Northark Drama Presents: All in the Timing — Thur–Sat Nov. 16–18 @ 7:00 & Sunday, Nov. 19 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

Award-winning One Acts:
All in the Timing
Thursday–Saturday, Nov. 16–18 at 7:00PM
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2:00PM

All in the Timing, a Northark Drama production, will be performed at Harrison’s historic Lyric Theater Thursday through Saturday, November 16–18, at 7:00pm and Sunday, November 19, at 2:00pm. Advance tickets: $4 general public, $2 Northark students (with Northark ID); at-the-door tickets: $5 general public, $3 Northark students. Advance tickets available at TheLyric.org or by calling (870) 391-3504.

This fall, live at the historic Lyric Theater on the downtown Harrison, Arkansas squareNorthark Drama brings to life a series of curious events that defy dimensions and transcend time. The award-winning All in the Timing, written by David Ives, is a collection of five one-act plays that detail happenings in apparently dissimilar worlds that are, upon deeper inspection, more alike than not.

Beginning this journey is the story of Bill (Jesse Janus), who sets his sights on an attractive young woman named Betty (Shelby Stracner). Bill tries flirting with Betty, but she only has eyes for…William Faulkner. When Bill begins to fail horribly in his attempted wooing, he is granted merciful aid by Mysterious Fate (Brianna Marcil) and her Magic Bell, which rings every time Bill sticks his foot in his mouth.

The setting fades (and the times change!) to a laboratory where an eccentric scientist has captured three chimps, intending the trio to “write into infinity,” if need be, until they create of their own accord the famous and much beloved Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. This apparently eternal sentence brings the chimps to question their existence…and why they’re named Kafka (Callie Johnson), Milton (Raelyn Selvidge), and Swift (Stacy Fisher). Kafka is more than thrilled to attempt this feat, while Swift rocks the boat, and Milton tries to protect the scientist.

We are then swept into a darkened room where a young woman named Dawn (Jacklyn Walker) appears, quiet, nervous, and stuttering. She’s greeted by a mysterious man named Don (Carrie Armstrong), who speaks a language all his own. As Don begins to teach Dawn his tongue in hopes of ridding her of her stuttering impediment, Dawn begins to realize that there is much more to communication than words.

The scene changes to a dimly lit diner where, under the greyness of a world with no concept of time, a sleazy man named Al (Landon Helsel) tries to order more than food from a waitress (Ariel Uildriks) who has more than once seen players like him. He is interrupted by his friend Mark (Jacob Kolb) who begins to explain the odd occurrences that have been happening to him all day.

In the final display of a universe gone wild, the tale of a famous historical figure is on display. Trotsky (Matthew Joyner) is busy, feverishly writing at his table when his wife, Mrs. Trotsky (Kaleigh Billings), tells of him a very unfortunate event: that he died the previous day. 

Says Director and Northark Drama Instructor, Michael Mahoney:

“I’m certainly enjoying working with this young cast. Out of all of them, only one has been in a small play, and all the rest are making their stage debut. These students are doing excellent work with David Ives’s material. These are very challenging scripts because of the way they are written, and the language is extremely hard, but their concentration, hard work, and dedication is sure to make this a fun evening at the theater!”

Come and spend your time with this wonderful cast as they spend their time(s) with us!

Please Note: This production contains adult themes and content;
parental guidance recommended.

OAC Ticketing Link

Opera with a Touch of Broadway…and a Lot of Love! — Of Maids and Men: Friday and Saturday, September 29 & 30 at 7:00, Sunday, October 1 at 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Of Maids and Men:
Opera with a Touch of Broadway
and a Lot of Love!
Friday/Saturday, September 29/30 at 7:00PM Sunday, October 1 at 2:00PM 

Of Maids and Men, a double feature of operatic comedy, will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29 and 30 and on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at our historic Lyric Theater.

Soprano Genevieve Fulks, and baritone Marvin Murphree will sing some of your favorites from musical theatre to cover the range of a relationship from beginning to full maturity in the first act, then present the opera The Maid Mistress by Pergolesi as the second. Rich in meaning, yet bringing that meaning through humor and some of the most wonderful music the world has ever known, Of Maids and Men will leave the audience both touched and laughing.

Ms. Fulks recently portrayed Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera in the Ozarks in its 67th season, reprising the role she debuted with Springfield Regional Opera in its 2016 production of Figaro. Fulks is southern raised and trained, originally from the delta of Jonesboro. She made her professional debut with Opera Experience Southeast as Nella and Lauretta cover in Gianni Schicchi. She is at home in both opera and musical theatre and has since performed with Springfield Regional Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Opera in the Rock, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, The Messiah Project, Forum Sinfonia of Krakow, Poland, Ozark Family Opera Company, Conway Dinner Theatre, Springfield Little Theatre, and Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.

