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Cronkite Goes East

'And That’s The Way It Is' performs in New York and Washington D.C. Missouri Western’s “Cronkite” on-the-road performances celebrate the centennial of the birth of native son Walter Cronkite. As a part of the memorial, three live performances have been developed and put into a trilogy. The three part trilogy 'And That’s The Way It Is' includes 'Harry & Walter,' 'King & Cronkite,' and 'Cronkite.' These three different performances are 20 minutes long each. Dr. Bob Willenbrink, Dean of Fine Arts, expressed how he became one of the directors for this trilogy. “After the Cronkite Memorial was built, President Vartabedian constructed this idea of a live performance to enhance the memorial,” Willenbrink said. “It was a real boost for Missouri Western, and I’m glad to be apart of it.” Dr. Robert Vartabedian, President of Missouri Western State University, explains his thoughts on how the Cronkite performances came to be. “With the grand opening of the Walter Cronkite Memorial three years ago, I thought it would be nice to have a live show to go with it,” President Vartabedian said. The on-the-road tour started in Independence, Mo. on May 8, 2016 and continued to Kansas City, Mo. on July 11, 2016. But the tours didn’t stop there. “Chip Cronkite, Walter Cronkite's son, said it sure would be great to bring the show out east to where his father spent most of his career,” President Vartabedian said. It took some planning and several phone calls, but with the help of benefactors the trip was off to a good start. Once the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and Newseum expressed an interest, after seeing a video from one of their performances, did they have their opportunity. Cast and crew, along with students from the journalism department and student government, left for New York City for the first performance on Sept. 23 and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 25. Director of External Relations, Brandt Shields, had helped arranged the 30 students from both departments to explore the convergence of journalism and democracy in conjunction with the performance of 'Cronkite' at the Newseum. Shields hopes that this opportunity benefits all members of the university and community. “The Cronkite shows are a reflection of the quality that exists in all areas of Missouri Western, and greater name recognition of our university helps our student’s degrees go farther,” Shields said. The on-the-road performances conclude on Nov. 4, 2016 at Missouri Western in Kemper Recital Hall. The trilogy will be performed for a private audience on Cronkite’s 100th Birthday.

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