Southeast Missouri State University alumnus Andrew Tebo of New York City returns to familiar ground when he performs in the touring production of Broadway’s “Mamma Mia” tonight, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 27, at Southeast’s River Campus.
“I am thrilled to be back to perform on the Bedell Performance Hall stage,” he said. “It feels good to be here.”
A 2008 graduate of Southeast where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in acting and directing, Tebo is touring with “Mamma Mia” for the second time as part of its farewell tour and will be performing on a stage near and dear to his heart — the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall stage.
In addition, this afternoon, Tebo will speak in Class Voice III and Class Voice I courses taught by Judith Farris in the River Campus Seminary Building Room 403.
As a student at Southeast, Tebo performed the role of the king in “Big River,” the first production ever cast on the Bedell stage in fall 2007 during the River Campus’ debut season. It is fitting that Tebo returns to his alma mater this year as the River Campus celebrates its 10th season and prepares to rediscover its roots with an encore performance of “Big River” by Southeast’s Conservatory of Theatre and Dance in February.
“It’s really cool they are performing that show again,” he said. “I really loved working on ‘Big River,’ which was the first production ever to take place at the brand new River Campus that was finished during my four years at Southeast!”
“It was an exciting time while I was at Southeast,” he continued. “The program was fairly new and growing and the River Campus was being finished. The staff really made it what it is today,” he says. “Judith Farris is the reason that I am the singer I am today. Dr. Kenneth Stilson, Rhonda Weller-Stilson and the entire faculty and staff at Southeast were wonderful and had a huge impact on me while I was there. I still utilize much of the training I received from my time at Southeast, today.
“I am very fortunate to have had this experience,” he said. “Everybody here, they shaped my abilities and prepared me to take on everything that’s been given to me”
Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of The Conservator of Theatre and Dance at Southeast, said, “Andrew was always an extraordinary talent. And he was one of our top students his entire career at Southeast. I am not at all surprised at his success as an actor. We could not be more proud of all his professional accomplishments.”
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, agreed, saying, “From the moment I met Andrew, I recognized a hard worker and great student. He always demonstrated the best attitude, no matter what the project. He held and performed wonderfully several leads at Southeast, but was also impressive backstage. I never doubted he would have a wonderful career in theatre.”
Upon graduating from Southeast, he moved to Chicago in 2009 and began touring with professional theater, mostly musical theater, in venues far and wide.
“From Florida to Alaska, I performed in small and large productions all over,” he said.
Andrew then took a position with Princess Cruises as the on-ship singer and entertainment. During this time he also took on two national performing tours; “A Christmas Carol” and “The Fantasticks” before joining the “Mamma Mia” tour.
“Mamma Mia” is a feel-good show that brings comedy and the songs of ABBA to life in this smash hit musical. It’s an enchanted tale of love, laughter and friendship. It follows the story of a young girl that is going to marry the man of her dreams. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from her mother’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities.
Tebo plays Harry Bright, one of the possible fathers.
A 2004 graduate of Wentzville (Missouri) Holt High School, Tebo has now been with Work Light Productions, LLC, performing “Mamma Mia” for two and half years. This year, the company will perform 378 shows. After their performances at the River Campus, the company heads to Springfield, Missouri; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and California.
You can catch Tebo’s performance at the River Campus tonight and Thursday, both at 7:30 p.m.
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 online at RiverCampus.org/mamma-mia.