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Arts and Entertainment

Spotlight On Joplin For March 2020

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For this month’s “Spotlight on Joplin,” Connect2Culture Director Emily Frankoski had trouble keeping to our 15-minute on-air time limit for her segment. “It’s like every day we’ve got something else going on (in March)—it’s amazing,” she said. But here are the Joplin-area events she chose to highlight.

March 6 & 8: Heartland Opera Theatre: Puccini Double Bill, 7:00pm (Sunday 2:00pm) at Joplin Memorial Hall (212 W 8th St). Celebrate Heartland Opera Theatre’s 21st year with a season of one-act operas! This production features two one-act operas by Giacomo Puccini: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Suor Angelica follows a cloistered nun who discovers a secret and encounters a miracle. Gianni Schicchi, featuring the famous aria O Mio Babbino Caro, tells the hilarious story of a greedy family who is thwarted by Gianni Schicchi. Tickets are available online at

or by phone at (417) 385-1454. Tickets: In Advance $20, Day Of $25, Students $10. More information: Michael Gregory,

March 10: Connect2Culture presents the touring company of “The Choir of Man”, 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm) at Joplin Memorial Hall (212 W 8th St). Known across the globe as “the ultimate-feel good show,” The Choir of Man offers up 90 minutes of indisputable joy. It’s a party. It’s a concert. It’s a pint-filled good time set in a real working pub (free beer, anyone?! Connect2Culture partners with Indian Springs Brewing Co. in Neosho for this show) that combines hair-raising harmonies, high-energy dance, and live percussion with foot-stomping choreography. The multi-talented cast of nine handsome blokes sings everything – pub tunes, folk, Broadway, classic rock – all to roof-raising heights. It’s the best singing, dancing, stomping, pub crawl of a show you’ll ever attend! The Choir of Man celebrates music that has wide appeal including songs by Adele, Queen, Paul Simon, Katy Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. The cast features world-class tap dancers, singers, and instrumentalists, ensuring that there is something for everyone in this joyous and uplifting show for all ages. Tickets: $31 Front Floor, $21 Back Floor & Mezzanine. Tickets may be purchased at, (417) 501-5550, or at the door. This performance the last of the 2019-2020 Connect2Culture Curtains Up Series. More information: Emily Frankoski,, (417) 501-5550. Emily says tickets are going fast for this one.

March 11: Hadden Sayers House Concert (Ages 10+), 7:00pm (doors 6:30pm) at The Coda Concert House (2120 E 24th St). Having released eight, critically acclaimed albums over two decades, Hadden Sayers is no longer just a guitarist from Ruthie Foster's band, but a distinguished solo artist. The Texas native's expert skills allow him to transform classic tropes, like blues, R&B, and rock, into something new. Sayers' melodies, hooks, vocals, and guitar licks all culminate to create highly anticipated, engaging performances. There is a suggested, minimum donation of $20. More information and reservations: Jeff Morrow, In response to reservations, Jeff will send a confirmation email with the address, directions, parking etc. All proceeds benefit the artist performing.

March 25 – 29: Enter Laughing, 7:30pm (Sunday 2:30pm) at Joplin Little Theatre (3008 W 1st St). A farce, written by Joseph Stein, Enter Laughing is loosely based on the life of actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director Carl Reiner. The action centers on the journey of young, aspiring David Kolowitz, as he tries to extricate himself from overly protective parents (who want him to be a married pharmacist), and two too many girlfriends, while struggling to overcome his lack of talent in the 1930’s New York City arena of show business. Tickets: Adults $18, Seniors/Students $15, Children $8. More information: Cecie Fritz,, (417)623-3638.

March 26: Pro Musica: Double String Quartet ft. the Jupiter & Jasper Quartets, 7:00pm at Joplin Family Worship Center (5290 E 7th St). The Jupiter String Quartet is a tight-knit ensemble and firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music. Their chamber music honors and awards include the grand prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Today, the group resides at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana as artists-in-residence. The quartet performed the world premiere of “The Sower” in Joplin in 2006. Formed at Oberlin Conservatory, the Jasper Quartet began pursuing a professional career in 2006 as Rice University’s Graduate Quartet-in-Residence. In 2008, the quartet continued its training as Yale University's Graduate Quartet-in-Residence and then swept through the competition circuit. The quartet is currently the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University's Center for Gifted Young Musicians. While this is the Jasper Quartet’s first appearance in Joplin, they are uniquely suited to join the Jupiter Quartet to form a string octet for this performance, to play the Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat. Otherwise, the Jupiter Quartet plays music of Beethoven, while the Jasper Quartet will perform works by Lera Auerbach and Joan Tower. More information: Deb Billings,, (417) 625-1822, or visit

