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.

(Logo design courtesy Drury University Theatre)

Drury University Theatre presents the satirical musical "Urinetown" by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann November 13-16 in Wilhoit Theatre in Drury’s Breech building. The show satirizes, among other things, the legal system, capitalism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and even musical theater itself. Director Josh Inman confirmed that “it is a satire, though it does touch on a serious subject: what happens when power takes over and society loses control.  But it’s all told through really fun song and dance, and it’s everything you want in a musical! It’s great.

(photo courtesy Springfield Catholic High School)

Springfield Catholic High School, 2340 S. Eastgate, does a big musical theatre production every fall and spring. This year’s autumn production is "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," a musical comedy based on the Victor Hugo novel using Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken’s songs from the 1996 Disney animated film adaptation. Father Lewis Hejna, director of Springfield Catholic High's theater program, and Pastor at St.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

For their 25th anniversary, Springfield Contemporary Theatre reunites with longtime collaborator Sandra Asher to present the world premiere of her newest play, "Death Valley: A Love Story." This production is directed by Jefferson Award nominated guest director Alan Souza from New York, and stars Andie Bottrell, Rachel Jamieson and Sarah J. Wiggin. It runs October 25-November 10 at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Pershing and Robberson downtown.

(Poster design courtesy MSU Theatre & Dance)

Missouri State University Theatre and Dance presents "CATS," Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular Tony-winning musical based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, Oct.25-28 in Coger Theatre. The production is directed and choreographed by Sarah Wilcoxon; joining us on “Arts News” was the show’s student Assistant Director Steven Horn.                                                                           

Photo: https://connect2culture.org

For KSMU’s November “Spotlight On Joplin”, we once again visit with Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin’s regional arts agency Connect2Culture, who selected just a few of her favorite events and exhibits from the agency’s huge “Arts, Culture & Entertainment in Joplin” list for the month—all 17 pages of it! It’s available in its entirety at https://connect2culture.org. Or call (417) 625-6683 for information.

(Logo design courtesy Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild)

The Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild celebrates the 25th anniversary of their “Art in the Park” fine art and contemporary craft show this weekend.  It’s Saturday and Sunday October 12 and 13 from 10:00am to 4:30pm at Sequiota Park, 3500 S. Lone Pine.  Marian Stahl Chamberlain from the Guild visited “Arts News” to tell us about this year’s show, which features 30 of the region’s best artists and crafters.                                                                                   

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Springfield Little Theatre will host the world premiere of the play "Sticks" by local playwright Sandy Leigh Johnson, at our education facility, The Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts for Springfield Little Theatre, 237 S. Florence, October 10-13.  Johnson told us on “Arts News” that “several years ago when I wrote the play, one of the driving forces of writing (it) was the fact that I didn’t feel there were enough plays starring older women.”  Her husband, John Johnson, directed this production, and the author herself plays the lead role of Gypsy.         

(Logo design courtesy connect2culture.org)

Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director for Joplin’s arts agency Connect2Culture, joins us again for her “Spotlight on Joplin. 

(Logo design courtesy Drury University Theatre)

For their first production of the 2019-2020 academic year, Drury University Theatre presents "Arlington", subtitled "A Love Story," by Irish playwright Enda Walsh. Haddy Kreie, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Drury, directs this production, running Wed-Sat Oct. 2-5 in Sunderland Studio Theatre in Drury's O'Bannon Hall; evening performances are at 7:30pm, with a 2:00pm matinee on Saturday Oct. 5. Kreie came on KSMU’s “Arts News” to talk about the play with two of her student actors, Keandra Jennings and Katie Powell.

Missouri State University Department of Media, Journalism & Film

Audiences in over 400 cities across six continents will view and judge the work of emerging filmmakers from around the world during the 22nd Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival over the next few weeks. Until this year the Missouri State campus has been the only venue in the state to participate in Manhattan Short. This year the Joplin Public Library and the Jefferson County (southwest of the St.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance)

Missouri State University Theatre & Dance opens its 2019-2020 season with the “Southern Gothic” comedy "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley.  Directed by Dr. Carol Maples, the production runs through Oct.1st in the Craig Hall Balcony Theatre: weeknights at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:30pm.  Cast member Cary Wahlborg joined us on “Arts News.”

(Poster design courtesy Ozarks Food Harvest)

Support Ozarks Food Harvest at the annual Tea Bar & Bites Apron Fashion Show and Silent Auction, Thursday Sept.19 from 7-9pm at Tea Bar & Bites Bakery and Cafe, 621 S. Pickwick at Cherry. Colleen Smith from Tea Bar & Bites, and Sara Roelke from Ozarks Food Harvest, joined us on “Arts News” to talk about it.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre Managing Artistic Director Rick Dines, and actor Matt Huebner, joined us on “Arts News” to talk about the company’s current production, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” We also discussed SCT’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri Philharmonic)

We knew them for 15 years as the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra.  They’ve changed their name this season to the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra.  But it comprises the same musicians, and the same Music Director, Dr. Christopher Koch, wearing one of his several musical hats—he’s also Music Director of Springfield Regional Opera, and Associate Professor of Music at Drury University.  The Missouri Philharmonic opens the 2019-2020 season Thursday September 12 at 7:30pm in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.  Dr. Koch stopped by to talk about the concert.

(Poster design courtesy St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church)

"Opa!" New food menu items and a chariot ride for the kids will highlight the 12th annual Greek Festival, September 6-8 on the parking lot at St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church, 4200 S. Holiday Avenue, which is just off West Republic Road, a few blocks west of Kansas Expressway in southwestern Springfield. The three-day event is a traditional family-oriented celebration of everything Greek. Jeannie Duffey spoke about the festival on KSMU's "Arts News."

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