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Academy Rains Talent in May

Academy Rains Talent in May(Posted: April 8, 2013)

Get ready to soak up the fun at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith when the Academy of the Arts ShowTime Series presents a full-length version of the classic musical "Singin' in the Rain" with a cast of talented teens.

The 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. show on May 4 and 2 p.m. show on May 5 at the UAFS Breedlove Auditorium will be performed by Xtreme Teenz, a theatrical group in the Academy of the Arts which is made up of students in grades 6-12. General admission is $10, groups of 10 or more are $8 each and children under 10 are $6. Tickets are available from the UAFS Box Office at 479-788-7300 or at the door.

Director Shannon Stoddard of Fort Smith said the production is a strong dance and comedy show where the students love adding nuances of their own to their performance.

"One of the things I have learned about my students over the years is that they are great at comedy," she said. "This is the perfect show for them. Watching them have fun on stage while people laugh makes the show even better to see. I'm really proud of them rising to the challenges of this show."

"Singin' in the Rain" takes place in 1927 and features the charming and successful silent movie actor Don Lockwood and his not so pleasant leading lady Lina Lamont. When Lockwood and Lamont's latest film is transformed into a musical, Lockwood has the perfect voice for the music, but Lamont's voice could scare away the audiences. The studio brings in Kathy Selden to dub over Lamont's voice, and Lockwood quickly falls in love with her.

"This musical comedy will keep audience members on their toes while we sing and dance along to some of Broadway's classic music," Stoddard said.

In addition to the May 4 and 5 performances, the Academy also presents the show before various community groups, according to Dr. Rosilee Walker Russell of Fort Smith, executive director of the Academy.

"I'm amazed at talent level this year," Russell said. "These shows are a wonderful way for kids to have a professional experience because of our talented faculty that lead them."

Musical director for "Singin' in the Rain" is Shelia Mann of Fort Smith and choreographer is Jennifer Woodside Anderson of Fort Smith.

The cast includes:

Charleston: ShaLee (Rose) Jackson.

Greenwood: Shelby Novak and Emily Phillips.

Fort Smith: Blake Bulger, Donna Dahlem, Casey Goodson, Caleb Hopkins, Brigitte Koprovic, Cameron Law, Hope McHaffie, Daniel Myers, Hannah Pair, Derrick J. Rassinier, Zach Ruple and Ryan Smith.

Van Buren: Josiah Burns.

Muldrow, Okla.: Serai Dees, Dakota Gibson, Alana Matheny and Rhianna Pierce.

The Academy of the Arts at UAFS provides a curriculum of activities geared to children and teens and currently offers a preschool MusikGarten program, art classes for elementary-age children, private music lessons and music theory classes, as well as instrumental, choral and theatre programs.

The next upcoming Academy production is "Once Upon a Mattress" on May 17-19. The Academy also has an art exhibit scheduled for May 10 and end-of-year concerts on May 6, 10 and 21.

For more information on the Academy, including upcoming available summer camps, visit the website , or call Sarah Taylor, administrative specialist, at 479-788-7253.

Article by: Candise Montemayor, Public Information Technician
Photo(s) by: Corey S. Krasko, Photographer, Marketing & Communications Office

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