By ABIGAIL GADDIS | OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will present an opera and musical theatre experience titled “This Is My Father’s World” from Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 3-5, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall.
“The show is based on a concept that I developed over the summer,” said director Dr. Kara Claybrook, visiting assistant professor of music at Ouachita. “It has different genres from different shows; the hymn ‘This is My Father’s World’ serves as the connecting device. The idea is to explore how our senses draw us closer to God or can lead us to distance ourselves. We learn about God through our senses, and I wanted to highlight that musically.”
According to Claybrook, the production is an ensemble show without specific roles, which gives each of the student vocalists a moment to shine. Ensemble member Maddy Moore, a junior musical theatre and theatre arts double major from Mesquite, Texas, said, “This opera is different than anything I’ve ever done before. Our directors have allowed everyone involved to have a creative say in the process, which makes it a unique and exciting experience.”
Craig Crawford, an instrumental performance major from Texarkana, Texas, will sing for the first time onstage as part of the ensemble. Amaya Hardin, a sophomore musical theatre major from Maumelle, Ark., has contributed to the opera’s choreography, and Kailey May, a sophomore musical theatre major from Dover, Ark., is helping with props. Matthew Mayfield, a senior vocal performance major from Tull, Ark., brings experience with opera production to the show.
Mac Ricks, a sophomore musical theatre major from Carlisle, Ark., has contributed flags for the opera’s choreography. Sophomore Jon Shelby, a worship studies major from Rogers, Ark., and senior Amanda Thomas, a community & family services major from Texarkana, Texas, are performing opera for the first time. Claybrook described Emma Smith, a junior Biblical languages major from North Little Rock, Ark., as a “sounding board” for ideas about the show.
Other members of the ensemble are Erin Bagley, a senior musical theatre major from White Oak, Texas; Cordell Hufstedler, a junior vocal performance major from Thayer, Mo.; Halle Jones, a sophomore musical theatre major from Fort Worth, Texas; Julia Letcher, a senior musical theatre major from Plano, Texas; Kieran Malmer, a sophomore choral music education major from Little Elm, Texas; Isabella Owen, a senior musical theatre major from Jonesboro, Ark.; Kyleigh Stevens, a senior vocal performance major from Hot Springs, Ark.; sophomore vocal performance major Brandon Holloway and freshman music major James Stewart, both of Little Rock, Ark.; Noah Warford, a junior musical theatre major from North Little Rock, Ark.; and Annslee Clay, a sophomore musical theatre major from Benton, Ark.
Tickets cost $12 and can be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice or by calling (870) 245-5555. Students who present their Ouachita ID upon purchase will receive one free ticket. For more information, contact Dr. Kara Claybrook at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5146 or Dr. Ryan Lewis, interim dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, at email@example.com or (870) 245-5128.
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