Clay Turner gets lead role

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Clay Turner of Leachville will be returning to the stage in the lead role of "Pinocchio,"

Clay auditioned on Feb. 25 for the part in the musical version of "Pinocchio," reading from the script and singing. He was called back on Feb. 28 for more reading before the final selection was made. Over 70 people auctioned for the play which will be held at the Forum in Jonesboro.

Clay, a fifth grade student at Buffalo Island Central East Elementary, is not shy when it comes to performing. He has performed with the Foundation of Arts in musicals including "Annie" in 2003; "Sound of Music" in 2004; and "Cinderella" in 2005. In his first play, Annie, he played the role of Sandy, and the part of Kurt Von Trapp in the Sound of Music. He was the young steward in Cinderella. Pinocchio will be his first lead role and he is looking forward to it.

When he prepares to do a part, he watches the movie, reads the book, and gets information from other people. Performing in several plays will be helpful as he undertakes the lead in the upcoming play.

"The director, Amanda Drennon, is very good," Clay said. "There is a cast of 36 working together. Gaylon Tyner is playing the role of Gepetto."

Clay has made a lot of good friends at the Forum.

Practices began on March 7 and Clay is balancing school work and two to four practices a week in Jonesboro to maintain the All A honor roll. He is also in the Gifted and Talented Program at BIC.

The 11 year old son of Frankie and Lisa Turner of Leahville, he started singing at five years old and enjoys singing contemporary Christian and patriotic songs. He is the brother of Cory Turner and grandson of Jack and Retha Hawkins of Leachville, Lyman and Marlene Crites of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and the late Frank Turner of Leachville.

He sings at church, school functions, Relay for Life, Fowler Center at ASU, and the Melody Theater.

He and his family are members of Southside Community Church in Paragould where Clay is active in Awana and R.C.

He has won two talent shows at BIC.

He enjoys singing, computers, swimming, spending time with his younger brother, hanging out with his friends and playing with his pet cats, Rusty, Snowball and Serena.

He also plays the piano and keyboard. He took piano lessons from Jill Sanders in 2002-03 and piano and voice at Qualls Studio of Music in Monette from 2003-05. He is presently taking voice lessons from Paul Richardson of Jonesboro.

Performances of Pinocchio will be presented at the Forum in Jonesboro in April. Performances for schools will be held April 18-19 during the day. Night performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 21-22 and 2 p.m. April 23.

Tickets are $6, $7, and $8. For more information or to obtain tickets, the Forum's telephone number is 935-2726.

The BIC East fourth and fifth grades have plans to attend one of the matinees to support Clay in the play.

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