Missouri State University
Theatre and Dance Blog

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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Sign up for 2015 Tent Theatre auditions

Tent Theatre logo

Audition spots are filling quickly for the 2015 Tent Theatre season.  Applications for auditions and technical positions can be found on the website.

Auditions held in February and March

Open auditions will be held during the following dates:

  • Feb. 14-15: Missouri State University’s Craig Hall
  • Feb. 20-22: Midwest Theatre Auditions, Webster University in St Louis
  • March 5-6: Actors’ Equity Open Call, Ripley-Grier Studios in New York City

2015 season lineup

Leap of Faith

  • June 10-13, 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, 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.
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Theatre students help MSU earn Presidential Honor Roll award

17896_5627The service-learning efforts of students in music and theatre and dance have helped Missouri State earn a spot on the 2014 Presidential Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the General Community Service category.

Robberson Community School project

Over 60 students in opera and theatre, as well as math, Spanish, reading, criminology and the sciences,  joined the citizen and service-learning office in the 2012-2013 school year to provide educational opportunities to more than 300 students at Robberson Community School, where many families fall below the poverty line.

Other projects submitted

During the 2012-2013 academic year, a total 6,854 Missouri State Springfield students and student volunteers contributed 386,508 hours of service to communities — locally, nationally and globally. Along with the Robberson outreach program, the University submitted two additional service-learning projects to be considered for the Honor Roll. Those included the Diversity Pep Talk program, led by Dr. Adena D. Jones with a team of psychology service-learning students, and spring immersion trips to New Orleans, Dallas and Chicago, where volunteer students worked to address problems in those communities.

About the 2014 Presidential Honor Roll

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.

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Our Town

November 20-23, 2014

Coger Theatre


Scenic Design — Deborah Baxter

Costume Design — Leslie Branyon

Lighting Design — Josh Russell

Sound Design — Mark Putman

Music Director- Emma Rathe

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Dallas Leeper

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Assistant Director- Amanda Murphy

Directed by — Melanie Dreyer-Lude


Stage Manager- Kaleb Norman

George Gibbs- Michael Reiser

Emily Webb- Rachel Schmeling

Rebecca Gibbs- Emma Rathe

Dr. Gibbs- Zach Malott

Mrs. Julia Gibbs- Mia Craigmile

Mr. Webb- Nick Oswalt

Mrs. Webb- Sarah Rebottaro

Wally Webb- Kristian Jett

Professor Willard/Woman Among the Dead- Kate McAllister

Woman in Balcony/Woman Among the Dead- Melanie Humphrey

Lady in a Box/Woman Among the Dead- Hannah Ferguson

Joe Crowell/Si Crowell- Sean Simpson

Simon Stimson- Cody Tinsley

Constable Warren- Kendrick Hooks

Mrs. Soames- Ellie LeMer

Sam Craig- Hannah Finger

Joe Stoddard- Jose Avendano

Howie Newsome- Dalton Reeves

Baseball Player/Belligerent Man/Mr. Carter/ Townsperson/ Ensemble- Alex Tolar

Baseball Player/Townsperson/ Ensemble- Katie Higdon

Baseball Player/Townsperson/Ensemble- Caroline Nagel



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‘Our Town’ to open Nov. 20 at Coger Theatre

Our Town screen grabMissouri State students and faculty will bring “Our Town” to life on the Coger Theatre stage this week, Nov. 20-23. Directed by theatre and dance professor Melanie Dreyer-Lude, the award-winning play is set between 1901 and 1913 in the fictional village of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire.

About ‘Our Town’

The play weaves together stories of the seemingly inconsequential routines of small-town life over a 12-year timeframe. 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. Since its premiere in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama has been recognized for its universal theme.

Performance Schedule

Purchase tickets online or at the Craig Hall box office: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID.

Nov. 20, 21, 22: 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 23: 2:30 p.m.

Any Given ChildAny Given Child program

In conjunction with the Nov. 20 performance, area 8th grade students from Westport, Jarrett, Pipkin, Study/AIMS, Pershing and Reed will be on campus for “Our Town”-related workshops and performance. This yearly opportunity is provided by the Kennedy Center’s “Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child” initiative , led locally by the theatre and dance departmentSpringfield Public Schools and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Teachers will be given a study guide with suggested pre- and post-performance questions and activities that can be incorporated into their lesson plans.

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Dance students, faculty seeks donations for conference costs, uses MSU Crowdfunding

17001_5614The dance program is seeking donations through a Missouri State University Foundation-sponsored crowdfunding campaign to send 10 students and two faculty members to the American College Dance Association (ACDA) 2015 Central Region conference at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. The donations would pay for registration, fees, transportation and lodging costs.

Funding Goal

The program’s goal is to raise a total of $5,000, with donations as small as $1 accepted. When sharing the project URL on social media, use with the hashtag #bearcrowd.

ACDA Conference

The regional conference offers students and faculty the opportunity to present research and choreography, teach and take dance classes, and engage in networking opportunities. This invaluable experience allows choreographers to receive feedback on their work from three nationally recognized dance artists. Students can take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world experience and forge relationships through a shared passion for dance.

About MSU Crowdfunding

MSU Crowdfunding is a pilot initiative led by the Missouri State University Foundation in partnership with CrowdIt, to provide an online crowdfunding platform for Missouri State students, faculty and staff to raise money and generate support their ideas.

More Information

For more information, contact theatre and dance by email or at 417-836-4400, or the MSU Foundation by email or at 417-836-4143.

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MSU invites local 8th graders for ‘Our Town’ workshops, performance

Missouri State’s theatre and dance department will bring 8th grade students from Westport, Jarrett, Pipkin, Study/AIMS, Pershing and Reed to campus Nov. 20 from 2-5 p.m. for workshops and a performance of the campus production, “Our Town.”

Any Given ChildAny Given Child program

The department works with Springfield Public Schools and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to offer this yearly opportunity as part of the Kennedy Center’s “Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child” initiative that strives to provide a live fine arts experience for all children in grades K-8. Teachers will be given a study guide with suggested pre- and post-performance questions and activities that can be incorporated into their lesson plans.

Our Town screen grabAbout ‘Our Town’

Written by Thornton Wilder and directed by Missouri State’s Melanie Dreyer-Lude, “Our Town” is set between 1901 and 1913 in the fictional village of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. The play weaves together stories of the seemingly inconsequential routines of small-town life over a 12-year timeframe. 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. Since its premiere in 1938, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama has been recognized for its universal theme.

Performance Schedule

Tickets are available to the public for the Nov. 20- 22 performances at 7:30 p.m. and the matinee on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m.

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Free dance concert to showcase student choreography

ContigencyMissouri State students will deliver a free dance concert series Nov. 12–16 in Craig Hall’s Balcony Theatre, showcasing seven pieces choreographed by junior and senior students of the department of theatre and danceContingency: 2014 Fall Dance Concert will feature student dancers Travis Burbee, Juli Curran, Alexandria Grossman, Sabrina Harris, Caitlyn Price, Emily Rankin and Edyn Tarkany.


  • Evenings: Nov. 12–15, 7:30 p.m.
  • Matinees: Nov. 15–16, 2:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Ruth Barnes by email or visit the concert website.

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City of Angels

October 23-26, 2014

Coger Theatre


Scenic Design — Robert Little

Costume Design — Cynthia Winstead

Lighting Design — Shelbi Ardnt

Sound Design — Graham Howatt

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Stage Manager — Jantzen Bates

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Musical Director-  Heather Chittenden-Luellen

Directed by — Michael Casey


Movie Cast 

Stone- Mitch Brauer

Orderly #1- Zachary Russell

Orderly #2- Corey Todd

Oolie- Taryn Haley

Alaura Kingsley- Kassandra Wright

Radio Announcer- Chance Nichols (Voiceover)

Angel City Tenor- Corey Todd

Angel City Bass- Zachary Russell

Angel City Soprano- Ellen Spann

Angel City Alto- Samantha Hayes

Jimmy Powers- Alex Baylard

Sonny- Corey Hollander

Big Six- Chance Nichols

Manny Munoz- Travis Holt

Officer Pasco- Zachary Russell

Blue Note Announcer- Jordan Woods (Voiceover)

Bobbi- Kayleigh Greenwood

Irwin S. Irving- Jalen Lee

Man in Phone Booth- Alec Brown

Peter Kingsley- Travis Burbee

Margaret, Kingsley Maid- Carly Hayes

Dr. Mandril- Alex Stompoly

Luther Kingsley- Ashley Wells-Thulin

Kingsley Butler- Jordan Woods

Mallory Kingsley- Alana St. John

Man with Flash Camera- Corey Todd

Coroner, Harlan Yomato- Alec Brown

Mahoney- Tori Citro

Commissioner Gaines- Chance Nichols

L.A. County Jail Guard- Chance Nichols

Brothel Girl- Christi McCarthy

Bootsie- Courtney Bollig

Margie- Kelly Johnston


Hollywood Cast

Stine- Nicholas Dricoll

Buddy Fidler- Jalen Lee

Shoeshine Boy- Chance Nichols

Gabby- Kayleigh Greenwood

Barber, Gilbert- Alex Stompoly

Donna- Taryn Haley

Masseuse, Anna- Kelly Johnston

Recording Studio Engeneer- Jordan Woods

Carla Fidler- Kassandra Wright

Piano Player- Corey Todd

Buddy’s Maid- Carly Hayes

Buddy’s Butler- Jordan Woods

Del Dacosta- Zachary Russell

Pancho Varges- Travis Holt

Avril Raines- Alana St. John

Gerald Peirce- Travis Burbee

Werner Krieger- Ashely Wells- Thulin

Stand-In- Carly Hayes

Hair Dresser- Kelly Johnston

Cinematographer, Jack- Alec Brown

Jean- Tori Citro

Buddy’s Nephew- Jordan Woods

Studio Prop Man- Corey Todd

Studio Sound Man- Zachary Russell

Studio Clapper Boy- Samantha Hayes

Studio Cop- Corey Hollander



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