The 1960’s

Dr. and Mrs. John Lawrence, along with Mr. and Mrs. “Red” Argubright, co-owned the old Arrow Rock Baptist church, left vacant when congregations consolidated, due to a declining population in the village. The Lawrences and the Argubrights offered to make the empty building available to house a theatre.

Mr. Henry Swanson, a professor at Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, now Columbia College, was engaged as Artistic Director, who proposed the Lyceum’s first budget: $3,500. The first season consisted of three nineteenth century plays, opening with The Importance of Being Earnest.

Mr. Swanson wrote: “If you visit Arrow Rock today you will find a quaint, serene village with virtually every building restored; rest rooms, running water, and an expanded Lyceum with functional air-conditioning and rest rooms. Not so in 1961. Living conditions were terrible, half the town was in shanty-town shape, our water came from the Santa-Fe spring (now condemned) in gallon jugs with bugs swimming in the water. Kansas City Power and Light had to re-wire the town from the highway just to get 100 ampere service to the theatre. It was hard, desperate work but still we opened on schedule with twenty-six dollars and change remaining from the initial capitalization.”

In 1967 a building fund committee was formed to raise money for a much needed expansion that would consolidate the scene shop and costume shop (then located two blocks from the theatre), increase the size and comfort of the theatre for the audience, and expand and better equip the stage (then only 9 feet by 20 feet). The cost would be $45,000. Ground was broken in spring of 1969. The new expansion opened on July 3rd of that year.

1961

  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Charley’s Aunt
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • Angel Street

1962

  • The Imaginary Invalid
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Playboy of the Western World
  • The Admirable Chrichton

1963

  • Volpone
  • The Contrast
  • The Devil’s Disciple
  • The Mistress of the Inn

1964

  • Thieves’ Carnival
  • The Shoemaker’s Holiday
  • Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines
  • The Misanthrope

1965

  • The Country Wife
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Hedda Gabler
  • Tartuffe
  • Venus Observed

1966

  • The Miser
  • The Rainmaker
  • The Skin of Our Teeth
  • Uncle Vanya
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor

1967

  • Charley’s Aunt
  • The Corn is Green
  • School for Scandal
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • What Every Woman Knows
  • Death of a Salesman

1968

  • Ah, Wilderness!
  • Gigi
  • Cheats of Scapin
  • Amadee
  • The Lady’s Not for Burning

1969

  • Summer and Smoke
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Mlle. Colombe
  • My Three Angels
  • The Three Sisters

Photos from the 1960's

charley's aunt 1961
henry and alice

The 1970’s

Dr. and Mrs. John Lawrence, along with Mr. and Mrs. “Red” Argubright, co-owned the old Arrow Rock Baptist church, left vacant when congregations consolidated, due to a declining population in the village. The Lawrences and the Argubrights offered to make the empty building available to house a theatre.

Mr. Henry Swanson, a professor at Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, now Columbia College, was engaged as Artistic Director, who proposed the Lyceum’s first budget: $3,500. The first season consisted of three nineteenth century plays, opening with The Importance of Being Earnest.

Mr. Swanson wrote: “If you visit Arrow Rock today you will find a quaint, serene village with virtually every building restored; rest rooms, running water, and an expanded Lyceum with functional air-conditioning and rest rooms. Not so in 1961. Living conditions were terrible, half the town was in shanty-town shape, our water came from the Santa-Fe spring (now condemned) in gallon jugs with bugs swimming in the water. Kansas City Power and Light had to re-wire the town from the highway just to get 100 ampere service to the theatre. It was hard, desperate work but still we opened on schedule with twenty-six dollars and change remaining from the initial capitalization.”

In 1967 a building fund committee was formed to raise money for a much needed expansion that would consolidate the scene shop and costume shop (then located two blocks from the theatre), increase the size and comfort of the theatre for the audience, and expand and better equip the stage (then only 9 feet by 20 feet). The cost would be $45,000. Ground was broken in spring of 1969. The new expansion opened on July 3rd of that year.