Mr. Murphree has performed opera, oratorio and song recital throughout the United States, having sung with Lyric Artists of the West in Denver, Heartland Opera, Springfield Regional Opera, MSU Opera Workshop, Classic Arts Chamber Works, Branson Arts Council, as a University of Central Missouri guest artist, Jubilee Concerts in St. Louis, Kansas City Bach Festival, and many others in Missouri, Central OK Concert Series in Oklahoma City, as guest artist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and Trinity Concerts in Hutchinson, Kansas.

For tickets to Of Maids and Men, click any of our ticketing links or call (870) 391-3504.

James and the Giant Peach, Jr. — Saturdays Aug. 5 & 12 @ 2:00 AND 7:00 and Sundays, Aug. 6 & 13 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Theatre of the Kids, by the Kids, for the Kids (and, well, for everyone else, too):
James and the Giant Peach, Jr.!

Saturdays, August 5 & 12 at 2:00PM AND 7:00PM 
Sundays, August 6 & 13 at 2:00PM

It’s going to be a “peach” of an August! Join us at The Lyric Theater for an outstanding play OF the kids, BY the kids, and FOR the kids: Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Jr.! Based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, James and the Giant Peach, the play is a brand new take on this “masterpeach” of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming script, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.

When James (Jerome Sweatman) is sent by his

book Cover
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conniving and dastardly aunts, Spiker and Sponge (Brinkley Brewer and Anastazja Stewart) to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean, and launches a journey of enormous peach-portions. James befriends a collection of singing creatures—Ladybug (Annejanette Cole), Grasshopper (Chyler Caraway), Spider (Gabriella Balmer), Earthworm (Logan Cole)—that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

Narrated by Ladahlord (Jaxon Whitney), a mysterious creature, this musical contains an ensemble of wild, wacky, wonderful characters, from 5 years old to 18 years old! From Willy Wonka and his Oompa-Loompas, to Bitsy Botana and her Ladies Garden Guild, there is sure to be a colorful character that you will love! The ensemble includes children from previous productions, and quite a few new ones too, all lending their time and talent to make this production abso-fruit-ly fantastic: Serena Bolonsky, Zoey Bolonsky, Callie Caraway, Jocelyn Green, Lorelai Green, Declan Jenkins, Kyran Jenkins, Candace Lambert, Zachary Linn, Cammie Linscott, Shyanne Lusk, Chloe Monk, Faith Nix, Emma Pruitt, Sadie Sharp, Elizabeth Smith, Kayla Smith, Lexi Sprenger.

James and the Giant Peach, Jr. will run 2 shows on August 5 & 12 at 2:00 pm AND 7:00 pm, and matinees on August 6 & 13 at 2:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased at TheLyric.org or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Early bird ticket prices (online or over the phone): $12 Adult, $10 Senior/Student, $8 Children.

At the door ticket prices: $15 Adult, $13 Senior/Student, $11 Children.

“Give Peach a chance,” and don’t miss this fantastic production!

OAC Ticketing Link

Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens — Thur–Sat Sept. 14–16 @ 7:00 & Sunday, Sept. 17 @ 2:00 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

 

Cast Is Set…Rehearsals Start Soon!
Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sept. 14–16 at 7:00PM
Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2:00PM

Auditions were held at the Lyric Theater for Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens on Monday June 19 and Tuesday June 20, and director Mary Bishop announces the results below!

Performances will be September 14–17.

Directed by Mary Bishop (who, among many other things, brought you the world premiere of Doublewide, Texas!), this is a gut-busting Jones Hope Wooten farce. A stand-alone play in its own right, Last Round-Up of the Guacamole Queens is the third and final comedy in the Verdeen Cousins Texas Trilogy that begins with The Red Velvet Cake War and continues with Rev’s Exes. It’s been said, “You’ll laugh so hard you might even consider attending your next high school reunion!”

Mary says in announcing her cast:

I am pleased to announce the cast of The Last Round-up of the Guacamole Queens. It never gets easier to cast…we had so many good people audition, and so few parts to cast. I wish I had parts for everyone. What it came down to was casting the person who best fit my mental image of the character. As other directors know…this is the hardest part of being a director! We have two people new to our stage in the cast, and I am pleased with that.

Cee Cee Windham – Rebekah Wilson
Jimmie Wyvette Verdeen – Karen Mckaig
Peaches Verdeen Belrose – Linda Jones Henson
Gaynelle Verdeen – Dana Owen O’Quin
LaMerle Verdeen Minshew – Lisa Paladino-Johnson
Aubrey Verdeen – Clark Middleton
Dixie Davenport – Ann Barron Lemley
Ennis Crowder Puckett – Mary Crosley
Della Crowder – Stephanie Jean Hankins
Grover Lout – Bill Cassaday
Dewey Davenport – Jamie Taylor
Raynerd Chisum – Dan Reynolds
Tanzie Lockhart – Toinette Madison

The Story

In this deliciously funny Southern-fried comedy, the Verdeen cousins of Sweetgum, Texas—Gaynelle, Peaches, and Jimmie Wyvette—are up against the clock as they frantically attempt to produce the ultimate high school reunion before the old building is demolished. But they’ve got a bushel of obstacles to overcome before they can pull off this miracle: Gaynelle is reeling from the humiliating demise of her loathed ex-husband; Peaches’ romantic life has tanked because the older her dates get, the more horrified they are by her job as a mortuarial cosmetologist; and Jimmie Wyvette is trying to live down her on-camera catfight with a local televangelist.

