LAKE HAVASU CITY – Mamma Mia, here she goes again.
After losing her bid for United States Senate last month, Kelli Ward plans to hit the stage this November – and it won’t be to discuss politics.
The Lake Havasu City resident has been cast in Grace Arts Live’s production of “Mamma Mia!,” set to open Nov. 2, according to the local theater’s website.
For nine separate shows throughout the month, Ward will play the supporting role of Tanya, who is friends with one of the central characters in the musical based on the music of ABBA.
“It’s going to be exciting to be back in Havasu for one thing and, two, back on the stage doing some community theater,” said Ward. “I’ve always had a love for it, I’ve done a lot here in town, not for a long time, so I’m thankful to Grace for giving me the opportunity to get back up there and have some fun.”
In 2012, Ward was elected to serve as Arizona State Senate for District 5. Two years later, she lost her bid for U.S. Senate to John McCain in the primary election and then again on Aug. 28 to Martha McSally.
While she may have taken a break from the main stage over the years to focus on her political career, Ward is no stranger to theater.
“I’ve always loved doing theatre, I kind of got bit by the theatre bug when I was in high school, we didn’t have a big theatre department in West Virginia, where I was, but we did the senior class play and I was doing performances ever since in different community theatres throughout my life,” said the triple-threat performer.
According to Grace Ann Etcheberria-Jacobs, owner of Grace Arts Live, Ward was one of her Mohave Community College theater students a few years ago. Ward’s also participated in several other Grace Arts Live productions, including the musical “Gypsy,” Etcheberria-Jacobs added.
“She has always supported the arts,” said Etcheberria-Jacobs. “We’re very excited…she will rock the show, we all will.”
Ward said she currently has no plans to run for any political seats in the near future.
“Mike (her husband) and I are here in Arizona making sure that we maintain a Republican majority in the House and in the Senate, not just in our state but across the whole country, “she said. “I want to use the network that I built and the connections that I have and the following because we have a very large following in Arizona and across the country, to make sure that we continue to move the country in the right direction.”
In the meantime, rehearsals for Ward and the cast of “Mamma Mia!” begin Oct. 6.