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Why Calvary Theatre?
Simple. Because at Calvary, we not only want to teach you how to tell a great story dramatically, we want to involve you in telling a great story with your life! A great story has a character at its center who wants something so badly, he overcomes great obstacles to get it. Sound familiar? Sound like the Story of Jesus through the ages? Sound like your story?
The Calvary Theatre Arts program revolves around telling stories in ways that will engage the culture with a fresh and vibrant perspective! Our mission is to equip students by building academic, performance-related, technical, and spiritual foundations to enable you to direct theatrical productions and oversee technical and administrative components wherever God might bring you – in front of a congregation in a ministry setting or in front of a professional film crew! By the time you leave Calvary, you’ll be able to teach others how to tell a great story and you’ll have developed into a skilled and disciplined actor who respects their art and their craft. You’ll be ready to further your career through graduate school training or professional acting. You’ll come away knowing that to be called to tell the best of all stories is one of the most compelling of all callings.
So what will Calvary give you that other colleges and university theatre programs may not?
- Calvary Theatre students embrace the core principle that theatre is service: to fellow actors; to the working text; to the audience; and first and foremost, to our Audience of One. The student demonstrates the foundational skills necessary to critically analyze a piece of dramatic literature for its quality and theme while comparing it with the knowledge of God’s Word and His character.
- You’ll learn to work in an ensemble in an atmosphere that facilitates authentic relationships with God and man.
- We recognize that the entertainment industry fuels our culture! You’ll experience what it is to impact the culture in ways that engage it rather than hide from it.
- You’ll inhabit this mission field and minister to and through it with passion and integrity.
- You’ll be able to recognize the Story of God in the stories of history, myth, oral tradition, and literature, bringing it to life in new and creative ways, sharing His story with an ever-thirsty world!
- And finally, the #1 reason to choose Calvary Theatre Arts? It’s because nobody has fun like Calvary Theatre has fun!!! See the videographic evidence below…
Majoring and Minoring in Theatre
If you find yourself starting to be pulled into the vortex of CU Theatre and want to know more, Calvary offers an accredited major and minor in Theatre Arts! All Theatre Arts courses are listed in the University catalog
Requirements of the Theatre Arts Major
Total theatre course hours required for Theatre Major: 41 credits
Requirements of the Theatre Arts Minor
- Total theatre course hours required for Theatre Minor: 21 credits
- Options for use of this minor at Calvary:
- Interdisciplinary Major; use the theatre major as one of two minors to form an interdisciplinary major.
- Add the Theatre Minor to your chosen major.
If you choose a theatre minor, you have the option of adding it to your major or combining it with another minor for an interdisciplinary major.
For detailed descriptions of all of these classes, please see Calvary’s catalog.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman creates the world of a brilliant surgeon suddenly shattered by the death of his nurse. Sam tries to find a way to piece his life back together as he journeys with his family back to his boyhood home for her funeral. Once there, he’s confronted by the demons of his youth: the death of his own mother, his alienation from his fiery, evangelical preacher-father, his boyhood immersion in fairy tales, and his disillusionment with the woman he married. A deep crisis ensues, and Sam’s relationships with his wife, young son, and father, as well as his own direction in life, swing precariously in the balance. In the rejection of the faith of his father, he has also lost access to its light, and he discovers his journey as a traveler in the dark renders life difficult to navigate. Tickets are now available online!
Winter Shorts! December 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Calvary theatre students, these scenes are cast with CU acting students, joined by a smattering of Theatre Wannabees we just can’t seem to do without. If you need a break from the winter doldrums, the pressures of Christmas shopping, impending final exams, and you just want to be entertained, this is the antidote. Caution: some of these scenes have a history of being dangerously funny! Back by popular demand – our infamous All-You-Can-Chomp $2 concessions!
Liberty Chapel, 15790 Elmwood, Kansas City, MO 64147
One night only!
Free to the public!
- All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Ernie Zulia and David Caldwell from the book by Robert Fulghum
- Captive Audience by David Ives
- Enchanted April by Matthew Barber from the book by Elizabeth van Arnim
- Happy by Alan Zweibel
- The Philadelphia by David Ives
- Poetic Justice – it is with pride and pleasure that we present the premiere of this short play by student playwright Callie Weeks
- The Sneeze by Neil Simon from The Good Doctor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Puck and Oberon, Bottom and the Mechanicals, Hermia and Lysander, Demetrius and Helena – just a few of the key players in one of Shakespeare’s most famous and delightful comedies! Join us as rebellion in the city becomes the madness and mayhem of the forest. And the result? The end of every great Shakespearean comedy – marriage, of course! “Oh, what fools these mortals be!”
