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ASU Theatre Announces Cast for Upcoming Production of ‘The Voice of the Prairie’


JONESBORO -- In the early 1890s, itinerant storytellers were the “voices of the prairie.”  Nearly a hundred years later, playwright John Olive worked from that tradition to develop a comic farce for the stage.

Olive brings to life a young storyteller who carries on the tradition and is discovered by a radio entrepreneur who makes him famous on his station as the “Voice of the Prairie.”

In a production that that The New York Times has called “Endearing” and the Los Angeles Times called “A skillful play with a deft heart,” the young storyteller becomes very familiar to his listeners as he relays the tales of a hobo named Poppy and a blind girl named Frankie.

The Arkansas State University Theatre is announcing the cast of its February production of “The Voice of the Prairie,” Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, and Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 25-27.

The cast includes Sarah Ring of Cabot, as Frankie, Virginia Hirsch of Jacksonville, as Frances, Tyler Garstka of Cabot as David, Jordan Phillips of El Dorado as Davey, Hunter Moody of Walnut Ridge as Leon, Josue Pollnow of Santander, Spain, as Poppy, Emily Tucker of Jonesboro as Susie, Jeremy Smith of Dumas, as James, and Jacob George of El Dorado, as Frankie’s father, jailer, watermelon man, and the newspaper vendor.

The production will be under the stage direction of Lisa Bohn, assistant professor of theatre. Scenic design will be by Tonae Mitsuhashi, a senior theatre major from Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan. Lighting design will be by Jeff McLaughlin, assistant professor of theatre.

Cody Campbell, a junior theatre major from Jonesboro, will serve as the sound designer.  Costume design will be under the direction of Claire Abernathy, assistant professor of theatre.  Ashley Pratt, a junior theatre major from El Dorado, will serve as stage manager.   

“The Voice of the Prairie” will be performed at Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, at 7:30 each evening of the five-night run.

A “meet the company” dessert reception will follow the opening night performance on Friday, Feb. 22.

Tickets may be purchased for reserved seating in advance at the ASU Central Box Office (http://www.astate.edu/tickets/) in the Convocation Center or by calling 972-ASU1. Reserved seating tickets (if available) may be purchased at the door on the evening of the performance.  Ticket prices are $10 ($8 in advance).  Advanced reservations are highly recommended.

Children under six years old are not admitted to The ASU Theatre.  Theatre patrons are asked to arrive early; latecomers will not be seated until intermission.

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