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Marion Kleinau Theatre Performance Season

In response to COVID-19, the Marion Kleinau Theatre has moved to a virtual format for their 2020-2021 performance season. Performances will premiere on the Kleinau Theatre YouTube Channel and will remain available for streaming throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

All shows premiere virtually at 8 pm CST. For information, contact

Reservations & Information
(618) 453-5618

Fall Semester

October 1, 2020
The Muses Are Calling
Compiled and directed by Shelby Swafford
Assistant director Alex Lockwood
Devised by the cast

Daughters of Memory. Mothers of Knowledge. Goddesses of Inspiration. The Muses call upon us to bestow their graces of wisdom and creativity. But history shows the importance of asking the question: who answers, and whose responses are remembered? Women are historically more likely to be cast as “muse” than “artist,” as source of inspiration rather than as creator of “genius.” But that doesn’t mean women creators don’t exist. The Muses Are Calling blends feminist historiography, auto/biography, and mythology in a performative biomythography to explore the relationship between creative work and “women’s work”–and to recall some of the calls that have been missed. MATURE THEMES.

December 3, 2020
Poetry Is Not a Luxury
Written, compiled, and performed by Charlie Hope Dorsey
Directed by Elyse Pineau
Audiovisual direction by Shelby Swafford

This solo performance is an exploration, recognition, and celebration of poetry--specifically, spoken word. Through the lens of Audre Lorde’s work and the Black Lives Matter movement, and accompanied by the music of Nina Simone, Poetry is Not a Luxury combines, intertwines, and intersects Charlie Hope Dorsey's own personal, political, and critical auto-ethnographic poetics. This performance seeks to honor these Black women warrior mothers and ancestral legacy by reflecting upon the times we are living in while paying homage to the past and looking ahead to a future-in-flux. MATURE THEMES.

Spring Semester

February 1–6, 2021
Virtual Residency with Dr. Scott Dillard

As part of his virtual residency, Dr. Dillard will conduct a week-long voice performance workshop, working one-on-one with students to produce vocal performances of poetic, narrative, and dramatic texts. 

February 9, 2021
Voice Workshop Podcast

A podcast production of graduate and undergraduate student vocal performance work from Dillard’s virtual residency.

March 26, 2021
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Directed by Angela Duggins

“Hodgepodge”—that’s the concept we’re working with. East of the Sun, West of the Moon started as the story of a young woman using her resourcefulness to find her missing love. Our story takes a different journey through the Norse cosmos, but we’ve all brought our individual skills together to create an adventure that we hope brings people some fun and beauty to our audience in this strange, strange year. Every artist involved in this production is encouraged to keep their style, create from their hearts, and trust that the differences between their approaches are what will make the final production truly amazing. We’re drawing inspiration from those before us but letting our own light shine in every frame.

April 30, 2021
The 2020-2021 Virtual Performance Spotlight Hour

A variety of performances from CMST undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty.