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School of Performing Arts announces 2016-17 season, “Tradition Inspiring Innovation”

August 29, 2016

The Box Office opens Sept. 1 for a season of “tradition inspiring innovation” and a slate of theatre, music, dance and film performances that blend classic works and time-honored traditions with bold new ways of thinking and inspiring new voices.

Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, explained the theme behind the season: “The Stephens tradition has always been to feature strong women’s voices. You’ll see that again this year as we showcase women playwrights and authors and bring women’s stories (which tend to be forgotten when men write the history) to the surface.

“Many of the stories we will tell will be timeless, well-loved tales—but we will tell them in bold new ways—through dance, music and theatre, and through the coming together of all kinds of inspiration and creativity.”

The first show of the season will be “An American Daughter,” a political saga handpicked for the Presidential election year, from acclaimed American playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and opening Sept. 23. Other productions from the Playhouse Theatre Company will include “The Night Witches,” a devised piece about Soviet women bombardiers; Neil Simon’s classic musical “Sweet Charity”; an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma” that proves that good writing is timeless; “Everything You Touch,” an ambitious new work about ethics and alimentation; and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a musical whodunit where the audience determines the ending, based loosely on an uncompleted work of Dickens.

The student-run Warehouse Theatre company will once again offer four performances that focus on women’s voices. 

Stephens’ Dance program will take the stage this spring with the Annual Dance Company Spring Concert, and a showing of New Works to end the season. TRYPS Theatre for Young Audiences will spotlight “Elf Jr.” this holiday season, and feature “James and the Giant Peach” and “Music Man Jr.” in early 2017.

It will be a year of innovation and tradition for music at Stephens with popular events like Bach’s Lunch, the free monthly recital series; Fall and Spring Choral Concerts; and a new showcase of Stephens ensemble singers. “A Dickens Victorian Christmas” is also set to return this December.

Stephens’ Film program has also announced its schedule of events along with the 2016 Citizen Jane Film Festival dates, Nov. 3-6.

To secure your tickets, contact the Stephens College Box Office at (573) 876-7199 or

View complete details for the 2016-17 season, including the dates, times and locations of events, and ticket prices. 

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