Calling all Youth for River Campus Summer Production of ‘Dear Edwina, Jr.’

Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus is once again offering a summer youth theatre experience as part of its River Campus Summer Arts Festival.  Due to last summer’s successful production of “Honk! Jr.,” which involved 20 community youth, the River Campus has announced it will produce “Dear Edwina, Jr.,” during summer 2017, according to Rhonda Weller-Stilson, associate dean and director of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. The musical, from the creators of “Junie B. Jones, the musical,” is about a 13-year old girl that gives advice. More information on the show is available at Like last summer, “Dear Edwina, Jr.” will have its own production staff and perform on the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall stage. Hilary Peterson, assistant professor of theatre and dance, will direct performances. Her musical director is Bailey Schnurbusch, a Southeast music education major. Jeff Luetkenhaus, Holland School production manager, will design props and stage. In addition to “Dear Edwina, Jr.,” the River Campus will produce “The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee” and “Greater Tuna.” Limited space is available for 20 workshop attendees. Cost is $350, which assists in covering expenses of costumes, props, royalties, snacks, T-shirts and staff. The summer experience begins May 24 and closes June 18. Performances are scheduled for Friday, June 16; two shows on Saturday, June 17; and closing with a show on Sunday, June 18. Friday and Sunday performance tickets will be $10. However, thanks to generous sponsors, free morning and afternoon Saturday performances during the River Campus Summer Arts Festival will be offered. Large audiences are expected on Saturday. Youth will play all the parts in the “Dear Edwina, Jr.” production, and workshop spaces fill quickly.  When slots are filled, the workshop will be closed. Roles are open for actors ages 10 to 15. Starting May 24, youth will audition for the roles and begin rehearsals immediately.  Actors will be in rehearsal and costume fittings both morning and afternoons until the week of tech rehearsals.  At that time, some night commitments will be required. A dual college credit course, TH800, for high school students who prefer to be more backstage and on the crew, also will be offered. For more information, call Theresa Messmer at (573) 651-2210. Tickets Tickets are now on sale and are available by calling the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265. Summer Workshop Schedule
  • May 24: Morning auditions for “Dear Edwina, Jr.” and measurements for costumes (All workshop participants will have roles.  Auditions are for role assignments.)
  • May25-June 15: Two sessions of rehearsals during mornings and afternoons
  •  June 14: Technical rehearsals and dress rehearsals (to be announced)
  • June 15: Final dress rehearsals morning and afternoon
  • June 16: Opening night at 7:30 p.m. with a cake party after the performance for actors and families
  • June 17: Performances at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • June 18: Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. and strike immediately following matinee