Thursday, April 19, 2018

What in the world is up with the almond?

The last Studio Show of the 2017-18 season, "Melancholy Play," opened Wednesday, and what can we say ... it's a little bit nutty. An almond happens to play a key role in the show, but we're not disclosing exactly why that is. (We don't want to give it away before you come to the show!)

But here's some context for those who can't stop thinking, "WHAT'S WITH THE ALMOND?!" Well, interestingly enough, "Melancholy Play," written by Sarah Ruhl, is a contemporary farce that explores the world of human emotions. Sarah explained that this play was inspired by the word "Amygdala," which is Greek for the word "Almond." The word means the most important emotional organ in the brain. 

So, how does that connect to "Melancholy Play" exactly? How exactly does a physical almond come into play? Come see the show and find out! 

"Melancholy Play" runs 7:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday, April 21. Tickets at or by calling the Box Office at 507-389-6661. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kim Macafee got pinned by who?! Find out at "Bye Bye Birdie" this weekend!

Student Spotlight on Megan Fischer, who plays Kim Macafee in our production of "Bye Bye Birdie," running through Sunday in the Ted Paul Theatre!

"Bye Bye Birdie" has reopened for the second weekend, so we asked sophomore BFA Megan Fischer, who plays the role of Kim Macafee, about her leading role.

Q: What is one thing you HAVE to do to prepare for this show?

A: I try to drink 5 glasses of water an hour before the show and listen to '60s music to get me pumped!

Q: What is your favorite song you sing in the show and why? 

A: "How Lovely to Be a Woman" because it's fun and it's your first introduction to my character. And the song reminds me of all of the goofy, stupid stuff I used to do as a 15-year-old.

Q: What is one thing you're excited for people to see from this show and why?

A: I'm excited for people to laugh along with us, and also to really embrace this fun '60s time period for a few hours!

Best of luck to Megan and the rest of the cast of "Bye Bye Birdie" as they go into their final shows! There's still 4 more chances to see the show! Get your tickets at!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Lead actress talks "Talley"

The heartwarming production "Talley's Folly" opens this Wednesday, and we caught up with sophomore Musical Theatre BFA Megan Kueter who plays the character of Sally Talley to talk about her role. Together with junior BFA John Nicol who plays Matt Friedman, the two create a beautiful dynamic on stage.

Q: What is so unique about this show?

A: "Talley's Folly" is seemingly very simple. It's just two characters talking for an hour and a half, but it's incredibly rich and complex at its core. 

Q: How do you prepare for a role like this?

A: To understand why Sally reacts to this situation the way she does you have to understand where she comes from. Her home life, past relationships, and the time period of the show all play a part in creating this incredibly smart, yet very stubborn individual.

Q: What are YOU most excited for the audience to see from this show?

A: Director Trevor Belt, John and I have worked so hard on making this story a waltz, as the character Matt says in his opening monologue. I hope the audience is able to see just how perfect these two people are for each other, if only they would listen to what the other is saying. The story is beautiful, and I hope it resonates with the audience just as much as it has with everyone who has worked on it.

Best of luck to these two actors during the run of this beautiful show March 28-31. Tickets at Don't miss it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Student Spotlight on Abby Okoneski and Regan O'Connor!


The MSU Spring Dance Concert is approaching fast and furious, but we had just enough time to stop and ask two veterans of the Dance department to talk about their excitement and process for the upcoming concert!

Abby Okoneski Junior Dance BFA
Q: Out of all of the dance pieces you are in, which one are YOU most excited to perform?

A: I am really looking forward to Reuben del Valle's hip hop piece because it is something that no one has seen our department do before, which I think is really exciting.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part about bringing these dance pieces to life?

A: The most rewarding part has been the time we have put into it. Every dancer and choreographer has been working extremely hard since the beginning of the semester, and it's always rewarding to see where we start and where we finish each semester. For me, personally, the overall "big picture" is the most rewarding. 

Q: What is something you hope the audience can take away from this particular concert?

A: I hope the audience gets a glimpse of all the different styles we can do. Our concerts tend to be more modern heavy, but I think this concert is all over the board with styles. I hope the audience can appreciate all the different styles we put on stage.

Regan O'Connor, Senior Dance BFA
Q: Out of all of the dance pieces you are in, which one are YOU most excited to perform? 

A: Honestly, I'm excited about all of them. Each of them is challenging in their own way. Julie Kerr-Berry's has lots of dynamic shifts and emotions. Ruben's has a completely different style that I'm not used to, and it's theatrical, which is really fun to explore. Melissa Rosenberger's requires a different energy. We've already done it, so it is up to us as dancers to find something new within it. 

