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Excitement is in the Air at OLT

[MENA] Many weeks of work will culminate this week at Ouachita Little Theatre. It’s definite that spring is in the air. For the dozens of Willy Wonka cast and crew members who have been practicing diligently for a couple of months, excitement is certainly in the air. Opening night for Willy Wonka will be Friday, April 25, at 7:30 PM. Director Rudi Timmerman, Assistant Director Jeffery Matthews, and Music Director Judy Kropp have tirelessly worked getting ready for the big event. Paulette Sherrer has offered her expertise as choreographer. Those who enjoyed ‘Sound of Music’ at the theatre a couple of years ago will once again be captivated by the very talented Jerod McPherson as Willy Wonka. Many of those who will appear on stage have been in other OLT productions. However, there will also be numerous first-timers performing. Reserved seat tickets for all performances are available at Arvest Bank.

To add to the thrill of opening night, the OLT Guild is hosting an ‘Opening Night Reception’ at American Artisans beginning at 5:30 PM. The Willy Wonka themed get-together promises to offer a fun time for all attending with candy, punch, coffee and appetizers. This is an event that both adults and children will enjoy. Remember to make this activity a part of your evening on April 25!

With its fund-raising efforts, the OLT Guild supports the little theatre with its improvements. This will be evident on opening night with another reason for excitement. For the first time since the 1993 tornado hit and destroyed the rear portion of the theatre, there will an enclosed comfortable area including restrooms for the cast to wait to go on stage. Funds for this construction have come from a contribution through state representative Nate Bell and the efforts of the guild. All construction work except for the plumbing has been done by volunteers. Scotty Jenkins and T. J. Thompson have had full-time, non-paying jobs for the last six weeks working on this project. David Posey has also donated numerous hours to the effort. Final finishing of the space will be completed after the play concludes its run.

The Ouachita Little Theater Guild held a Wine and Cheese Reception at the American Artisan Café Friday, February 7. In spite of a snowy evening the event was well attended and over $5000 was donated to the OLT for their renovation project. This brings the total raised by the Guild to $10,485. Attendees had an opportunity to brave the snow and cross Main Street to see the theatre and get an up close view of what the plans are, to add on to the back of the building.

Karen Mosier, president of OLT Guild, said that the event was a success and the guild was pleased at the response of the patrons and thanked all who braved the cold to attend. Donations are still being accepted toward the goal of $25,000.

The guild hopes the community will attend this event and contribute to this worthwhile project. Contributions may be made by calling, 479-234-2337 or you may mail your donation to OLT Guild, P.O. Box 1306, Mena, Arkansas 71953. Make checks payable to Ouachita Little Theatre.

Yes, there is quite a bit of excitement going on at OLT this week and the Ouachita Little Theatre invites everyone to be a part of it.

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