Live Theatre Comes Alive Close To Home

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Live theater is an entertaining cultural activity that sparks our imagination, and allows an opportunity to connect with and have a better understanding of humanity. Whether a play or musical is a formal indoor affair, or is presented outdoors to an audience seated on blankets, it is a nice break from routine and can be a barrel of laughs. Local venues usually offer lower ticket prices than large theaters, and provide a place for community people of all ages to try out their talents. There are quite a few places to enjoy live theater in Benton and surrounding counties.
Rachel Johnson, an esthetician with Studio 86 in Warsaw, enjoys live theater and has gone to the Liberty Center Association for the Arts in historic Downtown Sedalia, several times.
“I really loved the Liberty Center,” said Johnson. “One of the shows I saw was Nunsense. It was so funny, the performers were wonderful, and people (in the audience) dressed up in tuxes and furs. It is a wonderful place to meet friends and enjoy a good gathering of downtown locals. They have a wonderful gallery in the lobby and there is always something different and interesting.”
The Liberty Center hosts a variety of live productions, art exhibits, art classes, musical concerts and more, year round. Coming on June 28 and 29 is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Information is available at 660-827-3228, or at
For country music fans, the Truman Lake Opry, in Clinton, has shows, dances, and concerts from April until the end of the year. Every Friday night at 7 PM is the Friday Night Variety Show. Doors open at 5:30 and a buffet begins at that time. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Lap kids are free. Check out to find the schedule for the Wild West Show, play productions, special concerts, Christmas Show and other events. Or, call 660-723-2181.
Main Street Music Hall, in Osage Beach, offers three great shows. The Main Street Opry Show and Reeling In The Years (music from 60s, 70s and 80s) are performed several times a week from May through early November. Christmas on Main Street Shows begin in late November and continue until December 22. More information is available at or 573-348-9500.
The Stauffacher Center for Fine Arts on the State Fair Community College (SFCC) campus features an artist and lecturer series in the Goddard Gallery and several theater and musical productions throughout the year in the Stauffacher Theatre. The theatre seats 239, and the next event is Be More Chill showing on April 24 through 27 at 7:30 PM, and April 28 at 2 PM. Information is available at 877-311-7322, or
For those who want to view Little Theater with a lot of glamour, try Springfield Little Theatre, located at the historical Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut Street. Little Theatre has been performing there for 80 plus years in front of audiences sitting in boxes on side walls, as well as a balcony and the main ground floor seating area. Many plays and musicals are scheduled during the summer including Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Footloose, Lion King, and Guys and Dolls. There are also ballet performances. For schedules and ticket information, go to; 417-869-3869 (business office); or 417-869-1334 (box office.)
One of Missouri’s oldest professional regional theaters is The Lyceum Theatre, located in the Village of Arrow Rock.  It is housed in a 416 seat theatre. Coming soon to the Theatre is Cinderella, June 6-19; All Shook Up, June 27-July 7; Nine to Five, July 18-28; and other plays until the end of September. A Christmas Carol will be performed December 12 – 22. The theater is located about 60 miles north of Warsaw, is north of Hwy 70, and close to the Missouri River. The Box Office number is 660-837-3311.
Live dinner theatre is offered April through November at the Camden County Museum, in Linn Creek. Melodramas, mysteries and comedies are presented this year including A Bad Year for Tomatoes, June 8; Clue (an audience participation mystery dinner), August 9; Said the Spider to the Fly, September 20; and the comedy Happily Ever Once Upon, November 2. Tickets are $15 and reservations are recommended by calling 573-346-7191, ext. 8.
Don’t forget to check out local high school productions during the school year.