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News Release

Sept. 21, 2023

Annual theatre showcase focuses on themes of love, comedy

By Kayla Holman, communication assistant

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Northwest Missouri State University’s first-year theatre students will portray life in the future during the annual First-Year Showcase Oct. 5-8, performing, Michael Higgins’ “Launch Day (Love Stories From the Year 2108).”

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5; Friday, Oct. 6; and Saturday, Oct. 7; with a final show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in the Studio Theater at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at

“It is important that our first-year students get involved immediately,” Katheryn Bilbo, Northwest associate professor of theatre and theatre artistic director, said. “A primary reason why we want new students to come to Northwest is to give them an opportunity to do something that they can’t necessarily get at other Universities.”

Directed by Joe Kreizinger, a professor of theatre and the chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, “Launch Day” is a humorous look at a future where love strives to overcome the complexities of post-modern life.

Audiences should expect the unexpected as “Launch Day” uncovers an environmental message while incorporating themes of love and comedy.

“It has an overall message of trying to save the Earth that we’re already on before we try to colonize other planets – but it does so in a comedic way,” Bilbo said.

“Launch Day” is comprised of short scenes that cover the lives of different people who are working through the futuristic society in different ways.

“Even if it’s set 80 years into the future, we can all understand what it’s like to be fearful, to worry about the future or what it’s like to be in love,” Bilbo said. “These are experiences and feelings that we all share and sometimes we don’t even realize that until we find ourselves connecting with characters on stage.”

The first-year showcase benefits its stage performers and crew members by giving them a professional experience. Students work closely with directors and performance and academic mentors who guide them through the process of balancing academic and theatre life.

“This is another way to get a good look at our new students,” Bilbo said. “We’re proud of them, we want to show them off and we want everybody to be aware of the great work that we’re doing here.”

Theatre Northwest’s 2023-2024 season continues this fall with “Little Women,” Nov. 9-12, and the annual Alpha Psi Omega children's show on Dec. 10. The spring schedule features the second annual Theatre Northwest Playfest Jan. 22 through Feb. 3; “Miracle on South Division Street,” March 1-2; and “Radium Girls,” April 11-14.

For more information about Theater Northwest, call 660.562.1321 or email


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