Missouri State University
Theatre and Dance Blog

Ballad Hunter

 

 

September 22-23, 25-30 October 2-3
Balcony Theatre

 

Credits

Costume Design — Leslie Branyon

Scenic Design — Robert Little

Lighting Design — Victoria McWilliams

Sound Design — Mark Putman

Technical Director — Chris DePriest

Marketing Director — Mark Templeton

Stage Manager — Lakyn Lewis

Directed By — Melanie Dreyer-Lude

 

Cast
Gussie – Kathleen Higdon

Lotta –Terra Ashe

Cecil – Mason Kirkland

Hetty– Jessika Dahlheimer

Buzzy – John Emery

Posted in Past Productions | 2 Comments

Five reasons to choose COAL as your college

They are the storytellers. The creators. The visualizers.

The students who make up Missouri State’s College of Arts and Letters take pride in standing out amongst the crowd and making their Missouri Statement a distinct one. How? Here are five ways COAL is making itself known at MSU.

Giving Voice will open your eyes to oppression

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Giving Voice, a theatre troupe housed in the theatre and dance department, puts on an interactive performance that is inspired by Augusto Boal’s Theatre. Their goal is to give a voice to those who are oppressed, underrepresented and marginalized.

The troupe helps many groups tackle topics like gender, racial, political and religious discrimination. This is done through a series of presentations and workshops. The Giving Voice facilitator and actors work with participants to explore how to approach taboo situations in a safe environment.

Student Exhibition Center gives you space to exhibit your creativity

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The Student Exhibition Center, or SEC, is a gallery festooned with student artwork and funded through the Student Activity Fee.

Think your art should be featured? All you have to do is fill out a proposal form and you have a chance to have your own artwork on display.

You can even hold a reception there (but it does cost an extra fee, so check out the SEC website for more details).

The SEC is located on Historic Walnut Street at the north end of the Missouri State University campus.

But wait — there’s more! The SEC isn’t the only Missouri State gallery looking to display student artwork. The Brick City Gallery features distinguished, as well as up-and-coming artists, in this urban oasis of creativity. Plus, admission is free and open to the public.

You can immerse yourself in TV industry with ‘Show-Me Chefs’

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Imagine a television show run by college students. That’s exactly what “Show-Me Chefs” is!

The show is produced by the department of media, journalism and film as part of a class. Students produce and film the whole series — a reality competitive cooking show that highlights local food producers and chefs.

The show’s second season is about to premier on KOZL-TV, and they are already in pre-production for Season 3. On Oct. 22, the show will host a fundraising gala at Springfield’s 319 Event Center.

Untamed Tongues will empower you to use your voice

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Untamed Tongues is a poetry collective dedicated to establishing a place on campus for poets and musicians to share their creative works with others, be active servants to the community and maintain high academic achievement.

The group was co-founded nearly a year ago by Taylor Vinson, an MSU junior in communication. To celebrate this organization’s first birthday, a poetry slam is being held at 7:30 Oct. 3 in Plaster Student Union, room 400. There will be three rounds with three different time limits: Free topic, no props. Everyone with an original poem is welcome to participate

Study Away will take you around the world

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We encourage our students to travel the world. There are several COAL faculty-led study away opportunities, including a few listed here:

  • In summer 2016, Dr. Andy Cline, a media, journalism and film associate professor, led a group of students on a 10-day train ride to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The goal was to create a documentary film as they travelled through Moscow, Vladivostok and Lake Baikal.
  • In another summer adventure, Dr. Cameron LaBarr, choral studies director, and the MSU Chorale took an 18-day tour of South Africa. Highlights included performing at the American Embassy, hiking in the mountains and attending a safari ride.
  • Center for Dispute Resolution took a 10-day study away trip to Ireland in June 2015. The program explored the country’s historical and cultural roots of conflict and the subsequent peacemaking processes and reconciliations. This cultural experience toured students around Dublin, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.
  • For the last several summers, art professor Gwen Walstrand has led students on a trip to Florence, Italy. The courses offered abroad range from drawing, photography and general education options. For more information about the summer 2017 Italy trip, attend one of the info sessions on Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 14 or Nov. 23, each at 7 p.m. in Brick City, building 1, room 211.
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Terrifying audition turns into rewarding student experience

To hear Darian Bengston tell it, the day he auditioned for Missouri State’s acting program was the worst of his life.

