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Alumni Profile

Completing the picture


Trent Kendall, BA ’90, wrote and performs the one-man musical comedy Picture Incomplete.

“As of midnight, I’m officially over the hill,” jokes Trent Kendall, playing his fictional alter ego. “But what do I have to show for the last 20 years except a really bad credit score and an apartment full of stuff.”

Kendall, BA ’90, wrote much of his experience as a traveling actor into his one-man show Picture Incomplete. The unnamed central character is one of seven personalities — including a know-it-all female neighbor, a gay fashion designer and a homeless man — played by the versatile and boisterous performer.

The story begins with the narrator returning to his crowded New York apartment after a night out on his 40th birthday. As he takes stock of his life, the audience is privy to his funny midlife crisis through song, dance and monologue.

“I call it a one-man musical,” says Kendall. “My overriding theme is that everyone is so busy doing things that they don’t have an appreciation for what they’re doing at the time.”

Kendall has been plenty busy over the past two decades. After graduating from MU, he earned an apprenticeship at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theater in Jupiter, Fla., where he studied with Charles Nelson Reilly, José Quintero and Reynolds himself. Soon he was landing parts in the Big Apple and beyond.

His theater credits include Hey, Mr. Producer! in London; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which toured Canada; and a national tour of The Wizard of Oz. He is currently playing the preacher in The Color Purple in New York.

Kendall has performed Picture Incomplete at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and has scheduled engagements at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas and at the New York City Hilton.

“The theater department at Mizzou afforded me time on the stage, which is the most important thing for an actor,” says Kendall. “I was encouraged to make an impression no matter what I was doing.”Marcus Wilkins