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Department of Music and Theatre
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Malloy Hall 137
Phone: 785-628-4533
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Opera has a long tradition at Fort Hays State University. Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Perniciaro, The FHSU Opera Theatre presents one full main stage opera production each year. These productions are fully staged, costumed, accompanied by orchestra, and on special occasions involve collaborations with members of the Hays community. 

Past productions have included Hansel and Gretel, The Wandering Scholar, Bastien and Bastienne, L'OrfeoTrouble in Tahiti, The Little Match Girl (by 2008-09 FHSU Composer-in-Residence Richard Faith), A Hand of Bridge, Tickets, Please!,The Medium, The ImpresarioDido and Aeneas, L'enfant et les Sortileges (The Bewitched Child), The Pirates of Penzance , and The Magic Flute.

Performance opportunities are not limited to our main stage productions. The FHSU Opera Workshop trains students in all aspects of operatic performance techniques, including acting and movement. On varying years the Opera Workshop presents scenes from operas, in public performances, which provide additional performance opportunities and role experience. 

FHSU students develop the skills to be successful stage performers, and to take those skills into their careers whether they are in performance or education. FHSU Opera is not only a performance resource for the University, but also the city of Hays and western Kansas. The opera seeks to foster interest in opera by cultivating new audiences, and engaging our current audiences with quality performances.

For more information contact Dr. Joseph Perniciaro, director of Opera Activities, at 785-628-5329 or

Musical Theatre

One fully staged musical is produced every fall, with auditions open to majors and non-majors. Performances are accompanied by a full orchestra or musical combo or depending on the piece. Musical direction is provided by Dr. Terry Crull and stage direction is guided by Ms. Tomme Williams. Pam McGowne serves as rehearsal accompanist, and Mr. Bruce Bardwell and crew design and construction scenery and properties.

2015-2016 Footloose banner

This year's production of the 80's classic Footloose, adapted for stage by Dean Pitchford, and Walter Bobbie, takes you to Bomont, Oklahoma where dancing has recently been ban. The story follows newly arrived teenager Ren and his struggle against the powers that be so himself and the others will be able to publically dance once again. 

Footloose will be presented in Felten-Start Theater, Malloy Hall:
September 30, 7:30 p.m.
October 1, 7:30 p.m.
October 2,  7:30 p.m.
October 4, 2:30 p.m. MatinĂ©e 

You can reserve your tickets here


For more information contact Dr. Terry Crull, musical director, at 785-628-4258 or

or Ms. Tomme Williams, instructor of Theatre, at 785-628-4449 or

Fringe Theatre

The Department of Music and Theatre is also proud to present two to three theatre performances throughout the year, including a student director's showcase each spring. Auditions are also open to majors and non-majors. Ms. Tomme Williams serves as director.

This year's productions include Fifth of July on Nov. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2:30 p.m. 

This production takes place in rural Missouri, 1977. Following Ken Talley, a paraplegic Vietnam vet living on his family's homestead with his lover Jed. As the 4th of July grows closer Jed struggles to find meaning in his life. This touching performance creates a bittersweet portrait of the rock 'n roll generation at the precise moment they realize the fireworks of yesterday have ended.

The season continues with performances of the play The Servant of Two Masters on March 3-5, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. and March 6 at 2:30 p.m. 

At the center of this madcap comedy is Truffaldino, the scheming and perpetually hungry servant who concocts a zany scheme to double his wages and his meals by serving two masters at once. What Truffaldino doesn't know is that one of his masters is in fact a woman in disguise, and the other master is her lover. The joy of "The Servant of Two Masters" is watching the wheels of the plot spin faster and faster in this high-energy, laugh-out-loud romp.

The 2016 Director's Showcase will be held Friday, April 29, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. All performances are held in Felten-Start Theater.

For more information contact Ms. Tomme Williams, instructor of Theatre, at 785-628-4449 or

Ticket Information

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