- Liberty Chapel, 15790 Elmwood, Kansas City, MO 64147
- Evening Performances:
- Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
- Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
- Matinee Performances:
- Thursday, March 8 at 11:00 a.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.
- Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:30
- Ticket information:
- Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students/seniors for all performances except the $7 matinee on Thursday, March 8
- Tickets will be available online as of February 8, 2018
- Matinee Performances:
SpringShorts! April 28th at 7:00 p.m.
- Liberty Chapel, 15790 Elmwood, Kansas City, MO 64147
- One night only! April 28 at 7:00 p.m.
- Free to the public!
Calvary Theatre Arts students get out of their cages for a night of unpredictable and always memorable theatre! Directed by Calvary theatre students, and cast with CU acting students along with fearless actors from our student body, we bring you a smorgasbord of comedy, tragedy, romance, and action! Back on the menu – our infamous All-You-Can-Chomp $2 concessions!
Check back in February to find out about the scenes being offered!
Tickets for Traveler in the Dark on sale now! https://www.calvary.edu/theatre-box-office
Talk to an admissions counselor (click here)
Have a look at some scholarship opportunities for Theatre Arts (click here)
Bobbie Jeffrey, M.A.
Theatre Arts Department Chair
How Bobbie equips you to tell your story: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Voice and Diction
Her Story: although Bobbie has been directing and teaching at Calvary University since 2004, she officially launched the Theatre Arts Department major and minor in 2010. As founder and artistic director of h.e.a.r.t. theatre company, Bobbie has been directing and teaching acting in the Kansas City Area for over thirty years and has studied Shakespearean directing at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She received her B.S. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and her M.A. in Theatre from UMKC. Her favorite role to play is Granny B, cantankerous grandma to Amelia and Marie!
Kaleb Krahn, M.F.A.
How Kaleb equips you to tell your story: Improvisational Acting, Lighting, Set Design and Construction
His Story: Kaleb graduated from Calvary University in 2009 with a B.S. in Biblical Counseling with a Christian Camping emphasis and a youth ministry minor. In 2016 he completed an M.F.A. in Theatre-Design and Technology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has worked in the theatre at Calvary since arriving as a student in 2005, minus a couple of years for graduate school training. He loves his role of creating a ‘world’ for the stories of theatre to be told. When not teaching or building, he stays busy keeping up with his twin toddler boys at home.
Becky Bitner, Staff
Stage Management and Properties
Ginger Birch, M.S. Music, Vocal Emphasis (in progress)
How Ginger equips you to tell your story: Musical Direction
Her story: Ginger is a lover of music and theatre alike. She holds a B.S. Vocal Music (Southwest Baptist University, 2001) and is currently pursuing a M.M. Vocal Performance & Pedagogy, (Calvary University.) She has taught private voice for 15+ years and has sung with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus. Her opera credits include The Pirates of Penzance (Edith), scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess Almaviva), and scenes from Carmen (Frasquita). Ginger currently works as the company manager for Summit Theatre Group, the resident community theatre group in her hometown of Lee’s Summit. Ginger has been involved in community, church, and academic theatre on and off the stage for over fifteen years. Her directing credits include Beauty and the Beast (music director), It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (director), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (music director), Madrigal Dinners (artistic director), over ten full-length plays and musicals for church, plus many other short scenes from various plays and musicals for academic theatre. Her performing credits include Things They Couldn’t Say (Diet Eman), The Secret Garden (Alice), The Gifts of the Magi (Della Dillingham), Annie (Grace Farrell),The Sound of Music (Maria), The King & I (Lady Thiang), Man of La Mancha(Antonia), and The Wizard of Oz (Glinda).
Karen Krahn, Staff
How Karen equips you to tell your story: Makeup
Her Story: Karen grew up in rural Illinois and has had a passion for theatre as long as she can remember. She received her bachelors of science in Theatre Arts from Calvary Bible College, now Calvary University, and in the first graduating class of Theatre Arts majors in 2013. Karen and her husband Kaleb, who also happens to be Calvary’s Technical Director, reside in Belton, Missouri with their twin sons who create more theatrics than all of Broadway.
