Several students and faculty from Missouri State University will perform in “The Color Purple: The Musical” Feb. 10-26.
The performances will feature students Dorian DeHart, Samari Johnson, Dominique Lowe and Adora Snead, and faculty Dr. Lyle Foster and Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins.
“It is an empowering experience to work with talented and beautiful folks in the Springfield cast. The fact that some of us are Bears is frosting on the cake,” said Foster, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Missouri State.
All performances will take place at the Historic Fox Theatre, 157 Park Central Square. The musical is directed by Nki Calloway, choreographed by Amanda Snead and produced by the Mosaic Art Collective.
About the musical
“The Color Purple: The Musical” is based on the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment motion picture.
“It is a favorite that has been reimagined as a musical, and it still retains the power of the original story,” Foster said. “The life lessons are powerful, difficult and hopeful.”
DeHart, geology graduate student at Missouri State, said the musical explores some of the challenges the African American community faced after emancipation.
“There were many external struggles of being Black at that time, but ‘The Color Purple’ gives you a look at the internal struggles while also being a heart-felt story,” he said.
The musical is a celebration of Black freedom, excellence, strength, beauty and love, according to Snead, a musical theatre graduate student at Missouri State.
“Every element of our production, from the cast to the costumes, is a celebration of who we are as a community, how far we have come and the excellence we have to offer,” Snead said.
DeHart agrees with this sentiment.
“To have so many talented people of color in one room, sharing one goal is not commonly seen in Springfield, and I am happy to be part of a revival to showcase a new perspective of art to the city,” DeHart said.
“I hope this show can be a stepping stone for southwest Missouri to be more culturally competent and strive more toward the betterment of diversity and inclusion within our community.”