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)

Springfield Little Theatre has begun a month-long crowdfunding campaign titled “The Bigger Picture,” with a goal to raise $120,000 during the month to cover the remaining debt acquired from purchasing their new dedicated education facility, “The Judy”—the Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts for Springfield Little Theatre, in the summer of 2019. Located at 237 S. Florence, it’s the former McDaniel School building, built in 1908.                        


Ozarks native Michael Spyres, who over the past decade and a half has become one of the most sought-after operatic tenors of his generation, spends part of his year in Springfield as Artistic Director of Springfield Regional Opera. 

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Springfield Little Theatre will produce "Hello, Dolly!," the multiple Tony-winning Broadway classic, for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. It opens Friday Feb. 7 and runs through Feb. 23 at the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut.  Director and choreographer Chyrel Love Miller talked about the production on “Arts News.”                                                                           

(Poster design courtesy Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra)

The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, conducted by their Music Director Dr. Christopher Koch, Drury University Associate Professor of Music and Music Director of Springfield Regional Opera, will present their season finale concert on Wednesday, February 5th at 7:30pm in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts on the MSU campus.  Dr. Koch joined us in the studio along with his Drury Music Department colleague, award-winning composer Dr. Carlyle Sharpe, Drury Professor of Composition and Music Theory, to talk about the concert, and the new work by Dr.

(Logo design courtesy

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director of Joplin’s regional art agency Connect2Culture, joined us on Arts News for the February “Spotlight On Joplin.” This month’s list of arts, cultural and entertainment events in the Joplin area (available online as of February 1st at is a long one, and Emily picked and chose carefully to present what she considered the highlights.                                                                               

(Poster design courtesy Music Monday of the Ozarks)

Local musician and concert promoter Chris Albert joined us this morning on “Arts News” to talk about “Music Monday of the Ozarks,” the local group of music creators and fan who meet the first Monday of the each month to share in the heritage of music in the Ozarks. Albert is in charge of booking guest speakers for the monthly events.                                       

(Poster design courtesy Actors Theatre of Missouri)

Actors Theatre of Missouri’s Shakespeare At The Columns series presents William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night, (or What You Will)", directed by Sarah Campbell, in FREE performances at the Springfield Art Museum auditorium.  Dates are Jan.10-12 and 17-19 with 7:30pm curtain on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm Sundays.  The “What You Will” part refers to the fact that, while free and open to the public, donations will be gladly accepted. We talked with two of the actors in the show, Samantha Henridi (playing Viola and Cesario) and Graham Weldon (Duke Orsino).

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza (corner of Robberson & Pershing) celebrates the 90th birthday of Stephen Sondheim, the leading composer of American musical theatre for over fifty years, with a production of "Side By Side By Sondheim" January 10-26.  It’s an award-winning revue of Sondheim’s work up to the mid-1970s.                                                                              

(Logo design courtesy

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin’s local arts agency Connect2Culture, joined us for the January 2020 edition of “Spotlight on Joplin.” “It’s kind of a sleepy time for the arts in Joplin right in the beginning of January, but it really will pick up towards the end of the month,” she said.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Chamber Chorus)

Springfield Chamber Chorus’s 2019-2020 season is subtitled “What’s In A Name.” For their Winter Concert the ensemble focuses on the name “Emmanuel”—“God is with us” in Hebrew, and the name used in the Old Testament to refer to the coming Messiah.  They will perform two “Emmanuel” concerts this weekend at two Springfield churches—one with free admission, the other ticketed.  SCC Music Director Chris Brammer and Business Manager Katie Kring joined us on “Arts News.”                              

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath’s comic “sequel” to the classic Ibsen drama “A Doll’s House”—Hnath calls it “A Doll’s House, Part 2”—picks up 15 years after the original, introducing a decidedly contemporary attitude to late 19th-century Norway. Springfield Contemporary Theatre opens a new production of the multiple Tony-nominated comedy opens tonight at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza.  We heard from director Jack Laufer and actor Erika Nadir, who plays the lead role of Nora, on “Arts News.”                                                                                     

(Photo courtesy Connect2Culture)

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin's area art agency Connect2Culture, turns the Spotlight on Joplin for December 2019.  Among the many events listed at for this month, Emily highlighted the following.                                                                                

(Photo courtesy Missouri Arts Council)

Karen Craigo was heard on KSMU in our Sense of Community feature on the local Veterans Writing Workshop sponsored by Missouri Humanities Council, which aired in June 2018.  Craigo was the volunteer facilitator for the group.  She was in our studio this morning on “Arts News” to talk about recently being named Missouri Poet Laureate for 2019-2021 by Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

Well, it wasn’t that recent, she said.                                  

(Photo courtesy William Brandon Bowman)

“I absolutely love teaching. Kids are wonderful, whenever and wherever. And I think I was just born always with an interest in the arts.  I mean, they were just things that meant something to me.”

--Bucky Bowman in March 2004                                       

“A life well lived, to the benefit and pleasure of all who knew him.”

(Poster design courtesy

Ozarks Technical Community College’s Fine Arts Department will present John Cariani’s collection of short romantic comedies, “Almost, Maine” in the Auditorium at the Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Drive, Wednesday-Saturday Nov. 20-23 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. We were joined on “Arts News” by OTC Theatre/Drama instructor Jon Herbert and two of the student actors in the production, Maggie Sauce and Mosiah Bradshaw.  Both play several roles in the show.