The theatre production program at Northwest Missouri State University (Theatre Northwest) typically produces more than a dozen shows each year. These productions include a Freshman mainstage production in the first month of the first trimester, two other mainstage shows, touring shows, and up to eight second stage and studio shows. Students get the opportunity to perform, design, and even direct early and often. Recent productions include The Laramie Project, Great Expectations, the Diviners, Ah, Wilderness!, Twelfth Night, The Seahorse, Same Time Next Year, Women and Wallace, Proof, The Blue Room, The Yellow Boat, and The Glass Menagerie, How I Learned to Drive, Buried Child, Macbeth, Ghosts, The Good Doctor, Dancing at Lughnasa, Medea, Cowboy Mouth, Rumors, Zoo Story, and Hedda Gabler.
All first-year students at Northwest Missouri State University have a unique opportunity to participate in a mainstage production in their first trimester on campus. Auditions are typically the first week of classes and the show opens approximately three and one-half weeks later. Unlike some college programs, Northwest theatre students do not have to wait until their second or even third year to audition. They are encouraged to audition not only for the Freshman/Transfer Mainstage Production but for all productions. Further, they are mentored by both faculty and students throughout their first experience. Recent Freshman mainstage shows include The Diviners, Great Expectations, and The Voice of the Prairie.
Every other "even" year, Theatre Northwest joins with the Northwest Missouri State University Department of Music to produce a musical. On the "odd" years, the theatre department produces its own smaller musicaL (like Godspell, its most recent). These musicals are highly attended and provide invaluable experiences for theatre and music majors and also for those planning to teach either of those areas. Recent musicals include Little Shop of Horrors, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Boyfriend, Guys and Dolls, Carousel, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Into the Woods.
Lab Series Productions
Theatre Northwest has a strong Lab Series Season with Second Stage shows being performed in the Charles Johnson Theatre and Studio Shows being produced in the Studio Theatre (Black Box) in the Performing Arts Center. Students can propose, perform in, design, and even direct lab series shows. The student organization University Players produces all lab series shows. Recent productions have included one-act plays, full-length plays, original scripts, and experimental theatre productions. A new Studio Theatre will be the primary venue for these shows as of Fall 2008!