When it comes to the arts, Springfield is one place where you might just see tomorrow’s stars today. For that matter, you might even see today’s stars today!

Performer Kim Crosby is one of those people. Crosby, who has appeared in numerous Broadway productions, on television and in concert got her start at age 5 performing in Springfield Little Theatre’s production of “The King and I” and grew up performing in the city.

“There wasn’t a time when I wasn’t at Little Theatre when I was growing up,” Crosby said.

She also performed in the Springfield Opera as a child. Nowadays, Crosby has returned to her hometown where her most recent performances were “Jerry’s Girls” at Springfield Contemporary Theatre and “Mary Poppins” with Springfield Little Theatre.

Crosby said the performing arts scene in Springfield is definitely worth exploring. “There’s a lot of talent here,” she said.


Performer Kim Crosby.

Besides the local productions, Crosby recommends checking out the schedule at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, a venue at Missouri State University that hosts numerous productions each year, including Broadway shows such as “The Phantom of the Opera” scheduled for May 2018. (Get your tickets now! They’re going fast.) Concerts, comedians, children’s shows and more will be on stage at the hall this year.

Other venues in the city offer a wide variety of live performances.

Not only can you see Springfield Little Theatre productions at the Landers Theatre, you can also enjoy Springfield Ballet (celebrating its 40th anniversary this year) and other local performances at the historic venue.

Springfield Ballet, in fact, is another local group that’s produced a star. Ballerina Ashlan Zay, 17, was recruited by the Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina where she currently performs.


Springfield Ballet's "Cinderella" on stage at the Landers Theatre in Springfield, Missouri.

Zay credits Springfield Ballet with launching her career.

“Springfield Ballet shaped my life completely,” said Zay, who began dancing at age 3. “It was there, when I was 14, that I knew I wanted to be a professional dancer.”

At age 15, she participated in Charlotte Ballet’s Summer Intensive and was offered a conservatory position in the pre-professional division.

“The idea of taking this huge step was both daunting and exciting,” Zay said. “I would be taking my first real move to being a professional dancer, but I would also have to move far away from my family.”

Despite her trepidation, she took the position and continues advancing and dancing in the Charlotte Ballet.


Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri.

The arts scene doesn’t end there. You can also enjoy Springfield Symphony, dozens of galleries around the city and First Friday Art Walk the first Friday of each month. Tent Theatre at Missouri State University and other performances at the city’s universities are delightful entertainment. And Springfield Art Museum features exhibits from its permanent collection along with traveling exhibits from around the country and the annual Watercolor USA exhibition.

At the Gillioz Theatre, a full schedule of movies, concerts, opera, plays, comedians and other productions are available year round with new events added frequently. This year begins with “Potterfest,” a showing of all eight Harry Potter films, and who knows what other magic the Gillioz will bring during 2017! Along with all that, the Emmy Award-winning talk show, “The Mystery Hour,” is filmed at the theater in front of a live audience each month.

Crosby suggests you enjoy all of them.

“It’s good for the soul,” Crosby said. “Any arts are enriching and open up your world.”

Explore more of Springfield’s best attractions to get to know the city.

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