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Feb. 1, 2019

Professor, professional actress taking stage in ‘Love Letters’

By Tara Garcia, communication assistant

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Dr. Theo Ross

Dr. Theo Ross

Dr. Theo Ross, professor of theatre at Northwest Missouri State University, will direct and perform with a professional actress in “Love Letters.”

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14–16 and 2 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Studio Theatre in the Ron Houston Center for Performing Arts.

The production centers on two childhood friends who begin a lifelong correspondence with each other, starting with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters through adolescence, adulthood and beyond, despite the vastly different paths their lives take them.

“In a traditional play, actors look and talk to each other,” he said. “Instead, the performers – myself and the professional actress – will be reading from letters that we have written to each other over the years. We are not reading directly to each other. We will be looking out into the audience, sort of seeing the face of the person we are writing to. There won’t be that kind of interaction. This is a reader’s or chamber theatre.”

Kathleen Warfel will perform opposite of Ross in the play. She has appeared in numerous productions in Kansas City, Missouri, at Starlight Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre, American Heartland Theatre and the Actors Theatre of Kansas City. She is an equity actress and a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

“I communicated with a number of local performers from the Kansas City–Omaha area,” Ross said. “After I spoke with Kathleen, we met for coffee, talked and she expressed interest in the play. I think she is going to be a perfect fit for this, and Northwest is very excited to have Kathleen here.”

Ross, who recently celebrated his 40th year as a faculty member at Northwest, said having two mature performers in the play will make the stories more practical and believable.

“The play should have someone at that age, instead of having someone play the opposite or a college-aged student,” Ross said. “‘Love Letters’ is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I've always said, ‘Those who can do and those who have done, teach.’ And with that you should be able to explore it.”

Ross is looking forward to performing for students who haven’t seen a reader’s theatre. He also appreciates the opportunity to explore diversity in theatre and the support of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.

“I’m looking forward to working with a professional actress, which is both exciting and intimidating,” he said. “I'm excited to be able to share this particular play because it’s something that I really like. I like that it will impact the audience, it’s nice and meaningful.”

Tickets are $10 and individuals interested in attending can purchase tickets in the cashiering office on the first floor of the Administrative Building, at the door up to one hour before show time or by phone at 660.562.1321. 


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