Extravaganza Offering Sneak Peek of ‘Big River,’ Benefiting NYC, LA Showcases

Guests are invited to join in an evening of dinner, an auction and entertainment – all while helping send Southeast Missouri State University senior theatre and dance students to New York City and Los Angeles – at The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance’s Extravaganza Jan. 26 at the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Events Center. The Extravaganza begins with a 5:30 p.m. social, followed by a 6 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m. musical performances from the student cast of the special 10th season return of “Big River” to Southeast’s River Campus.  Guests also will have an opportunity to interact with the senior student performers, participate in a live auction and raffle, as well as purchase “Big River” costume renderings by Bill Black, guest costume designer. “Big River” was the first show performed on the Donald C. Bedell stage when the River Campus opened in fall 2007. The River Campus will celebrate its 10th season with this production, featuring Brodrick Twiggs, who, as a child, was in the original cast 10 years ago. This year, he returns in the role of “Jim.” Funds raised will benefit Southeast’s Senior Showcase to be held in the spring. The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance produces an annual senior showcase in Cape Girardeau for graduating seniors to display their talents for family, friends and a general audience. Select seniors are then invited to travel to New York City or, for the first time this year, to Los Angeles, to participate in a series of master classes and to showcase their talents for agents and casting directors as they  launch their careers in theatre and dance. “The Extravaganza is a delightful evening of entertainment, food and drinks, as well as a chance to meet the graduating class, and it serves as the primary fundraiser to help these performance seniors with travel for their trip to New York City or Los Angeles in May,” said Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance. The Theatre and Dance Society is hosting the Extravaganza. Sponsors are Commerce Bank, Isle Casino, Saxony Village and SoutheastHealth. Tickets are $50 per person, and tables of eight are $375. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets, visit semo.edu/showcasegive or call (573) 651-2149. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Jan. 17. For more information, contact Janice Bittle in the Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at jbittle@semo.edu or (573) 651-2149.