MMA Gets in Holiday Spirit with Presser Performing Arts, plus Theater Classes for Spring 2022

Thanks to MMA's relationship with Presser Performing Arts Center, MMA cadets, faculty and staff have a proud history of live show business experience and professional theater, acting and broadcast instruction. This December, they are getting in the holiday spirit on stage with Presser.

Cadets in MMA's Backstage Theatre Production class (in feature photo above), taught at Presser by Morgan Cornett, have been supporting the set construction, and two of our faculty and staff will take the stage in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12 at Presser.

Academic Dean Mike Harding will take stage as Santa Claus, and Chief Information Officer David Wilkins plays Sam the Snowman. In addition, Cornett is Presser’s technical director.

Buy your tickets for the show now, plus scroll down to check out the theater classes will be offered to MMA cadets this spring, thanks to our educational partnership with Presser.

Chief Information Officer Wilkins (aka Sam the Snowman), MMA faculty member and Presser Technical Director Morgan Cornett, and Academic Dean Mike Harding (aka Santa Claus)

Cadet Elijah Asberry paints the floor for the set of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Cadets Charles Davidson, MarQuise Anyaeto and Ian Masters-Moore work with faculty instructor Morgan Cornett to create snow for the performance. 

Spring 2022 Course Offerings in Partnership with Presser Performing Arts Center 

Presser Arts Center provides high quality performing arts productions, instruction in a variety of disciplines including music, art, performance theatre, film, and instruments ranging from acoustic guitar to the piano.  Presser Arts Center offers classes, camps and activities for people of all ages and skill levels. MMA and Presser Arts Center will work together to offer cadets an opportunity to learn theatre techniques.

Acting II (grades 8-12)

This introductory course includes methods and techniques of training in acting, improvisation, staging, movement and characterization. Participation in a live production is required for this course. This may be a Presser Arts Center production or a MMA staged production.

Acting III (grades 9-12)

Acting II is a continuation of Acting I with emphasis on acting styles and classical pieces. Students will examine acting theories, stage voice and work on characterization techniques.

Prerequisite: Acting II or Instructor approval.

Participation in a live production is required for this course. This may be a Presser Arts Center production or a MMA staged production.


Backstage Theatre Production II

Course Description: Stagecraft (grades 8-12)

Prerequisite: Basic elements of scenic construction, design concepts, theatrical lighting, sound technologies, and stage management will be introduced and assessed through practical application.

The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the fundamental elements and principals of technical theatre through hands-on learning that makes use of the production facilities, operations, methods, and technologies used at the Presser Arts Center, and to relate these practices to those used in professional, amateur, and educational theaters.

The course will include a brief history of theatrical stages and technology.

Students will learn the functions of the creative team, production staff, technicians and stage crew.


Backstage Theatre Production III

Pre-requisite: Backstage Theatre Production II (grades 9-12)

An advanced course in theatrical design, construction, and production. 

Students will construct scenery, props, and stitching costumes for mainstage or black box productions.  Academic units in stage lighting, sound engineering, construction, and makeup, will accompany hands on experiential learning.

Emphasis will include:

  • Prop building
  • Design
  • Makeup
  • Lighting
  • Sound

Participation in the Stage Crew for a live production is required for this course.


Broadcasting – Television and Film I

Level 9 -12 grade (Fall 2021 class, prerequisite waived)

Pre-Requisite – Communications class, there could be exceptions to this prerequisite if the student has had previous experience such as achieving the Communications Merit badge in BSA.

Introduction to Broadcasting is a course designed to foster positive learning experiences while teaching the basic production techniques both behind and in front of the camera. The course is designed to involve students in the technological environment of both live and recorded video productions. It is a hands-on course that involves high energy and active participation of the students working under time constraints of production deadlines for story packages and videos, and aid in production of announcements. Students will learn: proper camera framing, video editing, the main elements of news packages and how to put one together, shot sequences, on-air performance, basic cinematography, Storyboarding, how to operate the cameras, how to produce a show using a virtual set, and operating Canon Rebel t3is, t2is. The class is designed to provide the necessary knowledge to run Presser’s equipment and produce both independent productions. The class will provide practical knowledge for the student as well as problem solving skills, teamwork, and showcase creativity.

Students will be expected to be active participants in all aspects of the productions and will be responsible for producing and keeping on record a portfolio of all their work for each segment of the semester.

Portfolios will include written assignments, video or audio recordings of independent productions, video or audio recordings of broadcasts, and any aspect of a production that they are involved with. Portfolios will be checked every 2 weeks to make sure they are current and accurately reflect the volume and quality of the student’s work.

Students are required to obtain a 8 GB flash drive and headphones.


Movement Class

Level 9-12

Perhaps the most important tool anyone has is their physicality, the way they carry themselves and the use of their bodies in movement.

Through movement, students will work on coordination, balance, flexibility, strength, intention, spatial awareness, body awareness, alignment, core development and positive body image , along with breath work, centering, muscle isolation, concentration exercises, stage combat, nonverbal expression, improvisation, the language of movement and focus  to support the creative process . This class will address the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences. This class has benefits for all students, not just performance students. 


Cadet News

Scholarship Opportunity for Engineering Summer Camp Available to MMA Cadets

Thanks to a scholarship courtesy of Chris Schafer ’89 – a Missouri Military Academy alum and graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) – select freshmen, sophomore, and junior cadets interested in the STEM field will have the opportunity to attend the Jackling Introduction to Engineering camp for free.

Read More about Scholarship Opportunity for Engineering Summer Camp Available to MMA Cadets