Founding MASC members leave lasting legacy - Republic-Times | News

Founding MASC members leave lasting legacy

By on January 31, 2018 at 12:51 pm

John and Kathy Campbell

After helping to bring community theater into Monroe County and nurturing it to its current level of success, two local thespians are nearing their curtain call. 

John and Kathy Campbell moved to Columbia in 1995 and attended an exploratory meeting about starting the Monroe Actors Stage Company in 1999. 

In the last 19 years, the two have remained heavily involved in MASC. But having grown up in Owensboro, Ky., and with family still in that area, they are  ready to return home.

“It’s always tough to leave something you’ve nurtured for almost 20 years,” John explained. “But, you know, life goes on. And we have good people there that will keep the theater going. I’m not worried about that.”

John recalled the original meeting he and his wife attended regarding MASC at Columbia City Hall, and how their first performance had been at a storefront church in Columbia that no longer exists. At the time, success boiled down to creativity and resourcefulness.

“You have a budget of zero when you start so you get together and make costumes and mock up scenery, and you spend zero,” he said. “And I don’t think we charged much either at the beginning.”

Kathy noted that success for the group was also defined in smaller terms at the start, with 25 people in attendance having been considered a good showing. She also relishes the idea that such a grassroots organization has managed to have a major impact on so many…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the January 31, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.