Photo by MSU photo services.
Photo by Jesse Scheve, MSU Photo Services.

Bengston expected to have normal performance jitters going into his one-on-one audition with Missouri State’s acting program coordinator, Dr. Kurt Heinlein. MSU, after all, was his top-choice school.

However, all chance of normal was soon derailed. Minutes before the audition at a hotel, Heinlein broke the news that the scheduled space was unavailable. They would have to go around the corner the kitchen instead.

“I wasn’t going to tell him ‘No,’ so we go into the kitchen and there’s people moving food in and out. I’m so torn inside.”

But Bengston drew a deep breath, took off his glasses and bravely launched into his monologues, despite the bustle of the wait staff preparing food and walking between them.

“It was a fiasco, and I was terrified,” he said. “I did not think I was going to get in.”

‘You belong with our family’

Those fears were nearly confirmed when he returned later to check MSU’s call-back roster, and he wasn’t among the eight people listed.

Then, he noticed a second page. On it, his name stood alone with the note: “Just stop by.”

“I sat down with Kurt and (then-Department Head) Dr. (Chris) Herr thinking they were going to politely let me go. But then Kurt said, ‘We don’t normally do this, but we really think that you belong with our family, and if you want, we’d like to offer you a spot at our school — right here, right now.’”

Bengston unequivocally said “Yes,” and now, more than two years later, it is clear why Heinlein and Herr were so quick to bring him into the competitive program.

Darian Bengston played Francis Flute in MSU's 2015 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Photo by Jesse Scheve, MSU's Photo Services.
Darian Bengston played Francis Flute in MSU’s 2015 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Photo by Jesse Scheve, MSU’s Photo Services.

Hard work is paying off

Bengston’s staggering talent, impressive work ethic and infectious positivity make him a catch for the university.

By the end of his sophomore year, he had acted in several MSU and student stage productions, including “Hair,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Runaways” and “Topdog/Underdog.” He had also appeared in the student-produced films “Bad Beat,” “Liven” and “Paradox.”

Bengston, now a junior, is part of the theatre-of-the-oppressed group Giving Voice and is the president of MSU’s University Coalition of Young Artists; he works at the university bookstore and interns at Springfield Contemporary Theatre.

He is the recipient of the Joseph Cantlin Memorial Scholarship, the Giving Voice Scholarship and the Theatre Regents Scholarship.

In fall 2016, Bengston will be studying abroad at Theatre Academy London, a program run by Florida State University. There, he will work with some of London’s leading artists and in locations where many theater giants got their starts, like William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon.

Darian Bengston was part of the ensemble for MSU's 2016 production of "Hair." Photo by Jesse Scheve, MSU Photo Services.
Darian Bengston was part of the ensemble for MSU’s 2016 production of “Hair.” Photo by Jesse Scheve, MSU Photo Services.

Catch his next performance

All these experiences, he said has helped him hone his craft and shape what his future will look like. And surviving every actor’s worst nightmare of an audition has given this Waterloo, Iowa, native a leg up — at least where nerves are concerned.

“I could be auditioning for Steven Spielberg tomorrow, and I would not be as scared as I was that day.”

Darian Bengston played the lead role in the 2016 student film, "Liven." Photo provided.
Darian Bengston played the lead role in the 2016 student film, “Liven.” Photo provided.

As for what is next after graduation, Bengston said he’s still figuring that out.

“Up until months ago, I was gung-ho on going to Los Angeles. I wanted to be the biggest movie star in the world. But after being here (at Missouri State), working and learning, I’m very divided between stage and film. And now it’s more about the art and about what I want to do with my life, instead of just the generic end goal of making it big.”

Bengston will return from London in time for the theatre and dance department’s spring 2017 production season, when you’ll have a chance to see him on the MSU stage once again.

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Dance student studying abroad in Israel blogs about experience

Brittney Banaei, a senior dance major, recently earned a spot at the Rothberg International School’s DanceJerusalem program. She landed in Israel in late August, and has been documenting her journey on her blog “An American Dancer in Israel.”

