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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'Orfeo, Trouble in Tahiti, The Little Match Girl (by 2008-09 FHSU Composer-in-Residence Richard Faith), A Hand of Bridge, Tickets, Please!,The Medium, The Impresario, Dido 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

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.

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This year FHSU presents Company. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Company remains original and fresh with its themes of marriage, commitment, friendship, and loneliness. Mr. Sondheim's unforgettable score with the urbane book by Mr. George Furth mark it as a landmark of modern musical theatre. There has never been a franker, more sophisticated work for the musical stage with the courage to be both bitter and honest about love and marriage. The original production was nominated for fourteen Tony Awards and won six including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Music and Book.

Company will be presented in Felten-Start Theater, Malloy Hall:
October 4, 7:30 p.m.
October 5, 7:30 p.m.
October 6, 7:30 p.m.
October 8, 2:30 p.m. Matinée

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

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.

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The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard was the final play written by Anton Checkov. According to Robert Brustein The Cherry Orchard represents "some kind of powerful culmination of all his dramas up to that time." A Russian aristocratic family reurns to their estate just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage. They are unable to accept offers to otherwise save the estate and it is sold to the son of a former serf. The family must now forever leave their generational home to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.

"The Cherry Orchard ... sends one into the street feeling like a piano played upon at, not in the middle but all over the keyboard and with the lid left open so that the sound goes on." - Virginia Woolf

The Cherry Orchard will be presented in Felten-Start Theater, Malloy Hall:
November 9, 7:30 p.m.
November 10, 7:30 p.m.
November 11, 7:30 p.m.
November 12, 2:30 p.m. Matinée

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Present Laughter

The irrepressible wit and style of Noel Coward sparkles like champagne sunlight. This irresistible romantic comedy is set in 1938 in the handsome London flat of the popular and pampered actor Garry Essendine as he confronts his mid-life crisis. But a series of hilarious events involving women who want to seduce him, an obsessed young playwright, his long-suffering secretary, and his estranged wife threaten to drive him to distraction. Present Laughter has played all over the world, including four Broadway revivals. The latest revival, on Broadway in 2017, was nominated for three Tonys and won Best Actor for its star Kevin Kline.

Present Laughter will be presented in Felten-Start Theater, Malloy Hall:
March 1, 7:30 p.m.
March 2, 7:30 p.m.
March 3, 7:30 p.m.
March 4, 2:30 p.m. Matinée

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

Ticket Information

Reserve tickets online at

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