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story.lead_photo.caption SAAC Ballet 4 students Abbey Williams, Sara Robbins, Karis Flurry, Maggie Phillips, Madalyn Lyons will lead the group of thirty-three Whos in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on Saturday, December 7, at 11 a.m. in the Callaway Theater at the South Arkansas Arts Center.

There’s a lot going on at the South Arkansas Arts Center this month, and its the students who are taking center stage.

The organization is presenting several student showcases, including a ballet performance and student art exhibition, and a Teen Drama Club production this month.

Student ballet performance, voice and piano recital

On Dec. 7, SAAC will host its fall student ballet performance at 11 a.m. Stephanie Lowrey and Elizabeth Wood’s pre-K ballet classes will present “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” featuring a live narrator and actors as part of the ballot for the first time. All ballet students play the “Whos” from Whoville. Former SAAC ballerinas Bekah Gunter and Lily Langston perform as the narrator and Max, the Dog, respectively.

Darrin Riley. a former theatre instructor at SAAC, will play the Grinch.

“I’m excited to try something new with this ballet,” Lowrey said. “Elizabeth has brought new ideas and a new style of choreography to our program. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”

Ballet 4 students, Abbey Williams, Karis Flurry, Maggie Phillips, and Madalyn Lyons took part in coming up with choreography for “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Former SAAC ballerina Cami Lowrey also helped with choreography via video sent all the way from college in California. Cami’s choreography is inspired by swing dance, which is a new found passion she discovered through a club offered at California Polytechnic State University.

“Collaboration has always been the key to our creativity in the SAAC ballet program,” Lowrey said.

Also on Dec. 7, Charlsie Falcon and Kordelia Leggett’s voice and piano students will perform their recitals beginning at 1 p.m.

An artists reception for the art students of Gay Bechtelheimer, Mike Means, and Maria Villegas is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Lobby Gallery, where the students’ art will be exhibited through the end of December.

Box office now open for production of “Our Town”

The Teen Drama Club’s production of “Our Town,” Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, follows the Gibbs and Webb families over the course of 12 years of life changes.

“This is a very thought-provoking story,” said Hannah Hickman, who plays Emily Webb. “The first part is about everyday life, the second part is about love and marriage, and the third part deals with death. This story gives the actors a chance to really ‘dig in’ to the characters that we are portraying, since there are no distractions as far as props go on the very austere stage. This is really exciting for the actors because we usually don’t have that situation.”

According to a SAAC release, the story follows young lovers Emily and George, their strong and loving parents and some of the Grover’s Corners locals to discover “universal truths about what it means to be human.”

“This play is an experience because it my first play without musical features in it and I am actually loving it,” Carmello Brown, who will play George, said. Memorizing my lines is definitely a challenge but its nothing I can’t do. ‘Our Town’ is a wonderful play and I hope everyone comes to see it. The play brings out some characteristics I didn’t know I have but its nice finding out I do.”

Our Town will run Dec. 13 and 14. Tickets are $5 with open seating.

Registration for the spring semester is under way now. More information will be forthcoming. Call or come by SAAC for the schedule of classes that will be offered.

For more information on the Arts Academy Student Showcases, call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas

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