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Brittney Banaei. Photo submitted.

This is a preview of her first entry, where we get a peek into the life of a study away student:

Man with AK47 Walks Donkey and Other Travel Highlights

It is Thursday night in Israel, which is like Friday night in the US. Our studies are done for the week and now we are all taking some hard-won downtime.

I’m sitting in my modest (but cute!) dorm room and writing this entry, wondering how in the world I’m going to relay to you the magic that is Jerusalem.

I wanted to tell you all about my first week, academics, dance, new friends, etc., but I think that is too much to read in one sitting. I will tell you that I had my first (language immersion) class today and all feels right with the world.

So here is the story of my journey …

Read more about Brittney’s intriguing two-day journey from the U.S. to Jerusalem, and her first few days in Israel on her blog, “An American Dancer in Israel.”

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Revelations through the human experience: How this fall season will set the truth free

Tragic mine explosions, marriage proposals gone wrong and an angel of redemption for the redemption-less. Revelations is this season’s theme, and the theatre and dance department’s fall 2016 lineup is ready to engage audiences with productions that feature vastly unique voices and storylines, each meant to reveal powerful truths through both devastation and jubilation.

The first show of the season is “Ballad Hunter,” which begins on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. and runs until October 3.

You can purchase tickets for “Ballad Hunter,” “Legally Blonde” and “Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches,” at the campus box office — located in Craig Hall — or online through Missouri State TIX.

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‘Ballad Hunter’: Truth through secrecy 

“Ballad Hunter” takes place in rural Appalachia during 1937. It’s a journey through love, loneliness and love once more, creating an emotional story about the crucial need for honesty amongst family.

Ballad_Hunter_4_620x682Synopsis

On the day of Lotta’s conception — the day Gussie accepted her lustful desires over a traveling musicologist — her grandfather was killed in a tragic mine explosion. Fifteen years later, three generations of women (Hetty, Gussie and Lotta) continue struggling with the voids of lost love, losing themselves in the process. When an unexpected visitor passes through town with the promise of a wondrous, new-fangled invention called “electricity,” skepticism reaches an all-time high; Lotta finds herself smitten by this visitor’s melodious voice, and Gussie experiences an incredible sense of de ja vu. (Like mother, like daughter.)

Schedule

Show times:  7:30 p.m. Sep. 22-23, 26-30 & Oct. 3; 2:30 p.m. Sep. 25 & Oct. 2
Location: Craig Hall Balcony Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID 

Join the conversation: #MSUBalladHunter 

‘Legally Blonde’: Truth through legality

“Legally Blonde” is a production chock-full of charming humor, quick-paced choreography and high-energy musical numbers. The heart-warming tale takes popular stereotypes and reveals them as nothing more than predetermined labels that can be broken — if we have the courage to do so.

Legally_Blonde_620x682Synopsis

Elle Woods dreams of the day her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, will finally pop the question. Instead, he breaks her heart and leaves for Harvard to pursue a law degree and a girlfriend who isn’t so, well, blonde. Elle is determined to prove her worth by following him on his academic adventure, but Harvard is nothing like her old UCLA campus. Her perky personality and hot pink clothes definitely stand out amongst the crowd — and not in a popular way like before. Nonetheless, Elle dives into her studies, ready to demonstrate her true lawyer-potential despite those who’ve already predetermined her as blonde.

Schedule

Show times: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15 & 17; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID 

Join the conversation: #MSULegallyBlonde

‘Angels in America’: Truth through controversy

“Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches” is a mature production that exposes serious topics such as AIDS, infidelity, drug-exposure and religion. Despite its heavy themes, this play oozes a dark sense of humor without taking away from the significance of the story. 

Angels_in_America_620x682Synopsis 

In the year 1985, and during the “Reagan revolution,” Louis Ironson abandons his relationship after finding out his partner, Prior Walter, has contracted — and is dying of — AIDS. Meanwhile, devout Mormon Joe Pitt is finding complications in his own relationship: his wife is unsupportive of his new job offer and continuously struggles with a Valium addiction. Upon Louis and Joe meeting by chance in the restrooms of a courthouse, Joe begins questioning his sexuality and his very salvation. Meanwhile, as Prior’s condition worsens, an angel materializes before him, reassuring Prior that redemption for this world is definitely obtainable.

