Audiences won’t be able to sit still when “Bring it On! The Musical” melds cheerleading, dance and showtunes at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6-8 and Aug. 12-15, and at 2 p.m. Aug. 9 and 16 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall.
Bitingly relevant, sprinkled with sass, and inspired by the hit film, “Bring It On The Musical,” the performance takes audiences on a high-flying journey that is filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness in the world of competitive cheerleading. “Bring It On” features an original story by Tony Award winner, Jeff Whitty (“Avenue Q”); music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda (“In the Heights,” “Hamilton”); music by Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning composer, Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal”); and lyrics by Broadway lyricist, Amanda Green (“High Fidelity”). The production also was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Southeast’s production is directed by Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance.
“It’s very much in the vernacular of students today,” Stilson said. “The students absolutely love this show because it speaks to them; they get it. And it’s exciting to watch because you’re talking about combining dance with cheerleading, which is athletic dance.”
Stilson explained the musical is loosely based on the 2000 film by the same name and follows the story of a high school cheerleading captain, Campbell Davis, who dreams of leading her squad to a national victory. Her world is turned upside down when redistricting forces Campbell to transfer from her school in the suburbs to an inner-city high school where she must re-learn what it means to fit in and re-discover what it means to be national competitors.
“Bring It On! The Musical” is choreographed by Southeast dance instructor Michelle Contrino, with stage combat choreography by associate professor of acting and stage combat, Bart Williams. The music director is assistant professor Jenna L. Moore, and production manager Jeffrey Luetkenhaus will oversee production, set design and the coordination of designers and technical positions. The show will also include guest lighting design by Dean Packard and guest costume design by James Miller.
Face coverings will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place for the performances. The audience capacity will be reduced to approximately 25%, and the show staging will be adjusted.
In light of these adjustments, the River Campus will offer — for the first time — live-streamed performances of the summer musical Aug. 7 and Aug. 14-16, said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, dean of Southeast’s Holland College of Arts and Media.
“Of course, we know that family members and guests cannot travel to Cape Girardeau to see their student in this production. We are pleased that Music Theatre International is allowing us to livestream this event,” Weller-Stilson said. “Now, people in Chicago, New York and Florida will be able to see this performance.”
Sponsors for “Bring it On! The Musical” include Saint Francis Healthcare; Drury Southwest, Inc.; the City of Cape Girardeau; Rust Communications; Southern Convenience, Century Casino, River Radio, Pure Country C106.1 and KBSI.
Tickets for the in-person performances 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 online at RiverCampus.org.
Streaming tickets are available at: