Ouachita Baptist University’s musical theatre program will stage the acclaimed musical “Guys and Dolls” in Jones Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on April 10-12 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 13. Tickets are $10 per person with discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
The story unfolds in 1950s New York, when Nathan Detroit, maintainer of the “Oldest Established Permanent Floating Craps Game in New York,” tries to win $1,000 from high-rolling Sky Masterson in order to rent out a new location for his latest high-stakes game. He bets Sky that he cannot convince straight-laced Salvation Army Sgt. Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana and the daring gambler accepts.
“What I enjoy most about the show is the music and fast-paced dancing,” said Garrett Whitehead, a senior musical theatre major from Plano, Texas, who plays Nathan Detroit. “All of the characters are hysterical, and you cannot help but love the crazy antics they get into. It also helps that the cast is amazing.” Whitehead also serves as dance captain for the show.
“It’s like that perfect era in New York, the 1950s, and it’s the hustle and bustle of New York. So I love that,” said Lauren Linton, stage manager. “It’s so funny. It’s really kind of over the top gangster.” Linton is a senior musical theatre major from Coldwater, Miss.
The musical is double cast, with two performers cast for the roles of Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide. One cast will perform on Thursday and Saturday, and the other on Friday and Sunday. The cast and crew hope that the community will take advantage of the opportunity “to see two different portrayals of the parts on stage,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, Ouachita professor of music and music director for the show.
“This dynamic is very helpful at times, but sometimes difficult as well,” said Alexis Morgan, a freshman musical education major from Frisco, Texas, who is cast as Sarah Brown along with MaryLacey Thomson, a senior musical theatre major from Plano, Texas. “It really makes you stay on your ‘A-game’ to do your best while you are up on stage.”
The musical is the result of “thousands upon thousands of hours” of hard work, said Daniel Inouye, assistant professor of theatre arts and director of the show. “It’s very collaborative. That’s one of the great things about theatre is that you have to have other people on board, all working toward the same goal.”
“We just keep working every day until at some point there’s a moment where you realize it’s changed from rehearsing scenes and starts to feel like a show,” said Timothy Drennan, a senior musical theatre major from Paron, Ark., who plays Sky Masterson. “That’s when the excitement really starts to pick up.”
“It’s something that the community is going to really love,” Linton said. “It’s going to be really fun and I think everyone will enjoy watching it because there are exciting things happening in every scene.”
In addition to principals Drennan, Morgan, Thomson and Whitehead, Jordan Miller and Caitlin Secrest are double cast in the principal role of Miss Adelaide. Miller is a senior musical theatre major from Rockwall, Texas, and Secrest is a senior vocal performance major from Arkadelphia, Ark.
Other lead production team members include: Mary Handiboe, associate professor of theatre arts, as costume manager and makeup and hair designer; Linda Hatcher, JPAC box office manager, as box office manager; Joey Licklider, JPAC manager, as lighting designer and technical director; Amanda Murray, Ouachita alumnus, as costume designer; Eric Phillips, professor of theatre arts, as scenic and lighting designer; and Grace Whitaker, Ouachita alumnus, as choreographer.
Tickets may be purchased at the Jones Performing Arts Center Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. and or one hour before show times. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. For more information, call the box office at (870) 245-5555 during regular box office hours. Also, each current OBU student may receive one free ticket to the show by presenting his or her OBU ID at the box office.
By Bethany Peevy
Hot Box Dancers
Kayla Esmond, Hannah Fender, Stacy Hawking, Lauren Hutcheson and Kaylee Nebe as well as Mattie Bogoslavsky, a junior musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark.; Bethany Gere, a junior musical theatre and communication sciences and disorders major from White Hall, Ark.; Lindsey Lederer, a senior musical theatre major from Lewisville, Texas; Bret Sanders, a freshman musical theatre major from Jonesboro, Ark.; and Hailey Weiner, a sophomore musical theatre major from Maumelle, Ark.
Gemma Guiomard, a senior musical theatre major from Desoto, Texas, is house manager and lobby crew head. Lacey Johnson, a senior history and theatre arts major from Little Rock, Ark., is costume crew head. Cody Myers is publicity crew head. Abby Root, a freshman theatre arts major from Arkadelphia, Ark., and Kathleen Suit, a junior theatre arts major from Hot Springs, Ark., are prop masters/crew heads.
Tara Clem, a junior musical theatre major from Texarkana, Texas; Shonna Jasperson, a sophomore musical theatre major from Houston, Texas; and Natalie Williams, a junior musical theatre major from Little Rock, Ark., will serve as assistant stage managers.