Beckie Lucas, Guest Artist and Choreographer
How Beckie equips you to tell your story: Movement for the Stage, Musical Theatre Choreography, Fundamentals of Tap, Fundamentals of Jazz
Her Story: with forty years of experience as a dance instructor and choreographer, Beckie comes to us with extensive training in musical theatre choreography, having studied under Gwen Verdon. She received her jazz training under Gus Giordano, and has attended master classes at the UMKC Conservatory of Dance. She’s also studied at Tri-City Bible College, Longview Community College, and Avila University. For seventeen years, she was the resident choreographer for h.e.a.r.t. theatre company and began Tiffany Performing Arts Center for home educated students in 1994. Beckie has coached competitive dance teams that have won numerous national awards at American Dance and Drill Competitions. For all of her professional experience, she loves being a grandma of five the most!
Candy Roberts, Guest Artist and Costumer
How Candy equips you to tell your story: Costuming
Her Story: Candy’s desire is to help you build your character through what you’re wearing on the stage. Her degree and background began as an interior designer. Painting a picture in a home with color and fabric are not far away from painting a picture on the stage with costumes. She began costuming about 20 years ago and considers herself a freelance costumer privileged to be apart of the Calvary theatre family.
Moriah Roberts, Staff
Assistant Choreographer and Stage Management Team
Her story: Moriah graduated from Calvary with a Theatre Arts minor. Now she’s works full-time at Calvary University as the Cafe Manager and Title IX Coordinator and but still manages to save some time to do what she loves with Calvary Theatre: stage management and helping Beckie teach choreography, especially tap. She adores seeing as many Broadway style shows in Kansas City theatre as she can possibly fit in.
Title: M.A., M.F.A.
How He Helps You: Theatre History, Shakespeare
His Story: a dramaturg, actor, historian, technical director, Shakespeare geek, and above all – an educator; Aaron is excited to begin another academic year in the theatre. He received his BA, with honors, from Concordia University, St. Paul in 2003. He later received his M.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 2013. Aaron currently teaches in the Kansas City area at Calvary, Johnson County Community College, and UMKC.
Past Seasons and Photo Archives…
2005 The Music Man
2007 The Pirates of Penzance
2008 The Miracle Worker
2009 Annie Get Your Gun
Spring, 2010 The Misadventures of Two Gentlemen of Verona
Fall, 2010 The Importance of Being Earnest
Spring, 2011 The King and I
Fall, 2011 Lost in Yonkers
Spring, 2012 Arsenic and Old Lace
Fall, 2012 The Crucible
Spring, 2013 Seussical
Fall, 2013 An Ideal Husband
Fall, 2015 Over the River and through the Woods
SP2016 Things We Couldn’t Say
Ashley Beach graduated from Calvary’s theatre department in 2014 and since has had the opportunity to work as a professional stage manager for two productions for a small company in Boulder, CO as well as help out as a production assistant for a two-week new play festival at the Performing Arts Center of downtown Denver. She is still pursuing her dream of starting her own theatre company someday.
Kenneth has transitioned from being a big fish in a little pond to being a little fish in a big pond! After playing such roles as Algernon in Importance of Being Earnest, John Proctor in Crucible, and the Cat in the Hat in Seussical, Kenneth graduated from Calvary in 2013 in our first graduating class of theatre majors. He spent two years as our Technical Director before auditioning for and being accepted to the prestigious Purdue University M.F.A. Actor Training Program to which he received a full ride. Not bad for a farm boy from Illinois!
After graduating from Calvary’s Theatre Arts program in 2015, Paul began work as head editor and videographer of a production company called MTVIDYO. He has also done some acting and dancing in the Kansas City area but has recently had the opportunity to put his dance training to work on both a film and music video as head choreographer. He has continued his dance training and is also pursuing a career through YouTube by developing his channel “TwinSauce” as a creative/daily vlogger.
Karen grew up in rural Illinois and has had a passion for theatre as long as she can remember. She received her bachelors of science in Theatre Arts from Calvary Bible College, now Calvary University, and in the first graduating class of Theatre Arts majors in 2013. Karen and her husband Kaleb, who also happens to be Calvary’s Technical Director, reside in Belton, Missouri with their twin sons who create more theatrics than all of Broadway.
Moriah graduated from Calvary with a Theatre Arts minor. Now she’s works full-time at Calvary University as the Cafe Manager and Title IX Coordinator and but still manages to save some time to do what she loves with Calvary Theatre: stage management and helping Beckie teach choreography, especially tap. She adores seeing as many Broadway style shows in Kansas City theatre as she can possibly fit in.