Randy Stewart

Fine Arts Producer

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.

Ways to Connect

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

One of the few live performances to take place in Springfield at the height of the COVID shutdown last fall was Springfield Contemporary Theatre’s one-night concert “SCT Sings Broadway Rock,” performed at Mother’s Brewing Company, 215 S. Grant in downtown Springfield.  SCT returns to Mother’s for “SCT Sings Broadway Rock 2” Sunday evening June 11 at 6:30pm. SCT’s Managing Artistic Director Rick Dines and performer Maggie Marlin-Hess joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News” to discuss the revival.               

(Logo courtesy The Moxie Cinema)

For this “Ozarks Checkup”, we’ll talk with two local people in the arts about how they made it through the COVID-19 shutdown: Mike Stevens, manager of the local not-for-profit art-house movie theater The Moxie Cinema; and Nathan Falter, clay and pottery artist, educator, and proprietor of Springfield Pottery and Community Clay Center.                                                      

(Logo courtesy Springfield Regional Arts Council)

On the KSMU ‘Sense of Community’ series, we’re conducting a “checkup” on how the Ozarks is doing, as we all try to move closer to recovery from the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the quarantines and the shutdowns.  Today we’re looking at an area of society that was especially hard hit: the arts, and those who produce, promote and support the visual and performing arts.

(Poster design courtesy MSU Tent Theatre)

After cancelling their entire live-performance season last summer due to COVID-19, Missouri State University Tent Theatre returns to action for their 59th season starting June 16—albeit indoors in Craig Hall Theatre, as the patio behind Craig Hall, where the tent has been erected all those years, is undergoing construction for the new John Goodman Amphitheater. Mark Templeton, Managing Director of Tent, visited KSMU’s “Arts News” to talk about the current season.                                                                       

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

For the first time in—well, neither of us is sure how long it’s been, but almost certainly before the pandemic shutdown!—Lorianne Dunn, Education Director at Springfield Little Theatre, came to the KSMU studio to talk about the mainstage show closing SLT’s 2020-21 season, “Matilda The Musical”, opening tonight at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, and running for the next three weekends.       

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Springfield Regional Opera will provide a rare opportunity next Friday, June 4th, at the Gillioz Theatre, with their one-night-only Missouri premiere performance of “The Real Ambassadors,” the jazz musical written early in the civil-rights era by jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola, with the collaboration of another iconic jazz figure, Louis Armstrong.  Playing the Armstrong-inspired character “Pops” in SRO’s performance will be bass-baritone Dr. Todd Payne of the Missouri State University music faculty.

(Logo courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Chyrel Miller joined us on “Arts News” to talk about Springfield Little Theatre’s new production of an old favorite, the comedy-musical-cabaret show “Nunsense,” which she has directed.  Performances are scheduled May 6-23 live and in-person at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, and available each night as an online stream. The show features book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggin.                                       

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

The Drury University Theatre and Dance Department will present the final production of their 2020-21 season, the annual “Broadway Cabaret,” Wednesday April 28 through Sunday May 1st at 7:30pm each evening in Wilhoit Theatre on the Drury campus.  Director Josh Inmon stopped by KSMU’s “Arts News” to discuss the production.                                                   

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Theatre & Dance)

Lisa Brescia, Assistant professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Missouri State University, joined us on “Arts News” to talk about the video-recorded musical she has directed for the department, “Working—A Musical.” It will be available online now through Monday April 26 at 7:30pm each evening.       

(Poster design courtesy ArtsFest on Historic Walnut Street)

Springfield Regional Arts Council had to cancel what would have been the 40th anniversary ArtsFest on Historic Walnut Street last year, due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.  So the 40th ArtsFest will take place this year, Saturday and Sunday May 1st and 2nd, in the Walnut Street Historic District, presented by Great Southern Bank.  Arts Council Executive Director Leslie Forrester joined us on “Arts News” to talk about it.                                                                                              

(Poster design courtesy Messiah Project, Inc.)

Local Christian performing arts organization The Messiah Project will finally present a couple of live performances this weekend, after what Executive Director Lindsey Robison called “a dry year” because of the pandemic.  The show is called “The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength,” with two 50-minute performances on Saturday, April 17, at 5:15 and 6:45pm, at All Saints Anglican Church, 2751 E. Galloway. The concert will feature music ranging from Vivaldi to Enya, with conductor Nathan Cornelius leading the Messiah Project chorus and chamber orchestra, with concertmaster Dr.

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

An innovative play exploring communication, and dealing with tragedy, is coming up next week from Drury University Theatre. It’s “God’s Ear” by Jenny Schwartz.  Drury Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre, Haddy Kreie, joined us on “Arts News” to discuss the play.                                                                     

(Poster courtesy Springfield Ballet)

Springfield Ballet is preparing their revival of their “Cinderella” production from 2014, for performances live at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, next Friday through Sunday April 16-18, as well as streaming online. We talked with Springfield Ballet Executive Director Ashley Walton and Springfield Ballet School principal, Maria Hall.                                     

“We are really excited to be able to provide this production,” said Walton. “We did it back in 2014, and are just honored to be able to bring it back this year.  

(Ed Minton)

Most of the people we've talked to this week have taken up new hobbies and interests during the downtime resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This afternoon, you'll hear from someone whose lifelong interests and pursuits have been altered in positive ways by the quarantine. Ed Minton runs the warehouse at the Dairy Farmers of America plant here in Springfield. (Among other things, they bottle Frappuccino drinks for Starbucks.) Ed and his wife have always enjoyed traveling and hiking, and Ed has had a longtime interest in photography.                          


For today's KSMU Sense of Community feature on "New Hobbies" taken up during the COVID pandemic, we'll hear from Kristen Schuler, who works as a behavioral health consultant and outpatient therapist for Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield.