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Arts and Entertainment

Willard Community Theatre Takes Environmental Play On the Road to Central Missouri

Willard Community Theatre will raise money for the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition with a production of their original play "She Weeps: An Unquenchable Tale" at the newly renovated Grand RiverStage in Hartsburg, Missouri.
Credit (Logo courtesy Willard Community Theatre)

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Many of us remember the drought of 2012 that affected much of the United States:  crops withering, wells drying, and water rationing. Our local experience was a wake-up call to look at the world’s relationship with water. For many in the developing world, the need for clean and accessible water is a daily hardship that kills millions and stifles educational and economic growth. You're asked to join Willard Community Theatre in educating and enlightening through collaboration with Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition at the Hartsburg Grand RiverStage northwest of Jefferson City. The village of Hartsburg is a small river town next to bottomlands farmed by local families. On June 5 and 6, Willard Community Theatre will present She Weeps: An Unquenchable Tale for the newly remodeled and historical Hartsburg Grand RiverStage. Not only is this the Grand Opening event for the theatre, but it will also be the first live theatre performance at the venue in over 50 years. The Hartsburg Grand is officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. Despite having many other theater troupes available to help bring this stage back to life, the owners of the Hartsburg Grand chose the Willard Theatre troupe because of its commitment to changing the world one show at a time.

According to Brianna Howard of Willard Community Theatre, "We believe that art is for everyone, and that it goes beyond the stage. In order to have true art, it needs to be bigger than 'a show.'"

She Weeps: An Unquenchable Tale was written by Willard Community Theatre Director Kendra Chapell in collaboration with other members of the company, and was first performed at Willard High School two years ago. The play teaches about water and water use through a series of stories, myths, and legends about the interdependence humanity has with water--Narcissus and Echo, Persephone, a "Snowchild," a "Frog King," the "Weeping Woman," and an entire ensemble cast in revealing the much-forgotten truth that we are made of water.  Brianna Howard says, "we have many stories that relate back to water and how the earth needs water." The project to bring She Weeps to the newly-remodeled and restored Grand RiverStage involved "three different 'water warriors' that came together: Willard Community Theatre, a friend of ours up in Hartsburg who owns the RiverStage, and the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition."

All ticket proceeds from this production will benefit Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition to help protect our state’s water resources. The Coalition’s vision is to unite individual Missouri Stream Teams to be a loud voice for streams in local, state, and national decisions affecting the waterways of The Great Rivers State. 

Tickets are $25 and $50, but Brianna Howard says Willard Community Theatre "believes in 'radical hospitality.' So we do have a night where, if you cannot afford tickets, just let us know"--a sort of "pay-what-you-can" night.  Performances at Hartsburg RiverStage will be Friday June 5th at 7:00 and 9:00pm, and Saturday June 6th at 2:00, 7:00 and 9:00pm. Hartsburg is located about 15 minutes northwest of Jefferson City, Missouri.  For more information visit http://whstheatre.blogspot.com/ or call (417)-742-3524 ext. 3303.