Arkansas: “Annie” team back for next youth theatre project at SAAC

Arkansas News

El Dorado, Ark. (12/24/19)— Director Hannah Davis and Music Director Cassie Hickman are returning to the South Arkansas Arts Center’s (SAAC) stage, after their stunning team-up on Annie KIDS, to direct the upcoming Youth Theatre production of James and the Giant Peach JR.

Two young actors, Hannah Hickman and Clay Evers, will be joining them on the production team this time, sharing the role of Assistant Director in order to gain a better understanding of the technical side of stage production.

Left to Right: Cassie Hickman, Hannah Davis, Clay Evers, Hannah Hickman

Director Hannah Davis teaches the Kids’ Drama classes at SAAC, so it’s no surprise the SAAC stage happens to be her favorite.

Having a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Louisiana Tech University, some of Davis’ past credits include: Director of SAAC’s Annie KIDS, Director of SAAC’s Disney’s Aristocats KIDS, the roles of “Grempkin” in SAAC’s Peter and the Starcatcher, “Madame Spanella” in SAAC’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the character of “Rhonda”, as well as being the hair, wig, and makeup designer for SAAC’s Singin’ in the Rain.

Davis also teaches eighth grade English at Barton Junior High School.

Cassie Hickman has shared her musical talents with SAAC in 10 productions over the last 5 years, her first being a homeschool production of Alice in Wonderland in 2015.

Since then, she has been the music director for four other homeschool shows, two Penguin Projects, a Youth Theatre project, and a Teen Drama production, her personal favorites being Annie KIDS, Into the Woods, Godspell, Fiddler on the Roof, and Music Man.

Hickman had experience with theatre in high school and college, as well as leading the musical part of worship services at her church. She cites her daughter, Hannah’s interest in drama as what brought her back to theatre.

Clayton Evers, a freshman student at Parkers Chapel High School, has spent the last three years doing theatre, having graduated from the Youth Theatre Program last year.

His previous credits include the roles of “Rooster” in Annie KIDS, “Ugly” in Honk JR, and “Edgar” in Disney’s Aristocats KIDS.

Hannah Hickman, a ninth grade homeschool student and daughter of Cassie Hickman, has loved theatre her entire life, and is very excited to learn more about the “behind the scenes” work that goes into production. Having worked as the stage manager for the Penguin Project production of Seussical KIDS, this will be her second experience backstage.

With 17 plays under her belt, Hannah considers her favorite roles to be “Grace Farrell” in Annie KIDS, “Mrs. Corry” in Mary Poppins, and “Emily Webb” in Our Town.

This stellar production team is inviting all students, grades 2-8, along with their parents, to join them at the Back to School “Peach Party” at SAAC, located at 110 East Fifth Street in El Dorado, Arkansas, on January 4, from 2:30-3:30 P.M., before auditions to be held on January 11 and January 13.

This production of James and the Giant Peach JR, scheduled for April 24-25, is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of El Dorado. For more information, please call the SAAC office at (870) 862-5474, or to visit the website, click here.

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