Arts News

Friday, 10-11 a.m.

Every Friday morning, Randy Stewart talks with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the area visual and performing arts scene, and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events.

(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.

(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.

(courtesy: Moxie Cinema)

Dr. Andrew Cline, Professor of Media, Journalism and Film at Missouri State University, is also the founder of not-for-profit Carbon Trace Productions, a local film studio dedicated to educating college students on the complexity of the art of documentary filmmaking. He is the Executive Producer of a new locally-produced documentary about the Springfeld Street Choir.  It’s called “Songs From The Street,” and it’s debuting this weekend at the Moxie Cinema, 305 South Campbell Avenue, Suite 101.  Dr. Cline joined us on KSMU’s “Arts News” to talk about the project.         

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Springfield Little Theatre has officially opened its 86th season—under less than ideal circumstances, perhaps, but like all of us they’re making the best of the situation.  Josh Inmon, director of the opening show, the musical “The Last Five Years,” joined us on “Arts News.”                                                                                      

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre is coming back virtually with an online presentation of their “SCT Sings” series that has featured many of the company’s most popular singers and performers in concert settings since 2018. SCT Managing Artistic Director Rick Dines visited with me live in the studio during Friday’s “Arts News” to talk about their upcoming online presentation: “Fascinating Rhythms: A Taste of SCT Sings.”                                                                              

(Poster design courtesy Queen City Shout)

Eddie Gumucio, host of KSMU’s Wednesday night program “Beneath the Surface,” talked by phone about the 10-year anniversary of Queen City Shout, the annual music and arts fundraiser to support poverty relief here in the Ozarks. Normally it takes place on Historical Commercial Street in numerous food-and-drink venues there.  COVID-19 has caused quite a few changes to the festival this year, he said.                         

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

This week on “Arts News” I talked to Mark Gideon, one of the two actors, along with Beth Domann, performing in Springfield Little Theatre's “Deep in the Heart of Tuna” before limited live crowds at the Landers Theatre, and via online streaming.                    

(Logo design courtesy Harmonies For Hope)

This week on “Arts News” I talked with Arya Eledath, a student at MSU’s Greenwood Laboratory School, just about to start her Senior year.  Last year she and Greenwood choir director Alberta Smith began organizing a benefit concert for spring 2020—originally to raise funds for global climate-change issues.  But that concert got scuttled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Now, this weekend—Saturday July 11 to be exact—they will hold the event online, raising funds for Convoy of Hope.                                    

(Logo design courtesy Connect2Culture)

This week on “Arts News” I caught up with Emily Frankoski, Director of Joplin’s arts agency Connect2Culture.  Normally, she and I will do a monthly interview we call “Spotlight on Joplin,” but since the pandemic hit, we haven’t talked about how the arts community in Joplin has been getting along.   

Pages