New independent troupe puts on 'Godspell' dinner theater

Friday, August 14, 2009
Characters portray the parable of the good Samaritan on Thursday in Mike Dumey's production of "Godspell" at the Plaza Conference Center in Cape Girardeau. Show dates are Aug. today, Saturday, 21-22 and 28-29. (Kit Doyle)

Before the preview showing of "Godspell" on Thursday night, Mike Dumey gathered his actors around.

"The potential is great," he said. "I've said that from the beginning."

Dumey, the choir director at Cape Girardeau Junior High School, put together a small group of actors this summer, Starz on the Rise. He said he wants to give area talent a forum to display their performance skills.

"We wanted to let these young people sharpen their teeth," he said.

The troupe will open with the musical "Godspell" tonight and continue Saturday. The group will also perform Aug. 21, 22, 28 and 29 at the Plaza Conference Center.

Dumey said he will gauge his next steps from the initial success of the performances. He said he hopes the project will grow to include bigger shows with auditions.

"There's so much more talent to be tapped," he said.

The cast of 10 is a far cry from the productions he puts on at the junior high school, which can include more than 150 students and large pieces of scenery. By contrast, the stage at the conference center is full of sparkles and bright colors but requires few scenery changes.

The actors include college and high school students.

The musical includes dinner, and Dumey said he hopes the approach will draw an audience as it grows.

"People are looking for an entire evening of entertainment," he said.

Carson Kelley, 21, who plays Jesus in the musical, said there is potential for independent theater productions in Cape Girardeau.

"There's a great market for entertainment like this," Kelley said.

Kelley, a business major at Southeast Missouri State University, said it was exciting to be part of a project not connected to a high school or university.

"I don't feel contained by some age group," he said.

Quitman McBride III, 17, plays a disciple in the musical. He said participating in Dumey's productions in junior high school exposed him more to the musical side of theater. McBride, a senior at Central High School, said he wants to pursue musical theater in college.

He said the summer project has motivated him to publicize the high school productions more.

"In all aspects it's nice to do something bigger," he said.

Tickets for the Godspell dinner theater are available by calling 334-7602.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

3257 William St. Cape Girardeau, MO

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