Schedule 

Show times: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-12; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13
Location: Craig Hall Coger Theatre
Tickets: $14 Adults; $12 Students/Seniors; $8 in advance with MSU ID

Join the conversation: #MSUAngelsinAmerica

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Alumna helps ‘set the stage’ with mobile shop in St. Louis

From standing in the spotlight to setting the stage for a home, she’s learned how to make herself (and others) happy.

When alumna Jennifer Saputo-Peterson graduated from Missouri State in 2006, she wanted to use her bachelor’s degree in theatre to be a working actress in New York City, which she did from 2007-10. But now she helps St. Louisians set the stage for a happy home.

Brunching at a bakery with friends in early 2015, Saputo-Peterson saw a local mobile boutique—basically a food truck, but with clothes rather than eats—parked outside. She was inspired by the concept and thought she could apply her own flair to it.

“I’m not a girl who likes to shop for clothes, but drop me at Home Goods or Pier1 Imports and I’m occupied for a while,” said Saputo-Peterson.

“I figured there must be a mobile boutique for home decor. So I started doing a little research and found that there wasn’t.”

Todd Studios Photography & Stationary
Todd Studios Photography & Stationary

Finding inspiration

By September 2015, Saputo-Peterson and her husband Mike had officially registered the business, and after months of work on the business plan and truck, they opened Indigo Home on June 18, 2016.

“We’re a completely hands-on operation. I cherry pick every item you find on the truck,” said Saputo-Peterson. “I choose pieces that tell me a story. I find inspiration everywhere I go and bring a bit of that into the truck.”

For instance, Saputo-Peterson painted the ceiling of the truck light blue much like the porch ceilings of homes in Charleston, South Carolina. This color, called “haint blue,” is believed to keep evil spirits away. Indigo Home also carries both local brands—four to be exact—as well as work from various designers around the world.

Todd Studios Photography & Stationary
Todd Studios Photography & Stationary

Keeping things cozy

Saputo-Peterson, who attended Duchesne High in St. Charles, has a passion for making people feel comfortable and at home.

“We believe that it’s the little things that make your house a home, and that’s what we strive to bring you,” said Saputo-Peterson. “It’s that great picture frame holding a precious memory or that comfy blanket you curl up with on the couch at the end of a hard day.”

In a few years, Saputo-Peterson hopes the shop grows to become a brick and mortar store and eventually a lifestyle brand that provides accent pieces, home fragrance and even furniture.

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Tent opens ‘Unnecessary Farce’ on June 23

“All Shook Up” was a great success to kick off the 54th season of Tent Theatre. The summer stock company is now looking forward to the next show on the line-up, “Unnecessary Farce.”

Rookie cops and would-be socialite coming to Tent this summer

This rookie cop comedy is a great addition to this season, themed “the Great Escape,” said Managing Director Mark Templeton.

“The production of ‘Unnecessary Farce’ is a fast paced comedic free-for-all which will have the audience in stitches. This will be a regional premiere of the show,” he said.

The last show of the season will be “My Fair Lady.”

Unnecessary Farce

June 23-July 1

Get ready for non-stop plot twists and side-splitting dialog as this award-winning comedy takes you on a police stakeout at an economy motel. Two rookie cops set out to nab the mayor for embezzlement, but it doesn’t take long for the operation to go hilariously awry.

My Fair Lady

July 6-9, 11-17

Since its 1956 debut, this award-winning musical has delighted audiences with its witty heroine, Cockney street vendor Eliza Doolittle. Her dreams of a life more prosperous than that of a flowerseller make her a great test subject for a phonetics professor who sets out to prove that manner of speaking —not wealth — is what truly sets apart the British social classes.

Ticket information

All performances begin at 8 p.m. on the tent pad behind Craig Hall. Tickets are $16 or $24 for adults, $14 or $22 for seniors, students and children and $12 or $21 for Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Season tickets are $40 or $66 for adults, and $35 or $61 for seniors, students, children, Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Special group rates are available.

To order tickets, call the Missouri State box office at (417) 836-7678 or toll-free at 1 (888) 476-7849. Tickets may also be purchased online.

