OUR MISSION AND VISION
Talking Horse Productions enhances the Columbia community by producing intimate, character-driven plays and musicals, including the development of new works. THP illuminates social issues by producing scripts that challenge and educate our audiences. THP invests in Columbia by presenting theater to local schools and other venues, and by supporting other local not-for-profit organizations. THP creates opportunities for the advancement of experienced and emerging actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians, and administrative staff.
“Thinking Outside the (black)Box”
In 2011, founder and original Artistic and Executive director Ed Hanson, began work forming Talking Horse Productions, realizing that it was his chance to do something really special. Although his theater background was full of large-scale productions, often musical in nature, his favorite productions as an actor were smaller works, driven by intense characters and rich dialogue. These are the type of productions that Talking Horse Productions looks to create.
Elaborate costumes, advanced technology, and intricate set designs provide a wonderful spectacle for audiences but those extraordinary benchmarks aren't practical for our 70-seat blackbox theater. Instead, Talking Horse Productions focuses on staging plays that demand the best talent and outstanding performances. Each year, we select six plays to produce bi-monthly for our main season. These shows range from comedy to drama, musical to experimental theatre. We shy away from producing the most popular plays in favor of finding contemporary scripts that otherwise wouldn't come to Columbia, sometimes featuring even world premieres!
As an organization, we strive to create a professional environment for performers, technicians, writers, creators, musicians, and artists to stretch and develop their talents while exploring their chosen creative outlet. Beyond our six-show season, our theatre hosts both a long-form improvisational comedy group, "The Stable Boys" which performs bi-monthly, and a short-form group, "The Ponies," performing (most) first Fridays. Each November, our theatre hosts the Starting Gate New Play Festival which gives three local playwrights the opportunity to create two original scripts and have them produced. In our lobby, the works of local artists are found on display changing out bi-monthly. Finally, our venue is proud to host special events and concerts such as our Cabaret for a Cause series benefitting local charities or Meg Phillips Crespy's Guerl-Rilla Theatre, done in partnership with the University of Missouri.
Our belief is simple; our community influences our art so our art will influence our community.
Of course, as a non-profit theatre, none of this would be possible without the support from our wonderful patrons. Year after year, our audiences have continued to grow as they have begun to look forward to our next efforts. We are constantly humbled and encouraged in our mission to deliver the highest quality contemporary theatre to Mid-Missouri. We hope you will also find a home here.