River Campus Summer Arts Festival Planned for June 20

EVT-SummerArt‘Seussical’ the Musical to Highlight Events

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MISSOURI., Feb. 11, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State hosts the second annual community River Campus Summer Arts Festival June 20 highlighted by a performance of “Seussical” the musical.

Last year’s festival received rave reviews.  Over 1,200 attended the one-day Saturday festival.  The festival features live music, dance, theatrical performances, magic, visual arts displays, hands-on family-friendly art expression activities, museum exhibitions and art walk.  In addition, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum will sponsor new activities including Plein Air Painting.

Like last year, 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, KRCU, KBSI, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum, and the University’s departments of art, music and theatre and dance.  Partners include the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Old Town Cape and the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“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 will be available, 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 art studio patios on the Mississippi River side of the River Campus will be open for visitors to view art students’ work and the Department of Art’s studios. Local artist Craig Thomas will again coordinate an art walk in this area. In addition, Weller-Stilson says artist booths displaying the work of faculty, students and community members will be set up, and a tent will be available under which children may create art.

Dance performances from both University and community studio members will be held in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall.  Dance workshops will be held in both dance studios throughout the day.

The Department of Music will hold a vocal boot camp concert with high school students performing in the Robert F. and Gertrude L Shuck Music Recital Hall. They will also hold a Percussion Camp that will perform throughout the day.  High school theatre performances will take place in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre, and a variety of musicians, coordinated by Jerry Ford, will play in a music tent throughout the day. Visitors will hear steel drums and jazz performed, and Southeast Missouri Music Academy students will play.

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. The Southeast Explorer mobile museum also will be parked on the campus and open for visitors.

Weller-Stilson says food will be available by Chartwells. A face painting booth, a magician and booths sponsored by community members and the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts will be among the festival’s offerings.

Capping the day’s events will be 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.” “The Cat in the Hat” 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 remaining technical staff will be announced in March.

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, 2 p.m. matinees on June 21, 27 and 28, and a special 10 a.m. performance on June 26.  Tickets will go on sale in March.