The Williams Baptist University theatre program will present its annual “Story Store” production Friday, Feb. 18 at the Walnut Ridge Community Center and again Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Ozarka College in Melbourne.
The Walnut Ridge Community Center will feature two performances at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., while Tuesday’s performance at Ozarks College will take place at 10 a.m.
The purpose of the “Story Store” is to take the creative ideas of students from Northeast Arkansas areas and bring these ideas to life on stage. A writing prompt is sent to the Northeast and North Central Arkansas Gifted and Talented teachers, and students are encouraged to write a fairytale with their own unique twist.
This year’s prompt asked students to imagine fairy tale characters as real people and write about what their lives would be like. The stories are then sent to the WBU theatre department and turned into stage productions.
“The store boasts of sparking imaginations and promoting creativity,” said Melinda Williams, assistant professor of communication arts at WBU and director of the production. “I wanted to give the students a creative outlet, maybe a way to express themselves in a way they never tried.”
WBU students involved in the 2022 production include Maura Thomason of Sidney, Ark., Gabriella Patterson of Beebe, Ark., Aejarah Hodges of Truman, Ark., Kaylen Doss of Paragould, Ark., Mallory Mills of Jonesboro, Ark. and Kendall Mackey of Olive Branch, Miss.
“This is the twenty-third year the ‘Story Store’ has been performed with a standard set of characters appearing in the play throughout the years,” Williams said. “Approximately thirteen schools are participating this year with about twenty-four stories selected to be performed from those schools.”
The “Story Store” is co-produced by the Williams Baptist University theatre program and the Northeast Arkansas Education Cooperative.
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge.