Missouri State University facing a delay on construction for new amphitheater and arts park
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Missouri State University is hosting the final “Tent Theater” performances of the summer but the shows are not under the big top this year and it’s not in a brand new amphitheater.
The amphitheater was supposed to be open for Wednesday’s showing of ‘Crazy for You,’ but the pandemic and shipping delays slowed construction.
The production was moved inside Craig Hall because, as they say, the show must go on.
“We’re all disappointed that the plan didn’t work out exactly the way that we had projected,” said Dr. Shawn Wahl, Dean of Arts and Letters. “The overall focus has been safety and doing this project the right way. The John Goodman amphitheater’s official opening will be part of our celebration.”
“I don’t think anyone was really expecting it, but what I was expecting is the continued enthusiasm and support that our patrons bring to the tent theater,” said Jake Cannon, Tent Theater operations manager. “It’s like the future of theater, not only at Missouri State, but I would say in the Midwest as a leading theater college.”
Missouri State University broke ground on the amphitheater and arts park in April 2021. It was expected to be finished this summer but ran into delays. The nationwide shipping crisis pushed the project back.
“We’ve been waiting for an extended period of time on a steel structure, and we wanted to make sure that the project was completed the right way,” said Wahl. “The good news is, there is an end in sight, and we’re really excited to open the new space next month.”
The open-air facility will include a permanent stage and tiers for 350 removable seats.
Shawn Wahl, the dean of the College of Arts and Letters, says John Goodman and Tori Kelly will be on campus to see the new park when it opens, hopefully for homecoming at the end of October.
Tent theater manager Jake Cannon says the indoor shows have had a fantastic turnout despite the delays.
“When we moved the scheduling of our last show of tent crazy for you inside, we had to switch things around and just make everything work,” said Wahl. “It’s been busy, but it’s been exciting, and I’m happy to be working with the theater because it’s where I love to be.”
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