Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Division of Music will present A Year with Frog and Toad at Ouachita’s Verser Theatre on Sept. 19-24. Performances on Sept. 19-21 and 23-24 will be at 7 p.m. Sunday’s matinee Sept. 22 will be at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $8 each and may be purchased at Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m., online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice.com, by phone at (870) 245-5555 or one hour before show times.
The Department of Theatre Arts will also host a Youth Theatre Workshop on Sept. 21 from 1-4 p.m. for ages Pre-K (3 yrs.) – 12th grade. The cost is $30 per child and includes a free ticket to the performance of his/her choice.
A Year with Frog and Toad is a Tony Award-nominated children’s musical based on Arnold Lobel’s award-winning “Frog and Toad” children’s books. Composer Robert Reale and lyricist Willie Reale bring Lobel’s stories “Spring,” “A Swim,” “The Letter,” “Shivers,” “Cookies” and others to life with a jazzy score that is heart-warming and filled with humor.
A Year with Frog and Toad “truly epitomizes the meaning of friendship,” said Kenderick Scorza, a sophomore musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark., who plays Toad.
“Our young audience members are going to love the characters and laugh at their antics, while older patrons will connect well to the meaningfulness of the Frog and Toad friendship. All are sure to leave with a warm heart,” said Director Mary Handiboe, OBU associate professor of theatre arts.
Not only will the play grasp the audience’s attention through humor, but it also portrays “imperative life values,” said Garrett Sayers, a sophomore musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark., who plays Frog. These life values consist of patience, trust and more.
The life values and characters’ stories are able to fascinate the audience through its upbeat score. “It is some of the catchiest music that I’ve heard,” said Handiboe. “It’s great for all ages.”
One of the highlights of the children’s musical is the opportunity for the Department of Theatre Arts to host a Youth Theatre Workshop. “One of my favorite things about being a part of the Youth Workshop,” Sayers said, “is exposing the joy of theatre to audiences of all ages. … I cannot wait to see the excitement on children’s faces.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for the kids in the community who aren’t normally involved in doing theatre,” Handiboe said. Children get to tour backstage, go on set, play theatre games and even meet some of the characters.
“My favorite thing about directing the children’s show really is just watching the joy of these kids as they experience the magic of theatre,” Handiboe said. “Many have never been to a live production and they get to come and experience a show that is done especially for them.”
In addition to Director Mary Handiboe, John Alec Briggs, adjunct instructor of music, will serve as music director. Kaylee Nebe, a junior musical theatre major from Mesquite, Texas, serves as assistant director, while sophomore Stacy Hawking, a musical theatre major from Little Rock, Ark., serves as dance choreographer. The stage manager is Aaron Pinion, a sophomore theatre major from Tulsa, Okla., assisted by Shonna Jasperson and Lindsey Lederer. Jasperson is a sophomore theatre major from Houston, Texas, and Lederer is a senior musical theatre major from Lewisville, Texas.
The cast of A Year with Frog and Toad includes Garrett Sayers, a sophomore musical theatre major from Greenwood, Ark., as Frog, and Kenderick Scorza of North Little Rock, Ark., also a sophomore musical theatre major, as Toad. The flapper-esque Birds are played by musical theatre majors Jordan Miller, a senior from Rockwall, Texas; Nicole Mattson, a senior from Rowlett, Texas; and Blakeley Knox, a junior from Fort Smith, Ark. Snail is played by junior musical theatre major Tyler Wisdom of Russellville, Ark., and The Large and Terrible Frog is portrayed by freshman musical theatre major Kayla Walker of North Little Rock, Ark.
Other cast members include Benjamin Stidham, a junior musical theatre major from Dallas, Texas, playing Father Frog, Lizard and a Mole; Cami Willis, a junior musical theatre major from Flower Mound, Texas, playing Mother Frog, Turtle and a Mole; Bret Sanders, a freshman musical theatre major from Jonesboro, Ark., playing Young Frog, Mouse and a Mole; and freshmen Abby Root and Taylor Ford as Squirrels and Magic Makers. Root is a theatre education major from Arkadelphia, Ark., and Ford is a pre-pharmacy major from Dayton, Texas.
