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College of Humanities & Fine Arts

From Chico State to Clinton Area Showboat Theatre

The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (CAST) is a 217- seat theatre located in Clinton, Iowa, where cast employees and students have been able to produce comedies and musicals for the last 21 years. The Showboat theatre is currently run by Chico State’s very own, Matthew Teague Miller. Miller has just completed his fifth season as the Producing Artistic Director of CAST. He’s also an actor, an Assistant Professor here at Chico State and a Co-Director of the Music and Theatre Department.. He directs about two to three shows a season and performs in concerts as well.

Kathryn Aarons, a former Chico State student, worked with CAST as a professional company member in all five summer shows at The Showboat Theatre (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Blithe Spirit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Who’s Tommy, and SHOUT! ), four of which were directed by Matthew Teague Miller. Aarons also had the opportunity to perform alongside a number of Chico State alumni including Jami Watt Miller and Lara Tenckhoff.

A number of Chico State alumni were also responsible for the production work at CAST. Hayden Bearden, class of 2019, did the sound design for all five productions at CAST and Kyrsten Goodrich was the stage manager for  Blithe Spirit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Who’s Tommy. Nicoletta Flores, class of 2019, was assistant stage manager for all five productions. Brandon Burchard, a senior and  Musical Theatre major here at Chico State, worked on set of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Who’s Tommy. Jami Witt Miller,  Chico State Alumni and faculty in the Music and Theatre Department, performed in Blithe Spirit.

Though there’s no direct affiliation between Chico State and CAST, many of our alumni have worked with the theatre over the years. Miller, Chico State faculty and a CAST director, encourages his students to apply for summer jobs at summer stock companies. When asked about the relationship  between CAST and Chico State, Aarons stated that “For the actors specifically, he (Miller) encouraged and coached many of us to attend Midwest Auditions in Saint Louis, which allows over 20 professional theatre companies to audition students for summer jobs…” Many alumni to have been fortunate enough to work at The Showboat and have returned to Chico feeling positively about their experience with the theatre, whether it be as an actor or on the technical side. Baldwin Wallace, Carnegie Mellon and Western Michigan were also universities that were well represented alongside Chico State.

Story by Delila Solomon, PR Intern, College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

On the set of Blithe Spirit
Showboat theatre

Photo by Artsmith Photography. Kathryn Aarons (left), Lara Tenckhoff (right)

On the set of- The Who’s Tommy
On the set of- The Who’s Tommy
Photo by Artsmith Photography. Ryan Wagner (left), Brandon Burchard (right)
On the set of -The Who’s Tommy
 On the set of “The Who’s Tommy”
Photo by Artsmith Photography. Lucas Asay (left), Kathryn Aarons (right)
Opening night of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
 Opening night of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Directed by Chico State Alumni, Lara Tenckhoff. Photo by Artsmith Photography. Jami Witt Miller, Matthew Teague Miller, Kathryn Aarons, Nicoletta Flores, Kyrsten Goodrich, Hayden Bearden & Lara Tenckhoff.