In Truvy’s (Trish Lockridge), beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are anybody come to have their hair done, the shop is abuzz with gossip and coffee and hairspray. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (Katie Blessing), who may or may not be married, the wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoo and free advice to the town’s rich curmudgeon, Ouiser (Mary Bishop), whose 40-year-old bad mood has only sharpened her wit; an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee (Gwen Gresham), who has a sweet tooth for football teams; and the local social leader, M’Lynn (Lisa Johnson) and her vivacious daughter, Shelby (Callie Johnson), who is about to marry a “good ol’ boy.” Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions between the five ladies, the play moves toward tragedy when the spunky Shelby (who has Type I Diabetes) risks pregnancy. Though we see how it much it affects them, we are also shown the strength and love of these women who are delicate as flowers, and tough as steel.
Don’t let the “Jr.” in the title lead you to expect a watered-down production missing your favorite songs: when Disney commissions an adaptation for young performers, it’s name is still on the line! Based on the original Broadway production that ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. is a fantastic adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. features some of the most popular songs ever written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice.
As with many of our children’s plays, rehearsals were preceded by a two-week-long workshop, which focused on vocals, acting, and choreography, as well as the proper etiquette for being in a play and attending a play, all of which culminated in a short performance for the family and friends of the children—many of whom are gracing the Lyric stage for the first time ever. Only then was attention turned fully to this play, where those new or refined acting, singing, and dancing skills could be put into practice for the sellout performances this July will bring.
Beauty and the Beast tells the story of an arrogant young prince and his castle’s servants who fall under the spell of a wicked enchantress when he turns her away from his door. The enchantress turns the prince into the hideous “Beast” until he can learn to love and to be loved in return. The spirited, headstrong village girl Belle enters Beast’s castle after he imprisons her father, Maurice. With the help of his enchanted servants, including the matronly Mrs. Potts, Belle begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation. But when the similarly cold-hearted Gaston and his henchman Lefou decide to destroy the Beast, will Belle be able to save the Beast from eternal doom?
We hope you will join us both for the entertainment and lesson imparted by this classic story and for the building of our community that attendance at Arts events—especially at young people’s theatre—always brings. The OAC and its Member Organizations are committed to having children of all ages learn about the Arts and develop a love for them that reaches beyond their early years, so that they grow up to be well-rounded, empathetic adults. These “Jr.” plays, and the directors who bless us by giving up a portion of their summers, are a huge first step in that direction.
Says Director Debbie Waters:
“I have been blessed with the best cast of young people between the ages of 6-18 who are a joy to work with. We have a cast of 30 who are working hard and excited to ask everyone to ‘Be Our Guest’ at the Historic Lyric Theater during our 90th Birthday Celebration season.”
Our Cast and Crew include:
Belle: Liani Cash Beast: Shade Roberts Gaston: Caleb Lord LeFou: Jacob Cothran Maurice: Logan Cole Mrs. Potts: Alayna Davis Chip: Ivan Hanschu Lumiere: Nicholas Prpich Babette: Chyler Caraway Cogsworth: Bannon Jones Madame de la Grande Bouche: Lexi Sprenger Silly Girls: Brinkley Brewer, Avery Skinner, Emily Still Enchantress: AnneJanette Cole
Ensemble: Kaden Allen, Zoë Arthur, Laura Bracken, Callie Caraway, Ethan Causey, Landon Clements, Joshua Cothran, Ella Domino, Dierdra Goldman, Jadah Gregory, Kalel Lewis, Tarron Lewis, Mia Ostberg, Emma Claire Pruitt, Natalie Sims, Jerome Sweatman, Jenna Wilson
Join us at The Lyric for this heartwarming tale of the transformative power of love on July 20, 25, and 27. Tickets for Beauty and the Beast, Jr. are available now through TheLyric.org by clicking any “Get Tickets” link, by stopping by the OAC office at 115 W. Rush
Ave. between 8 & 2 Tuesday through Friday, or by calling (870) 391-3504 (please leave a detailed message if you get our voicemail).
Set in Rome during the first century A.D., when the Roman Empire was in its youth, the film opens with one of musical theatre’s most famous songs, “Comedy Tonight,” performed by Pseudolus (Preston Garrison). The action, Pseudolus tells the audience, takes place in Rome around three adjacent houses: the house of Erronius (Clark Middleton), an old man who has been searching for his children who were stolen by pirates while they were infants; the house of Marcus Lycus (Jamie Taylor), a buyer and seller of beautiful women, and the house of Senex (Jim Gresham), a Roman senator, his wife, Domina (Ann Lemley), their son, Hero (Laine Hilliard), and the family slaves, Pseudolus and Hysterium (Michael Amburn).
