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After retiring, Kelly Grooms leaves a legacy in Pocahontas theater



Jonesboro, Arkansas – As per Talk Business & Politics, our content partner, Kelly Grooms, a prominent figure in the theatrical industry in Northeast Arkansas, has announced her retirement after 41 years of service.

Grooms, who was one of the original members of the Downtown Playhouse in Pocahontas, reflected on his career in set design, acting, and directing. At the same time that he retired, the Playhouse changed its name to Marr Street Playhouse and was taken over by Marr Street Productions, a nonprofit organization that specializes in arts education.

Grooms’ impact went beyond the stage, as he converted the Downtown Playhouse into a distinctive theater with an urban grunge atmosphere. There was intimate seating for one hundred people, spectacular artwork, and tables set with candles at the site. Renovations at the Playhouse were a labor of love, with volunteers and grooms giving their time in order to keep costs down.

During Grooms’ career, one noteworthy performance was “Night Mother,” a play that profoundly affected audiences and demonstrated the ability of theater to elicit strong feelings and thoughtful responses.

Grooms sees his retirement as a legacy moment where he passes the theater torch to the following generation. He’s happy he decided to retire, even though he will miss the pre-show coffee hour.

The theater culture in Northeast Arkansas has lost a significant figure with Kelly Grooms’ retirement, but she has left a long legacy.


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