Other lead production team members include Eric Phillips, professor of theatre arts, as scenic designer and technical director, and Daniel Inouye, assistant professor of theatre arts, as the costume designer. Senior Gemma Guiomard, a musical theatre and studio art major from Desoto, Texas, is co-scenic designer, and senior Lacey Johnson, a theatre and history major from Rancho Mirage, Ark., is co-costume designer and costume crew head. Cody Myers, a senior musical theatre and psychology major from Van Buren, Ark., serves as marketing and publicity manager, and Marshall Pope, theatre shop technical director, is the scenery build technical director.
Additional lead production team members include Chad Burris, a junior musical theatre major from Van Buren, Ark., as the properties crew head; MaryLacey Thomson, a senior musical theatre major from Plano, Texas, as the makeup crew head; Mattie Bogoslavsky, a sophomore musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark., as the light board operator; Jacob Sturgeon, a senior musical theatre major from Pine Bluff, Ark., as the sound engineer; and musical theatre majors Lauren Linton and Blaine Surber as house managers. Linton is a senior from Millington, Miss., and Surber is a senior from Sulphur Springs, Texas.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.obu.edu/boxoffice or contact the JPAC Box Office from 1-5 p.m. on weekdays at (870) 245-5555.
special guest: James Plath
“Secrets of Psychics”
Can people really read minds, predict the future, or talk to the dead? Professional magician & librarian Jams Plath will answer these questions by demonstrating & teaching you the secret tricks that are used to predict the future, read your thoughts, levitate objects & much more!
Monday-Wednesday, September 16-18, ESC Lobby & Commons Lobby
Yearbook Photos in Faculty Lounge
Thursday, September 19: 8-5
Friday, September 20: 8-3
Monday, September 23: 8-5
Tuesday, September 24: 8-5
Wednesday, September 25: 8-5
Thursday, September 26: 8-2
Dr. Justin Isenhour, Ouachita Baptist University assistant professor of music, has been named second trombonist for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra after several rounds of auditioning. He also is scheduled to perform a faculty recital at Ouachita on Sept. 20.
“I actually had to audition twice for the symphony,” Isenhour said. “The first time in August of 2012, there were about 35 candidates from all over the country.” All of those auditioning played in a preliminary blind audition for the audition committee. “Then, five musicians advanced to a second round and two moved on to the final round where the orchestra’s music director, Philip Mann, joined the committee to make a final decision,” Isenhour explained.
After the committee decided not to fill the position at that time, Isenhour was invited to play with the orchestra as a freelance musician several times that season until later reauditioning and becoming a regular member of the symphony. “I was offered an auto-advance to the final round for this year’s audition,” he noted. “Two candidates and myself advanced into the finals; I was offered the job based on that audition.”
“I am very proud of Dr. Isenhour for his successful audition,” said Dr. Craig Hamilton, the Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands. “We are fortunate to have such talented faculty at Ouachita.”
Isenhour holds music degrees from Appalachian State University, the University of Northern Colorado and the University of South Carolina. He teaches Fundamentals of Music Theory, Brass Methods, Applied Trombone/Euphonium/Tuba, Trombone Choir and other music courses at Ouachita.
Isenhour’s faculty recital on Friday, Sept. 20, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. He will be performing a Vivaldi cello sonata, Frank Gulino’s “The Hero’s Horn,” Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone and an arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer.” Isenhour will be collaborating with pianist Dr. Elizabeth Wallace from Howard Payne University.
“I met Frank Gulino last march when Dr. Ryan Lewis and I performed in Washington, D.C. at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, “ Isenhour explained. “His piece is highly influenced by movie and video game soundtracks; it’s a real gem.” He said the Gustav Mahler piece also is unique in that it was written for voice, but has been adapted for performance on trombone.
Isenhour and Wallace will also host a Creative Motion workshop on Saturday, Sept. 21,from 2:30 to 5 p.m. “Creative Motion is a kinesthetic pedagogy for learning and experiencing music,” Isenhour explained.
For more information on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, faculty recital or Creative Motion workshop, contact Dr. Justin Isenhour at firstname.lastname@example.org or the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
Tiger Serve Day,…
service, community, students, connecting people, strengthening, fulfillment, involvement, faculty/staff, giving support, unity, work, joy, humility, Christ-centered, unselfish, relationships
Join us on Saturday, September 21!
For more information or to register your team- www.obu.edu/serve.
Tiger Serve Day is a program of the Elrod Center at OBU.