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MSU original theatrical production ‘The Snipe Hunter’s Circus’ debuts this month

Morehead State University’s theatrical productions regularly showcase the talents of MSU students, whether they are performing on stage or working behind the scenes. For MSU’s next theatrical production, students played an even greater role in the creative process. 

MSU’s School of Creative Arts will present an original production, “The Snipe Hunter’s Circus,” from Friday, March 28, through Sunday, March 30, at the Lucille Caudill Little Theatre. Show time for each show is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7. 

“The Snipe Hunter’s Circus” is an original play from Will Murphy, a senior theatre major minoring in both creative writing and philosophy from Alexandria. Through a series of more than a dozen vignettes featuring a variety of circus-style performances, it tells the story of a group of clowns who are on a fruitless mission hunting for the illusive fictional creatures known as snipes.  

Murphy said he was inspired by a combination of both his love of the circus and the frustration of being sent on snipe hunts by his older brother when he was a child. While the play is entertaining on a surface level, Murphy said it manages to have a deeper meaning. 

“A lot of things we do (in life) are snipe hunts and we can try to find the thing we’re looking for but we’re not going to,” he said. ”It’s about the moment more than it’s about the goals.” 

Tasked with bringing Murphy’s play to life is costume shop supervisor and first-time director Becky Scott. She said it is a rare thing for MSU Theatre to produce a full-length play written by a student, but the caliber of Murphy’s writing made a convincing case to include it in the theatrical season.  

“We read it and thought it was good enough quality and, of course, we want to encourage our students to do their work and continue with their interests specifically,” Scott said. 

As a former costume supervisor for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) Circus and the RBBB Clown College, Scott finds herself in familiar territory. The production, which takes place in the round, will feature a mix of experienced students and first-time MSU performers showcasing a story where the circus setting and performance elements are over-the-top but where the clowns are given a bit of humanity and relatability. 

“I am really excited about it because everyone is really talented and they have risen to the occasion and they are definitely taking the work as seriously as if it was a well-known playwright or a classical piece,” Murphy said. “I’m really excited to see it come together.” 

To learn more about MSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, call 606-783-2473, email mtd@moreheadstate.edu or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/theatre

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