April 13, 2011 Edition

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Appreciating the visual
and performing arts

John Bland

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, www.therep.org, in Little Rock is now staging the musical "Hairspray" through May 8. The cast includes Walnut Ridge native Jay Clark, who is making his Arkansas Rep debut. Jay, who is the son of Philip and Vicki Clark of Walnut Ridge, serves as the minister of youth at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock. He and his wife, Karen, have a young son, Quin.


Area residents will remember that Jay performed in several local productions that were directed by Carrie Mae Snapp at the former Front Street Theatre in Walnut Ridge.

Carrie Mae, who teachers art at Hoxie High School, continues to direct and produce live theater productions. Most recently she directed the Hoxie High School's Traveling Classroom in a production based on the weekend that The Beatles landed at the Walnut Ridge Airport.


Back in the 70's, when I signed up for speech class as a senior at WRHS, Carrie Mae was the new teacher. Our speech class became speech and drama and included such productions as "The Wizard of Oz" and "You Can't Take It With You." Being on the shy side, I did not like speaking in public but found it easier to speak in the role of another character. I still have a silver goblet for being named "Best Supporting Actor."

Carrie Mae has been inspiring an appreciation for visual and performing arts in Walnut Ridge and Hoxie students and residents since that time. Her positive influence continues. Later this spring, Carrie Mae will take her Traveling Classroom to New York City to experience Broadway and other attractions in the Big Apple.

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