Q: What has been the most rewarding part about bringing these dance pieces to life?

A: The most rewarding part for me personally is the fact that it's my last one. I feel like this is the concert where I can show how much I've grown as an artist with the people who have become my family (cheesy, I know, but true!). As a whole, our department has worked so hard, and this concert really showcases everyone in a positive light, and that's really cool to be apart of. 

Q: What is something you hope the audience can take away from this particular concert?

A: To be honest, I don't know what I want the audience to feel. I just want them to sit, relax, enjoy and break away from the outside world. Dance is a way to escape, and each piece requires us to go to a different time, space and style. And hopefully the audience will escape with us.

Come see these fabulous dancers along with many more beside them for the Spring Dance Concert! 
Performances are on Friday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m., along with a student dance showcase on Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Kiddie Tour takes on the Big Apple!

Every year, as a wonderful treat at the end of our traveling children's theatre tour, our cast gets a trip to New York City over spring break to be inspired by Broadway shows! Last week, our wonderful Kiddie Tour cast of "The Bluebird's Secret" had a blast seeing shows on Broadway! 

What shows did they see? And which were there favorites? 

Well we asked some of the cast members themselves! 

The top show that students loved the most was one of Broadway's biggest hits, currently: "Once on This Island."

Musical Directed by Michael Arden, Music and lyrics by Flahrety and Ahrens
About the show: Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune's life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, Ti Moune is shunned because of her lowly status. Her determination and capacity to love, though, is not enough to win Daniel's heart, and Ti Moune pays the ultimate price; but the gods turn Ti Moune into a tree that grows so strong and so tall, it breaks the wall that separates the societies and ultimately unites them.

Calli Medley, Ben Siglin, Lydia Prior and Kacie Riddle at "Once On This Island" on Broadway!

Calli Medley: My favorite show I saw was definitely "Once On This Island." From the moment the music started playing, I remembered how powerful the show was and had to stop myself from crying during the entire thing. The actors were amazing, the music was powerful, the set and the way they use the space was brilliant and beautiful. All of these elements combined with the theatre in-the-round experience made it one I will never forget.

Kacie Riddle: "Once On This Island" was the highlight show for me. The costumes, music, set and story were absolutely breathtaking, and it was unlike any other show I've ever seen.

Arianna Rotty: Once On This Island was my favorite show because of the modern twist. I also loved the cast because their voices were SPECTACULAR!

Congrats to the cast of The Bluebird's Secret on a great tour and an eventful trip to New York City! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Student Spotlight

Spotlight on The Bluebird!

This past week, the cast of The Bluebird's Secret wrapped up their traveling tour and are headed to NYC Monday morning. Starting in early January, the cast performed for over 8,000 kids all over the southern Minnesota area. Before the cast heads of to the big apple for the week we caught up with the little bluebird herself, Kacie Riddle to talk about her Kiddie Tour experience!

Q:What was the most interest part about playing the bluebird?
A: The best part about playing the bluebird was being able to share her secret with everyone! And being able to wear amazing wings designed by Cam Pederson (Junior B.F.A. Musical Theatre Candidate).
Q: What was the best part about the overall Kiddie Tour Experience?
A:The best part about Kiddie Tour was performing for all different groups of kids. It was so fun to see their faces light up with laughter and its fun to form little friendships with some of them during the Q &A after.
Q: What was your favorite song from the show?
A: My favorite song in the show is definitely Patty Patience's song "Chill". Even though I'm not onstage during that number, I always am singing along backstage!

Best of luck to Kacie and the rest of the cast of The Bluebirds Secret as they celebrate the closing of their show and explore the big apple for one whole week!

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Bluebird has spilled her secret

After "flying" all over southern Minnesota and even up to the Metro, our traveling children's theatre tour is coming home this week for good. Spring Break, beginning Saturday, marks the end of "The Bluebird's Secret," a children's musical written by Billy Gleason, with music by John Nicol, about a group of explorers trying to capture a Bluebird, so she'll tell them the secret to happiness. Bluebird's pal the Penguin accompanies her along her way, all the while struggling with his own plight: lack of flight.

The group has two more days of performing, so we don't want to spill the secret to happiness ... NO SPOILERS! ... but we will say that the power of friendship and teamwork does a lot of good things in this world!

We hope the thousands of children who got to see our show enjoyed it! If we didn't come to your school this year, our next tour kicks off in January 2019. Don't miss it!