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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 18, 2009

'Celebration' run continues at new Studio Theatre

Theatre Northwest, the University's dramatic arts program, is presenting a Mainstage* production of the Broadway musical "Celebration" this month. The show serves as the official premiere for the newly completed Studio Theatre addition to the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Remaining performances of "Celebration" will take place Thursday, March 12, through Saturday, March 14, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain time all three days.

Tickets cost $10 at the door and can be purchased using cash, check or Bearcat ID card. Seating is limited, and early arrival at the theater is recommended. The production is intended for mature audiences.

A musical fable with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and a score by Harvey Schmidt -- the same team that created the long-running hit "The Fantasticks" -- "Celebration" is directed by Dr. Theo Ross, professor of communication, theatre and languages.

The plot focuses on four characters: Orphan, an idealistic young man; Edgar Allen Rich, a wealthy, jaded older man; Angel, a budding entertainer who longs to be "somebody"; and Potemkin, a mysterious prankster who serves as narrator.

At the musical's core is the struggle between youth and age, innocence and corruption, love and ambition and poverty and wealth, as Angel tries to decide if she would be better served by her feelings for Orphan or Rich's willingness to fulfill her every dream.

In addition to the four featured players, the production includes a chorus of "Revelers" who take on multiple roles and music by a live five-piece band.

The real star of "Celebration," however, will be Northwest's new Studio Theatre, a $4.3 million addition to the Houston Center that has greatly enhanced learning opportunities for Northwest drama students.

Made possible through the Northwest Foundation and a major private gift by local businessman Ron Houston, the 5,500-square-foot facility functions as a laboratory for the dramatic arts and contains state-of-the art lighting and sound equipment.

"We've been planning for a new studio theater for 30 years, and it just got put on hold," said Ross, who described "Celebration" as "perfect for the new space. It has the heart and the very essence that is theater."


The 2009 Theatre Northwest season concludes with "Metamorphoses," a play by Mary Zimmerman partially based on the writings of the Roman poet Ovid. Margaret Whedon, assistant professor of communication, theatre and languages, directs.

Performances of the Second Stage * production will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11, in the Studio Theatre.

*Theatre Northwest admission

All seats for all shows are general admission with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are available at the door prior to each show, and half-price discounts are available to groups of 12 or more for Main Stage shows by calling 660.562.1172 at least one week prior to opening.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468