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Downtown Springfield Offers Variety of Theater Options

The approaching stormy weekend may put a damper on weekend plans. But the downtown theater scene is offering four different options to keep Springfield citizens indoors in the comfort of dry, plush theater seats. KSMU's Nathan McVay has more.

At one theater you can find dancing high school students singing away, at the next you can watch a married couple bickering. Around the corner you can experience a man's heartbreaking memories of family and love, and then if you get the urge you can walk a few blocks over to see a satire of 1950's beach movies.

This isn't Broadway, it's just downtown Springfield.

This weekend four shows are premiering at four different theaters. First, Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie will play at the Skinny Improv Theater. The show is produced by The Swan Repertory Theater and is its first production ever.

Second, the Vandivort Theatre will be presenting Edward Albee's classic, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff."

Third, the Vandivort 2nd Stage Theater will open the curtain on Psycho Beach Party, a comical satire poking fun at 1950's beach movies like Gidget.

Finally Springfield Little Theater will premiere Disney's High School Musical tonight at the Landers Theater.

This is the second time in just over a year that High School Musical will be hitting a Springfield stage. Rachel Peacock Young is the marketing director for Springfield Little Theater and she says that the Vandivort and Little Theater both decided last year they would bring High School Musical to Springfield.

"It was kind of a no brainer, we both wanted to do it. We let them go ahead and do it in June and then we decided to open our next season with it. I think we added a new twist to it. It's really fun."

Jeff Jenkins is the creator of the Swan Reparatory Theater, a Springfield theater group meant to bring classical theater to Southwest Missouri. Jenkins says seeing so many options available to children, students and adults really shows where Springfield is and where it is going in terms of live theater.

"I believe all 4 plays are going to be outstanding in their own right. So it's neat for Springfield theater goers to have that option. Of what am I going to do this weekend? I can see this one or that one. That kind of thing."

For a list of dates the shows are running you can find the links to the theaters' websites at our website at For KSMU news, I'm Nathan McVay.


  • Vandivort and Vandivort 2nd Stage
  • Springfield Little Theater
  • The Swan Repertory Theater