Grace Point Church hosts Mia Tubbs’ dream of a new theater company

Grace Point Church hosts Mia Tubbs’ dream of a new theater company

Mia Tubbs grew up in Chicago, dreaming of New York and the stage. She studied acting, took voice lessons, did improv in college — and discovered after college that “theater opportunities were slim to none.”

“So that’s when I thought, ‘OK, maybe there’s something else out there for me?’ And as heartbreaking as that was to put that dream down for a time, it led me to California to pursue my music career, as well as a life in vocational ministry, meeting my now husband!”

The couple moved to Bentonville three years ago, when Mia Tubbs was recruited to be a worship and creative arts director for a new church.

“I was hesitant to accept a job in Arkansas of all places,” she admits. “I don’t even know if I knew there were things to do in Arkansas! Needless to say, I came down for an interview and fell in love with this area. It has all the best features of a small town, but I so appreciated that people were from all over the map!

“As a year or two passed, and since leaving the job I originally came for, the one thing that I seemed to be really missing about the area was theater. I felt there to be such a gap between the Walton Arts Center and Broadway-level performances, to scarce community theater opportunities elsewhere. With that being said, I was on the search for the perfect opportunity for that.”

Tubbs will reveal her first effort to fill that perceived gap, “Narnia The Musical,” opening March 3. She has a cast of 45 — 10 adults and 35 youngsters — recruited largely via social media using a script from the 1970s she’s “dusted the cobwebs off” of with the help of Sierra Sosbee, a veteran of two California theater companies, and Grace Point Church in Bentonville. She calls her theater company The Story Room.

“Since moving on from my original reason for being here, my husband, Nathan, and I started to attend Grace Point Church here in Bentonville, falling in love with our community we found there,” Tubbs continues her story. “In 2021, Nathan happened to get hired on to be their production manager, and so naturally I found myself in that space quite a lot. We ended up making really sweet connections with Taylor Wood, who is over the Worship Department there, and started to [talk] of my dreams of being in theater again.

“He took me out for lunch one day, asking me the question that truly sparked everything, ‘If you spearhead a theater production, and maybe someday a company, is that something you’re interested in? I know you miss it, and we have a venue sitting there five days out of the week, empty, ready to be utilized.’ So with no clue what I was saying, I said, ‘YES!’”

“Narnia The Musical,” Tubbs says, “favors the books more than the movie; however, I’ve seen and pulled from elements of both as the director. I feel that the Narnia story is truly timeless — a huge reason as to why I wanted to have our debut show, featuring something that is a household story! We hope to do it justice.”

She calls her cast “precious.”

“They have showed up with all of their talents, their hearts, their efforts and have blown me away,” she says. “When we first announced auditions, I had literally zero expectations of who or how many might show up. We had about 35-40 talented people walk through our door that November evening! It was overwhelmingly exciting and unexpected, to be completely honest. Since then, they have all grown as performers, and to no surprise, friends, and so my hope that is above all else, our audience will feel their friendship, energy and big hearts!”

Tubbs says she and her husband still dream of “touring all of the world someday with our music!” But more immediately, she hopes “The Story Room continues to grow and evolve and that I will be able to be in a couple of performances. I will say since it’s been almost 10-plus years since having any actual training, my hope is to get back in classes and lessons, to hopefully dust off those cobwebs and reengage in bigger dreams [and] goals! Who knows, maybe in a few years, I’ll finally make that leap to New York!”


The Story Room:

‘Narnia The Musical’

When: 7 p.m. March 3; 2 & 7 p.m. March 4; 4 p.m. March 5; 7 p.m. March 10; 2 p.m. March 11

Where: Grace Point Church, 1201 McCollum Drive in Bentonville

Cost: $10-$15


Categories: Theater