Tent Theatre Season Officially Begins

If you’re driving on West Grand Street, you’re going to see some very familiar flags flying as you pass the Missouri State Campus.

The flags marking the start of Tent Theatre season have been raised as Southwest Missouri’s premiere summer professional theatre gets ready for their 57th season of some of theatre’s best known shows.

The first of three shows is the classic Broadway musical “Grease,” directed and choreographed by Lysa Fox. The tale of Rydell High School’s “King of Cool”, Danny Zuko, and what happens when the straight-laced girl that Danny had a summer fling with, Sandy Dumbrowski, suddenly appears for the school year. The show features some of Broadway’s best known songs like “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” and “You’re the One That I Want.”

Grease will be performed June 12th through the 15th and June 17th through 22nd.

The second show is one of the greatest mystery productions to ever grace the stage: Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” The longest-running theater production ever (running for 66 straight years in London’s West End), the show is famous for the “twist ending” that audience members are asked to not reveal to those who may see the show in the future.

The Tent Theatre production will be directed by Sarah Wiggin and runs from June 27th through July 3rd.

The finale of the trio of plays will be the musical “Catch Me If You Can.” The musical is based on the same 1980 autobiography of Frank Abagnale, Jr., which was also the basis for the 2002 movie starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s the tale of a young con man who spends years impersonating a doctor, a lawyer, an airline pilot and even a Secret Service agent while FBI agent Carl Hanratty chases him.

The Tent Theatre production is directed by Christy Montour-Larson and choreographed by Sarah Wilcoxon. The show runs July 10th through the 13th and July 15th through 20th.

This year, there’s also a solemn celebration taking place as part of Tent Theatre. The Theatre is holding a weekend of special events to remember Byrne “B” Blackwood, the former Missouri State professor of theater and dance who was known as “Mr. Tent Theatre.” He first started working with the theatre’s second year, 1964, and stayed a key part of the Theatre until his retirement in 2002.

Blackwood passed away in January 2019 at age 88.

Tent Theatre will be having a number of special events during opening week:

Friday, June 14, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM: “B” Happy Hour! $20

It’s “short-shorts” night at the Old Glass Place downtown. We’ll honor “B” with stories, “B” memorabilia, videos and more. (appetizers and cash bar)

Friday, June 14, 2019 10:00 PM: “B’s” After Glow Friday
Join us at “B’s” favorite hangout, Mix Ultralounge! (cash bar)

Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM: “B” Through the Decades
Revisit Craig Hall at Missouri State to view an exhibit of “B’s” models, and memorabilia, videos and pictures. Bid to win one of “B’s” famous masks or a one-of-a-kind quilt made from some of “B’s” t-shirts. Proceeds will benefit the Byrne Blackwood scholarship.

Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Pre-show Picnic $12
Get your commemorative gift and reminisce over dinner catered by Bambinos on the Coger Theatre Lawn.

“B” block reserved picnic tickets are available ONLY through May 31, 2019. After May 31, tickets will be available at the Box Office while supplies last.

Saturday, June 15, 2019: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Grease at Tent Theatre $17
Grease really is “the one” – one of “B’s” first, and perhaps most successful, productions! A limited number of tickets are being held for this event – be sure to order yours before May 31.

“B” block reserved tickets are available ONLY through May 31, 2019, while supply lasts. After May 31, tickets will be available at the Box Office while supplies last.

Saturday, June 15, 2019 10:00 PM: “B’s” After Glow Saturday
Dust off your music, and join us at Nathan P Murphy’s for Open Mic. Piano and accompanist provided. (Cash bar)

Sunday, June 16, 2019 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: “Be” Grateful Farewell Brunch at the Old Glass Place $25

Don’t miss this Father’s Day tribute to “B” featuring announcements of the auction item winners, guest speakers and more!

You can reserve tickets and your space at all the events for $70 through May 31.

There also picnics that are taking place before the plays which can also be purchased through the Tent Theatre.

To get more information or to get your tickets for the big shows at Tent Theatre starting on June 12, click here to visit Tent Theatre’s website.

(Story headline photo from Tent Theatre’s Twitter account.)

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