When Senex and Domina leave for the day, Hero declares his love for one of the ladies who live at his next door neighbor’s house, Philia (Katie Blessing), and that’s when Pseudolus begins to hatch a scheme to buy his own freedom.
When the two visit Lycus’s house, once they get past the eunuchs (Donovan Walters and Nicholas Prpich) they meet Tintinabula (Cady Wheeler), a bell-wearing beauty; Vibrata (Kennedy Bottoms), an energetic, lively lovely with a leopard skin bikini; the Geminae (Faith Nix and Dante Lowe), a “matched pair”; Panacea (Nikki Forehand), a seductive dancer; and Gymnasia (Spree Hilliard), with a body upon which “a thousand dramas can be played.” They and the other lovely courtesans (Lena Rocole, Jenna Wilson, Rilee Young, Kaley Jones) are tempting, but Hero and Pseudolus are alarmed to find out that Philia has been sold to the great Captain Miles Gloriosus (Caleb Lord), and will be claimed that very day.
The confusion, comedy, and chases that ensue when Captain Miles and his illustrious soldiers (Kinder Hinrichs, Laken Rudelis, Andrew Coble, Daniel Hart, Wynn Mahoney) come to claim her will have audiences
doubled over with laughter, attempting to keep up with what wackiness will occur next.
So join us again at the Lyric Theater for a fun evening, where “weighty affairs will just have to wait,” and where we promise to have “morals tomorrow, comedy tonight!”
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will be performed May 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:00 pm, and May 5, 12 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now at TheLyric.org or by calling 870-391-3504 or visiting the Ozark Arts Council office M-W-F 8:00-2:00. Advance Tickets are $8 children, $10 seniors, $12 adults. Ticket prices at the door will be $11 children, $13 seniors, $15 adults.
The Ozark Arts Council is hosting a barn-raising that will make any farmer proud, as E. B. White’s beloved ‘Wilbur’ moves into the Lyric! The favorite little piggie of children everywhere has taken up residence as he prepares to entertain us in the NorthArk Drama/OAC production of the beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web! With an amazing cast of both veterans and newcomers, audiences of all ages will delight in this heartwarming story of a spider’s becoming the advocate of the little guy that she declares is “Some Pig.” Performances are May 5, 6, 12, 13 at 2pm and tickets are on sale now and going fast!
After her father, John Arable (Jacob Kolb) spares the life of a piglet from slaughter, his daughter, Fern (Gigi Crenshaw), nurtures the piglet lovingly, naming him Wilbur (Preston Garrison), even though her mother, Martha (Kayla Smith), thinks she already spends too much time with the animals, and her brother, Avery (Wyatt Mahoney) is too busy with his frogs to take much notice. When he’s older, Wilbur is sold to Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer Zuckeman (Abigail Kops, Landon Helsel), and cared for by their farmhand, Lurvy (Matthew Brown), in whose barnyard he is left yearning for companionship but is snubbed by the other animals (Emily Akins, Laine Hilliard, Shelby Stracner, Elizabeth Smith), until he is befriended by a spider named Charlotte (Callie Johnson), living on a web overlooking Wilbur’s enclosure. Upon Wilbur’s discovery that he is once again intended for slaughter, she promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare his life, with a little help from the local barn rat, Templeton (Daniel Seay). As fans already know, and as those new to this beloved tale shall soon find out: “No one had ever had such a friend. So affectionate, so loyal, and so skillful,” as Charlotte.
With a cast of colorful characters ranging from adults to small children, and narrated by a skilled trio (Brinkley Brewer, Lexi Sprenger, Ella Domino), don’t miss this heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) tale that proves friendship can come in the most unlikely of packages and that words have the power to save anyone, even the sweetest of little pigs.
I would like to say “Thank You” to all the cast and community members that have worked on this production. It is a joy working with a cast of all ages. Children from six years of age, middle school, and young college students are making this production thrive. What a wonderful story to be able to share with all of our community. See you at the Lyric!
— Michael Mahoney
Also included in this stunning cast are: Kinley Bray, Maci Bright, Regan Bright, Zoey DeChambre, Lenora Domino, Liam Dupre, Joey Jones, Caden Lambert, Zachary Linn, Shyanne Lusk, Wynn Mahoney, Annaleigh Mitchell, Dylan Newby, Emmalynn Parker, Raelynn Pendergrass, Emma Pruitt, Jessica Wheeler.
