Faculty Members Performing Fund Raiser for Theatre and Dance Senior Showcase

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 22, 2011 — Two faculty members in Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance are planning an evening of singing, dancing and acting April 5 to raise funds for the Department’s Senior Showcase.

“A Lady In The Chair, The Man Behind the Piano” will be performed by Amy Fritsche, assistant professor in musical theatre, and Joe Mason, instructor of theatre and dance, at 7:30 p.m. in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre at Southeast’s River Campus.

The show will be a musical review and will include all elements of musical theater.  Fritsche and Mason plan to use music from traditional and contemporary musicals to tell the story of how they became teachers.  Special guests, including other faculty members, will perform along with the two.

Donations of $10 for adults and $5 for students will be accepted at the door.

Fritsche earned her master of fine arts degree in musical theatre from San Diego State University, graduating Phi Kappa Phi. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from the University of Southern California, where she received the James and Nony Doolittle Award. She has also studied at Yale University, American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Beverly Hills Playhouse. She has taught acting at San Diego State University and The La Jolla Playhouse, and dance at numerous dance studios in Arizona and California.  

Fritsche has performed in films, in commercials and on stage. She has worked with Fox Animations Studios, Phoenix Theater, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, Star Light Theater of San Diego and the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, and toured with Theater League.  Her favorite roles include The Bakers Wife in “Into The Woods,” Grace Farrell in “Annie,” Jenny in “Chapter Two,” Juliet in “Madly in Love” and Smitty in “How To Succeed In Business With Out Really Trying.”

Mason came to Southeast Missouri State University after being in the Boston, Mass., area with North Shore Music Theatre as the director of music studies in the Education Department. Joe received his bachelor of fine arts degree in music, dance and theater from Brigham Young University in 2002 and a master of music degree in musical theater from The Boston Conservatory of Music in 2004. He has been active in the musical theater community as a performer and music director.       He began his professional career doing summer stock at the Jackson Hole Playhouse in Jackson Hole, Wy., performing in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Some of his other performance credits include such shows as “Candide,” “Rags” (The Boston Conservatory), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” “Annie Get Your Gun” (Tuscan Amphitheatre), and “Oliver!” (Robert Redford’s “Sundance” starring Christopher Lloyd).  He has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra during their 2003 Holiday Pops Concert. Some of his music directing credits include “Once on This Island,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Directed by Jeremy James Taylor of London’s NYMT), “Aida,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “West Side Story,” “A Year With Frog and  Toad,” “Annie” and “Carousel.”      From 2004-2007, Mason was on the faculty in the Theater Department at Walnut Hill School teaching musical theater and as a vocal repertoire coach. In 2009, he was a music director for Walnut Hill during their summer theatre program. As an accompanist, he has played the piano for many different organizations including Disney Theatricals (“The Lion King”), North Shore Music Theatre, Busch Gardens Entertainment, Lagoon Theme Park, Brigham Young University and The Boston Conservatory.