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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Bree Patterson plays the role of Libby Price in Theatre Northwest’s production of “Bee-luther-hatchee” Feb. 23-26 in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Bree Patterson plays the role of Libby Price in Theatre Northwest’s production of “Bee-luther-hatchee” Feb. 23-26 in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Feb. 12, 2017

Theatre Northwest to present thought-provoking ‘Bee-luther-hatchee’

Ashley Burns, left, and Allison Nissley, right, perform in “Bee-luther-hatchee.” In the play, Burns plays a publisher who is honored with a prestigious award she earned for a highly-successful book she edited.
Ashley Burns, left, and Allison Nissley, right, perform in “Bee-luther-hatchee.” In the play, Burns plays a publisher who is honored with a prestigious award she earned for a highly-successful book she edited.
Bree Patterson, left, and Shawn Murphy, right, perform in “Bee-luther-hatchee.”

Bree Patterson, left, and Shawn Murphy, right, perform in “Bee-luther-hatchee.”

Northwest Missouri State University will present Thomas Gibbons’ social-justice-themed “Bee-luther-hatchee” Feb. 23-26 in the Studio Theater at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25, and 2 p.m. Feb. 26. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance at the cashiering office on the first floor of the Administration Building, by phone at 660.562.1321, or at the box office up to one hour before the performance. The play is intended for mature audiences.

In “Bee-luther-hatchee,” publisher Shelita Burns is honored with a prestigious award earned from a highly-successful book she edited, an autobiography of a reclusive 72-year-old African American woman, Libby Price. When she decides to surprise the author by personally presenting the award at the nursing home where Libby resides, the unexpected and controversial results of meeting the author challenge the audience with questions such as “Who, if anyone, owns their ‘story’?”

In a review for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Linda Eisenstein called the play “a powerful, provocative piece of theatrical writing” and wrote, “it’s rare that you get to hear an eloquent, complex argument where the sides are so evenly matched that you keep changing your mind about who’s ‘right.’ It’s even more unusual to see such an argument laid out in a contemporary drama with well-rounded characters who are more than authorial mouthpieces.”

Northwest Professor of Theatre Dr. Joe Kreizinger is directing the play. The cast features Ashley Burns, a senior theatre performance major from Kansas City, Missouri, as Shelita Burns and Cordel Fonfara, a junior theatre performance major from Omaha, Nebraska, as Sean Leonard. The cast also includes Bree Patterson, a senior theatre performance major from Liberty, Missouri; Shawn Murphy, a junior theatre performance major from Redfield, Iowa; and Allison Nissley, a senior theatre performance major from Kansas City, Missouri.

“When an audience leaves the theater discussing – perhaps even arguing – the issues raised in a show, it’s the ultimate compliment to the playwright, director, actors, to all involved,” Kreizinger said. “‘Bee-luther-hatchee’ does just that. It asks many questions, each highly relevant in today’s unsettled times, but leaves the answers to those questions open to varied perspectives. ‘Thought-provoking’ barely scratches the surface in describing this piece that examines issues of race and representation, place and authenticity, and provides a starting point for a discussion that is long overdue.”

Patrons attending the Feb. 24 performance are invited to stay after the curtain call for a talkback with cast members. The discussion, in alignment with Northwest’s strategic objective focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, is intended to begin a dialogue about identity, representation, race, gender, oppression and disenfranchisement. Dr. Juanita Simmons, Northwest’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, also will participate.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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