Dec. 11, 2019
The students of Alpha Psi Omega (APO), Northwest Missouri State University’s honorary theatre fraternity, are hitting the road again this winter with an original children’s play – and this time, the story is out of this world.
The ensemble will give one performances of the play, “Space Cadet Callie,” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. The play’s runtime is about 30 minutes.
The show is open to the public, and admission is $3 or two canned goods for donation to the Bearcat Food Pantry. Children ages 2 and under will be admitted for free.
APO annually elects a member to direct the play, and this year it selected Cait Redman, a senior theatre performance major from Belleville, Illinois.
“A good way to describe it is a fun, anti-bullying outer space campaign,” Redman said of the play. “There’s a rumbling in space and space cadets, Carson and Callie, want to figure out what’s going on, so they talk to the planets. It turns out they’ve been bullying Pluto because Pluto’s not a real planet.”
Kailyn Peterson, a junior speech and theatre education major from Liberty, Missouri, wrote the play, drawing inspiration on her childhood interest in space. Peterson recalled her disappointment when the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto from a planet to a dwarf planet in 2006 and spun her story of “Space Cadet Callie” with children in mind.
“I really like the idea of building a show from the ground up, and kids are the best audience,” Peterson said. “If it’s funny, they’ll laugh so hard. If it’s not, they’ll let you know. They’re very honest.”
APO doesn’t have much time to produce the play, either. They present their show to audiences after just a couple weeks of rehearsals, but the experience is invaluable.
“It’s a really good opportunity,” Redman said. “I think a lot of times when you get to do theatre in college, you don’t focus on children’s shows a whole lot. So this is a really unique opportunity.”
In addition to producing the show on the Northwest stage, students will tour with “Space Cadet Callie” to schools throughout the region during the University’s winter break.
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