Charlotte’s Web was one of my all-time favorite books and movies as a child, so when Michael asked me to help out with the show, I could hardly say no. The show is a challenging one for sure! Asking actors to portray animals and humans all at the same time…well, that gets tricky; but we have an extraordinary cast who is both dedicated and fearless in this adventure and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I am thrilled we were able to get some area schools to attend and I look forward to future projects where we can also involve our local school children. That is what it is all about, right? We are bringing the Arts to our community and we are having so much fun doing it. As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Michael Mahoney and North Arkansas College, as well as the Ozark Arts Council. Charlotte’s Web is fun entertainment for the whole family that also provides some amazing life lessons and heartfelt human emotions to which we can all relate. I hope to see everyone in our community come out and support the children and adults who have worked so hard to bring this show to life!
— Bekah Wilson
Area schools were invited to four special matinee performances and will be filling the theater with their laughter. We weren’t able to fit all of the students from all of the schools into the theater, though, (and those who get to see it with their classmates will want to come back and share it with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and their siblings!), so make sure not to miss yourchance to once again delight in this story of friendship: get your tickets while seats still remain!
Fridays & Saturdays, September 7, 8 & 14, 15 at 7:00PM
Sundays, September 9 & 16 at 2:00PM
I’ve never had so much fun with a play in my life…! – Samuel French Review
The Theatre Company of the Ozarks and the Ozark Arts Council are pleased to present, under license from Samuel French, the Rick Abbott comedy, Play On! Performances will be the second and third weekends in September. Tickets available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students, $8 Children; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $13 Seniors/Students, and $11 for children. For tickets to the Friday, September 14 performance, which is a benefit for House of Hope‘s Hope Cottages project, please visit House of Hope (600 E. Stephenson in Harrison) or Hudson’s Supermarket (609 N. Main St. in Harrison), at a special cost of a flat $10 regardless of age.
Play On! is the hilarious story of a theatre group trying desperately to put on a play in spite of maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance, in which anything that can go wrong, does. When the author decides to give
a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax to a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter.
Cast of Characters: (parentheses is who the character plays in the play-within-a-play)
X — AGGIE MANVILLE – a stage manager and prompter.
X — GERALDINE “GERRY” DUNBAR – a community theatre director.
X — HENRY BENISH (“Lord Dudley”) – a Character Actor.
X — POLLY BENISH (“Lady Margaret”) – a Character Actress.
X — MARLA “SMITTY” SMITH (“Doris the maid”) – a supporting player.
X — SAUL WATSON (“Doctor Rex Forbes”) – a Villain.
X — BILLY CAREWE (“Stephen Sellers”) -a Juvenile.
X — VIOLET IMBRY (“Diana Lassiter”) – an Ingenue.
X — LOUISE PEARY – a sound-and-lighting-and-scenic technician.
X — PHYLLIS MONTAGUE – a novice playwright in the community.
About the Playwright
Rick Abbot is one of several pen names for prolific playwright Jack Sharkey (1931-1992). Mr. Sharkey was born on May 6, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. He began writing when he was 10 years old. He graduated from college with a BA in the Creative Writing Field of the English major. After that, he taught school for two years from 1953 to 1955. In mid-1955, Mr. Sharkey enlisted in the Army. He served at Sandia Base, New Mexico as a Special Services worker. He wrote, produced, and directed one show per month for the Enlisted Men’s Club. In 1958, Mr. Sharkey went to New York to begin a full-time freelance writing career. He wrote Science Fiction stories and novels, humor articles, and mystery novels. In 1961, he returned to Chicago where he worked as joke editor for Playboy Magazine and then was Editor of the Allstate Insurance Company Magazine for 11 years from 1964-75. Mr. Sharkey wrote his first stage comedy in 1965. At the end of 1975, he went exclusively into playwriting, which he continued until a few months before his death. He has 83 published plays written under his own name and four others – Rick Abbot, Monk Ferris, Mark Chandler, and Mike Johnson. Mike Johnson wrote only stage thrillers. All the other plays are comedies and/or musicals. The plays are performed all around the world. Mr. Sharkey passed away on September 28, 1992 after a bout with cancer.
Performances of Play On! will be Fridays & Saturdays, September 7, 8 & 14, 15 at 7:00PM and Sundays, September 9 & 16 at 7:00PM.Tickets available by clicking any “Get Tickets” link on this site or by calling (870) 391-3504. Advance Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors/Students, $8 Children; tickets purchased at the door are $15 Adults, $13 Seniors/Students, and $11 for children. For tickets to the Friday, September 14 performance, which is a benefit for House of Hope‘s Hope Cottages project, please visit House of Hope (600 E. Stephenson in Harrison) or Hudson’s Supermarket (609 N. Main St. in Harrison), at a special cost of a flat $10 regardless of age.