Pre-show picnics

Show-themed picnic dinners are served from 7-7:45 p.m. for $12 each on the south patio of Craig Hall. Proceeds support the Tent Theatre scholarship fund. These lunches must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance online or by calling (417) 836-7678.

For more information, contact Templeton at (417) 836-4644.

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First musical theatre graduate brings cherished children’s book to Broadway

At 11 years old, musical theatre alumnus Nathan Tysen, ’99, fell in love with a coming-of-age story about eternal life, love and morality.

“‘Tuck Everlasting’ had a profound effect on me,” Tysen said. “When you’re connecting to a character who is the same age as you are and also dealing with universal questions (of mortality and the afterlife) — this book really helped me deal with that.”

Now, nearly 30 years later, the spark that ignited his love of reading has taken him all the way to Broadway.

Photo by Cecilia Traff
Photo by Cecilia Traff

A dream project

Tysen, an award-winning writer and lyricist, was the first student to graduate from Missouri State’s musical theatre program.

Throughout college, the story of young Winnie Foster — who comes to love and protect the Tucks, a family who cannot die after they drink from a spring in the Foster family’s woods —stuck with him.

The idea of a musical adaptation began to fall into place when Tysen met his writing partner Chris Miller in New York University’s graduate musical theatre writing program.

And when they compared their lists of dream projects, “Tuck Everlasting” was at the top for each of them. Tysen said they took that as a sign to seek out the theatrical rights.

Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones interested. The Walt Disney Company had just bought the cinematic rights for a movie, which would premiere in 2002.

It would be nine years before their vision would be fully realized, and as “Tuck” author Natalie Babbitt writes, “Things can come together in strange ways.”

Andrew Keenan Bolger (center) played the role of Jesse Tuck. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Andrew Keenan Bolger (center) played the role of Jesse Tuck. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Serendipity strikes

Tysen and Miller have gained acclaim in the theatre industry with musicals such as “The Burnt Part Boys” and “Fugitive Songs,” and work for the television series “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company.”

Tysen, 39, was awarded the Edward Kleban Prize for most promising lyricist and the Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting in 2014.

“It took us 16 years to be labeled overnight sensations,” Tysen said.

In 2006, they decided to give “Tuck Everlasting: The Musical” one last shot, pitching the idea to Beth Williams, a producer at Broadway Across America.

“The serendipitous moment of all of this is that night, after a meeting with us, Beth met with another producer, Barry Brown. He slides a book across the table to her and says, ‘So I just got the rights to this book called ‘Tuck Everlasting, and I’m looking for a partner.’”

Part of Broadway history

“Tuck Everlasting: The Musical” made its Broadway debut in April 2016 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Tysen, the lyricist, wrote all the words for songs, and Miller composed all the music.

TuckEverlastingLogo-620x620“There’s this magical moment when you start adding in all of the technical elements — lights, costumes, set —it’s like you’re letting your baby be raised by a family of the best artists in the world,” Tysen said.

That “family” included director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw (“Something Rotten!,” “Aladdin” and “Book of Mormon”), as well as book writers Claudia Shear and Tim Federle.

Critical reviews called the adaptation “rapturous” (The New York Times) and “wonderfully crafted” (Associated Press).

But the best review, Tysen said, came from the book’s author, Babbitt, who collaborated on the musical, too.

“She was happy that we were loyal to her material, but understood we had to take some liberties in order to make it a viable musical. After seeing the Broadway production, she said, ‘You cracked part of the ending in a way I never could have.’ That was awesome!”

The show, which has now closed, ran for 67 performances and his dream, 15 years in the making, will now be forever immortalized in Broadway history.

The wheels keep moving for Tysen, who is enjoying life as a new father to baby Lucy with his wife, theatre writer Kait Kerrigan.

As for his work, he’ll continue doing what he’s been doing all along: “Following my heart, finding what makes my happy and doing my hardest to making a living at it.”

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Tent Theatre begins June 8 with ‘All Shook Up’

Tent Theatre will rock Craig Hall starting June 8, kicking off the 54th season with “All Shook Up.”

