Press - 2013

"High School Musical" Set to Run August 8, 9, & 10


Ever think that the life and times of Romeo and Juliet are eons in past and totally unrelated to the challenges faced by the modern teenager? Think the battle between teenage gangs of “West Side Story” is relegated to the memories of the boomer generation – far from the challenges of the 21st Century? Think again. 

The STARS Foundation has the answers and a unique experience for you. For the past six weeks, 72 members from area high schools and community have been working to let you to experience modern teenage anxiety captured in “Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL Musical.” 

The play has been described as the 21st century version of Shakespeare’s romantic/dramatic play “Romeo and Juliet” with music. In this junior version of the hit musical, the cast uses this production to interpret how good friends can influence an entire student body, making the production appropriate for all ages. Though different in their own ways, they help others see their strengths and intermingle with one another. Audience members will be entertained through music and extensive choreography.

Kyler Copling of Mountain Grove and Olivia Woosley of Houston are cast as Troy and Gabriella, the lead teenage roles, and are supported by new local actors and experienced performers from previous STARS theatre productions.

Opening night is Thursday, August 8, at 7:00 p.m., for the first of six performances at the Willow Springs Star Theater. Additional performances are at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 9, and 2:00, 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 10.

Call 417-254-3168 to reserve tickets now. Tickets are also on sale at Cabool City Hall, as well as at Gigi’s Nail Salon in Houston.


​"Wizard of Oz" to be Staged for Two Weekends in Willow Springs


On 10.03.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

The Willow Springs Theatre Guild present the production of “Wizard of Oz,” this month, directed by Rebecca Peterson of Cabool, who is the creator and executive director of STARS Foundation as well as a guild member.

This year being the 75th year anniversary of this production, Peterson will be directing the original MGM version that she directed two years ago. However, it will be done with actors under the age of 22.

“Be prepared to laugh and be surprised as you witness 89 new cast members from five counties, 139 different costumes, real fire, a real horse that changes colors, a witch that melts before your eyes, the mysterious edited ‘Jitterbug’ scene with creeping fog, and other special effects,” Peterson said.

She hopes that there will be a sold-out crowd to cheer the hard work and effort that goes into these plays. “The audience is really the reason we do this and the more we see, the better we perform!” said Peterson, who herself has six children of her own.

Peterson’s previous productions include “Beauty & The Beast,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Jungle Book,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “High School Musical.”

“The great thing about this version, is all ages can enjoy it.,” she added. The running time is 90 minutes including a 15-minute intermission. The play will be running during Willow’s Oz Fest on October 3 and at 7:00 p.m,. and on October 5 at a matinee only at 2:00. And if you loved it enough you can come again and bring more friends, the following weekend it will be staged on October 10, 11 and 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets can be reserved for $5 a seat for all ages at 417-254-3168 or pick them up at Pizza Americana across from Star Theatre in Willow Springs. They will be $6 at the door. “This is very affordable for such a huge production,” Peterson said. “Take advantage of a wonderful family outing!”

Peterson’s next production will be “Dicken’s Christmas Carol” the musical, tentatively set for the first two weekends in December.


STARS Foundation Moves to New Home


On 12.31.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

by John Gauthier

The STARS Foundation that has provided fine arts experiences to area citizens, young and old, has moved into new facilities at 519 Main Street, Cabool. For the past two years, the Cranberry Merchant store has served as the rehearsal hall and studio, and focal point, for some 150 regional citizens receiving music and art lessons in the facilities. The STARS Foundation Board of Directors and its Executive Director, Rebecca Peterson, expressed their deepest appreciation to Vanetta Sponsler for allowing STARS to use the facilities. It provided such a wonderful place to begin this program.

In late October, the Foundation acquired the 2000 square foot facilities that once housed the Texas County Trading Company. Debbie Lemon graciously provided the means of this new facility. During the week of November 4th, with the help of students, parents and area patrons, the instruments, tables and chairs and papers interrupted Main Street traffic on their way to the new STARS home. Other volunteers helped paint and otherwise prepare the building for its new occupants.

STARS leaders have taken great pride in the acquisition, noting that the new location is not far from its former facilities and remains in the center of the Cabool community. Board President Allison Cox and Executive Director, Rebecca Peterson, expressed pride in the move and the optimism for continued community service for the fine arts it will provide.

