As the Alma Performing Arts Center's executive director, Teresa Schlabach is always on the hunt for family-friendly fare that will be popular with the PAC's diverse audiences.
"Everybody wants to see different things, so we decided to go all-out this year," says Schlabach. "There is truly something for everyone, and all of the shows are quality. I'm so particular with what we bring in here, I usually book a year to a year and a half in advance."
The Alma Performing Arts Center’s season also includes bonus shows — a combination of concerts, school productions and Alma Education and Arts Foundation productions.
The Collingsworth Family — Sept. 12
“1776” — Dec. 5-8
“Stuart Little” — March 6-7
“The Magic School Bus” — March 12
“Arsenic and Old Lace” — April 3-5
Alma High School Dance Show — May 2-3
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The biggest reason Schlabach is so passionate about her job is that she believes in the PAC's mission.
"All of our [profits] go toward scholarships so that kids [attending Alma Public Schools] can continue their educations after high school," says Schlabach. "Whether that's a four-year college or a trade school, the money is going for a good cause. Unfortunately, Arkansas is next-to-last in college graduation, higher education and training. We need to help these people get educated and learn trades, because these people are going to be taking care of you and me. We're trying to help people get a leg up and get an education so they can become self-sufficient."
"Love Letters" -- Starring Barry Bostwick and Barbara Eden, the classic A.R. Gurney play will be performed on Sept. 19. "I think it will be a great season opener," says Schlabach. "[Bostwick and Eden are] both wonderful people, and it will be great to work with them."
John McEuen and the String Wizards -- McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performs with a seasoned Americana band on Oct. 8. "The majority of the band members were also members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band," says Schlabach. "They've been around for 50 years, and they'll sing old favorites like 'House at Pooh Corner' and 'Mr. Bojangles,' along with some new material."
"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" -- Schlabach says this Tony Award-winning musical, arriving on the PAC stage on Oct. 16, is one of her favorites. "I've seen it three times," she says. "A lot of people like Carole King's music, but they might not remember how much music she actually wrote. This is one of the biggest shows we've had here, with over four tractor-trailers of props and lights and costumes [and] two busloads of orchestra and chorus members."
Dailey and Vincent Christmas -- "A lot of people may have seen their CDs in the Cracker Barrel stores," says Schlabach of this musical duo, performing on Dec. 15. "We've had them here before, and we've had lots of requests to have them back. It's very family-oriented bluegrass, Christmas and gospel music."
Steve Augeri -- Augeri recorded three albums in his eight-year tenure with the band Journey. "This is a really big concert; there's a lot of lighting work behind the scenes, and we're going to have to rent some extra sound equipment," says Schlabach of Augeri's performance on Feb. 22. "But we're really excited, because we don't do many rock concerts."
Etta Mae -- "She is a hoot," says Schlabach of the down-home comic, performing on March 28. "She's very clean. Some people describe her as 'Minnie Pearl with a migraine' or 'The Polyester Princess.' She's originally from Bald Knob, Ark., and she's so much fun. We're very cautious with comedians, because I want to make sure what we offer is clean, and she is absolutely perfect for our stage."
NAN What's Up on 08/11/2019
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