Arts News

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 Contemporary Theatre)

For this week’s “Coronavirus Edition” of “Arts News,” we checked in with Rick Dines, Managing Artistic Director of Springfield Contemporary Theatre, to hear how SCT is weathering the stay-at-home order.            

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Symphony Orchestra)

The April concert in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra's 2019-2020 season, "Great American Road Trip," was scheduled for Saturday, April 18.  It has, of course, been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In its place, they have decided to produce a live fundraiser for the orchestra and its musicians on the Symphony's Facebook page,  Lexi Locke, Marketing Manager of  the Springfield Symphony, explains.

(Logo design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

For this week’s “Coronavirus Edition” of KSMU’s “Arts News,” we checked in with Beth Domann, Executive Director of Springfield Little Theatre, to see how they are dealing with the current shutdown. Of course, as Domann said, it has “put a halt to our entire season—that’s for sure.                                                                     

(Logo courtesy Missouri State University Tent Theatre)

Like many people Missouri State University Managing Director of Theatre and Dance, Mark Templeton, is hunkered down at home during the Coronavirus stay-at-home order.  But so are the many students, Theatre and Dance faculty, and theatre professionals who would normally be gearing up for the 58th consecutive season of MSU Tent Theatre, scheduled for June 10-July 18, 2020. The 2020 Tent season has been cancelled, and Mark Templeton discussed the reasons why, and what the Theatre and Dance Department hopes to offer to fill the gap.            

(Logo courtesy Springfield Regional Arts Council)

The Springfield Regional Arts Council has published an "Update on Artsfest 2020" at  It reads in part:

(Missouri State University Tent Theatre)

Missouri State University Tent Theatre was preparing for their 58th consecutive season of plays and musicals performed in the big tent erected every spring behind Craig Hall by the MSU Theatre and Dance Department.  
However, due to the Coronavirus, it was announced that "with heavy hearts, but sincere optimism for the future, Tent Theatre announces the cancellation of its 2020 summer season scheduled for June 10-July 18."
The "Note To Our Audience," published at, continues:

(Logo courtesy Queen City Shout)

Eddie Gumucio, local musician and educator, and host of KSMU’s Wednesday night program “Beneath the Surface,” organizes a live music festival in Springfield every August, called “Queen City Shout.” It features area musicians, and raises money for local non-profits. During the current Stay-At-Home Coronavirus order, nobody is able to perform live, or go out to live venues to hear music. One of Eddie Gumucio’s friends shared a Facebook link with him that gave him an idea.                                                                                          

(Photo courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Jeff Houghton, host of the Mystery Hour TV show, contacted Springfield Regional Opera artistic director Michael Spyres to help with a special project earlier this week at several area independent and assisted living and nursing facilities. Michael, a major tenor soloist at opera houses around the world, is currently at home near Rogersville, and we talked on the phone yesterday about his nursing home concerts.                    

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

Local film production company Passive Aggressive Films has begun a Kickstarter campaign to help them raise funds to produce "Eldrich, USA," "an energetic feature-length horror/comedy/musical film about sibling rivalry, a backwoods cult, and the lengths we'll go to in order to right a wrong.” The man behind Passive Aggressive Films, Ryan Smith, will produce and direct the new film.                                                       

(logo courtesy

Drury University Theatre has added another production to their season: Adam Gwon's musical "Ordinary Days," scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday March 10-12 all at 7:30pm in Sunderland Studio Theatre, located in Drury’s Mabee Center for the Performing Arts. This production is made possible through a Fusion Experiential Learning Grant from Drury University, which allows the theater department to offer the play at no admission charge.  We talked about the production with Drury Professor of Theater Dr.

(Logo design courtesy

For this month’s “Spotlight on Joplin,” Connect2Culture Director Emily Frankoski had trouble keeping to our 15-minute on-air time limit for her segment. “It’s like every day we’ve got something else going on (in March)—it’s amazing,” she said. But here are the Joplin-area events she chose to highlight.

(Poster design courtesy MSU Opera Theatre)

The Missouri State University Opera Theatre and the MSU Meyer Library will transform the Crystal Ballroom at MSU’s Kentwood Hall into a 1920s-style speakeasy, when they present their “Gatsby Soiree” on Friday March 6 from 7 to 9pm. The evening will include a performance of a new chamber opera by Evan Mack, “Ghosts of Gatsby,” which deals with the relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. It’s a fundraiser for the MSU Opera Theatre. Joining us on “Arts News” to talk about it, and about the multi-departmental collaboration that made it possible, were Dr.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Bob Bradley, who directed Springfield Contemporary Theatre’s new production of Tom Morton-Smith’s drama “Oppenheimer,” said he was inspired to look for a play on the subject of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the atomic bomb while attending a production of another major recent treatment of the subject: John Adams’s award-winning 2005 opera “Doctor Atomic.”

(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.