School Days

School Days

Arts Live finds new classroom


Arts Live Theatre of Fayetteville is partnering with the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale to present a new play, says its director and one of its creators, Arts Live’s educational director Jules Taylor.

“We’re starting to write more local scripts,” she explains. Taylor; Mark Landon Smith, Arts Live executive director; and Jennifer Nesbitt are collaborating on the project. “We’re calling this series an ‘Ozark Story,’ and this one is an Ozark Story about education. Historically speaking, after the Civil War, Arkansas really wanted to be known as a leader in education across the country. It was shortly after the war that the state approved the land grant for the University of Arkansas. That started an educational tradition in Arkansas.”

Taylor says the script is in three parts: The first part portrays elementary school children attending a single-room schoolhouse at the turn of the century; the second part shows what happens after they moved into the state’s first multi-room school house — Leverett Elementary, in Fayetteville; and the third part follows them to their studies at the University of Arkansas, where we find them speculating on possible professions now that they’ve earned their diplomas.

“So the theme is ‘education for young people’,” Taylor explains. “‘What inspires you as you go through schooling, and what do you learn that inspires you to make a career choice?’”

Taylor says that, in addition to the partnership with the Shiloh Museum, Arts Live is also working with the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville on a production that will be presented April 27 at the organization’s eARTh Theatre Festival.

“We’re trying really hard to create more and more outreach,” says Taylor. “Northwest Arkansas is such a wonderful community-oriented place, and there’s so much cross-creation. It’s so glorious and wonderful, and we really want to be a part of it. It’s so wonderful for us to be creating these opportunities for our actors.”



Shiloh Museum Project

WHEN — 10 a.m. April 20

WHERE — Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, 118 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale

COST — Free

INFO — 521-4932

BONUS — Arts Live’s eARTh Festival performance takes place at 3 p.m. April 27 at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

Categories: Theater