The new building is of sufficient size, and with good acoustics, to accommodate the 100 person orchestra rehearsals and class demands of STARS and its students. The STARS Foundation looks forward to continued community support to meet the needs of its citizens in the area of fine arts – music, theatre, dance, and art.
Visit our website frequently for new and upcoming 2014 schedule at www.thestarsfoundation.blogspot.com.


STARS Production of "Christmas Carol" Opens Tonight, Concludes December 14


On 12.05.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

By John Gauthier

Stars Foundation is set to provide the musical version of “Christmas Carol” on December 5, 6, 12, 13, and 14 at Willow Springs Star Theatre at 7:00 p.m. A matinee performance will be held on December 14 at 2:00 p.m.

As a gift to the community, the performance tonight (December 5) will be free admission.

The play/musical highlights the laments and life of Ebenezer Scrooge, whose name and reputation is associated with greed and selfishness. While the story is hardly about Christmas carols, it is about a man confronting his obsession with wealth and his loss of human sensitivities. He confronts his demons and achieves redemption through visions and ghostly visitations on Christmas Eve.

To bring this age-old story to life, STARS has enlisted the talents of new and familiar faces from the region, some in single roles and others doing double duty. Among the new: David Howell of West Plains, who most recently appeared in a local version of “The Wizard of Oz,” effectively portrays the tormented Scrooge.

John Bailey of Huggins is another newcomer in the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present and provides his character with a melodious baritone voice that underscores vocal potentiality.

Katie Shannon of Mtn. Grove demonstrates equal vocal capacity and potential in her convincing portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Making his first appearance in a STARS production, Ben Smith of Mansfield briefly takes center stage as Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley, the reappears in various other minor roles.

Rebecca Peterson, STARS executive director, is the musical and stage director of the production. There will be a live orchestra accompanying the production. The sets invite you to become a part of this experience as it is drawn into the audience members in 4D.

Tickets are available by calling 417-254-3168. The box office will open at 6:00, an hour before the show. Reserved tickets are $5.00 and will be $6.00 at the door. You can also pick up tickets in Cabool at STARS Foundation, 519 Main Street.

The STARS program is open is open to all area students and citizens. Currently, 300 students participate in the STARS program from six counties. STARS Foundation is supported by donations from community businesses and individual citizens. You may visit our web site at www.thestarsfoundation.org.

STARS Students to Stage Musical "Alice in Wonderland" in Willow Springs Theater


On 04.04.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

by John Gauthier

Alice, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and White Rabbit are characters from the Disney musical version of a zany world of “Alice in Wonderland.” They are about to make their appearance at Willow Springs Star Theatre on April 18, 19, 20 and again on April 25, 26, and 27.

Tickets will be on sale April 5 at Landmark Bank in Willow Springs, Houston, and Cabool. Landmark Bank is the sponsor for the production.

Rehearsals for the 75-member cast have been underway at the STARS Foundation center in Cabool since late March. Thirty-five of the cast members are participants in the STARS Foundation fine arts program where they receive instruction and experience with musical instruments and artistic tools on a weekly basis.

Alice, whose quirky experiences and odd encounters are the focus of the musical adaptation of the Lewis Carroll novel and in the Disney movie, is portrayed by three young actresses, who seek to assist the audience in seeing Alice as a normal sized-girl, a taller person and an even shorter, bewildered young girl. Capturing the character of Alice is a challenge in itself, but coordinating dialogue and movement with two other actors to maintain the magic of theatre requires extra special efforts and talent. Meeting those challenges are Tia Copling as the “tall” Alice, Madison Peterson as the normal-sized central character Alice, and Briley Gilkeson as the “smaller” Alice. All the “Alices” agree that the role, and sharing it, is a challenge but see it also as a way to acquire new skills and build self-confidence, precisely the goal of the fine arts programs and a mission of STARS Foundation.

All the Alice actresses are active participants in the STARS program. Madison plays the violin, occupies the first violin seat as concert master in the STARS orchestra and has played in a number of the recent public concerts arranged by STARS. Tia, who has taken modern dance and ballet lessons, has a goal of mastering the cello and playing in the STARS orchestral programs. Both Madison and Tia are at the tenth grade level in home-schooling and provide community cleaning services as payment for the STARS lessons. Briley is in the fourth grade and lives in Raymondville.

Similar casting has been applied to the intriguing Cheshire cat, that mystical, amusing feline who seems bent on confusing the bewildered Alice. Kamron Whipple of Mountain Grove, LaDana Aguilar from Cabool, and Megan Rosso from Mountain Grove fill those roles. Wyatt Ennis from Willow Springs portrays the Mad Hatter and Jackson Williams of Cabool is cast as the White Rabbit.


Class on Growing Herbs April 11 at STARS Location


On 04.04.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

The third botanical gardening class offered by STARS Foundation will feature Becky Scott, owner of Country Petals Greenhouse, Cabool, talking about herbs.

Scott will be talking about the different uses for herbs. She will also bring many varieties of herbs to demonstrate during her class on herbs at STARS.

The class will be held at STARS Foundation, 510 Main Street, Cabool, on Thursday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m.

“Please make plans to attend,” a spokesperson urged.


Relay for Life Concerts May 24 & 31 to Honor Cancer Survivors


On 05.16.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

Sharon Marler is one of the survivors being honored at the Free Relay for Life Concert May 24 at Cabool Christian Church and May 31 at West Plains Civic Center, both at 7:00 p.m. All who have had cancer will be honored. You may submit a picture for the slide show at the concert by calling 962-5391; posting on Facebook “Concert for a Cure”; or e-mailing to matbec@centurytel.net.

Sharon Marler’s Story – in her own words

I never would have dreamed that I would have canter. I had taught for 19 years at Manes and Norwood schools when I was employed as a principal in the Plainview School District near Ava. My board member Al Jenkins sold me a cancer policy, even though I assured him I would never get cancer.

After I retired from being principal in Plainview, Cabool Elementary, and Norwood Middle School (29 years in education), I found a lump in the top part of my chest. I knew I always did mammograms, but this one wasn’t there before, so I got a checkup six months early. This was a very wise choice, because I had a malignant tumor in a milk duct.

I was fortunate that I had the lump removed and it had not gone into any lymph nodes. My team of doctors all recommended a second surgery, 12 weeks of chemo, and 34 radiation treatments to Springfield and back every day Monday through Friday. I lost all my hair and about 27 pounds with the chemo, but I always felt I would get well.

It took me a year to actually get well, but I prayed that I would have a job to do with kids after I got well. Immediately, I became the president on the Wright County Children’s Home board, was hired by John Turner with the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant money to start a Drury daycare, and started the Drury Mentoring Program helping kids have safe, drug-free activities for 16 semesters. I had also been hired as a supervisor for student teachers. My life was so full with also babysitting my two grandsons, ages 6 and 7, in Springfield, I never would have though that my cancer would return after ten years. 

In January 2013, I had an unusual bacteria that was treated; mammograms, pap smear and blood work that came back good; then a case of the flu; then pneumonia. I want tot hank Dr. Hawkins for finding the pneumonia and sending me directly to the hospital with X-rays. Because of the pneumonia, the hospital ran tests on the fluids and found positive breast cancer cells behind the breast in the area next to the lung. We got an early diagnosis, which prevented a massive spread of the disease. I spend the next three months having bone scans, CT scans, PET scans, visits to the cancer doctor and lung specialist. I was able to get into both of these doctors in two days when they didn’t have openings for months — another blessing.

After all the tests, they found breastbone cancer in the left hipbone and in some spots in my spine. The breast cancer had left the original site and found new locations, which is not good. There are so many new advances in treatment in just ten years, and I have no qualified for hormonal treatment against the cancer. I take one Arimidex daily which should slowly starve off the estrogen-fed cancers, but in the meantime, I was building up so much fluid around the lung that I had to have a catheter inserted, which my husband Jimmie is trained to draw fluid about once a week. I can honestly say that the catheter is not my friend, but I am learning to deal with it.

I have had so much support from doctors, friends, family, and my church that I know once again the battle is on, but I plan to win a second time. I want to thank everyone for cards, emails, and prayers. That is what keeps a positive spirit. I would always encourage people to get early testing if they suspect anything is wrong. A great quote I once read said, “Faith is not about everything turning out OK; faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out.”


​STARS Musical "Alice" Proves Infections - "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah!"


On 05.02.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

By John Gauthier

If the people in the Cabool-Willow Springs area seem alight in step– having a zip – and light in spirit – whistling “dee-doo-dah,” the reason may very well be they experienced the infectiousness of the “Alice in Wonderland” musical at one of its seven performances at the Willow Springs Star Theatre during the last two weeks of April.

