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 Little Theatre)

Josh Inman from Springfield Little Theatre joined us live in the studio on “Arts News” this morning to talk about SLT’s new production which opened last night, and is scheduled for a a two-week run at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut: the off-Broadway hit “Shout! The Mod Musical.”                                                                

“Yeah, we opened last night to a great crowd,” said Inmon, who directs the production. “By the end, they were dancing in their seats, and everybody was having fun singing along”—while staying socially distanced, of course!

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Next week Springfield Contemporary Theatre will present the online premiere of the musical revue, “Fugitive Songs.”  The show’s director, Rick Dines, visited us on “Arts News” to talk about the production. It presents numerous separate characters who, Dines said, have one thing in common: they all have to “make a decision if they’re going to break away from the path they’re on, and head in another direction—or not.                                                                                           

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Springfield Regional Opera, the Gillioz Theatre, and Jeff Houghton, host of the local TV talk/variety show “The Mystery Hour,” will collaborate on a sort of old-fashioned radio show onstage at the Gillioz, focused on the art form of opera. They’re calling it simply “The Opera Hour,” and it will be performed live at the Gillioz Friday February 12th at 7:30pm, and with an online streaming version available a few days later—and, we’re planning on offering it in radio form here on KSMU at a later date.  I talked with SRO’s Music Director Dr.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Chuck Rogers of Springfield Little Theatre joined KSMU’s Randy Stewart on “Arts News” to talk about “The Sound of Music,” SLT’s new production opening tonight (Jan 29) and running through February 14 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut and streaming online.                                                                                      

(Courtesy Citizens Memorial Hospital)

Editor's note: an earlier version of this story misspelled Mr. Bryant's last name. This story has been edited to reflect that correction. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the category of front line workers that has received the most attention—and rightfully so—is the healthcare profession. The first ones you think of in that category are, of course, doctors and nurses. 

But there are hundreds of workers in the healthcare sector whose jobs are less visible, more behind-the-scenes.                                                                   

Cyrus Baty

We know that workers in the healthcare industry are truly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (And you’ll hear from a hospital worker this afternoon at 4:44pm.) But there are many professions that require daily contact with the public, whether or not we’re in a pandemic. People who work in retail, for example, such as grocery store workers.  This morning you’ll hear from Cyrus Baty, who describes himself simply as a “clerk” at Meadowbrook Natural Foods on 2nd Street in Mountain Grove, Missouri, a store that supplies health food, supplements, minerals, and bulk groceries.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

The beloved American holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life," the story of idealistic George Bailey who learns that his life really has positively impacted everyone around him, comes to life as a “live” 1940s radio broadcast in Springfield Little Theatre's holiday production. It through December 13 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut, with limited seating availability, and as an online stream.  Jamie Bower, who directed the production, joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News.”                                                                            

(Photo: Messiah Project)

For the one of the only times—in fact, possibly the only time—since everything shut down due to COVID-19 last March, we had two different guests in the studio with us for “Arts News” this week. One of our guests was Lindsey Robison, President of Messiah Project.                                                                           

Tonya Forbes

Leslie Forrester, Executive Director of Springfield Regional Arts Council, joined us on “Arts News” this morning to talk about a special streaming video the Arts Council will debut this Sunday evening on YouTube and Facebook, free and open to the public.   

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

“Being creatives, we always have to think outside the box and say, OK, what are the guidelines, what are the rules, what are our limitations and how can we safely operate inside those? And that's what we're doing our best to do every day. It's not without its obstacles or pitfalls or heartaches or anything like that. But, you know, we persevere as we have for 86 years.”                 

(Courtesy Missouri State University)

Live performances of opera return to the Springfield area during the next two months.  Dr. Ann Marie Daehn, Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at Missouri State University, is involved in both projects, and joined us on “Arts News” to talk about them.  (Due to a technical issue of my own making [who else?], I ended up recording myself off-mike during the entire interview—those who listened live Friday morning could hear me just fine, but I had to re-record some of my questions for this web posting, and boost the levels of others.  Dr.

Randy Stewart

This week, we bring you our Sense of Community series, Conversations on Race and Racism.  These conversations feature first-person perspectives, memories, and opinions of people in our community whose lives have been impacted by race and racism.   You can hear the audio below.

This conversation was between two close friends, Clarence Brewer and John Tepiew, both Springfield residents and both people of color.                                                             

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

It’s become the same old story: everyone has had to make changes to their routines, their plans, to deal with the realities of living during a pandemic.  Dr. Mick Sokol from the Drury University Theatre Department joined us on “Arts News” to talk about the department’s children’s show, “Charlotte’s Web,” to be performed Wednesday Sept.16 through Saturday Sept.19 all at 7:30pm, and with an additional Saturday matinee at 2:00pm, in Drury’s Wilhoit Theatre.            

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

The next production at Springfield Little Theatre is "Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits," written by Gerard Alessandrini, directed by Joshua David Smith with music direction by Kris Langston. The cast includes Dayna McConville, Zoe Zelonky, Jerrod Cate, and Chip Holderman. It's scheduled for Sept.10-20 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut. Broadway’s greatest musical legends meet Broadway’s greatest satirists in this hilarious, loving, and endlessly entertaining tribute to some of the theatre’s greatest stars and songwriters. This show is rated PG-13.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Theatre and Dance)

The Missouri State University Theatre and Dance Department will offer a season of “streamed command performances” this year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The fall season opens with the musical “The Secret Garden”, based on the Victorian-era children’s novel by Frances Burnett, with music by Lucy Simon, book & lyrics by Marsha Norman. Robert Westenberg directs this production. Following the death of her parents in colonial India, eleven-year-old Mary is sent to live with her reclusive Uncle Archibald in the English countryside.