“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”
With all of the genuine care in the world and warmth in our hearts, we are proud to announce and congratulate the Fall 2020 graduates from our Bachelor of Science in Secondary Speech and Theatre Education, Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, and Bachelor of Science in Theatre programs! We have seven seniors who have dedicated their education to using their yearning to teach and love of performance knowledge to inspire those around them. They have persevered through the uncertain and changing times only to come out stronger on the other end. We can say without a doubt that each graduate has made an impact in the Department of Theatre and Dance and at Missouri State University.
With that, we could not be more overjoyed to congratulate the following seniors: Matthew Kiewiet, Amara Marshall, Jacob Cannon, Shane Everett, Kayla Rehder, Hunter Vicars, Hayden Weber.
Matthew Kiewiet is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Speech and Theatre Education. His credits include 2nd Man in Diary of Anne Frank; Ensemble in Oklahoma! In Concert; Albert Lennox/Dreamer in The Secret Garden spring 2020 cast, all at M.S.U, and Gangster 2 in The Drowsy Chaperone at Tent Theatre. He also directed Why We Like Love Stories for the department’s Directing II One-Acts. He share some of his favorite college experiences:“I loved having the opportunity to perform and sing while also learning to be a great educator. I was able to meet and learn from an amazing faculty and connect and grow with so many talented artists and educators. I will never forget the memories I have made over my time at Missouri State, whether it was performing in a show, directing, teaching, singing in my senior recital or touring Ireland with the Choral Program. I am forever thankful for my time at Missouri State; Go Bears!”
He also had a message for his instructors- “I would like to thank ALL of the faculty in the Theatre and Dance department. Everything that I learned and experienced from you has helped shape me not only as a person, but as an educator, as I will use what I have learned from you in my classroom. The lessons and skills I have learned from all of you will be passed on for generations of students to come. I am so thankful for you all.”
Following graduation, Matthew will getting married to his best friend and love his life, Madalyn Wheeler, and teaching theatre at the high school level.
Amara Marshall is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Speech and Theatre Education. Her credits include Afterwards, A Long Walk to Forever, Why We Like Love Stories, Fragments and working in the scene shop and being Assistant Properties Master for The Secret Garden. When reflecting over her time here, she said, “The last four years have really allowed me to grow personally, as an artist, and as an educator. Opportunities to write and present my own pieces, direct, build for mainstages, and perform in student productions have been invaluable experiences that I will forever be thankful for.” To her instructors, she would like to say:“There are so many members of our faculty who have made a positive impact of my college experience. I would like to recognize Anna Hunt, who gave me so many opportunities to continue to grow and practice valuable shop skills I will definitely be utilizing in my future career. She is a constant encourager and such a fantastic teacher. I would also like to thank C.J. Maples, who I have learned so much from. C.J. was not only the professor of several of my classes but my advisor as well. She has been there every step of the way, and I thank her for all of that she has done for me over the last four years.”
Following graduation, Amara will be seeking employment teaching theatre and a secondary level.
Jacob Cannon is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre, a minor in Screenwriting, and an Undergraduate Certificate in Writing for Television and Film. His work includes Guy Meyers in Rules of Comedy and Hylas in Argonautika at M.S.U., Rossi Lomanitz in Oppenheimer at Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Director of Accused of Comedy for the Directing II One-Acts, and Consulting Artistic Director of Laboratory Theatre Company. He share a little bit about his time here-“I’ll always look back fondly on the time I spent in Craig Hall during my undergrad. Whether it’s making new friends from other programs, getting hands-on training and experience from our down-to-Earth faculty, or even passing by the ‘Angels in America’ banner in the lobby and thinking, “Hey, that was me on fly crew!”. This is a special place for artists to hone their craft and learn who they really are. Savor the time you have here; it’ll be over before you know it.”
Following graduation, Jacob will be pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing at M.S.U. next fall.
Shane Everett is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a Screen Writing minor. His work includes Dobbs in Accused of Comedy for the Directing II One-Acts, Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Actors Theatre of Missouri, Haakon Chevalier/Peer De Silva in Oppenheimer at Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Dramaturg of Mostellaria and Co-Dramaturg of Because I am Your Queen at M.S.U., and Director of Constellations at M.S.U. When asked about his favorite experiences or memories at M.S.U., he stated,“There are so many. The two that stick out the most to me are when I was working on the Studio Series Production of ‘Mostellaria’ and a production of the David Ives play ‘All in the Timing.’ ‘All in the Timing’ opened before ‘Mostellaria’ and on opening night I received a video from the Director of ‘Mostellaria.’ I initially thought it was some sort of note or some last minute thing he needed me to do. Instead, it was a video of the cast of ‘Mostellaria’ wishing me luck on the opening of the other show. And, I sat backstage and cried because it meant so much that they did something like that when they did not have to. The other was the final dress rehearsal for the UCYA/Tabula Rasa production of ‘Constellations.’ There was a moment at the end of the show where the characters come together after all that has happened throughout the play and they dance together. And that night as they were dancing, I was moved by the realization that they were ready and all that we had been working for would be achieved. I will be forever grateful to everyone who worked on that production.”
To his instructors, he says, “I want to thank you for putting up with me for 4 and ½ years. I kid, of course; well, partially. I do want to thank you for being patient and taking the time to sit down and give me guidance. You have made me a better student and a better theatre-maker. I owe you all quite a bit, and I wouldn’t even begin to know how to repay you.”
Following graduation, Shane’s plans are to search for a job in theatre, hopefully relating to literary/dramaturgical and artistic work. He also plans to attend graduate school for a masters in Directing or Playwriting.
Kayla Rehder is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication. Her work includes The Lawyer in Blind Harassment from the Directing II One-Acts. “I am very grateful to have been a part of the theatre department for the last few years. Everyone has been so kind, accepting, and supportive, and I am forever grateful for the friendships and knowledge I have gained here.” To the department’s faculty, she said, “I appreciate the entire faculty of the theatre department. I would like to thank Kathleen Haines for always being willing to help with anything and Jessica Bower, Lisa Brescia, Kurt Heinlein, and Kyle A. Thomas for challenging me, supporting me, and encouraging me throughout my journey here at M.S.U.”
Following graduation, Kayla will continuing raising her children and exploring her options as a stand-up comedian. She is also considering graduate school here at M.S.U. for Communication Studies.
Hunter Vicars is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Theater and a minor in Religious Studies. Her credits include Assistant House Manager for CATS, Picnic, Crimes of the Heart, and The Comedy of Errors at M.S.U., and Marketing and Operations Assistant for Tent Theatre’s 56th and 57th seasons. She reflected on her time in college by saying, “College has been a process, transferring to three different schools, but Missouri State brought me my best friends and an amazing community.”
Following graduation, Hunter will be moving to the Kansas City area to prepare for graduate school admissions and staying creative looking for jobs in theatre.
Hayden Weber is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre and an Agriculture Minor. His work includes Tillie (Matilda) Hunsdorfer in The Effects of Gamma Rays, being a member of the Missouri State Chorus, and follow-spot operator for Pippin– all at M.S.U. Some of his favorite college memories have been “being a part of such works as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, The Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, Domine Ad Adjuvandum Me Festina by G.B. Martini and even The Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. And, standing on stage with John Goodman singing High, High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco for the “It’s On” event.” He also said, “I would like to thank Dr. Kyle Thomas for showing me what exactly “Theater” could be when I took his creative leadership in theater lecture and for pushing me to be as creative as possible with my Senior Project. I would also like to thank Melony for being such an awesome advisor and helping me through an extremely rough patch when I first moved down here to Springfield.”
Following graduation, Hayden will be finding jobs singing and trying his hand at comedy.
Together, Matthew, Amara, Jacob, Shane, Kayla, Hunter, and Hayden are the future of their fields in the performing arts industry. They are leaving the Department of Theatre and Dance with their heads held high and a mountain of support behind them. We wish you the best of luck out there, graduates. Wherever life takes you, remember those who have cared for you, and that you have made an incredible Missouri State-ment.
The Department of Theatre and Dance will not be the same without you.