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Theatre and Dance Blog

Students to perform with Bread and Puppet Theatre

Theatre and dance students will perform alongside world-renowned Bread and Puppet Theatre during this year’s Public Affairs Conference.

©2012, Mark Dannenhauer, breadandpuppet.org
©2012, Mark Dannenhauer, breadandpuppet.org

Student workshops

In the days leading up to Bread and Puppet’s conference performance, the troupe will work with students in a series of workshops to prepare them for the shows on April 16-18.

This opportunity will give students an inside view of one of the nation’s oldest not-for-profit companies, founded 50 years ago by Peter Schumann.

The theatre is known for its political undertones juxtaposed with oversized papier-mâché puppets and the serving of bread with each performance.

Conference performance

Bread and Puppet’s conference show “The Shatterer of Worlds: Chapel with Naturalization Services for Applicants Requesting Citizenship in the Shattered World” will be held at Hammons Student Center. It is a walkabout political performance, enveloping audience and performers alike.

The show references the moment the first atomic bomb was dropped and the bomb’s chief architect Robert Oppenheimer recalled Bhagavad Gita’s Hindu prayer: “Life, the splendor of 1,000 suns blazing all at once, resembling the exulted soul, is become Death, the shatterer of worlds.”

PACEvent details

Dates: April 16, 17 and 18
Times: 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Location: Hammons Student Center West Court
Admission: April 16 performance is open to MSU students, faculty and staff only; April 17-18 is open to the public
Tickets: Free, but tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at JQH Arena, Hammons Hall or PSU Theater box offices, or by calling 1-888-476-7849 (shipping and handling fee will apply for phone reservations).

Connect through social media

All conference attendees are encouraged to connect to MSU through social media. If you attend an event, we want to hear about your experience!

Post about it on Facebook or Twitter and tag your posts with the official hashtag: #CitizenBear. Those tagged posts will be pulled to the #CitizenBear Tagboard. Go to web and new media’s site for more conference social media tips.

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March 26-29, 2015

Coger Theatre


Costume Design — Katie McMahon

Scenic Design – Robert Little

Lighting Design — Shelbi Arndt

Sound Design — Graham Howatt

Wig Design – Jay Hensley

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Dallas Leeper

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Dramaturge – Melissa Herr

Directed by — Sara Brummel


Madame Pernelle – Ashley Wells-Thulin

Orgon – Colton Williams

Elmire – Taryn Haley

Damis – Jordan Woods

Mariane – Emma Rathe

Valere – Benjamin Pauls

Cleante – Alex Stompoly

Tartuffe – Kaleb Norman

Dorine – Hannah Green

Monsieur Loyal – Alex Baylard

Police Officer – Nick Driscoll



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‘Tartuffe’ costumes inspired by 17th century dress

Production premieres March 26 at 7 p.m., runs until March 29

tartuffeThe famous Molière comedy “Tartuffe” premieres tonight in Craig Hall’s Coger Theatre, promising an evening of laughs and excellent performances, but the costumes will be reason enough to attend.

Costuming a period play has challenges, rewards

Katie McMahon

Starting before winter break, the costume shop has worked tirelessly to create unique and interesting costumes and wigs for the play. Costume shop manager Katie McMahon describes how her team created the looks seen on stage.

What costumes can we expect to see?
The costumes for this production are stylized versions of period clothes. I did a lot of research into what people would have worn in the 1670’s and then tweaked what I found to make it appropriate for our version of “Tartuffe.” There are a lot of bright colors and exaggerated silhouettes.

The wigs for this production are made out of paper — a nod to the wigs that would be seen in a museum exhibit. Our director wanted the audience to feel like they had stumbled upon an exhibit of 17th century life in a gallery, rather than feel like they were watching a realistic day in someone’s life. We are playing around a lot with what is real and what is a facade. These wigs also allowed me to coordinate hair color with the costume.

Tartuffe costumes wigsWhat went into making these costumes?
The process for making costumes for a large period show is a long one! I started working on designing and building costumes for “Tartuffe” before winter break.

I started by heavily researching the time period: What were the typical silhouettes of the time period? What kinds of fibers were used to make clothing back then? What were the hair styles and the makeup like? What kinds of undergarments were needed to make the correct silhouette? The list of things I researched could go on and on!

After I got a handle on what people were wearing, I took the director’s concept statement into consideration and started to create rough designs for each character — age, personality traits, relationships to other characters. I take my rough drafts to a production meeting and make sure that the director and other designers feel like my designs are in sync with what the entire production is trying to achieve.

After I have the go-ahead from everyone, I start working on final designs. I shop for fabric, get actor’s measurements and start patterning the garments. I work with so many wonderful people who help out with this stage of the process.

Once we have patterns, we fit the actors into an early version of their garment, made out of cheap fabric. We use this mock-up fitting to perfect our fit and to create a new pattern. From here, we start working in the real fabric and create the garments you will see on stage.

Final alterations
Because this is a period show, we simply don’t have costumes in stock to use. About 90 percent of what you will see on stage is made by our costume shop in the last couple months. What we don’t make, we buy or pull from stock and alter to make it period-appropriate. After we have the real garment finished, the actors come back into the shop for another fitting, where we do any final alterations.

It is a long process, but is so different for every production. We are never working on the same thing for more than a couple months!

About ‘Tartuffe’

Directed by associate professor Sara Brummel, the comedy follows Tartuffe, a charlatan with false piety and ulterior motives. His manipulation of Orgon and his mother Madame Pernelle underlined the bourgeois values and religious hypocrisy of the 17th Century. The play’s premiere in 1664 drew ire from King Louis XIV and the Archbishop of Paris, but 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 comedy’s heart.

Event details

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. on March 26, 27, 28; 2:30 p.m. on March 29
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID. Tickets can be purchased online or at any Missouri State box office.
Sponsors: KTXR and Missouri State dining services presented by Chartwells

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‘Tartuffe’ premieres March 26

tartuffeThe theatre and dance department is bringing one of Molière’s most famous works, “Tartuffe,” to Craig Hall’s Coger Theatre March 26-29. The play promises intricate, period costumes and comedic relief.

About ‘Tartuffe’

Directed by associate professor Sara Brummel, the comedy follows Tartuffe, a charlatan with false piety and ulterior motives. His manipulation of Orgon and his mother Madame Pernelle underlined the bourgeois values and religious hypocrisy of the 17th Century. The play’s premiere in 1664 drew ire from King Louis XIV and the Archbishop of Paris, but 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 comedy’s heart.

Event details

Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. March 26, 27, 28; 2:30 p.m. March 29
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID
Sponsors: KTXR and Missouri State dining services presented by Chartwells

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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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