By Rachel Dunham, Opinions Editor/Staff Writer
April 12, 2023
Ouachita’s production of “Mary Poppins” will be presented from April 20-23 as one of the last shows of the 2022-2023 season. The performances will be held in Jones Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. The musical, based on the books by P.L. Travers, tells the story of the Banks family and their new magical nanny, Mary Poppins.
This is many of the seniors’ last productions of their careers at Ouachita. Julia Letcher, a senior musical theater major from Plano, Texas, will play Miss Andrew. Letcher has been involved in many other productions with the OBU Theater Department such as “The Servant of Two Masters” and “Little Women.”
“A really cool thing is that I actually did this show my senior year of high school,” Letcher said. “It is really full circle for me because I am ending another chapter with this show. One of the lines I love in this show is, ‘Anything can happen if you let it,’ and it is something I am going to take from this place as I graduate.”
The show will be different from the books and movie adaptations in various aspects, beginning with the adding of new characters. Letcher talks about her character, Miss Andrew, who is in the theater production of Mary Poppins but not in the movie version.
“She is a special character who comes to take care of the children for a little bit,” Letcher said. “[This show] is similar to the movie with classic songs like ‘Step in Time’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,’ but it has some fun twists and turns!”
Annslee Clay, a junior musical theater major from Benton, Arkansas, is playing Michael Banks and is excited to see this “heartwarming” production come to life on the JPAC stage.
“Some of my favorite memories of this show have been being able to play and goof around with Genevieve Cooper, who plays my sister in the show,” Clay said. “Since we are playing kids together we get to play like children, and it’s super fun. It reminds me to nurture my inner child and that everything isn’t as serious as it seems.”
The Ouachita Production of “Mary Poppins” will be a production the whole family will enjoy. With elements from the original story as well as new, exciting characters, this show is sure to be one to remember. As Mary Poppins would say, this show is “practically perfect in every way!”
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at obu.edu/boxoffice 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 each by presenting their HSU IDs. For more information, contact the box office at (870) 245-5555.