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MU celebrates 50 years of its summer repertory theater company

The 2019 summer season will include performances of Corduroy and Ragtime the Musical

June 18th, 2019

Story Contact: Eric Stann, 573-882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Located over 1,000 miles from Broadway, the University of Missouri’s summer repertory theater company has been entertaining audiences with musicals, dramas and comedies for half a century.

“Many people might not know that we have such a long-standing summer theater company in Columbia,” said Heather Carver, professor and chair of the MU Department of Theatre. “It’s a testament to the support we receive from the university as well as the greater Columbia community.”

This summer, the 50th Anniversary of the Larry D. Clark Summer Repertory Theatre will include performances of Corduroy and Ragtime the Musical, as well as Comedies in Concert featuring readings of original material. When the curtain rises, more than 100 performers will continue the legacy of Larry D. Clark, former chair of the Department of Theatre and former dean of the MU College of Arts and Science, who began the summer theater company in 1969. Clark, who died in 2014, envisioned having professional theatre performances in Columbia. Now 50 years after its inaugural season, the department is continuing to invite Broadway professionals, such as choreographers, to work alongside student and alumni performers.

“Larry Clark’s program symbolizes the Missouri Method by allowing hundreds of students to broaden their talents through a hands-on experience working alongside alumni as paid professionals in a theater company,” Carver said.

Notable among past performers of the theater company is Hollywood actor, Jon Hamm, often best known for his role in Mad Men. Hamm, a 1993 Mizzou graduate, played the role of Cliff in the 1992 summer production of Cabaret and stared as Colgocz in the 1993 summer production of Assassins.

Performances of Corduroy will be June 19-23 in Studio 4, 672 Hitt St. Performances of Ragtime the Musical will be July 11-21 in the Rhynsburger Theatre inside the Fine Arts Building, 505 Hitt Street. Tickets are $16 for ages 17 and older; $10 for ages 17 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 573-882-PLAY or in-person on Monday – Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour before performances at the Rhynsburger Theatre box office.

The MU Department of Theatre is partnering with MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to offer a sensory friendly performance of Corduroy on June 21 for any families with special needs. Following the July 13 performance of Ragtime the Musical, a reception will honor Larry D. Clark and recognize the impact he and his alumna wife, Yvonne Clark, had on the Department of Theatre. Alumni also will gather at this reception to reunite and celebrate the 50th anniversary.

Comedies in Concert will feature How to Catch a Sasquatch on July 2 in Studio 4. Tickets are $6 for all ages. Tickets can be purchased in-person on Monday – Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour before the performance at the Rhynsburger Theatre box office or at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.