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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Nov. 7, 2016

Theatre Northwest to present stories of Challenger, Vietnam era

Northwest Missouri State University will raise the curtain on two productions this weekend, presented by advanced student directors in repertory theater.

Students will present “Defying Gravity,” written by Jane Anderson and directed by Northwest student Andrea Boswell, Nov. 10, 12, 18 and 20 as well as “A Piece of My Heart,” written by Shirley Lauro and directed by Northwest student Allison Nissley, Nov. 11, 13, 17 and 19.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of Sunday performances, which begin at 2 p.m. All performances are in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

“Defying Gravity” centers on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died with six others when the space shuttle unexpectedly exploded. The play artfully interweaves the past with the present, drawing parallels between her grieving daughter, an elderly couple, a NASA mechanic and Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s artistic quest. Unexpectedly uplifting, the play asks audiences to move beyond themselves and reach for the universe.

“A Piece of My Heart” recently was called “the most enduring play on Vietnam in the nation” by the Vietnam Vets Association. The powerful, true drama portrays six women before, during and after their tour in the war-torn nation – five nurses and a country-western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. Their moving struggle to make sense of a war that irrevocably changes them and the nation that shuns them is compelling and heartfelt.

Tickets for both shows are $8 and may be purchased ahead of time at the cashiering office on the first floor of the Administration Building, by phone at 660.562.1321, or at the Studio Theatre box office up to one hour before the show.

For more information, contact Theatre Northwest at 660.562.1321 or

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