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News Release

March 31, 2023

Theatre Northwest presenting ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ April 13-16

Theatre Northwest will conclude its 2022-2023 season by presenting “The SpongeBob Musical,” featuring the character popularized by the Nickelodeon animated television series and his friends on their quest to save the citizens of Bikini Bottom from a disastrous volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy their undersea world.

Northwest will present the musical conceived by American playwright Tina Landau at 7:30 p.m. April 13-15 and 2 p.m. April 16 in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $12 and are available for purchase at

“The SpongeBob Musical” was named Best Musical by the Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle and earned 12 Tony Award nominations, making it the most nominated musical of the 2017-2018 theatre season. It is based on the television series created by Stephen Hillenburg and features a book by Kyle Jarrow.

“The character of SpongeBob is an instantly recognizable character for audiences,” Northwest Associate Professor of Theatre Katheryn Bilbo said. “Many college students may have grown up with the show and enjoyed watching it on television, and their parents will be familiar with it as well. The story is funny, the music is catchy, and the characters are full of heart and hope. It is our goal that everyone will leave the theater with a smile and feeling upbeat.”

In selecting this year’s biennial musical production, Bilbo said Northwest’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts sought a contemporary, feel-good Broadway hit appropriate for all ages, and “SpongeBob” fit the bill.

Its original songs were created by some of the biggest names in music, including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and David Bowie.

“SpongeBob was a natural choice based on its popularity with not only critics and audiences but its all-star production team of creators, its amazing repertoire of songs by contemporary artists, and its stellar accomplishments and awards,” Bilbo said.

In collaboration with music faculty Dr. Rachel Velarde and Dr. Paul Hindemith, Northwest’s production is directed and choreographed by New York City Artist-in-Residence Courtney Laine Self, a professional director, choreographer and teaching artist based in New York City. She specializes in musical theatre and has directed and choreographed professional productions in New York as well as regional theatres throughout the United States.

Landon Hudson, a first-year speech and theatre education major from Grain Valley, Missouri, plays the role of Patrick Star, the best friend of SpongeBob SquarePants. Hudson has seen five productions of the musical and said he auditioned for the Northwest production because he is “obsessed” with the show.

“I want SpongeBob to teach people about friendship, it’s okay to fail, and the love you can find in your own community,” Hudson said. “I want people to realize SpongeBob is so much more than a cartoon. It’s a work of art.”

For more information about Northwest’s production of “The SpongeBob Musical,” contact Haruna Sule at 660.562.1321 or


Dr. Mark Hornickel
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