1970

  • Angel Street
  • The Doctor in Spite of Himself
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot
  • The Beaux Strategem
  • Shadow and Substance
  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street
  • Arsenic and Old Lace

1971

  • The Matchmaker
  • Blithe Spirit
  • Squaring the Circle
  • The Innocents
  • The Admirable Chrichton
  • The Scarecrow
  • The Reluctant Dragon

1972

  • Springtime for Henry
  • The Italian Straw Hat
  • Dr. Knock
  • Look Homeward Angel
  • The Girls in 509

1973

  • The Amorous Flea
  • Philadelphia, Here I Come
  • Hotel Paradiso
  • The Enchanted
  • Twelfth Night
  • Purple Dust

1974

  • Pow!
  • Hay Fever
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • The Mousetrap
  • The Romantics
  • Barber of Seville
  • Fum

1975

  • You Can’t Take It With You
  • The Last of Mrs. Lincoln
  • Who’s Happy Now?
  • Lady Audley’s Secret
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Love’s Labors Lost
  • Little Red

1976

  • Clarence
  • Born Yesterday
  • Bus Stop
  • Beyond the Horizon
  • Enter Laughing
  • The Lion in Winter
  • The Sunshine Boys
  • Fanny in Furryland

1977

  • The Imaginary Invalid
  • The Lion in Winter
  • The Good Doctor
  • Light Up the Sky
  • The Beautiful People
  • The Birthday Party
  • The Winter’s Tale

1978

  • The Showoff
  • Private Lives
  • Springtime for Henry
  • No Time for Comedy
  • The Subject Was Roses
  • The Country Girl
  • Harlequino

1979

  • The King of Hearts
  • Seascape
  • Misalliance
  • L’Affaire Dufausset
  • The Pleasure of His Company
  • The Last Analysis
  • Saloon

Photos from the 1970's

seascape
1970s lyceum

The 1980’s

A young man named Michael Bollinger was hired by the Lyceum where he served as Artistic Director for 25 years. During Mr. Bollinger’s tenure, he expanded the Lyceum’s reach by introducing 20th century musicals to the repertoire. In 1984 he produced a new musical about President Harry Truman called The Buck Stops Here, which was later performed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.. Mr. Bollinger also produced a winter radio show on Columbia radio station KBIA, he formed the Mid-America Acting Company to develop local actors, and instituted a national playwriting competition to encourage the development of new American plays.

In 1983, the Lyceum became the first theatre in Missouri to receive an award from the Missouri Arts Council.

1989 a young man named Philip Coffield was hired and began a twenty year career as the Lyceum’s Associate Artistic Director.

1980

  • Man of La Mancha
  • Last of the Red Hot Lovers
  • Godspell
  • A Flea In Her Ear
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Of Mice and Men

1981

  • Grease
  • Classic Comics
  • Guys and Dolls
  • The Fantasticks
  • Sleuth
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Mark Twain, Studying for the Gallows
  • Humphrey Bogart, Ode to a Tough Guy

1982

  • Cabaret
  • Blithe Spirit
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Company
  • The Rainmaker
  • The Elephant Man

1983

  • West Side Story
  • Barefoot in the Park
  • Cotton Patch Gospel
  • Once Upon a Mattress
  • Our Town
  • Romeo and Juliet

1984

  • Annie
  • Diamond Studs
  • A Gown for His Mistress
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • The Buck Stops Here

1985

  • The Music Man
  • Cabaret
  • Man of La Mancha
  • Thieves’ Carnival
  • Charley’s Aunt
  • Eleven Zulu
  • Cotton Patch Gospel

1986

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Sweet Charity
  • 1940’s Radio Hour
  • The Foreigner
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dreams
  • The Diviners
  • Pump Boys and Dinettes

1987

  • The Wiz
  • Noises Off
  • The Robber Bridegroom
  • Anything Goes
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Native Stone
  • Greater Tuna

1988

  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • The Sound of Music
  • Music Comedy Murders of 1940
  • The Nerd
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Jeremiah
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • A Chorus Line

1989

  • South Pacific
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • Animal Crackers
  • The Miss Firecracker Contest
  • The Boys Next Door
  • Jugger’s Rain
  • The Mystery of Irma Vep
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’

