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.

(Photo courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

When the stage is lit up, the characters are actually in the dark.  When the stage is dark, the lights are actually on in the characters' world.  That may not make sense, but hopefully it will if you attend Springfield Contemporary Theatre's new production of Peter Shaffer's 1965 British farce Black Comedy, opening tonight and running through June 19 at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza.

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Little Theatre)

Springfield Little Theatre at the Landers, 311 E. Walnut, presents the stage musical version of "Little Shop of Horrors," with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, based on the cult-classic Roger Corman film.  Opening tonight (Friday May 20th), the production continues through June 5th.

(Photo courtesy

Boston-based soul-blues singer Ingrid Gerdes grew up here in Springfield, and is returning home for a performance—her first local gig in 15 years!—at Lindberg’s on Commercial Street on Saturday Feb. 21st from 7:00 to 9:00pm. 

John Darkhorse, host of KSMU’s Route 66 Blues Express, talked to Ingrid by phone for his program this week.  You’ll be able to hear the complete 12-minute conversation starting about 11:30pm Saturday night on KSMU, but here are some samples.

(Photo courtesy Missouri State University Department of Media, Journalism and Film)

The Missouri State University Department of Media, Journalism and Film has a couple of events coming up next week.  Producer/director/screenwriter Alex R.

(Photo courtesy Springfield Metro Chorus)

Springfield Metro Chorus, a group of women who celebrate and perform the art form known as "barbershop" music, presents "Singing Christmas Cards" this season to wish your friends and family a happy holiday.  Chorus members will deliver a live singing Christmas card and a personal message anywhere in the USA over the phone on Saturday Dec.20.  Tenor Becky Clifton-Hopkins, lead singer Diane Durham, bass Julie Hockensmith and baritone Tawny Brown came to the KSMU studios to perform two of the six numbers that they'll have available for the phoned-in Christmas Cards: Silver Bells and

(Photo courtesy Messiah Project Inc.)

Messiah Project presents three holiday-season performances this month.

(Poster design courtesy A Class Act Productions)

Is someone planning to rob Walmart on Christmas Eve? Find out by seeing A Class Act Productions' holiday show "The Great Walmart Christmas Eve Robbery and Other Christmas Stories!"  Come celebrate at the elegant 319 Downtown Event Center on West Walnut. Order delicious hors d'oeuvres and libations to be served at your table!   Performances are Thursday through Saturday Dec. 18-20 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12.00, $10.00 for students.

(Logo courtesy Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra)

Founded in 2005, the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra is a regional community orchestra comprising more than 100 professionals, students, and enthusiasts.  The orchestra's next concert is Sunday November 2nd at 6:00pm in Drury University's Clara Thompson Hall.  Music Director Christopher Koch will conduct Ralph Vaughan Williams' song cycle "On Wenlock Edge" with tenor Stephen Bomgardner, and Mozart's Symphony No. 39.  Tickets will be available only at the door beginning one hour before the concert (5:00 PM in Clara Thompson lobby).  General admissions, cash or check only. 

(logo courtesy Southwest Missouri Museum Associates)

Art is an important part of the development of any community.  Given the challenges of funding for art programs today, Springfield and surrounding communities are fortunate to have the Springfield Art Museum.   Its long and proud history dates back to 1926 when the Southwest Missouri Museum Associates (SMMA) organized the Art Study Club.  In 1928 that club was incorporated as “Springfield Art Museum” and later deeded the Museum to the City of Springfield.  Today, Southwest Missouri Museum Associates exists for the purpose of promoting and supporting the Springfield Art Museum and art in s

(Logo courtesy

Artists create because they're driven to express something in themselves.  The creative process is fun and rewarding, of course, but most rewarding of all is when an artist can share his or her creation with others. That's the idea behind "Art in the Park," the annual fine-art and contemporary craft show and sale sponsored by the all-volunteer Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild, as part of their mission to support working artists in the area.  Art in the Park celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend at Sequiota Park, 3500 S.

(Logo courtesy

Messiah Project, Inc.

(Photo courtesy

The 5th annual Springfield Jazz Festival will present a full evening-long jazz festival on two stages around Park Central Square in downtown Springfield, featuring various local artists along with nationally known headliner, trumpeter and jazz educator Bob Lark, performing with the Missouri Jazz Orchestra.  The date is Friday October 3rd, and it's FREE and open to the public.

(Logo courtesy Drury University)

The Drury University Department of Theatre will present "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead " by Bert V. Royal, an "unauthorized parody" of Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" characters. Directed by Madison Spencer, the play opens on Wednesday, October 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre inside Springfield Hall on the Drury campus. Good grief!

(Logo courtesy

Springfield…you be the judge!  Local filmgoers will unite with audiences in over 250 cities spanning six continents to view and judge the work of the next generation of world filmmakers during the 17th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival.  Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University is the ONLY location in Missouri participating in the annual festival, which will take place Saturday Sept.27 at 7:00pm.  This year Manhattan Short received nearly 600 short-film entries from 47 countries, and the ten finalists come from England, Norway, Australia, Netherlands, France, Mexico, Germany an


The Springfield Art Museum will host the inaugural “Box of Ghosts: The 99 Times Party” to support preservation of a historical textile collection discovered during the museum’s recent inventory. Staff discovered a number of exceptional dresses and other textile pieces, some dating back as far as the late 1700s.