More than 120 talented community members from across the Southeast Arkansas are joining their theatrical efforts to present 12 performances of the Southeast Arkansas Concert Association’s 2019 musical production, Mary Poppins, Jr.

The performances premier on March 4 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Fine Art Center. The cast will take their final bows the evening of March 9.

The musical tells the tale of the two Banks children who summon a nanny to Cherry Tree Lane in London and are sent perfection in the form of Mary Poppins. A magical and loving caregiver, Mary Poppins creates adventure out of thin air but “never explains anything” nor acknowledges the magic. Bankers, chimney sweeps, bumblebees, flowers, and statues will come to life on the stage surrounding the fascinating story of the Banks family and Mary Poppins. The cheerful music that has kept this classic nanny famous is bound to please ears from the tiniest to the oldest listener.

New this year is a general admission matinee on March 5 at 3 p.m. just for senior adults (ages 55 and older) with reduced ticket prices. Churches and other relevant organizations are encouraged to bring groups to this daytime show with convenient bus parking and front door drop-off.

For the second year, SEARK is hosting a fundraiser premiere night of the musical benefiting continued improvements to the UAM Fine Art Center. The Practically Perfect Premiere of Mary Poppins, Jr. will be held on March 4 at 6 p.m. It will include hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to mingle with characters.

SEARK’s SMARTS program is sponsoring six matinees on March 5 and March 6 for third grade students from each school district it serves. The SMARTS program provides high quality, excellent performing arts experiences for school children grades K-12 in all seven SEARK counties (Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Desha, Drew, Lincoln) throughout the year and is supported and funded by local businesses and individuals.

There will be reserved seating performances for ticket holders on March 7, March 8, and March 9. (See ticket purchasing information below). Performance dates and times are as follows: Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m., Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m., and Saturday March 9, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Many roles have been double-cast to allow for the volume of performances and the greatest showcasing of talent. Area talent taking on lead roles include:

Jennifer Fryer (blue cast) and Cara Akin (red cast) as Mary Poppins;
Greg Fallon (blue cast) and Jeff Newton (red cast) as Bert;
Daniel Lane (blue cast) and TJ Files (red cast) as George Banks;
Haley Greer (blue cast) and Emily Hilton (red cast) as Winifred Banks;
Mallory Fallon (blue cast) and Aubree Wright (red cast) as Jane Banks; and
Adrian Ratliff (blue cast) and Cade Newton (red cast) as Michael Banks.

The blue cast is scheduled to perform at the Practically Perfect Premier on March 4, the Wednesday, March 6, matinees for school children, the Friday, March 8, performance, and the Saturday, March 9, matinee.

The red cast is scheduled to perform at the Senior Adult matinee on March 5, the Tuesday, March 5, matinees for school children, the Thursday, March 7, performance, and the Saturday, March 9, evening performance.

Those who plan to attend are encouraged to secure tickets, earlier rather than later, as SEARK Concert’s annual community theater musical productions typically sell out quickly.

General admission tickets for the Practically Perfect Premiere fundraiser night are $100 and are on sale today on the Southeast Arkansas Concert Association website or by phone (see details below).
Senior Matinee tickets, also general admission, are $15. They can be purchased today by phone or during office hours (details below).

Tickets for the March 7-9 performances for the general public will go on sale February 18 at 6 a.m.

Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 870-460-1888, and in person. Office hours are:
February 18, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
February 19, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Every Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The new SEARK Concert office is located in the UAM Fine Arts Center in Room 110. Ticket prices for March 7-9 public performances are $25 for adults, $20 for children under the age of 12, and $23 for veterans.