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James L. Highlander Theatre | UCM Theatre and Dance | University News

UCM Theatre and Dance ‘Remember the Dance’ Returns for Benefit Performance on the James L. Highlander Theatre Stage

By Jeff Murphy, January 10, 2024


WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri UCM Theatre and Dance will perform its original dance play, “Remember the Dance,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at the James L. Highlander Theatre. The show, which is a fundraising performance to aid student performers and crew, was recently selected as one of four invited productions to be featured at the 2024 Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Des Moines, Iowa. This is a prestigious honor as only 20 shows were considered within the seven-state region.

As an invited production, the show will perform three times for students and faculty who attend the conference this year in Des Moines. The performance on Jan. 15 at UCM serves as a benefit show to help raise funds for student travel and touring expenses required to take the production to the KCACTF event. Admission to the Highlander presentation is free and the show is family-friendly.

“Remember the Dance” initially premiered at UCM in April 2023 in the Nickerson Black Box Theatre program. It was written by Assistant Professor of Theatre Dr. Aaron Scully, and was directed by Scully and Ashley Miller-Scully, professor of dance. It includes eight original dances choreographed by UCM students and faculty. The play tells the story of Betsy, a woman experiencing early onset Alzheimer’s disease, who is reflecting on a friendship she had in college that inspired her to become the person she would come to be. 

The choreography is by UCM Theatre and Dance student choreographers; Francois Des Marteau, former adjunct dance faculty member; and Miller-Scully. Kansas City-based artist and musician Jack McClain composed, performed and recorded all original music for the production. Additionally, Matt Pedersen, assistant costume design professor at Southern Utah University and UCM Theatre and Dance alumnus, contributed costume designs and spent the final week of production working with students implementing the designs.

When asked about being invited to present “Remember the Dance” at the KCACTF, Aaron Scully stated: “ I went to my first KCACTF in January of 2013 as a graduate student and it was one of the most inspirational experiences of my life. Fifteen hundred students and faculty come together to share their love and appreciation of theatre and showcase the best our region has to offer.”

 “Ten years later, for a UCM Theatre and Dance production to be invited to perform, is an incredible honor,” he added. “I am really proud of our students and faculty and the work we do - and it’s humbling to know that it’s being recognized by our peers.”

The cast includes: Alannah Trigg as Betsy, Grace Clark as Young Betsy, Jennifer White as Christina, Shanna Sinow as Jillian, TiJhana Hines as Ettie, and Kayla Addison as Lainie. The dance ensemble includes Addison Rutherford, Brittany King, Mackenzie Lewis, Katie Kaminski, and Raegen Weber.
The crew includes, Directors, Ashley Miller-Scully and Dr. Aaron Scully; Stage Manager, Madeline Clark; Composer, Jack McClain; Choreographers, Francois Des Marteau, TiJhana Hines, Addison Rutherford, Ashley Miller-Scully, and Shanna Sinow; Technical Director and Scenic Designer, Spencer Musser; Lighting Design Coordinator and Supervisor, Aleksandra Combs; Costume, Hair and Makeup Designer, Matthew Pedersen; Sound Designer, Molly Blackburn; Dance Captain, Shanna Sinow; Dramaturg, Grace Clark; Assistant Stage Manager, Paige Showen; Assistant Choreographer, Karissa Holst; Lighting Designers, Wes Freeman, Jamie Gresens, Luke Habjan, Ari Kendrick, Hollie Neumann; Costume Shop Supervisor, Cassie Kay Hoppas; Wardrobe Head, Claire Groos; Sound and Light Board Operator, Keyvon Lewis; Backstage Crew, Maysen Camara, Stephanie Heathcock, Kaia Trujillo and Lily Wade; Publicity/Marketing Director, Scully; Office Professional, Lars Jepsen; Office Assistants, Grace Clark and Shanna Sinow.

Anyone who has questions about the benefit production or how to make a donation to the production, please contact Dr. Aaron Scully at or call the Theatre and Dance main office at 660-543-4020.



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