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The Little Company’s ‘Treasure Island’ features returning alumni and unique stage

Morehead State University’s School of Creative Arts and its touring children’s theatre, The Little Company, will present its latest production as scheduled in ways no one – not even the cast and crew – ever expected.  

Adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, “Treasure Island” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, through Saturday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 12, through Saturday, Nov. 14. Performances will also be available for view on Sundays at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15.   

To give the audience a live performance while ensuring audience safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Treasure Island” will be presented on a newly constructed outdoor stage at the Challenge Course in front of MSU’s Recreation and Wellness Center. The show will have a drive-in format, allowing audience members to drive to see the show, stay in their cars and watch the performance while listening to the show on the radio. Attendees will also be given a “treasure box” with a treasure map and show souvenirs.   

Billy Ditty PicturePurchasing a ticket to the live performance of “Treasure Island” also grants buyers access to a link to a recorded version where the entire performance is done in the Victorian style of paper theatre, a performance duplicated in miniature. The stop-motion audio show features paper dolls dressed in the show’s original costume designs, along with music and sound effects.   

“Treasure Island” chronicles the adventures of Jim Hawkins as he seeks out the buried treasure of a notorious pirate. Vivian Snipes, artistic director for Lexington Children’s Theatre, adapted the script for this production.  

Octavia Biggs, the show’s director and director of The Little Company, said once she knew the coronavirus would affect the way MSU presents its theatrical season, she immediately started thinking of solutions.  

“The challenge for me was to offer theatre majors an example of how to creatively problem-solve the issue and to generate excitement during such a sad time in our history,” Biggs said. “This project is huge, and I hope that I am making MSU proud and bringing attention to our University’s theatre department.”  

Atlanta Boggs PictureIn addition to showcasing students at both Rowan County Public Schools and MSU, some MSU theatre alumni have returned to campus to lend their talents and experience to the production. MSU alumni who worked on “Treasure Island” include stage manager Atlanta Boggs (20), sound designer Jonathan Modaff (12) and set designer Chris Swanson (99, 01). Billy Ditty, who attended MSU from 1985 to 1990, designed the costumes for both the drive-in and paper theatre performances.  

“As the director of The Little Company, it is always my objective to find creative ways to challenge our current students as well as connect them to the larger picture. MSU Theatre and The Little Company have a huge list of professionals working all over the world in theatre. I want those alumni to be a resource to our current students,” Biggs said. “When the pandemic hit, I kept hearing about friends and alums that had lost their jobs and I wanted to reach out and offer an opportunity to be a part of something different. I am so thankful for The Little Company and the plethora of experiences we have been able to offer to our students on campus.”  

Tickets are $11 for the general public, $6 for seniors and non-MSU students and free with ID to MSU students. Tickets must be paid in advance and limited spaces are available. MSU students can pick up their free tickets and treasure box at the MSU Theatre box office. The MSU Theatre box office is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on “Treasure Island” and to view the production’s playbill, visit

Online ticket purchase is available through the MSU University Store. Go to and click on “Theatre and Dance Tickets” under the “Merchandise” tab for online payment. Patrons should forward their confirmation email to to verify receiving a link and password.    

Drive-in performance attendees must remain in their vehicles for the duration of the show. “Treasure Island” is approximately two hours long and there are no restrooms available.  

Reservations are required for all MSU Theatre productions and can be made by calling 606-783-2170 or emailing    

To learn more about MSU’s theatre program, visit

Photos: MSU theatre alumni and working theatre professionals like costume designer Billy Ditty (right), stage manager Atlanta Boggs (20, left) and others returned to campus to work on MSU’s upcoming production of “Treasure Island.”