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Cronkite in the Theatre

Visitors of the Cronkite memorial can now see Walter Cronkite come to life as the third and final installation of the Cronkite plays hits the stage.

Gordon Mapley, Dean and Executive Director of Western Institute was excited to announce the touring of the Cronkite trilogy as the university works to bring the final play to life.

“The third play is based upon Martin Luther King and Walter Cronkite. They are auditioning actors right now for the role of Martin Luther King. They have been in contact with the King family and will send them a video of a read-through of the play. The hope is that the King family will approve this third play; if they do, that will become a part of Phase 4. When they celebrate Cronkite’s 100 year anniversary of his birth, they will perform all three plays,” Mapley said.

The plays are scheduled to be performed in a variety of venues, including Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, The Truman Library in Independance, Missoouri, and Lincoln Center in New York.

The final performance in New York City will allow all three of the Cronkite children as well as CBS president, Leslie Moonves to be in attendance.

In addition to the live plays, the Cronkite memorial is home to several artifacts serving as a reminder for aspiring journalists to make ethical decisions in their professional careers.

“Current journalists give slanted view of news, what is going on in the world; Walter Cronkite stood for the opposite of that.  He wanted to make sure people had the facts and that they were delivered as facts and not as opinions. He stood for educational integrity and people being able to make up their own minds about what is happening in the world. Having the memorial here is a constant reminder of that,” Mapley said.

The annual Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics and Journalistic Integrity is set to coincide with Cronkite’s 100th birthday celebration on Nov. 6.

Robert Vartabedian, President of Missouri Western State University, is thrilled to bring the life and times of Cronkite to the stage.

“We not only have the memorial, which is, I think, the finest museum honoring Walter Cronkite in the world right on our campus, but we also have live shows as capstone experiences to visiting the museum,” Vartabedian said. “I think Walter Cronkite becomes particularly important in  today’s world, given where journalism has gone since he died in 2009. I think he was a stickler for double-checking facts, verifying his sources, not editorializing, unless he clearly stated. They refer to him as the “gold standard” that I don’t think we will ever quite match.”

 

 

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