Thursday, May 3, 2012
CONWAY Patrons of this year’s Toad Suck Daze festival are invited to hop on up to the Faulkner Academy of Arts for aweekend of family entertainment.
The half-hour performances will begin at the top of each hour during the weekend.
“As always, there will be something for everyone,” said Joan Hanna of Wooster, director of theacademy. “It’s good family entertainment, regardless of which performance they decide to see.” This marks the second year for the academy to participate in the festival. This year’s lineup will include two plays, a dance
and music performance and a
concert by the Conway Women’s
Chorus, which is sponsored by the
Faulkner Academy of Arts. The
performances will take place atthe academy at 825 Parkway.
Hanna will direct the Friday production, Finding Peace, at 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. She adapted this play from an Italian folk tale several years ago.
“It’s funny,” she said. “It’s all about what to do when the kids have left home and then come back.
“We have the grouchy old man (Luigi) who says, ‘We can’t afford it. We don’t have the room.’ And then we have the wise old woman of the village who teaches the family the importance of finding peace.
“Luigi and his family may live in the world’s smallest hut, but all learn that happiness is relative to more than just the size of your house. It seems very appropriate for today’s society.”
Cast members of Finding Peace include Bill Meehan of Conway as Luigi, the peasant; Anita Bayless of Vilonia as his wife, Sophia; Vicki Parish of Conway as their daughter, Maria; Jacob Fleuch of Greenbrier as the son-in-law, Marcello; and Judie Burney of Conway as the village’s Wise Woman. Sharon Rapp of Conway will be the narrator.
Saturday’s performance will be Toadally Stuck at the Bridge, directed by Kim Norrisof Greenbrier, who also wrote the play. Young students from the Faulkner Academy of Arts will take the stage at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 and 2 p.m.
The story revolves around Ima Tee-Roll, who has reached the end of her patience with people driving over her Toad Suck Bridge all day and all night, so she has blocked it from all traffic. Carrie, the reporter from K-TOD TV, has come to provide on-thespot coverage of the crisis. A host of fairy-tale and nurseryrhyme characters come together to solve the problem.
The cast includes Micki Brewington of Conway as Carrie Toadbucks, Alex Brewington of Conway as Jack, Mandi Norris of Greenbrier as Ima Tee-Roll, Matthew Norris of Greenbrier as Red Henn, Austin Betts of Greenbrier as Billy Goatgruff and Kennedy Reynolds of Conway as Mary.
Saturday afternoon’s performance, Music and Dance of the ’50s and ’60s, will be presented at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Soundscape, a group from the music department of the University of Arkansas Community College of Morrilton, will perform under the direction of Shanna Cummins of Conway, a music instructor at UACCM and a vocal instructor at the Faulkner Academy of Arts.
The academy will close out the entertainment for theweekend with a concert by the Conway Women’s Chorus at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 3255 Prince St. in Conway.
Hanna will direct A Soggy Spring, which will include umbrellas and boots, as well as music and songs about water, rain and rainbows.
Special guests for the concert, who will present several selections, will be the Singing Mustangs from Julia Lee Moore Elementary School, under the direction of Bryan Cole of Conway, music instructor.
The productions on Friday and Saturday will be upstairs in the Faulkner Academy of Arts studio, near the intersection of Oak Street and Parkway Avenue. Admission will be one “toad buck.” There will be no admission charge for Sunday’s concert.
River Valley Ozark, Pages 55 on 05/03/2012