Joplin, MO – Sure, it could have been called “Sweets & Soliloquies,” or even “Booze and the Bard.” But the end, most people would simply wind up referring to it as “That Shakespeare Thing,” so the name stuck.

“That Shakespeare Thing!” – an event to raise funds for the upcoming Missouri Shakespeare Festival – will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom. Invited guests will tackle Shakespeare’s prose in an effort to win one of two awards during the dessert and wine reception.

Participants will include:

Rob O’Brien, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

Howie Nunnelly, DJ at 105.3 New Life Radio

Emily Frankoski, community arts director for Connect2Culture

Jessica Schaer, anchor for KSN-TV

Ryan Stanley, city councilman and financial advisor for Edward Jones

Two awards will be presented. The Kindness Award will go to the performer with the most pledges earned. The Merit Award will go to the evening’s outstanding performer.

Tickets are $25 per person. There will also be a silent auction of “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired artwork created by local artists. Proceeds will help to provide a stipend for company members who will be traveling to Missouri Southern to help stage a production of “Romeo and Juliet” June 23-26.

To reserve tickets, call 417-625-9393. To make a pledge on behalf of one of the performers or for more information, visit