For Lynn Gunter, a Crossett native, theater has been a great interest since she was a child. Gunter said, “It’s just fun! The moment I saw my first play when I was younger, I thought that looks fun and ‘I want to do that!’” She became involved with The Hurd Playhouse, a community theater in Crossett. She was in such productions as “Peter Pan,” “Gypsy,” “Calamity Jane,” “Lil’ Abner,” “Babes in Arms,” and “Oklahoma.”
During High School, Gunter continued her passion for theatre through drama classes and participating in forensic competitions at the regional and state level, where she placed first in most of her acting entries. While attending the University of Arkansas at Monticello, she continued to be involved in forensic interpretive competitions, as well as Speech and Debate, where her team garnered the honor of Arkansas State Champions. She readily admits that though she was successful in debate, she loved competing in the individual events of Poetry, Prose, and Extemporaneous Speaking better.
After graduating from UAM in 1989 with a degree in Speech Communications, Gunter taught English, Speech, and Spanish for one year in the Texas school system. There she organized and directed two programs: the Greek play “Antigone” with 10th graders and a Reader’s Theater that she wrote for the 8th graders to perform. Gunter spent the next 10 years working in the ministry with college students through Baptist Collegiate Ministries and Baylor University in Texas. During that time, Gunter wrote training assistance manuals for the universities, which she would develop into skits to be performed to better understand the training. Gunter also volunteered her time to local church communities where she participated in and organized numerous drama groups and programs.
Married to Dr. Todd Gunter, pastor of Huttig First Baptist Church, Lynn has spent the last 15 years being a homeschool mom to her three children: Will, Nathan, and Bekah. Gunter became involved with SAAC in 2012, when her children began taking classes. Gunter considers these classes to have greatly enhanced the lives of her children.
Since 2013, Gunter has become a familiar face at SAAC through her direction of local homeschool group, HEART, and their children’s productions of “House at Pooh Corner”, “Peter Pan”, and Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” What she enjoys most about directing children is witnessing their self-confidence increase as well as team work, humility, work ethic, and satisfaction in accomplishment, breeding the attitude that “I can do anything!” Currently Gunter teaches a speech class through HEART, which offers its own reward of seeing kids develop through communication. This coupled with her favorite Bible verse, Phil. 4:13, is how she has encouraged and led children to perform their best.
When asked about directing the upcoming production, Gunter expressed that as a life-long fan of “Miracle on 34th Street”, as well as the magic of Christmas, there could be no project that is more exciting. She plans to set this stage play in present day, yet with a traditional Santa. She is also constantly brainstorming ways to add touches of “Christmas Miracles” to the stage. She added that Children of all ages should be pulled into the magic of tinsel, elves, and Santa. While keeping the manger in focus, the rest of the wonderment of Christmas will be displayed on the SAAC stage this holiday season!
Auditions for the Simmons Bank sponsored production will be held on October 12 and 13 at 6:30pm. Production dates are November 27 through December 6.
For more information about Auditions Go to the Miracle on 34th Street page