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MSU Tent Theatre Presents Three Recent Hit Shows for 56th Season

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(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Tent Theatre)
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(Due to a technical glitch [mine!], I missed recording the first minute or so of Sarah Wiggins' live interview.)

Missouri State University's Tent Theatre presents its 56th season in the big tent behind Craig Hall on the MSU campus June 13-July 21.  Tent Theatre operates under a full Actors' Equity contract, allowing collegiate actors to work side-by-side with theatre professionals, both performers and technicians, from around the country.  As Sarah Wiggin, MSU Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance says, the shows this summer are all recent blockbuster hits on Broadway, though they may not be all that familiar simply as show titles.

The 2018 Tent season opens June 13-23 with "Cry-Baby," the rockabilly musical comedy based on John Waters' cult film. (And yes, we were correct about the start dates of all three shows!) In 1950s Baltimore, conservative squares face off against leather-clad delinquents.  

June 28-July 6, Tent presents the Tony-winning play "Peter and the Starcatcher," based on the best-selling novels that upend the century-old story of how a miserable orphan boy becomes the legendary Peter Pan. Sarah Wiggin calls it "a very imaginative, very creative" show that "has music in it, but is not a 'musical.' It has lots of magic, and of course pirates and all kinds of hijinks on the high seas.  It's a really terrific, very family-friendly piece of theater."  

Then July 11th thru 21st it's "The Drowsy Chaperone." When a die-hard theater fan plays his favorite original cast album, the characters come to life in this hilarious musical farce.  "It's a kind of parody of American musical theater of the 1920s," according to Sarah Wiggin.  The protagonist "basically narrates some of the action and then it comes to life." As as whole, Wiggin says the 2018 Tent season "is so much fun--it's just dynamite."

Curtain time is 8:00pm for all the shows.  And each night before curtain, there will once again be picnic dinners available for purchase. But this season there's a different supplier: Bambino's Cafe. "We're very fortunate" to be partnering with them, says Wiggin. "They're in the neighborhood, right across the street from us" (actually just south of the MSU campus on Delmar Street).

This season Tent Theatre will have seven professional Equity actors, along with a professional stage manager and two set designers.  "It's just a terrific company this year, we're really thrilled," says Sarah Wiggin.

Tent tickets range from $19-$28 and are available at missouristatetix.com; at the box offices in JQH Arena or the Craig Hall lobby; or by phone at 836-7678 or toll-free (888) 476-7849.  For information on the 2018 season visit tenttheatre.missouristate.edu.

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning "Arts News." Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's "Ozzie Award" in 2006.