To top it all off, the cousins have got to impress a governor’s aide with their party-planning capabilities, so that they can nab the plum job of throwing the governor’s birthday bash—and keep their business afloat. Their scramble to prepare the perfect event is interrupted by the exploits of their beloved Uncle Aubrey, who is in danger of getting throttled by the two octogenarian sisters he’s simultaneously romancing, and by threats from their self-righteous Aunt LaMerle, who is determined to be crowned the final and forever Guacamole Queen of Sweetgum High. And that’s before one of Peaches’ former classmates arrives with a malevolent hand puppet and a score to settle, Jimmie Wyvette hog-ties the sherrif with police tape, the high school gym is blown away, and the desperate battle for Guacamole Queen heats up into an outrageous fight to the finish.

Chaos is side-splittingly achieved!

Rollicking Slapstick “Around the World in 80 Days” — June 15–18 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

Adventurous Comedy:
Around the World in 80 Days!
June 15–17 at 7:00PM — June 18 at 2:00PM

 

Hold onto your seats for the original amazing race, June 15–18 at the historic Lyric Theater!

Stampeding elephants!
Raging typhoons!
Runaway trains!
Unabashedly slapstick!

If this sounds like a play you can’t miss, your hearing is perfect!

Come join fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg and his faithful manservant as they race to beat the clock. When Phileas Fogg (Preston Garrison) agrees to an outrageous wager from a fellow club member (Lakin Mills) that puts his fortune and his life at risk, he grabs his resourceful manservant, Passepartout (Jarrett Mann), and sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by Detective Fix (Lexi Knight,) who is thoroughly convinced that Phileas is a famed robber on the run. All seems on track (and even 2 days ahead!) until their train literally runs out of track and the dogged duo run into Aouda (Abigal Kops), the wife of a priest who is about to be sacrificed. Danger, romance, and comic surprises abound in this whirlwind of a show!

Come traverse all 7 continents at the Lyric Theater Jun 15, 16, 17 at 7:00 and June 18 at 2:00. Tickets at TheLyric.org or 870-391-3504. $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students, $8 Children.

OAC Ticketing Link

Raucous Comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” — April 27–30 & May 4–7 — #LiveAtTheLyric!

The Uproarious
One Man, Two Guvnors!

April 27–29 at 7:00PM — April 30 at 2:00PM
May 4–6 at 7:00PM — May 7 at 2:00PM

Under license from Dramatist Play Service, the Ozark Arts Council is pleased to announce the Northark Drama and Theatre Company of the Ozarks collaboration on Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, to be performed at the historic Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas!

In 2011, Mr. Bean (no relation…!) completed a wonderful project of making a modern (well, 1960s, anyway) English adaptation of Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni’s 1743 commedia dell’arte, Il servitore di due padroni (Servant of Two Masters). Both the script itself and the pre-show and interval skiffle concerts, with music and lyrics by Grant Olding, are hilarious.

Please Note: the play itself is not a musical, but it has a couple of short concerts that relate to the subject matter of the play, but without giving anything away. Seriously. (If you’re confused, just buy a ticket; this is how Italian comedy redone by the Brits a few centuries later works. We have all been happier since we determined to just get used to it.)

One Man, Two Guvnors received widespread critical acclaim. For example, this is what the press in England had to say:

The Guardian gave it 5 stars, saying that it was “A triumph of visual and verbal comedy. One of the funniest productions in the National’s history.”

Citadel Guide
Download the Citadel Theatre’s wonderful enrichment guide to get the most out of the show!

The Daily Telegraph described it as “the feelgood hit of the Summer.”
The Independent wrote that it is a “massive hit” and London’s Evening Standard as “a surefire hit”. Blogging site
Everything Theatre described it as “one of the most side-splittingly hilarious productions ever to be staged in London”.
In fact, the show won Best Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for 2011.

When the play came to the Unites States, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune said that he enjoyed it at its opening, but that the flaw in the performance was in the actors trying to push the comedy, when the comedy was already there. He writes:

Those flaws I mentioned, though, come mostly from not trusting the simple truth of the material — I know, “truth” sounds out of context here, but believability still is the foundation for physical comedy.

