CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 2, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate its second annual community River Campus Summer Arts Festival June 20 with a performance of “Seussical” the musical capping the day’s events.
Last year’s festival received rave reviews, with more than 1,200 attending the one-day Saturday festival. This year’s event will feature live music, dance, theatrical performances, magic, visual arts displays, hands-on family-friendly art expression activities, museum exhibitions, an art walk and Plein Art Painting.
“The community festival is free and open to all ages in the entire region,” said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, director of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is sponsored by Drury Hotels, the Isle Casino, the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts, Southeast Missouri State University, City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation, 573 Magazine, Ameren UE, Southeast Missourian/Rust Communications, the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, KRCU, KBSI, KGMO, Medicenter Pharmacy, Iluvlocalplaces, Cape Noon Optimists, Schaefer Water Center, Muriel’s Garden, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum, the University’s departments of art, music and theatre and dance, and the Missouri Arts Council. Partners include the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and Old Town Cape.
“We did not know what to expect attendance-wise last year. We were thrilled with the turnout and expect even more guests this year. It’s an all day celebration of the arts – visual and performing,” Weller-Stilson said. “There is something for everyone of all ages. We encourage families and art lovers to make a day of it. Food service has been expanded by Chartwells to two locations, but people are also able to bring a picnic basket and enjoy the park. It’s a representation of all we do all year long at the River Campus and a showcase of the work of professional artists from our region. We are excited to have this opportunity to reach out to a diverse population including kids of all ages.”
The River Campus Summer Arts Festival line-up is much expanded from last year. Entertainment will run continually throughout the day featuring by the Suzuki players, magician Rob Huff, Mr. Saxophone, Steve Schaffner, Jazz Trio 440’s, the Jerry Ford Combo and Barefoot on Sunday.
Children’s art activities will be available all day, including face painting and hands on activities in the kids’ art tent. The Avenue of Art competition will be back for a second year with a new special category for creating Dr. Seuss art. Craig Thomas is coordinating this activity. Additionally, artists of all ages can participate in creating chalk art, with Thomas composing a piece for the festival. Art booths will include demonstrations and art for sale. Ceramics students will demonstrate their craft, and printmaking students will offer a workshop. Also represented will be Justin Miller and Louise Bodenheimer of the Southeast Department of Art; Southeast art students; and multiple professional artists who will have art booths available.
In the southwest parking lot, the Southeast Explorer mobile museum will showcase a United States history exhibit and the River City Rodders will display antique and hot rod cars.
Hosting community booths will be Southeast Admissions, KRCU, Old Town Cape, Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Cape Parks and Recreation, Drury Hotels, Isle Casino, 573 Magazine, Catapult, Medicenter Pharmacy, AmerenUE, Missouri Department of Conservation Nature Center, KBSI, iluvlocalplaces, and the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts which will provide information and sell T-shirts and posters.
Bart Williams of the Southeast Department of Theatre and Dance, will present a stage combat exhibition of Quarterstaff fighting at 3 p.m. outdoors in the Seminary Quad.
In the Cultural Arts Center Atrium, the River City Players will return this year to perform “Sleuth” by Anthony Shaffer. In the Cultural Arts Center Room 144, Lynn Moore of the Southeast Department of Human Environmental Studies will host a workshop on repurposing the T-shirt.
Dance performances from Dance Consortium members will be held in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall. Dance workshops will be held in both dance studios throughout the day, including country western dances by Irene’s Country Dances, featuring Irene Reynolds; Irish Dance from the Dance Center; Princess Ballet featuring Alyssa Alger; hip hop featuring Hannah Wolf from the Dance Center; Zumba; Southeast Jazz; and Broadway Jazz featuring Hilary Peterson of the Southeast Department of Theatre and Dance.
Three High School Camps will perform including theatre performances by members of the acting laboratory camp in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre; the vocal boot camp concert performance titled “Sing Out!” with high school students performing in the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall; and a percussion camp will perform in both the Kenneth and Jeanine Dobbins River Campus Center Rehearsal Hall Room 120 and the Cultural Arts Center Room 155.
Visitors can make bookmarks with Leah McAlister of Kent Library in the Seminary Building Arts Resource Center. Dr. Seuss Story time will be led by McAlister in the Arts Resource Center, with a variety of Dr. Seuss stories read throughout the day.
“Captured Moments,” a writing workshop, will be led by Dr. James Brubaker and Dr. Dan Crocker of the Southeast Department of English. This will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Arts Resource Center. “Captured Moments” will involve writing poetry and flash (short-short) prose that uses specific details and imagery to best communicate a moment or moments in participants’ lives. Participants are asked to bring a photo, on paper or their phone, or a memory, which they will use to complete their own creative writing work. A reading of the works will follow the workshop. Those who participate are asked to share their ideas and create a lasting work of literary art.
The Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum and the River Campus Art Gallery both will be open for visitors. An exhibit of work created during the University’s Summer Art Academy will be displayed in the art gallery. In Crisp Museum, the biennial faculty exhibition will be on display. The Crisp Museum is sponsoring a Plein Air Competition. Cash prizes will be awarded, and art will be displayed in the museum. A Musical Instrument Petting Zoo will be in the Dobbins Center hallway. Face painting with Gabby will be in the Dobbins Center lobby.
The all-day event will close with a performance of “Seussical” the musical at 7:30 p.m. in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265 or by visiting www.RiverCampusEvents.com.
“Seussical” is a musical comedy based on the Dr. Seuss books: “Horton Hears a Who!,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Lorax,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories,” “Horton Hatches the Egg,” “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “Hunches in Bunches,” “If I Ran the Circus,” “The Butter Battle Book,” “Oh, the Tinks You Can Think!,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “The Sneetches and Other Stories,” “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” “Horton Hears a Who” tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end.
The musical is written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. It is a comedy that will be enjoyed by the entire family, young and young at heart.
The production team includes Dr. Kenn Stilson, director; Hilary Peterson, choreographer; Jeffrey Leutkenhaus, scenic designer; Matthew Buttrey, costume designer; and Jonathan Allender-Zivic, lighting designer and technical director. The cast and crew total more than 50 children, Southeast students, alumni, community members, outside professionals, faculty and staff.
Because last year’s summer musical “Nunsense” sold-out six of its eight performances, the run for “Seussical” has been extended to 10 performances.
“We anticipate this one selling out as well,” Weller-Stilson said.
Additional performances will include June 18-19, 25- 27 at 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinees on June 21, 27 and 28, and a special 10 a.m. performance on June 26. Tickets are now on sale.