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News Release

Sept. 23, 2022

First-year, transfer students to present annual theatre showcase with focus on nostalgia, storytelling

First-year students at Northwest Missouri State University will present a portrayal of the time-honored tradition of storytelling in America in the late 19th century when the University stages its 32nd annual Freshman/Transfer Showcase Sept. 29 through Oct. 2.

This year’s production features first-year students presenting John Olive’s “The Voice of the Prairie” and is directed by Dr. Joe Kreizinger, a professor of theatre and the chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.    

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29; Friday, Sept. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 1; with a final show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased by calling 660.562.1321 or at the box office, beginning one hour before the show time.

“Audience members can expect to see our first-year students performing on our Mary Linn stage for the first time since they have joined Northwest,” Northwest Associate Professor of Theatre Katheryn Bilbo said. “First-year students have an energy and excitement that is uniquely their own. In terms of story, audiences can expect feelings of nostalgia and a snapshot of Americana in the late 19th century.”

In “The Voice of the Prairie,” Poppy spins a tale that hops back and forth from scenes set in the 1890s and 1920s. The scenes intertwine with the story of David Quinn, a young man who tells tales himself – but on the invention of radio that is making its way west. A young David is discovered by a radio entrepreneur while he is telling stories about Poppy, his first love and other adventures from his life – with surprising results. 

The sights and sounds of the time periods, the exciting stories and the itinerant storytellers make up a sweet, wistful look at past eras and the way people stayed connected despite time and distance. Backstage magazine described the play in 2013 as “a sepia-tinged early America of prairie lands and radio days.”

The Freshman/Transfer Showcase introduces Northwest audiences to some of the University’s newest stage performers and crew members.

The Showcase benefits first-year students by providing them with personalized guidance toward a career in theatre from the day they arrive at Northwest. Each first-year student is paired with an academic mentor who helps the student manage their studies along with the rigorous demands of rehearsals, and a performance mentor offers assistance with performance preparation.

“The Showcase is one of our program’s unique assets and one reason we are successful with recruitment,” Bilbo said. “Beyond the rehearsal process and mainstage play itself, from a broader perspective, the Showcase helps our new students immediately get fully immersed in our program and accustoms them to the production process. The Showcase is always a fast and exciting time for everyone.”

Theatre Northwest’s 2022-2023 season continues later this fall with William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” Nov. 10-13 and the annual Alpha Psi Omega children’s show in December. The spring schedule includes Stephen Karam’s “The Humans” Feb. 24-25 and “The SpongeBob Musical” April 13-16.

For more information about Theatre Northwest, call 660.562.1321 or email


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215