“Mary Poppins” Takes the Stage March 20-21

GraduatesThe University of Arkansas - Fort Smith’s Academy of the Arts will present a stage adaptation of “Mary Poppins” at 7 p.m. March 20-21 as part of the Academy’s On Stage series.


The Academy Xtreme Teenz, along with a children’s ensemble, will perform the musical at the ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center, located at 55 S. 7th St. in Fort Smith. Attendance for the production is $12 for adults, $8 for children 10 and under, and $5 apiece for groups of 20 or more.


The adaptation blends the 1964 film and the stories of P.L. Travers, whose novels of Mary Poppins’ adventures served as the source material for the award-winning movie.


Academy students also enjoyed a visit from Lindsey Bliven, who played Mary Poppins during the Broadway touring show of the musical. Bliven, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, worked with Academy students performing in the production to help them prepare for the show.


Director Shannon Stoddard said she is “ecstatic” about directing the musical.


“This show is bigger than anything I or the Academy has ever done. We have a huge production staff helping with music, dances, sets, costumes and everything else,” Stoddard said. “This is by far the strongest cast and ensemble I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. I can’t wait to bring this production to the stage and let audiences see how truly amazing these kids are.”


Rosilee Russell, Academy director, said the musical offers a valuable opportunity for Academy students.


“Working on this production has been an amazing journey for our students,” Russell said. “We have such a talented group performing in the show, and I’m so excited for all of them to have this wonderful opportunity.”


The cast and crew include:


Barling: Carly Austin.


Charleston: Rose Jackson.


Fort Smith: Trey Allen, Blake Bulger, Claire Cabaness, Sarah Chiles, Emma Cobb, Gabriella Collins, Casey Goodson, Sadie Hanesworth, Van Harris, Caleb Hopkins, Brigitte Koprovic, Cameron Law, Sarah Long, Shannon Lott, Hope McHaffie, Ashleigh Matthews, Caitlin Matthews, Lauren Murray, Rylee Norton, Alexander Putnam, Adyn Rink, Francesca Rossi, Kelsey Vickery, Zoe Whitman, Savannah Givens, Brayden Graham, Kenzie Kilgore, Tristan Knauls, Turner Tecmire and Jasmine Washington.


Greenwood:Michael Doss, Grant Huneycutt, Jada Mack, Zachary Rylee and Makenzie Furlow.


Hackett:Austin Williams


Mansfield: Emerald Baker.


Mulberry:Rylee Lewis.


Muldrow, Okla.: Desi Dees, Serai Dees, Gabrielle Gore and Elexis Cherry.


Pocola, Okla.: Paisley Ray.


Spiro, Okla.: Garrett Christensen and Caitlin Fisher.


The performance is part of the Academy’s On Stage Series, a yearlong variety of choral, orchestral and theatrical productions performed by Academy students and professional artists.


For tickets, contact the UAFS Box Office at 479-788-7300 or visit www.uafs.universitytickets.com.


Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
Date Posted: 
Friday, March 6, 2015
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