Tell us your stories about the barn venue's colorful outdoor past
COLUMBIA, 8/7/12 (Beat Byte) -- After the Maplewood Barn fire of April 2010, Columbia rallied to rebuild, keeping the spirit of outdoor community theatre alive and well much as they did when theatre impresario Randall Bane started the barn venue in the late 1970s.

Two years after the fire destroyed it, the barn is rebuilt, rejoining new venues like Ed Hanson's Talking Horse Productions and old favorites like the Columbia Entertainment Company.

We'd like to know what the Maplewood Barn Theatre -- and more generally, community theatre in CoMo -- means to you.
Tell us your story and win one of three signed Maplewood Barn sketches, two depicting the barn as it was long before the fire, signed in 1993 by "M.C. Wanes"; and an undated whimsical caricature signed "RB" (likely Randall Bane), depicting cast and crew on the theatre's outdoor stage.  (See postscript below).
There's "Bianca the stunt double"; the director, the prop master; the heroes and villains; and even a tiny child playing nearby. In other words, a typical Maplewood Barn scene.
Essays must be no longer than 700 words and emailed in the body of an email by no later than Nov. 1, 2012 to beatbytes at cc columbiaheartbeat-owner at The Columbia Heart Beat will print the three winning essays and announce the winners by no later than Nov. 15, 2012.
There is no cost to enter, but you may only enter once. Anyone is eligible, including employees who oversee barn operations. So get your Barn on and send in your essay today!

Hello Mike,

As both its historian and a member of the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre board, I was surprised and delighted to see your Maplewood essay competition. 

Let me provide a little more detail on the prizes you are offering. The 1993 barn sketch is by Michael C. Waner. I have a copy hanging over my desk.  The caricature is of the cast and crew of Kiss Me Kate, a 1991 production

I was in the cast (guy with beard and cane, lower right). The artist is Russ Brown.  Neither Michael nor Russ currently live in Columbia, but they were a big part of making Maplewood what it is today.

You may know that we have just published a book: Barnies: Forty Years Under the Stars at Maplewood Barn. It's available at the Barn, on our website ( and in several local stores. If you would like a review copy or want to add it to your list of prizes, just let me know.

All the best,


Byron T. Scott
Professor Emeritus of Journalism
Missouri School of Journalism