Anna Hunt


We have a hard working group of individuals that make sure the shows here at Missouri State look as good as they are performed.  One of these hard working individuals is  Anna Hunt. She is the Scene Shop supervisor here at Missouri State University. Not only does she makes sure the sets are built for all the Mainstage shows, but she supervises student employees as well as THE 251 lab students. They are currently working on Pirates of Penzance, opening in March. It is becoming quite an elaborate set with an assortment of massive drops and several large scale wagons.  It is a busy season down in the shop.



Anna's puppetHow did Anna end up here? Anna tried to stay away from theatre when she first arrived at Missouri State but theatre was not something Anna could give up. She graduated from Missouri State University with a BSED degree in Theatre Education. During her semesters here she worked in the scene shop as a student employee as well as during Tent Theatre where she was hired as a carpenter. Her and her husband then moved to Kansas City for a couple of years. As luck would have it, she moved back to Springfield and filled in as Properties Master for Tent Theatre. She was then hired as a temporary hire for Scene Shop Supervisor and the next year was officially hired. There is always something new happening in the shop, one of the perks according to Anna. Some days she works with paint and other days she works with metal. It varies from show to show, as well as day to day. Nonetheless, it makes everyone stay on their toes. Not only does Anna partake in some of technical aspects of theatre but she also partakes in other aspects. When she was student here, she acted in a couple of the Directing II One Acts. She also took the Puppetry Intersession this winter and constructed her own puppet. Anna has a variety of skills that she gets to utilize in the shop on any given day. Thanks to all the hard work everyone does in the shop, the Mainstage productions look fantastic.

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Introducing: Inertia Dance Company!

The Inertia Dance Company has an exciting season coming up with performances right here in Springfield and all the way to Chicago! There first performance this semester will be in the PSU Theatre on February 21 at 7:30pm. Admission will be $10 at the door.

peep show

They will be previewing their show for the Springfield community before they head off to Chicago for their showcase at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago on March 18th! They will also perform their material for the ACDFA conference.

The next time you can catch the company in Springfield is March 31st at Phelps Elementary at 12pm and May 4th at the Springfield Art Museum with the Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks at 2pm. Admission to both of these events are free.



If you would like to support the Inertia Dance company on their trip to Chicago, go to Qdoba on February 28th form 5-9pm. Portions of the proceeds will go towards their trip to Chicago! Come out and support these talented dancers!

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Interim department head publishes chapter

Research never ends for any genre or interest. Chris Herr, interim department head of theatre and dance, knows all about it. He recently was published as part of a larger anthology about the world of drama, focusing in particular on American political theatre.Chris Herr His chapter entitled “American Political Drama, 1910-1945” in The Oxford Handbook of American Drama.

Back to basics

Herr began his research by looking back at more than 35 years of plays. “I had to go back and research. I had to go back and reread plays and reacquaint myself. There were a lot of interlibrary loans because most of the plays I was delving into were out of print,” said Herr. “I tried to generally create categories for plays to see if there were certain trends. I was able to find some and write a survey of the era, roughly 25 pages to cover 35 years of plays.”

Herr hadn’t even taken a theatre course until he was in graduate school working on his master’s in literature. It took one class to propel him into the world of theatre and pique his interests in political theatre and the realm of drama itself.

“I had a dramatic lit professor who I really liked, and that’s what got me interested in the field. I had always been interested in literature, but I started focusing on drama,” said Herr.

Teaching what he knows

Herr likes to research drama through a historical literary perspective – something he loves to share with students in the classroom.

“I like being in the classroom and being able to talk about stuff I find really interesting and they find interesting. Or at least I hope my students do,” said Herr.

“This semester I’m teaching a graduate seminar on the period I wrote the chapter on and that’s pretty fun. I enjoy rereading all of the plays with students and show my expertise in the area. I hope to give them all a deeper understanding of American drama.”

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Introducing the In-School Players!

The In-School Players (ISP) are a small troupe of Missouri State University Theatre & Dance majors, actors, writers, and performers collaborating to create an entertaining and educational production aimed at bringing live theatre to children. In the fall semester, the troupe creates an elementary school play based on the Public Affairs Mission at Missouri State. In the spring semester, the show embarks on a tour of the local schools and libraries.

For the elementary school production, the troupe members have interpreted the theme as a sense of belonging in In-School Playersone’s community. This year’s show is entitled A World of Paws-ibilities (Missouri State University mascot, the bear, as an inspiration). The show runs approximately 40 to 45 minutes in length and contains stories, poetry, and music ideal for grades K through four (though fifth graders may enjoy them, too). All were written or adapted by the members of the company. The troupe is in high demand almost every year and this year is no exception! Watch out for the incredible work In-School Players will be doing this semester! If interested in booking this theatre troupe, please contact theatreanddace@missouristate.edu.

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BFA auditions set for spring

BFA posterBFA auditions will be held this spring and students interested in pursuing this degree are encouraged to apply.  Candidates should submit a completed BFA Program Audition/Interview Application form and then email additional application materials (i.e. résumé and headshot) to TheatreAndDance@MissouriState.edu.

All application materials are due to the department office no later than 14 days prior to the requested audition date. After completing and submitting an application, a representative from the department will contact the applicant to confirm audition time.

Applying early is recommended as audition spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Auditions will be held in St. Louis on Jan. 10 for acting only; Overland Park, Kan. on Feb. 8, and in Springfield on March 1. More information is available online.

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