The STARS Foundation closed its production of “Disney’s Alice In Wonderland” on April 27 after two weekends of performances to sell-out crowds and a last-minute double performance on its last Saturday evening.

No wonder. The 73-member cast ranging in ages from 3 to 16 years old, provided laughs and claps for their characterization of Alice, the harried White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, the Cheshire cat (in three simultaneous actors), the singing flowers, lobsters and royal cardsmen (deck of cards). Each show saw the performance and characterizations of the actors improve, making the experience even more memorable and their music contagious for long after the lights were dimmed. 

There was Alice (Tia Copling) in ballet, the still sassy caterpillar (Bailey Gilkeson) strutting her stuff, the harried White Rabbit (Jackson Williams) circling the stage and theatre, the bumping and bungling of Tweedle Dee (Brante Copling) and Tweedle Dum (Kyleigh Peterson) in the song “How D’You Do.” And, getting all 73 cast members on stage for the finale. One must not forget the captivating performance of Forest Swisher as the King of Hearts – moving around the stage on his knees, wearing a royal cape to mask the charade, and a comical crown with wild patches of orange hair; it was just the right height to capture the enthusiasm and sparkle of his eyes, even in the back row! Nor should the convincing performance of Courtney Burnes, who captured the essence of the demanding queen, be overlooked. Bravo to the entire cast.

The production director, Rebecca Peterson, guided not only the staging of the show but also the music. Rebecca serves as the executive director of the STARS Foundation and principal instructor in its music program. She has played a leading role in the Foundation’s theatre productions during the past several years. For the last three performances of the “Alice” production, Rebecca introduced the “director’s perspective” to the audience in which she pointed out various techniques she used in creating Alice’s imaginary tiny world and the character performances in it.

With the close of “Alice” the STARS Foundation has announced the open auditions for its presentation of Disney’s “High School Musical.” Auditions for singers, dancers, athletes and musicians are scheduled for Saturday, May 18, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Willow Springs Star Theater and at the STARS Foundation facilities in Cabool from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. Anyone unable to attend the auditions should contact 417-254-3168 for an appointment.


Three Recognized as Cabool Dedicated Dogs


Kirby Holmes, left, of Cabool Development Foundation and Cabool Alumni Association presented certificates and Dedicated Dog shirts to Mitchell Bess and Dr. Kristene Sutliff during Tuesday’s Cabool Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. Not shown is Aaron Ayer, another Dedicated Dog.

Three persons who have given of their talents and time for the betterment of Cabool were honored as “Dedicated Dogs” during Tuesday’s noon meeting of Cabool Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kirby Holmes of Cabool Development Foundation and Cabool Alumni Association made presentations to Dr. Kristene Sutliff and Mitchell Bess and also recognized Aaron Ayer, who could not be present. Holmes explained that the Dedicated Dog program is a way for persons with past or present ties to Cabool to share of their time and expertise to work toward the betterment of the community.

Sutliff, a Cabool native and Cabool High School graduate, is a professor at Missouri State University in Springfield. Student projects through her classes have resulted in grant applications made on the community’s behalf and in the development of a Cabool web site and community brochure. 

Bess, who began his association with Cabool through one of Sutliff’s classes, has continued on his own, making videos that feature local citizens and their reasons for calling Cabool home.

Ayer, who is also a CHS graduate, is a Harvard graduate who, along with Holmes, developed the Dedicated Dogs program. Ayer has mentored Sutliff’s students and was instrumental in the reworking of the Cabool web site and its brochure.

Sutliff spoke of her love of the community and how she enjoyed being able to contribute. She encouraged others to also become Dedicated Dogs. She said a grant was written to obtain musical instruments for the STARS Foundation in Cabool, but was not funded. However, while on Facebook one day she saw a friend’s post about free musical instruments to anyone who needed them. She contacted STARS and that person and it resulted in 12 new violins for the STARS. “It’s about connecting the dots,” she said, “keeping your eyes and ears open.”

Bess showed several video clips he has developed which can be used in the promoting of Cabool and on its web site. Before becoming involved as part of one of Sutliff’s classes, he had never even been to Cabool, but has become one of its biggest promoters. His designation as a Dedicated Dog makes him an honorary Cabool resident, Holmes said.

Holmes said there are 30 to 40 people who are assisting the community as Dedicated Dogs.

You can learn more about becoming a Dedicated Dog, by visiting caboolalumni.com.