One of the great things often noted about directors Bekah Wilson and Michael Mahoney is their dedication to “letting the text speak,” having the plot live through the characters and the characters live through the actors…rehearsing to the point that the words and actions of the characters are natural to the cast.

Says Co-Director Rebekah Wilson:

I was lucky enough to see the Broadway tour of this show a few years back and I fell in love with it. I have never laughed so hard at any show. I also thought it was one of the most difficult shows I had ever seen and someone would have to be crazy to try to direct it at a community theater. Obviously, I happen to be one of those crazies…[the cast has] worked incredibly hard, giving it absolutely their whole hearts. This cast has committed from day one to me and this project and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for them and for our community to see what they have accomplished. Don’t miss out on this one guys. I desperately want to share this unique and hilarious bit of Broadway with our hometown.

Co-Director Michael Mahoney wholeheartedly agrees:

Working on this show has been another blessing and challenge in the theatre. I feel the same way as my dear friend and directing partner Bekah Wilson…It is a very challenging and yet hilarious script. The humor is so deep and rich and yet the level of focus and realistic aspects must be present for this show to work. The cast and crew have grown together in their commitment and dedication to making the production a reality for our community. I am honored to be onstage with all of them.

For great comedy well done, you cannot beat One Man, Two Guvnors!

The Story

In 1963 Brighton, out-of-work skiffle player Francis Henshall (Daniel Seay) becomes separately employed by two men—Roscoe Crabbe (O. Wolfe), a gangster, and Stanley Stubbers (Michael Mahoney), an upper class twit. Francis tries to keep the two from meeting, in order to avoid each of them learning that Francis is also working for someone else.

Complicating events, Roscoe is really Rachel Crabbe (Olivia Wolfe) in disguise, her twin brother Roscoe having been killed by her boyfriend…who is none other than Stanley! Complicating events still further is local mobster Charlie the Duck (Rick Porter), who has arranged his daughter Pauline’s (Rowen Bolonsky) engagement to Roscoe despite her preference for over-the-top amateur actor Alan Dangle (Gavin Wilson). Even further complications are prompted by several letters, a very heavy trunk, several unlucky audience volunteers, an extremely elderly waiter (Preston Garrison), a cast of roughhousers (Wyatt Mahoney, Josiah Reynolds, Isaac Stevens, Jarrett Mann, Billy Dromgoole, Sara Davison) and…Francis’ pursuit of his twin passions: Dolly (Michelle Reynolds), Charlie’s feminist bookkeeper, and food.

Backed up by The Craze—Northern Arkansas’s answer to the UK’s fondness for skiffle in the 1950s and ’60s—One Man, Two Guvnors is one you don’t want to miss!

Please note: Adult language and themes, parental guidance recommended.

The Cast

Francis Henshall — Daniel Seay
Stanley Stubbers — Michael Mahoney
Rachel Crabbe — Olivia Wolfe
Alfie — Preston Garrison
Harry Dangle — Josiah Reynolds
Lloyd Boateng — Isaac Stevens
Pauline Clench — Rowen Bolonsky
Charlie Clench — Rick Porter
Alan Dangle — Gavin Wilson
Dolly Michele — Jewell Reynolds
Gareth — Wyatt Mahoney
Cops — Jarrett Mann, Billy Dromgoole

Ensemble, Old Lady — Sarah Davison
Taxi Driver — Billy Dromgoole
Singers — Callie Johnson, Kt Blessing, Abi Kops

Directors: Rebekah Wilson and Michael Mahoney
Choreographer: Katie Beth Allison
The Craze: Bob Johnson, Abi Kops, James Melton, Curtis Reed, Gray Squires, Eric Stefanski
Stage Manager: Michael Krasowski

GENERAL ADMISSION: $12.00

STUDENTS: $10.00

NORTHARK STUDENTS with NORTHARK COLLEGE ID: $5.00

North Arkansas College in association with
The Theatre Company Presents:
“One Man Two Guvnors”
By
Richard Bean

Adult Language and Themes

 

OAC Ticketing Link

The Nerd – November 17–20, 2016

 

Nerd Alert! Get ready to nerd up and scream with laughter when The Nerd takes the stage this November!

November 17, 18, 19 at 7:00PM
November 20 at 2:00PM

The unassuming and, frankly, gumption-less Willum Cubbert (Daniel Seay) lives a relatively peaceful (i.e., rather humdrum) life. An independent architect and landlord to his friends—Axel (Matt Hamblin), a wisecracking
nerd-8smart-aleck of a drama critic, and Tansy (Kirstyn de Jager), a sweet and smart meteorologist with a mutual (but unfulfilled) attraction to Willum—the ebb and flow of life seems to leave him mostly unaffected.