Rock ‘n’ roll rebellion, rookie cop comedy and would-be socialite on tap for 2016 Tent Theatre

Audience members of all ages will enjoy Tent Theatre’s 2016 line up, said Managing Director Mark Templeton. This season’s theme is the “Great Escape.”

“We have been talking about doing ‘All Shook Up’ for several years, and this just seemed to be the right year to do it,” he said. “The production of ‘Unnecessary Farce’ is a fast paced comedic free-for-all which will have the audience in stitches. This will be a regional premiere of the show. ‘My Fair Lady’ is a one of the greatest musicals of all time, and one that has been on our musical theatre director’s bucket list.”

All Shook Up

June 8-11, 13-18

In this jukebox musical, Elvis Presley meets Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” as a guitar-playing, motorcycle-riding roustabout leads residents of a buttoned-up Midwestern town in a rock ’n’ roll rebel. The performance will be bursting with more than two dozen 1950s-era hits, from “Love Me Tender” to “Blue Suede Shoes” and, of course, “All Shook Up!”

Unnecessary Farce

June 23-July 1

Get ready for non-stop plot twists and side-splitting dialog as this award-winning comedy takes you on a police stakeout at an economy motel. Two rookie cops set out to nab the mayor for embezzlement, but it doesn’t take long for the operation to go hilariously awry.

My Fair Lady

July 6-9, 11-17

Since its 1956 debut, this award-winning musical has delighted audiences with its witty heroine, Cockney street vendor Eliza Doolittle. Her dreams of a life more prosperous than that of a flowerseller make her a great test subject for a phonetics professor who sets out to prove that manner of speaking —not wealth — is what truly sets apart the British social classes.

Ticket information

All performances begin at 8 p.m. on the tent pad behind Craig Hall. Tickets are $16 or $24 for adults, $14 or $22 for seniors, students and children and $12 or $21 for Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Season tickets are $40 or $66 for adults, and $35 or $61 for seniors, students, children, Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Special group rates are available.

To order tickets, call the Missouri State box office at (417) 836-7678 or toll-free at 1 (888) 476-7849. Tickets may also be purchased online.

Pre-show picnics

Show-themed picnic dinners are served from 7-7:45 p.m. for $12 each on the south patio of Craig Hall. Proceeds support the Tent Theatre scholarship fund. These lunches must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance online or by calling (417) 836-7678.

For more information, contact Templeton at (417) 836-4644.

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Members of the Actors’ Equity join Tent Theatre for 54th season

We’re just days away from the opening of Tent Theatre’s 54th season, featuring “All Shook Up” (June 8-11 & 13-18), “Unnecessary Farce” (June 23-27 & July 1) and “My Fair Lady (July 6-9 & 11-17). Get your tickets online or in the box office before they’re all sold out.

MSU-TentTheatre-2016-AllShowsDates-620

For more information about this season, visit Tent Theatre’s website.

Actors’ Equity Company Members

Here are the Actors’ Equity company members joining us this season, and a preview of their credits (information provided by the actors).

Matthew Alford

matt-alford-250x279Matthew Alford is excited to be spending time in the Tent for the first time. He is the resident director of Equalogy, inc., a theatre-for-social-change company that uses theatre to combat sexual violence on college campuses.

He is a graduate of Pace University, and has participated in several projects with Judith Shakespeare Co., The Actor’s Studio. and La MaMa ETC.

NYC credits

  • “To Whom It May Concern” (Arclight Theatre)
  • “Wilde Tales” (TNC)
  • “The Return” (APT)
  • “11 (A River Apart)” (The Kraine)

Touring credits

  • “Endurance” (Split Knuckle Theatre Co.)
  • “One Night” (Equalogy)

Traci Bair

traci-bair-250x300Traci Bair is thrilled to return to the city of her birth, Springfield, Missouri, to play the iconic role, Eliza Doolittle.