Gardening Class Tonight


On 01.31.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

The STARS Foundation is having a garden class this evening (Thursday) from 7:00 to 8:00.

Art Davidson, horticulturist from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed, will be doing a match and identify class for kids, but all ages are invited.

The class will be held at STARS, 510 Main Street, Cabool.


Sounds of Ireland Fill Cabool's Main Street Saturday


On 01.10.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

by John Gauthier

For Saturday night visitors to Cabool’s Main Street, the sound of harp music with an Irish tone wafting from the STARS Foundation studio/classroom may have sparked thoughts of heaven and Ireland. The startling melodies were created by surprise guest harpist Dearbhail Finnegan and flutist Robin Slater, a husband and wife team bringing the sounds of Ireland on a tour of Midwest America.

In a detour to Cabool to observe the work of Cabool’s private music facility, Ms. Finnegan and Mr. Slater presented STARS supporters and students with a surprise demonstration of the sounds of Ireland. With a deftness of a superior harpist, Ms. Finnegan treated the STARS audience with her digital adeptness and musical sounds that could be attributed to angels in heaven. Slater’s virtuoso performance on the flute and Irish bodhran drum accompaniment reinforced and heightened the Irish flavor and experience.

In between near modern and ancient melodies, Ms. Finnegan and Mr. Slater guided the audience through photographic glimpses of sights familiar and unfamiliar of their beloved Ireland and their own village of Nobber in County Meath. The audience was introduced to the green landscapes of the Irish countryside that reaffirmed the beauty of the “Emerald Island” and awed by glimpses of ancient castles and pictures of a recently unearthed 3,000-year-old building that some archeologists suggest was a worship center. That building dates to the Egyptian pyramids and seems to rival the Stonehedge of England.

As a bonus, Ms. Finnegan answered many audience questions about the harp, playing techniques and its role in Irish lore. Ms. Finnegan, who serves as a director of the Meath Harp Academy and well as solo harpist performer, described her development as a musical performer, noting that while she eventually studied and learned to read music, her original harpist skills were developed by learning short, Irish musical pieces by memory under the guidance of her teacher. The visit provided the opportunity for STARS executive director Rebecca Peterson to exchange ideas and to engage in a brief private musical duet.

The STARS Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote interest in the fine arts – music and art – and provides lessons on various musical instruments and art to all community residents at low cost or in return for community service. STARS (which is short for Studying, Teaching And Returning Service) is supported by citizen donations and Cabool Development Foundation.


Auditions February 21 & 22 for STARS Foundation Production of "Alice in Wonderland"


On 02.21.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

Auditions are being held today and Friday for the STARS Foundation production of “Alice in Wonderland.”

The event will be produced by Rebecca Peterson, founder of the STARS Foundation and the director of “Wizard of Oz” in 2011 and “The Jungle Book” in 2012. “We welcome ages 19 and under. Everyone will receive a part,” Peterson said. 

Auditions will be held in Cabool at the STARS Foundation, 510 Main Street, on today (Thursday) from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and in Willow Springs at Star Theater on Friday, February 22, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. 

Rehearsals will begin February 28 in Cabool at the STARS Foundation from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks and then in Willow Springs for the dress rehearsals and performances.

Call Peterson for details at 962-3828, 254-3168, or at matbec@centurytel.net.


New Gardening Class to be held on February 14


On 02.07.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

Pick up tips for your own or the coming community garden

STARS had its first gardening class Thursday, January 31. It began with Rebecca Peterson reading to the class the timeless book The Man Who Cooked for Himself by Phyllis Krasiask. The book tells about a man who becomes self sufficient through gardening. 

Then the children divided into groups and tried to match seeds to the pictures of the food that it would become. They also tried to categorize the foods into their food groups and then into their root and stem systems. 

The featured speaker, Art Davidson from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, talked about how Baker Creek Heirloom seeds are non-GMO, meaning they are tested to be sure they are not genetically modified. Davidson is a horticulturist and also does seed testing. 

The class learned it is best to store your seeds in the freezer. The quality of the seed will last longer. They also learned to help preserve a wide variety of plant seeds after harvest. Baker Creek sends some of their seeds to a global seed bank in Norway that is located in a sandstone mountain. 

Davidson answered many questions and gave away four books (two to children and two to adults). Each family was given a beautiful informative seed catalog from Baker Creek. If you would like one while supplies last, drop by the Foundation and pick up a copy.