Willum, though, has often told his friends about one exciting thing: the debt he owes to Rick Steadman (Josiah Reynolds), a fellow ex-GI whom he has never met but who saved his life after he was seriously wounded in Vietnam. Willum has always written to Rick to say that, as long as he is alive, “you will have somebody on Earth who will do nerd-5anything for you”—so Willum is delighted when Rick shows up unexpectedly at his apartment on the night of his thirty-fourth birthday.

That same night, Willum is hosting a dinner party for his client, Warnock Waldgrave (James Melton), Waldgrave’s wife, Clelia (Rowen Bolonsky), and their temperamental and bombastic son, Thor (Wyatt Mahoney). Willum’s delight soon fades, as it becomes apparent that Rick is a hopeless ‘nerd’—a bumbling oaf with no social sense, little intelligence,nerd-9 and even less tact.

As Rick stays on and on…and on…his continued presence among Willum and his friends leads to one uproarious incident after another, from a mishap with cottage cheese to a certain…episode…concerning…swine…until the normally placid Willum finds himself contemplating (comical) violence—a dire development that only the machinations of his friends can hope to overcome!

northarkdramaThe Nerd, presented by nerd-7NorthArk Drama and the Ozark Arts Council, and directed by Michael Mahoney, will be live at the Lyric Theater November 17, 18, and 19 at 7:00pm, and November 20 at 2:00pm. Tickets available online or by calling 870-391-3504.

OAC Ticketing Link

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni

A perfect start to your Halloween weekend, Don Giovanni (the Italian for Don
Juan) is the story of the great lover Don Juan, the wealthy nobleman who spends his life seducing women…and ultimately is pulled into hell.  Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Fridaydon-1 and Saturday, October 28 &
29
, at 7:00 and on Sunday, October 30 at
2:00; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

With music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and words by Lorenzo Da Ponte, Don Giovanni is a thrilling musical ride of a traditional morality play, from the tantalizing rush of lust and pride in which the young may be so easily engulfed to the ‘engulfed’ end of one whose debauchery goes unrepented.

The setting is mid-18th century Seville. Leporella (Lisa Marie Gerstenkorn), servant to the nobleman Don Giovanni (Marvin Murphree), keeps watch outside the Commendatore’s (Norman Cochran) home at night. Suddenly, the Commendatore’s daughter, Donna Anna (Jennifer White), rushes out, struggling with the masked Giovanni and followed by her father. The Commendatore challenges Giovanni to a duel and is killed…but Anna is unaware of who has marvinmkilled him. Giovanni and Leporella thus escape, but Anna asks her fiancé, Don Ottavio (Andrew Etherington), to find the ‘unknown’ killer and avenge her father’s death.

In the morning, Giovanni and Leporella encounter one of Giovanni’s former conquests, Donna Elvira (Rebecca Claborn), who is devastated by his betrayal. Leporella tells her she is neither the first nor the last woman to fall victim to Giovanni and shows her his catalogue with the name of every woman Giovanni has seduced.

When peasants celebrate the marriage of Masetto (Seth Dylan Hunt) and Zerlina (Lisa Murphy), Giovanni flirts with the bride, telling her she is destined for a better life, but Elvira warns Zerlina to flee her suitor. Anna, who is still unawareof the identity of her father’s murderer, has asked Giovanni for help in finding the man, and Elvira tries to warn her, as well. Giovanni, of course, insists that Elvira is mad, and Anna and Ottavio wonder what to believe…until Anna recognizes his voice as that of the murderer!

In our production, Giovanni’s servant will be female (Leporella), while that character was originally written as a male (Leporello). This change adds a different dynamic to the relationship between Giovanni and his servant. The sexual appetite of Giovanni is what is generally pointed out, but it is a much deeper story than that—truth, not simply titillation: in the song “O Come to the Window,” Giovanni reveals, through subtext, his feelings of abandonment by his mother as a child. It is this sense of abandonment that has led him to seek to conquer all the women with whom he comes in contact.

Backed by a fantastic piano score and translated to modern English, our singers are from around the United States and have sung nationally and internationally.

Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Friday October 28 and Saturday October 29 at 7:00PM and on Sunday, October 30 at 2:00PM; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

Because of the adult themes, parental guidance is suggested.

Bios of Featured Cast

Don Giovanni – Marvin Murphree, baritone, has appeared in opera, oratorio, song recital and musical theatre throughout the United States and Central America and is a National Association of Teachers of mmheadshot-1-2014Singing Award winner.