Photos from the 1980's

lamancha
grease

The 1990’s

The efforts of Mr. Bollinger were rewarded with rapidly increasing attendance. The interest in the Lyceum was so great that it was becoming evident that the walls must expand to accommodate the growing audience–200 seats just weren’t enough. After many revisions and concessions made to ensure that the new building preserved the quaintness of the converted 19th century Baptist church, construction began on the new Lyceum, a nearly million dollar project. With the help of state income tax credits granted under the Missouri Neighborhood Assistance Program and generous supporters, the new improved Lyceum re-opened in 1993 with Lerner and Lowe’s musical, Brigadoon. The old Baptist church structure became a spacious lobby and a surprisingly inconspicuous addition contained a much larger stage, seating for 408, expanded dressing rooms and a much larger costume shop. A new scenic studio was also constructed to allow ample room to build the elaborate sets that the new facility would require. The scenic studio was expanded again in 1995 to provide even more space for both construction and storage.

In 1994, Mr. Bollinger himself was given an award by the MAC, as theatre attendance continued to climb. By the late 90’s, Lyceum seasons often included as many as nine productions a year.

1990

  • Oklahoma
  • Big River
  • Tintypes
  • The Foreigner
  • Born Yesterday
  • Ragtime: The Scott Joplin Story
  • Nunsense

1991

  • Smoke on the Mountain
  • Gypsy
  • Guys and Dolls
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Working
  • The Doctor in Spite of Himself
  • From Dust Thou Art
  • Annie

1992

  • Godspell
  • Damn Yankees
  • Dames at Sea
  • Lend Me a Tenor
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Abundance
  • The Adventurers
  • The Nerd
  • Smoke on the Mountain

1993

  • Brigadoon
  • Oliver!
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • A Flea in Her Ear
  • The Lion in Winter
  • The Rainmaker
  • Cotton Patch Gospel

1994

  • Peter Pan
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Anything Goes
  • Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?
  • Wait Until Dark
  • Of Mice and Men
  • Smoke on the Mountain

1995

  • Carousel
  • Hello Dolly!
  • Pump Boys and Dinettes
  • The Odd Couple
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • The Music Man

1996

  • Annie Warbucks
  • Evita
  • Always…Patsy Cline
  • A Tuna Christmas
  • Crimes of the Heart
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • My Fair Lady

1997

  • Camelot
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Forever Plaid
  • Moon Over Buffalo
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The Immigrant
  • The Sound of Music
  • Always…Patsy Cline

1998

  • Children of Eden
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Radio Gals
  • Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?
  • The Miracle Worker
  • On Golden Pond
  • Big River
  • Smoke on the Mountain

1999

  • The Wizard of Oz
  • South Pacific
  • Shenandoah
  • Tapestry
  • Don’t Dress for Dinner
  • The Trip to Bountiful
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Cotton Patch Gospel
  • The Voice of the Prarie

Photos from the 1990's

new construction
bountiful

The 2000’s

The new millennium saw many changes at the Lyceum.

In 2004 the Lyceum dormitory was burned beyond repair. Thanks to the generosity of the Arrow Rock Community, The Company was housed in local bed and breakfasts, rental houses, and private homes for the next three seasons while plans were finalized for a more permanent solution.

Mr. Bollinger, after 25 years in Arrow Rock, resigned his position in 2004. Mr. Philip Coffield, a Lyceum veteran actor, director, and Associate Artistic Director was named Artistic Director. But before the 2005 season began, Mr. Coffield had to resign for health reasons. Fortunately, Quin Gresham, his assistant, and another Lyceum veteran, became Artistic Director and went on to produce a stellar season in 2005. Sadly, Mr. Coffield passed away in early 2006, a loss felt deeply not just at the Lyceum, but all over the country.

After the 2005 season, the decision was made to no longer run a portion of the summer season in repertory. As predicted the physical productions as well as the casting of the individual productions were greatly improved.

Mr. Gresham, with the board of directors’ blessing reconfigured the organizational structure of the Lyceum to include both an Artistic Director and a Managing Director. In 2006, the Lyceum hired St. Louisian, Steve Bertani as the theatre’s first Managing Director, ushering in a new era of increased fiscal responsibility and operational care.