National tours

  • Grace Farrell, “Annie” (NETworks)
  • Principal vocalist, “Cirque Dreams” (Cirque Productions)

Favorite regional theatre

  • Winifred Banks, “Mary Poppins” (Arts Center Coastal Carolina)
  • Fantine, “Les Miserables” (Riverside Theatre)
  • Katherina Cavalieri, “Amadeus” (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)
  • Vi Moore, “Footloose” (Ivoryton Playhouse)
  • Mary Bailey, “It’s A Wonderful Life” (Lyric Theatre)
  • “Sweeney Todd” (Barrington Stage)
  • “Pandora’s Box” (NYMF)

Peter Boyer

Peter-Boyer-250x300Peter Boyer is making his Tent Theatre debut this summer. Based in Washington, D.C., he most recently appeared as Charles Dickens in the east coast premiere of “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord,” by Scott Carter at the Washington Stage Guild.

Credits

  • Ebenezer Scrooge, “A Broadway Christmas Carol” (Metro Stage)
  • Groucho Marx, “Groucho: A Life in Revue” (Wayside Theatre)
  • “Uprising” (Metro Stage)
  • “1776” (Ford’s Theatre and Olney Theatre)
  • “Parade” (Ford’s Theatre)
  • “Shenandoah” (Ford’s Theatre)
  • “Way of the World” (Shakespeare Theatre)
  • “Sound of Music, 1776” (Olney Theatre)
  • “The Fantasticks” (Rep Stage)
  • “Sleeping Beauty” (Imagination Stage)
  • “Heidi” (Imagination Stage)
  • “Beyond Therapy” (Bay Theatre)
  • “Sylvia” (Bay Theatre)
  • “Table Manners” (Bay Theatre)
  • “The Comedy of Errors” (Baltimore Shakespeare Festival)
  • “Scapin!” (Baltimore Shakespeare Festival)
  • “The Taming of the Shrew” (Baltimore Shakespeare Festival)
  • “Private Lives” (Wayside Theatre)
  • “Moonlight and Magnolias” (Wayside Theatre)
  • “The Killer Angels” (Wayside Theatre)
  • “Private Eyes” (Firehouse Theatre)
  • “Fuddy Meers” (Firehouse Theatre)
  • “Tecumseh!” (Scioto Society)
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Scioto Society)
  • “Much Ado About Nothing” (Southern Festival Theatre)
  • “The Taming of the Shrew” (Southern Festival Theatre)

Kevin Casey

Kevin-Casey-250x300Kevin Casey, a production stage manager, is thrilled to be here at Tent Theatre to celebrate his 40th year in the professional theatre and his 30th as a member of Actors’ Equity Association. He is a former member of the Executive Board of the National Stage Managers’ Association (2013-2015).

Favorite shows

  • “A Chorus Line”
  • “1776” (performed on July 4, 1976)
  • “Sweeney Todd”
  • “CATS”
  • “South Pacific”
  • “The Foreigner”
  • “Hairspray”
  • “Forever Plaid”
  • “Emergency Room”
  • “Menopause, The Musical”
  • “The Fantasticks” (five productions)
  • “Tuck Everlasting”
  • “Amadeus”
  • “Antigone”
  • “Angels In America”
  • “The Smell of the Kill”
  • “A Year with Frog & Toad”
  • “Bridge to Terabithia”
  • “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
  • “Holiday Memories”
  • “A Christmas Carol”
  • “Broadway Bound”
  • “Gifts of the Magi”
  • “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”

Jerry Gallagher

Jerry-Gallagher-250x316Jerry Gallagher has performed around the country and worked at Goodspeed Opera House, Paper Mill Playhouse, St. Louis MUNY, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and many others. He created the role of Rushmore in the Off-Broadway production of “Little Ham: A Harlem Jazzical.”

Stage credits

  • “Guys & Dolls”
  • “Crazy for You”
  • “Big River”
  • “City of Angels”
  • “Annie Get Your Gun”

Television appearances

  • CBS’s “Guiding Light”
  • Showtime’s “The Big C”
  • PBS’s “Great Performances”

Jannie Jones

JannieJannieJones-250x300 Jones has toured nationally and internationally to more than 23 countries. She is happy to return to the Tent Theatre after having been a part of last season’s “Hairspray,” as Motormouth, and “Leap of Faith” as Ida Mae.

She was last seen in “Black Stars of the Great White Way,” with Tony Award-winners Norm Lewis and Andre DeShields, Emmy Award-winning Obba Babatunde and 227’s Jackee Harry, at the NC Black Theatre Festival.

