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SAAC easing into normalcy with upcoming shows

by Marvin Richards | April 21, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.

The El Dorado Kiwanis Club held a group meeting on Wednesday at the South Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC), where Executive Director Laura Allen gave the group numerous updates on upcoming events and productions.

The Kiwanis Club has and continues to sponsor several productions put on by the Arts Center.

The group met in SAAC’s Callaway Theater, where the set for the upcoming ballet recital of “Rainbow Fish” served as a backdrop for the meeting.

“This is the under the sea set… It is entirely made out of trash,” Allen said. “Which is pretty amazing for how phenomenal it looks.”

Allen also shared that the set will be saved and used during summer camp for a production of “The Little Mermaid.”

Allen said piano recitals will be held on April 30 to celebrate the little over 20 students they have in piano art at the Arts Center.

“It is really nice to be able to do something at the end of the year for these students because these piano students work really, really hard,” she said.

The teen drama students at SAAC will also soon put on a recital that is centered around musical theatre choreography.

“Our students love to sing and wanted to do a singing production, but because of the COVID guidelines we are working with, our students would have to be 12 feet apart to sing and then when you add an audience to the mix it gets even more complicated,” Allen said. “So the students are going to be able to perform and dance to some of their favorite music without singing.”

Allen also shared that hopefully by the Fall, restrictions will have lightened up, and the teen drama students have already decided they want to perform Disney’s “Frozen.”

Allen said their postponed production of the Youth Theatre project “James and the Giant Peach” is back on schedule and half the set for that performance is already built. All the students that originally auditioned for the production are welcomed back to the cast, Allen said, but if need be, additional auditions can be held for parts that may need to be refilled.

“Right now we have a date for this production to start on April 22 of next year, so mark your calendars,” Allen said.

The Arts Center will also be putting on a production of “Steel Magnolias,” scheduled for June 17-25. Auditions for the performance are slated for April 26 and April 29.

El Dorado-native and Broadway veteran Tripp Phillips will be the visiting director for the production.

“We’re very lucky to have him,” Allen said. “We’ve always wanted to do something with him but our schedules would never line up so we’re happy to be able to make this work.”

“Mamma Mia,” which was originally scheduled for this summer, will be the official production for summer 2022, Allen noted.

For more information on dates of specific productions or audition dates, visit saac-arts.org.

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