In 2007, Mr. Bertani negotiated to bring the first-ever national touring company to the Lyceum and in March audiences delighted in seeing Menopause the Musical in Arrow Rock.

Also in 2007, Gresham, Bertani and the Board, were pleased to announce the opening of the new Lyceum housing facility, a 24-room complex that would allow for both more employees and more comfort for those employees. A generous allotment of Neighborhood Assistance Program credits and lot of hard work made the nearly $800,000 project possible.

2000

  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Cabaret
  • Sordid Lives
  • Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Greater Tuna
  • Forever Plaid

2001

  • The Music Man
  • Mame
  • Man of La Mancha
  • Honky Tonk Angels
  • Lend Me a Tenor
  • God’s Favorite
  • The Diviners
  • Educating Rita
  • Sanders Family Christmas

2002

  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Oliver!
  • Oklahoma
  • My Way
  • The Nerd
  • Lost in Yonkers
  • The Dresser
  • Always…Patsy Cline
  • The Red Skelton Show

2003

  • Honky Tonk Angels
  • Chicago
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Don’t Dress for Dinner
  • The Spitfire Grill
  • Amadeus
  • Foxfire
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Cotton Patch Gospel

2004

  • Almost Heaven
  • Aida
  • Big River
  • Pippin
  • The Foreigner
  • Bus Stop
  • The Drawer Boy
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Visiting Mr. Green

2005

  • Peter Pan
  • Bye Bye Birdie
  • Gypsy
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Barefoot in the Park
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Greater Tuna

2006

  • Kiss Me, Kate
  • 1776
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • Harvey
  • Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple
  • Dial M for Murder
  • Tuesdays with Morrie
  • Dracula

2007

  • Into the Woods
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Sugar, the Some Like It Hot musical
  • The Sunshine Boys
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Misery
  • Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming
  • Children of a Lesser God

2008

  • Cats
  • West Side Story
  • Big the Musical
  • Proof
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Little Women the Musical
  • On Golden Pond
  • The Mousetrap

2009

  • Hairspray
  • Annie
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • You Can’t Take It With You
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Nunsense
  • Sleuth
  • It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Photos from the 2000's

salieri
Untitled-1

The Lyceum Today

Continuing the proud tradition of providing professional theatre in the heart of Missouri continues today, entertaining 30,000 visitors hailing from all over the state. Each year the Lyceum assembles an astonishing array of talent from all over the country to produce exciting productions specifically chosen with our audience in mind. We hope that you think of the Lyceum as “your” theatre and we are always eager to hear from our audience members as we continue to grow toward our 60th Anniversary.

2010

  • The Producers
  • Anything Goes
  • Red, White, and Tuna
  • My Fair Lady
  • The Man Who Came To Dinner
  • And Then There Were None
  • Pump Boys and Dinettes
  • Nuncrackers

2011

  • Forever Plaid
  • Damn Yankees
  • The Sound of Music
  • Run For Your Wife
  • Black Coffee
  • The Fantasticks
  • Always…Patsy Cline
  • A Tuna Christmas

2012

  • Nonsense Jamboree
  • The Music Man
  • Camelot
  • Boeing Boeing
  • The Unexpected Guest
  • Buddy
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Sanders Family Christmas

2013

  • Smoke on the Mountain
  • Love Letters
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Meet Me In St. Louis
  • The Nerd
  • A Murder is Announced
  • Hank Williams Lost Highway
  • Tuna Does Vegas

2014

  • The King and I
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Spamalot
  • Witness for the Prosecution
  • Lend Me a Tenor
  • Ring of Fire
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Cotton Patch Gospel
  • A Christmas Carol

2015

  • Les Miserables
  • South Pacific
  • The Will rogers Follies
  • Spider’s Web
  • Rumors
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Stand By Your Man
  • A Christmas Carol

2016

  • Funny Girl
  • Oliver!
  • 1776
  • Murder on the Nile
  • The Fox on the Fairway
  • The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
  • Million Dollar Quartet
  • A Christmas Carol

Current Day Photos

thekingandi
Christmas Carol