Arkadelphia News

Ouachita to present “Mary Poppins” April 20-23


The Department of Theatre Arts in Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present its spring musical, “Mary Poppins,” from Thursday-Sunday, April 20-23 in Jones Performing Arts Center. Performances will begin Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at

Based on the book series “Mary Poppins” by P.L. Travers, the story follows the Banks family as they employ a new nanny, Mary Poppins, who magically shows up at their door and changes the environment of their household.

Dr. Dawn Schluetz, visiting associate professor of theatre arts and director of Mary Poppins, describes this show as a “redemption story.”

“Mary Poppins comes as a redeemer, who teaches each member of the family what it means to serve and love each other,” said Schluetz. “Working on the production has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding, especially working with my colleagues here at Ouachita and the young theatre professionals who are giving their all to serve the university and surrounding community with their art.”

Students involved have been putting in the work for “Mary Poppins” since February.

“Some of the messages from this show are believe in the impossible and to look for the good in anything,” explains Erin Bagley, a senior musical theatre major from White Oak, Texas, who plays the lead, Mary Poppins. “I hope this impacts the audience by giving them hope and causing them to look for good in their everyday life.”

“Preparing for this audition has been a lot of work, from staging the production to figuring out who Bert is. I want him to be as authentic as possible,” said Mac Ricks, a sophomore musical theatre major from Carlisle, Ark., who is playing the role of the chimney sweep. “My favorite part of this production has been working with our choreographer Moriah Patterson. Her choreography really fits the show and the style.”

Dr. Ian Aipperspach, lecturer/accompanist in division of music, serves as the music director. Moriah Patterson, Ouachita alumna, serves as the choreographer. Kelsey Looney, visiting assistant professor of theatre arts, serves as costume and makeup designer. Eric Phillips, professor; department of theatre arts chair, serves as scenic and lighting designer. Brynlee Beams junior theatre arts major from Cabot, Ark., serves as lighting design assistant.

Autumn Walters, a freshman theatre arts and education double major from Manila, Ark., serves as assistant stage manager.

Tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at or weekdays from 1-5 p.m. at the Ouachita Box Office in Jones Performing Arts Center. Ouachita students may receive one free ticket with their university ID, and Henderson State University students may purchase discounted tickets at $10.00 each by presenting their HSU IDs. For more information, contact the box office at (870) 245-5555.