A community garden for Cabool is being planned and STARS is very thankful to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for donating all the seeds for the garden, over an $800 value.

The next gardening class will be Thursday, February 14, at 7:00 p.m. To follow this program, visit www.thestarsfoundation.blogspot.com.


It's Not Too Late to Experience "Alice in Wonderland"


On 04.25.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

By John Gauthier

While the rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland” may be late for the un-birthday party, area residents have another opportunity TO experience the delightful musical at the Star Theatre in Willow Springs. Performed by a cast of over 78 local actors under the age of 18, the STARS Foundation production of the Disney musical play brought laughter and cheers to audiences during a three-day run April 18, 19 and 20. The production will be repeated this weekend, April 25, 26 and 27, with show time at 7:00 p.m.

Students from the STARS fine arts program were among the actors who brought life to the animal, flower and card characters and gave enthused renditions of such songs as “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” “The Un-birthday Song,” “Painting the Roses Red” and “I’m Late.”

Rebecca Peterson, who directs the musical play, artfully moves a large juvenile cast on a small stage without detracting from the musical flow. The audience benefits and is provided with a sense of intimacy amid a fanciful but simple stage set to create a memorable musical experience. The cast rendition of “The Golden Afternoon” combined lyrical harmony and balance with colorful costuming to make the flowers seem almost real. The beauty in the flower costumes was amplified by the collective attractiveness of the pre-teen pansies, the teen daisies, lilies and petunias and the older teen roses. A delight!

The three Alices (Tia Copling as tall Alice, Briley Gilkeson as small Alice and Madison Peterson as life-size Alice) turned in superb performances and executed on-stage switches with adeptness. The coy and chattery Cheshire cats (portrayed by Kamron Whipple, LaDana Aguilar and Megan Rosso) were believable and contributed to the play’s continuity and direction. Bailey Gilkeson’s portrayal of the caterpillar as a sassy, classy, hipster songstress was a memorable performance that left many in the audience to wonder where such energy was stored in such a tiny performer. In reality, all the performers in the “Alice” musical brought the Disney and author Lewis Carroll’s characters to life and made for a worthwhile experience.

Check it out for yourself. The public is invited to an evening of pleasure and delight that will create new memories for the younger members of the audience and spark remembrances of the storybook and the film for the older set.

For tickets, call 417-254-3168 or contact STARS via the Internet at www.thestarsfoundation.org. Tickets are also available at Landmark Bank in Willow Springs, Houston and Cabool.


Performances of "Alice in Wonderland" Start Next Week


On 04.11.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

By John Gauthier

Ever been to an “un-birthday party?” Well, here’s your opportunity to attend and also to enjoy the music of singing flowers and dancing lobsters that are part of the STAR Foundation’s presentation of Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” on April 18, 19, 20 and again on April 25, 26, 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Willow Springs Star Theatre.

Travel with Alice as she encounters the zany world of talking animals and wacky characters in her pursuit of a white rabbit (played by Jackson Williams), rattled by the realization that he is late for an important event, the focus of the musical refrain “I’m late, I’m late.” The audience will tap to the beat of Bailey Gilkeson’s version of the animated caterpillar’s jovial “Zippidy dooh dah” and Courtney Burns’ portrayal of the Queen of Hearts chanting “Painting the Roses Red.” Once at the party, enjoy Wyatt Ennis as the Mad Hatter’s jittery refrain, “A Very Merry Un-birthday,” as the Disney characters come to life on the Willow Springs stage. 

Rehearsals for the 75-member cast have been under way at the STARS Foundation center in Cabool since late March. Thirty-five cast members are participants in the STARS Foundation fine arts program where they receive instruction and experience with musical instruments and artistic tools on a weekly basis.

The public is invited to an evening of pleasure and delight that will create new memories for the younger members of the audience and spark remembrances of the storybook and the film by the older set. For tickets, call 417-254-3168 or visit your local Landmark Banks to purchase them.

For those anxious to attend a unique un-birthday, the STARS Foundation will hold a fundraiser “un-birthday” party at the Houston Walmart on April 13, featuring tasty goods, gift cards, tickets, and music. Come join us!


​Herbs Workshop April 11


On 04.11.13  |  by The STARS Foundation

Come to the third botanical gardening class at STARS located 510 Main Street, Cabool, this evening (Thursday) at 7:00. The featured speaker will be Becky Scott from Country Petals Greenhouse. She will talk about and show many different varieties of herbs.