You will be able to catch her episode of “The Get Down” on Netflix this summer, playing a possible recurring role as Jamaican Mom.

Critically acclaimed credits

  • B.J., “Smokey Joe’s Café” (Capital Repertory Theatre)
  • Pearl, “Black Pearl Sings” (Virginia Stage Co., Capital Rep. Theatre & San Jose Rep. Co.)  — Bay Area Theatre Critics Award, Best Actress
  • “August Wilson’s Women” (Juneteenth Legacy Theatre) — Audelco Award

Broadway/Off-Broadway/National Broadway tours

  • Georgie, understudy, “The Full Monty” Sylvia, “All Shook Up”
  • Sister Carrie, “Mama I Want to Sing”
  • Traci, “Faith’s Journey”

Other credits

  • Dionne, “Hair”
  • Motormouth, “Hairspray” (N.C. Theatre)
  • Mahalia Jackson, “Mahalia” (N.C. Blk Rep.)
  • “Motown Cabaret, by Gershwin”
  • “Too Darn Hot”
  • “Steppin’ Out”
  • “Ain’t Nothing but the Blues” (Florida Studio Theatre)
  • Velma and Wanda, “Crowns” (Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis & Asolo Thea.)
  • Armelia, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (Riverside Theatre)
  • Tina Turner, “Beehive” (Arkansas Rep.)

One-woman shows

  • “My Castle’s Rockin,’ The Alberta Hunter Story”
  • “Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow,” (Written by Larry Parr, premiered at the Florida Studio Theatre)

Television appearances

  • “All My Children”
  • “The Guiding Light”
  • “Martin”
  • Commercials and print ads

Concerts

  • Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert version of “Kiss Me Kate” (Hattie)
  • Raphael’s concerts at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall

Other musical appearances

  • Teddy Pendergrass, “Say It” single
  • Barry White, “Practice What You Preach” album

TJ Lancaster

TJ-Lancaster-250x300TJ Lancaster is thrilled to return to Tent Theatre where he appeared in 2014’s “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Regional credits

  • “Sunday in the Park with George” (Kansas City Repertory Theatre)
  • “The Fantasticks” (Western Playhouse, Great Plains Theatre and Spinning Tree Theatre)
  • “Damn Yankees” (Great Plains Theatre)
  • “Tuna Does Vegas” (Great Plains Theatre)
  • “The Normal Heart” (Relevance Productions)
  • Andrew Lippa’s “I Am Harvey Milk” (Heartland Men’s Chorus)
  • “Fiddler on the Roof” (Spinning Tree Theatre)
  • “Make Me a Song” (Spinning Tree Theatre)
  • “Master Class” (Spinning Tree Theatre)
  • “Flat Stanley” (Starlight Theatre)
  • “Narnia” (Starlight Theatre)
  • “Peter Cottontail III” (Starlight Theatre)
  • “The Music Man” (Musical Theater Heritage)
  • “Evita” (Musical Theater Heritage)
  • “Kiss Me, Kate” (Musical Theater Heritage)

Mark Bradley Miller

Mark-Bradley-Miller-250x309Mark Bradley Miller is excited to tackle the dream role of Higgins, here at his Tent Theatre debut. Later this summer, he returns for a third season at the Sacramento Music Circus, to play Duke Mahoney in “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Miller is also a professional photographer and interior designer.

National tours

  • “South Pacific”
  • “Broadway Celebrates America”

European tours

  • “Beauty and the Beast”
  • “The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber”

New York credits

  • Prince/Wolf, “Into the Woods
  • Tony, “West Side Story”
  • NYMF, “The Woman Upstairs”
  • David, “Warsaw”
  • “Pippin”
  • “The Secret Garden”

Regional credits

  • Billy, “Carousel”
  • Fred/Petruchio, “Kiss Me, Kate”
  • Nick, “Funny Girl”
  • Mr. Hart, “9 to 5”
  • Phantom, “Phantom”
  • Nick, “Baby”
  • Man 1, “Closer Than Ever”
  • El Gallo, “The Fantasticks”

Summer stock

  • Pitsburgh CLO, 15 productions
  • Weathervane Theater, 10 productions
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