Among his operatic roles are Don Alfonzo in Cosi fan Tutte, Sgt. Belcore in L’elisir D’ Amore, Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, Morales in Carmen, Baron Duphol in La Traviata, Count Almaviva in Nozze de Figaro, Silvio in Pagliacci, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, Father in Hansel und Gretel, Usher in Trial By Jury, Uberto in La Serva Pedrona, Signor Deluso in Signor Deluso and others. His musical theatre credits include Tommy Albright-Brigadoon, Fred Graham/Petruchio- Kiss Me Kate, Lancelot-Camelot and Curly-Oklahoma. He has been featured soloist for oratorios such as Messiah-Handel, Creation-Haydn, Stabat Mater dolorosa-Pergolesi, Christmas Oratorio-Saint-Saenz, Seven Last Words-Dubois. Some of the organizations with which he has appeared are: Springfield Regional Opera, Lyric Artists of the West in Denver, Heart of Atlanta Network, Radio Kansas NPR Network, The Modern Music Festival in Boulder, CO, Trinity Concerts, Central Oklahoma Concert Series, The Kansas City Bach Festival, Jubilate Concerts in St. Louis and colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.  Critics have called his singing “passionate” and “especially vivid” and he continues to be in demand as both an operatic and concert performer.

As a teacher of singing, his students have consistently been awarded “I” ratings at district and state music contest at the high school level and his collegiate students have won multiple awards by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Additionally, select students have appeared on the stages of professional opera companies, on international radio programs and on television.  He has coached performers who have gone on to appear in leading roles on Broadway and major opera companies around the world.

As a conductor he has worked with both professional and amateur choirs and orchestras, directing a wide variety of music from contemporary small works, to major classical works with full orchestra including Mendelssohn’s Elijah and St. Paul, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and many others.

Mr. Murphree holds both Bachelor and Master of music degrees and has studied voice with Edwin Quistorff, Harry Morrison and Vernon Yenne. He studied voice pedagogy with the late James McKinney.  Conducting mentors have been Conan Castle, C. David Keith and Robert Burton.

Murphree is the founder and artistic director of The Mosaic Vocal Ensemble, a professional vocal quartet, is in great demand as a Missouri State High School Activities Association vocal music judge, and presents frequent workshops and master classes in high schools and universities.  He has served on the voice faculties of Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University, and The Missouri Fine Arts Academy. He has been Chorus Master for the Springfield Regional Opera.  Additionally, he has provided music ministry leadership in churches in Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.

Leporella – Lisa Marie Gerstenkorn, contralto, is a frequent performer of varied musical styles, including opera, art song, musical theatre, jazz and sacred music.  Lisa recently performed with the Ozark Family Opera Company in Bentonville, AR as Ms. Denari in a new production titled Opera Idol.  In lisagSpring 2017 she will perform as Marquise de Birkenfeld in Donizetti’s Daugher of the Regiment with the Heartland Opera Theatre in Joplin, MO.  She is also singing in her tenth season as a member of the professional chorus for the Tulsa Opera, with whom she made her solo debut as Sister Lillianne in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

Lisa has been a Resident Artist with the Ohio Light Opera and the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, MA.  She has also performed with the American Opera Studio, Mosaic Vocal Ensemble, Shawnee Mission Theatre in the ParkSpringfield Regional Opera, Pittsburg Community Theatre, and with her alma mater, Pittsburg State University.  Favorite roles include La Principessa in Suor Angelica, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, and Glinda in The Wizard of Oz.

In addition to her busy performing schedule, Ms. Gerstenkorn is an Adjunct Voice Instructor at both Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University, and also teaches through her private Voice Studio.

Donna Anna – Dr. Jennifer White , soprano, enjoys an active performing and teaching career. Teaching now in the Kansas City area, she has performed as a soloist for the William Baker Festival Singers, the St. Joseph Community Chorus, the Sacred Arts Chorale, Lawrence Opera Theatre, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, and the Kansas City Philharmonia.

jennifer-white

Previously, she spent a summer Italy, where she performed in concerts at Piobicco and Urbania with the Si parla, si canta program and later returned to Modena, Italy to spend time studying with world-famous soprano Mirella Freni. As a student at the University of Kansas, she was heard as La Ciesca in KU Opera’s Gianni Schicchi, and the Mother in Menotti’s beloved opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other roles include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, which she performed with the Kansas City Puccini Fest, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Flora in Verdi’s La Traviata and Gertrude in Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel. She has sung with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in their productions of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Aïda, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Carmen.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Roberts Wesleyan College and then received her Masters degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Currently she teaches at Missouri Western State University, Rockhurst University, and Meyer Music Studio. She received her DMA in voice in 2014 from the University of Kansas.

Don Ottavio – Andrew Etherington, tenor, hails from Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.  His interest in singing began at his high school, where three musicals were produced a year.  Seeking to break him out of the chorus,
andrew-etherington-tenorAndrew’s mother took the initiative to sign up, the then aspiring baseball player, for voice lessons. After being dragged kicking and screaming to his initial voice consultation, Andrew quickly realized his voice had an affinity for the classical technique and, as they say, the opera bug bit.

Andrew received his undergraduate at Ole Miss and honed his singing and stage skills with Dr. Bill Hall’s American Opera Studio, performing small roles in European and American tours of The Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Albert Herring as well as various concerts containing operatic, Broadway, and sacred repertoire. In 2010, Andrew moved to Baltimore to attend The Peabody Institute.  While there, Andrew expanded his skills beyond that of a performer by receiving mentorship in vocal pedagogy in addition to conducting a volunteer choir at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He also performed regularly in the professional choruses of Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera.

