Southeast Missouri State University student publication

River campus to no longer do touring shows beginning in the fall

Friday, April 19, 2019

Beginning in the fall, Southeast’s River Campus will no longer be hosting the Touring Series.

With the recent growth of the Holland College of Arts and Media, Southeast must add more productions in which students can have roles in order to meet accreditation standards according to HCAM director Robert Cerchio.

Replacing the Touring Series will be the “Broadway and Symphony Package,” a package featuring performances from the Theatre and Dance and Symphony Series, providing additional opportunities for students to hone their theatre, dance and music skills, Cerchio said.

The Holland College of Arts and Media has accreditation from multiple bodies, including the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the National Association of Schools of Dance and the National Association of Schools of Music.

The decision to replace the Touring Series with the Broadway and Symphony Package was to ensure students received the first-rate academic experience in the arts by maintaining the accreditation standards, according to HCAM director Robert Cerchio.

Cerchio noted in a letter to director of University Communications Ann Hayes that HCAM intends to offer students as many performing opportunities as possible.

Recently, some student productions have fared significantly better than the touring productions have in recent memory. One notable example was “Sister Act,” which attracted more than 3,000 patrons over the course of its five-day showing, while only 411 attended the one-time performance of “Chinese Warriors,” a touring production.

Another reason for the replacement has been the increased cost of attracting touring productions. With touring shows and academic shows both competing for the same audiences, the market has been stretched thin.

Touring productions have become more expensive to attract while attendance has been declining. With Southeast only being able to afford hosting touring shows for a single night, many productions don’t see the worth in stopping in Cape Girardeau.

Last year, the River Campus experienced a substantial financial loss on touring productions. With its current budget constraints coupled with the need to provide additional performance opportunities for its students, Cerchio believes the funds previously spent for touring shows will be better used to support student productions in the coming year.