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Tent Theatre celebrates its 50th season

50th All-Star Season marked by 50 great events
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tent TheatreThe iconic tent has gone up behind Craig Hall on the Missouri State University campus, marking the start of the 50th season of Tent Theatre. Events scheduled from April-July will celebrate the 50th All-Star Season.

This year’s show lineup honors the history of Tent by featuring “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon, who authored the first play performed on Tent Theatre’s stage—“Come Blow Your Horn.” The lineup is completed by two musicals which are always crowd favorites. “9 to 5: The Musical” is a contemporary musical perfect for the intimate Tent stage, while “42nd Street” provides a backstage look at the musicals of Broadway.

As the longest continuous running outdoor theatre company in the Midwest, Tent Theatre is an Ozarks tradition that has helped launch the careers of current Hollywood and Broadway stars, and provided great summer memories for theatre goers. Tent alumni will return throughout the season to attend events, perform in shows and assist with choreography.

“We are so excited to embark on this special anniversary season. So many patrons, performers and technicians have made this a truly remarkable institution,” said Mark Templeton, managing director. “We are honored that the community has made the Tent a landmark and tradition of their summer plans.”

April 18-July 31
Relive the history of Tent Theatre at the “Celebrating 50 Seasons of Tent” exhibition at the Duane G. Meyer Library, Room 306. An opening reception will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. on April 18. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

May 24
Ozarks Public Television will present “Ozarks Reflections: Tent Theatre! A Wonderful Experience” at 8 p.m. on KOZK. This locally produced show honors the 25th anniversary of Tent.

Ozarks Public Television will present “OzarksWatch Video Magazine: Tent Theatre: An Enduring Legacy” at 8:30 p.m. on KOZK. This locally produced show recounts the history of Tent through the perspectives of those who helped shape its success.

June 1
Join members of the 2012 Tent Company as they lead the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at the Springfield Cardinals Game. Tickets are $9, which includes a commemorative t-shirt. Only 250 seats are available; call (417) 836-4646 to reserve a seat.

June 6-16
The movie turned musical “9 to 5: The Musical” takes the stage at 8 p.m. featuring the songs of country music legend Dolly Parton. A pre-show reception hosted by Tent Theatre VIPs will take place before each show in a separate tent just east of Craig Hall.

June 15
Members of the “9 to 5: The Musical” cast will perform at an After Party Cabaret at 11 p.m. at Club Vibe, 2526 S. Campbell. Mature content possible; attendees must be over the age of 18. A small cover charge will apply.

June 21-30
“The Odd Couple” takes the stage at 8 p.m. In a new twist on the classic Neil Simon comedy, the evening performances will alternate between a male version, featuring Oscar and Felix, and a female version, featuring Florence and Olive. A pre-show reception hosted by Tent Theatre VIPs will take place before each show in a separate tent just east of Craig Hall.

June 26
On the official birthday of Tent, a Reception and Fundraising Auction will be held at 6 p.m. at the Tower Club. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling (417) 836-4644.

July 5-July 20
The story of aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer takes center stage during performances “42nd Street” at 8 p.m. A pre-show reception hosted by Tent Theatre VIPs will take place before each show in a separate tent just east of Craig Hall.

July 13
Members of the “42nd Street” cast will host an After Party Cabaret at 11 p.m. at Club Vibe, 2526 S. Campbell. Mature content possible; attendees must be over the age of 18. A small cover charge will apply.

July 15
Celebrate with Tent Theatre alumni during a Mimosa Brunch at 11 a.m. at the historic Kentwood Hall Crystal Ballroom. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling (417) 836-4644.

A Gala Performance at 2 p.m. at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts will journey through the 50 seasons of Tent Theatre as current stars and alumni perform snippets from all 50 seasons. This event is free and open to the public.

Tickets for the three Tent Theatre productions are $14 and $22 for adults; $12 and $20 for seniors, students and children; and $10 and $19 for Missouri State faculty, staff and students. Season tickets are $34 and $60 for adults; and $29 and $55 for seniors, students and children. Tickets will go on sale May 14.

Patrons may also purchase a show-themed picnic 48 hours in advance of the performance. Meals are served from 7-7:45 p.m., and the proceeds support the Tent Theatre scholarship fund.

To order tickets and picnic dinners, call the Missouri State box office at (417) 836-7678 or toll-free at 1-888-476-7849. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.missouristatetix.com or at any Missouri State Tix location. Free parking is available in lot 24 on the south side of Grand Street.

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The College of Arts and Letters supports more than 45 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs. The college incorporates seven academic departments, including art and design; communication; English; media, journalism and film; modern and classical languages; music; and theatre and dance, and five interdisciplinary programs: antiquities; electronic arts; global studies; linguistics; and musical theatre. The College of Arts and Letters promotes learning, scholarship and service to the broader community in all aspects of human communication — spoken, written, visual, musical, dramatic and electronic.

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