February 28 – March 6: MSSU’s Literature Lives Week 2020: Harry Potter. Calling all Potterheads! Join Missouri Southern State University’s Department of English and Philosophy in celebrating J.K. Rowling’s magical series with variety of themed events. Every year the department focuses on a book, author, character or genre for their literature week.  Events this time include a short-story writing contest, panel discussions and more. For a list of all events, visit All events are a part of the department’s third annual Literature Lives program.  Free and open to the public. More information: Amy Gates,, (417) 625-3554.

March 10: MSSU Bringing Them All Back Home Film Festival: The Willow Tree, 7:00pm at Missouri Southern State University, Cornell Auditorium (3950 E Newman Rd). A 2005 film from Iran, The Willow Tree follows Youssef, who has been blind since a childhood accident and has built a life for himself with his devoted wife, adoring daughter, and career as a professor specializing in the poetry of the Persian Sufi mystic Rumi. Corneal transplant surgery restores his sight, but with the second chances sight brings, come moral choices. Introduction to the film by Dr. Amy Gates, assistant professor of English. Free and open to the public. More information: Chad Stebbins,, (417) 625.9736.

March 19: Third Thursday, 5:30–8:30pm in Downtown Joplin. Third Thursday is Joplin’s trademark cultural event. Come with your friends and family to stroll through Downtown, eat great food, listen to music, peruse local art, and shop! Free and open to the public. More information: Lori Haun,,( 417) 501-9649.  Both Joplin’s First and Third Thursday Art Walks are scheduled from March to October. “You can also admire some of (Joplin’s) historic downtown architecture as well,” added Emily Frankoski.

March 21: Women Who Made Their Mark Coloring Book Release Party, 10:00am–Noon at Joplin Public Library, Community Room West (1901 E 20th St). Celebrate Women’s History month with the release of Coloring JOMO: Women Who Made Their Mark, a free coloring book featuring illustrations and micro-biographies of 12 women who made significant contributions to Joplin. Free and open to the public. The coloring book is a cooperative venture between MSSU’s Art Department, the Post Art Library, Joplin Public Library, Historic Murphysburg Preservation Inc., and Visit Joplin. More information: Jill Sullivan,, (417) 623-7953, ext. 1041.

March 21 – May 8: Small Works Auction at Spiva Center for the Arts, Regional Gallery (222 W 3rd St). Good things do come in small packages! At Spiva Center for the Arts, those small packages will measure 12”x12”, 9”x12” or 6”x6” during the 22nd annual Small Works Auction. In this exhibit and auction, more than 100 Spiva member artists create works from jewelry to collage, which they donate for auctioning. The exhibit is a great way not only to raise money to fund Spiva operations, but also to offer exposure for the participating artists. This not-to-miss event includes a closing party with wine, food, music, and fast and furious bidding set for 5:30–7:00pm on Friday, May 8. More information: Jade Henning,, (417) 623-0183.

March 21 – May 16: PhotoSpiva at Spiva Center for the Art, Main Gallery (222 W 3rd St). Celebrating its 44th year, PhotoSpiva 2020 delivers an exhibit of photographic excellence from artists across the country. Images were selected by juror April M. Watson, Ph.D. The week of the exhibit opening, Watson will blind judge the work, having no knowledge of the entrants or their status as emerging or professionals, and no categories to distinguish photographic processes. The competition is open to all US photographers, and any type of photographic process – from traditional to digital to photo-based mixed media – is eligible, as long as it results in a two-dimensional print that has never been shown at Spiva. More information: Jade Henning,, (417)623-0183.

March 30 – April 16: Wandlung at Missouri Southern State University, Spiva Art Gallery (3950 E Newman Rd). Missouri Southern State University's bi-annual faculty show, Wandlung, features a variety of works and media, all created by MSSU Art Department faculty.  Free and open to the public. The show will feature two- and three-dimensional art in media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic design, and digital art. More information: Dr. Christine Bentley,, (417) 625-9563.

Emily Frankoski also made mention of the numerous classes going on in Joplin throughout March, including pyrography (the art of decorating wood with burn marks), identifying wild flowers, and figure drawing.  These and all the other Joplin events for March can be found at