Andrew and his wife relocated to Silverdale, Washington for her career in 2015.  Recently, Andrew performed the lead role of Ralph Rackstraw in the Bremerton Symphony’s production of HMS Pinafore and attended Pacific Lutheran University’s Summer Opera Workshop, directed by Dr. James Brown.  He also has been hired as an adjunct voice instructor at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. Andrew currently studies with Barry Johnson and coaches with Phillip Kelse

Donna Elvira – Rebecca Claborn, Mezzo-Soprano, recently finished her Master’s Degree in Voice Performance at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Before CCM, Ms. Claborn received her Bachelor’s Degree from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.claborn-rebecca-headshot2

She has had the great privilege to work with companies such as Wolf Trap Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater. This past spring she played the role of Rooster in Leoš Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with CCM Opera. This past summer, Rebecca returned to Wolf Trap Opera as a studio artist to cover the role of Stonatrilla in the U.S. premier of Florian Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria. While there, she also had the great honor to perform selections from Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Some other noted performances include Mrs, Mitchell in Meet John Doe, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte and the title role in Cendrillon.

Commendatoren – Norman Cochran, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was active in theater there throughout his school years, with roles of Pooh Bahnormanc in The Mikado, Marco the Magnificent in Carnival, and parts in Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and numerous other musicals and plays.  During his adult years, he was involved in multiple musical ensembles, choirs, and solo performances in churches in several states.

As a great lover of Gilbert and Sullivan, Norman decided to return to public performance in recent years when he learned that Tri-Lakes Community Theatre in Branson was staging The Pirates of Penzance, and was awarded the role of Major General Stanley.  He returned to feature with TLC as Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly, and as Sir Danvers Carew in Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical.

Norman’s first appearance in a Springfield production was as part of the ensemble in Evita, with Springfield Contemporary Theatre.  He also appeared at  SCT in The Threepenny Opera, as Bob the Saw, and other small roles and in the chorus.  Norman has been in the chorus of several operas with Springfield Regional Opera, including La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, The Elixir of Love, and The Marriage of Figaro, and was cast as Abraham Kaplan in Street Scene with SRO.

Norman lives in Springfield with his wife of 38 years, Terri, and has two children and four grandchildren.  He is employed with Mercy Health Systems and has the privilege of working from home! Their daughter, Rachel, was in several productions with her dad with TLC, SCT, and SRO.  He is thrilled to be part of this production as The Commander!

Zerlina – Lisa Murphy, soprano, is originally from Ireland and graduated from the Cork School of Music (CSM) with a BMus, after training as a classical soprano under Robert Craig & Mary lisa-murphyMacSweeney. While there she performed with the CSM Jazz Big Band, accompanying them on their tour to Chicago, Illinois.

During this time, Lisa took her first professional job in the role of Lucy Brown in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, directed by Kevin Mallon & Mary Curtin. Other roles include Mrs. Sherman in FAME and Diana Morales in Chorus Line.

Lisa’s first American role was as Martha Jefferson in 1776 at Joplin Little Theater, directed by Lisa Olliges-Green. Following this she took roles at Springfield Contemporary Theater as Annie in Evil Dead: The Musical and R.C. in BUG, both directed by Nathan Shelton. She also played the three wonderful roles of Annabella Schmidt, Pamela, and Margaret in The 39 Steps, directed by Rick Dines

Lisa is excited to be returning to opera as Mozart’s Zerlina.

Massetto – Seth Dylan Hunt is thrilled to be a member of this project!
With talent ranging from Shakespearean tragedy to grand opera to Musical theatre, Seth has been privileged with sdhheadshotsome amazing experiences. 

Seth’s operatic debut was La Boheme fallowed shortly by Tosca and La Traviata. Seth’s true passion is opera but his love will always be the musical theatre. Starting at an early age Seth would ape accents, learn songs, and even memorize dialogue from films or albums. Recent musical credits include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Chris in Hand on a Hard Body, and Balladeer in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. Other credits include Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde, Giuseppe Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza starring Kim Crosby, and Les Miserables—twice, once directed by Tony-nominated actor Robert Westenberg, and the second directed by Broadway director Richard Jay-Alexander.

Don Giovanni will be performed at the historic Lyric Theater on Friday and Saturday, October 28 & 29, at 7:00 and on Sunday, October 30 at 2:00; tickets are now available through the OAC’s ticketing web site or by calling our office at (870) 391-3504.

