MSU Theatre & Dance produces two labor union-inspired dramas
A talk with Dr. Kyle A. Thomas, director of one of the two dramas playing the next several days in repertory in Craig Hall Balcony Theatre.
The Missouri State University Theatre & Dance Department presents two drama productions the first two weeks of March, both dealing with labor unions vs. management: "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage, directed by Kristy Thomas, in the Craig Hall Balcony Theatre Sunday, March 5th at 2:30 p.m., and Monday, March 6 and Thursday, March 9 both at 7:30 p.m. Alternating with "Sweat" in the Balcony Theatre is "Waiting for Lefty" by Clifford Odets, directed by Dr. Kyle A. Thomas, an assistant professor of theatre and dance. It's based on the New York Taxi Strike of 1934. It's sold out tonight, but there are two more performances, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.
As Dr. Thomas explains, "In the past we've usually just done one show at a time throughout the academic year. But we decided a year or two ago that we should do more shows (to) give our students more opportunities."
Due to lack of space, the decision was made to perform two shows "in repertory," meaning that they run during the same time period, on alternate days. He says none of the students is performing in both shows, but some tech-crew members and designers are working both.
"We chose ('Waiting for Lefty') because it's topical," says Dr. Thomas. "There are a lot of things going on in our world right now pertaining to unions and how those unions are treated in relation to the companies that they're associated with."
Tickets for either show are $12 and $14. For information, call the MSU box office at 417-836-7678 or visit theatreanddance.missouristate.edu.
Listen to my interview with Dr. Thomas from this morning's "Arts News" to find out about Lefty, Harry Fatt, the definition of "agit-prop theater," and why "fever dreams" seem to be important for artists.