Because of the adult themes, parental guidance is suggested.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

October 8 & 15 at 7:00 pm; October 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm
The Historic Lyric Theater – Harrison, Arkansas

In a plantation home, on a single summer evening, a family gathers for a boisterous celebration the 65th birthday of baron of the Delta’s biggest cotton
plantation, Big Daddy Pollitt (Bill catweb-jjEdwards). In spite of the festivities, the mood is somber as the news that Big Daddy is dying spreads throughout the family and they must prepare to tell his wife, Big Mama (Mary Bishop).

Upstairs, Big Daddy’s son, Brick (Marrick O’Quin), is laid up in his room after the preceding night’s ‘outing’ has left him with a broken ankle; he’s decided that staying in a mild alcoholic haze will solve his inner turmoil and get him through both the evening and his wife’s machinations. His wife, Maggie (Julianna Stefanski), catweb-famis more concerned with making sure that their position in Big Daddy’s will is secured, and that Brick forgives her for a past indiscretion…because, meanwhile, on the lawn, Brick’s brother and sister-in-law, Gooper (Michael Amburn) and Mae (Kelly Raynor) have begun their own crusade to win Big Daddy’s favor, by using their children to impress upon Big Daddy and Big Mama how well they are passing on the family name while Maggie and Brick still have not.

By evening’s end, will Maggie’s ingenuity, fortitude, and passion, and Brick’s love for his father, never before expressed, be able to retrieve Brick from his path of destruction?catweb-croq

The Ozark Arts Council and The Theatre Company of the Ozarks are proud to present the most famous of Tennessee Williams’ plays (the winner of his second Pulitzer Prize), a stunning and heart-rending tale about a family that is caught in the grip of multiple evils: lying; greed; the sins of the past; a desperate, clawing hope for the future; and the ever-present feeling of being a cat on a hot tin roof.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be performed the second and third weekends of October, 2016: Saturdays October  & 15 at 7:00 pm and Sundays October 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm Tickets on sale now through our ticketing web site or by calling the OAC office at (870) 391-3504.

Please Note: While considered a modern classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof contains mature subject matter and coarse language, so parental guidance is suggested.

catweb-brimagstandcatweb-castOAC Ticketing Link

Farce of Nature

facepalmWhere’s the best fishin’ in the Ozarks? Right here in
Boone County—at the Reel ’Em Inn, a little fishing lodge right on the Harrison square! It has all the amenities: fishin’, huntin’, a maid packin’ heat, rampagin’ animals…and some gangsters from Chicago thrown in just for kicks!

The Ozark Arts Council and The Theatre Co. of the Ozarks invite you to the great outdoors of the historic Lyric Theater—where the summer is always cooler!—for Farce of Nature, a side-splitting comedy, THIS Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 4–6 at 7:00 PM and this Sunday, August 7 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are available for purchase through our ticketing web site or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Meet D. Gene Wilburn (Nate Jordon), the owner and proprietor of The Reel ‘Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks. Well, it used to be, but lately business is down, tourists are few, and the lone guest who’s just checked in – an extremely jittery Carmine DeLuca (Cameron Carlton) from Chicago – is only there due to a location shift in the Witness Protection Program. Doesn’t anybody just want to fish anymore?!?

fallingCertainly not D. Gene’s frustrated wife, Wanelle (Shellie Renner), who’s fed up with their lackluster romantic life! She’s taken drastic steps to improve it through hypnotic suggestion and for the life of him, D. Gene cannot understand why his pants keep falling down. D. Gene’s feisty sister, Maxie (Dana O’Quin), has her own problems, chief among them battling ageism to resume her career in law enforcement. She’ s determined to prove her worth by keeping Carmine DeLuca alive through the weekend—a task that’s going to prove to be much harder than she bargained for since she keeps losing both her gun and her bullets. And she never anticipated that the gangster Camine’s been dodging for the last five years, Sonny Barbosa (Michael Amburn), is about to walk through the door, in hot pursuit of his sexy wife, Lola (Julianna Stefanski). Seems the headstong Lola has driven hundreds of miles to the lodge to follow her boytoy, Ty (Preston Garrison), D. Gene and Wanelle’s son. But Lola meets her match in Ty’s seemingly innocent girlfriend, Jenna (Sara Davidson), whose patience has reached the breaking point after months of waiting for Ty to come home. And when Roxanne Thorne (Roz Slavik) comes running into their lives, they must all make a decision that could change their lives forever.

In the deliciously funny romp that ensues, they all hide, lie, disguise themselves, cross-dress, and slam doors chasing one another while trying to figure out the source of an increasingly awful stench. But by then it’s too late and the lodge is surrounded by vicious critters and hungry varmints that have followed the odor down from the hills and are looking for some fresh meat…

This hilarious and fast-paced comedy is guaranteed to win y’all over, hook, line, and sinker! So we invite you to kick back, relax, do a little “Woo Pig Sooie”-ing, and, finally, grab ’hold of your belt and shut up and fish!

All photos courtesy Beth Crenshaw Photography.

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