Double Double Toil and Trouble as Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre presents The Scottish Play

Logo.jpgThe Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is invoking the spirits by presenting THE SCOTTISH PLAY this season. As the Culture Vulture does not utter nor write the name of that play, one will just have to look at the logo on this entry to see its name.

Brave warrior the Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.  It also contains what may be the Culture Vulture’s favorite exchange of dialogue in Shakespeare’s canon.

Lady M: To bed. To bed. To bed. (She exits)

Doctor: Will she go now to bed?

Performances begin tomorrow (June 21 at 7:30pm) and  continue June 22 (7:30pm), June 27 (7:30pm), June 29 (2:00pm), July 3 (7:30pm), July 5 (7:30pm), and July 7 (2:00pm. The play is performed on the stage of the Reynolds Performance Hall.

The cast includes Paige Reynolds, Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Keith Illidge, Chris Fitzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Justin Jones, Ben Grimes, Kevin Alan Brown, Mikala Hicks, Zachary Blair, Jack Hradecky, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, and Saxon Whitehead.

The production is directed by Rebekah Scallet, the Producing Artistic Director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.

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Learn about Arkansas Rep’s production of WILLY WONKA JR. at noon today at the Clinton School

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The new Arkansas Repertory Theatre production of Willy Wonka Jr. will be the focus of a noontime Clinton School program today (June 20).

The scrumdidilyumptious adventures of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory light up the stage this summer at The Rep. Featuring many of the enchanting songs from the 1971 film, generations of candy lovers will delight in this devilishly delicious adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale, brought to life by a company of young artists. Grab your golden ticket to see Willy Wonka Jr.!

The Rep’s Director of Education Anna Kimmell says, “We’re thrilled to showcase the amazing talent of our local young artists and offer both performance and training opportunities for generations to come here at The Rep.”

The production runs June 21 to June 30.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239

“The Comedy of Errors for Dummies” is special program tonight at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

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Two sets of twins, a shipwreck, unrequited love, and much more!  Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors has twists, turns, humor and romance.

AST Executive Director Mary Ruth Marotte will discuss The Comedy of Errors’ plot and themes in a user-friendly way to enhance your viewing pleasure of AST’s outdoor production this summer.

It will take place in McAlister Hall’s Mirror Room, UCA. The program starts at 5pm.

CALS ONE OF 78 ORGANIZATIONS NATIONWIDE TO RECEIVE AN NEA BIG READ GRANT

Image result for nea big readThe Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is a recipient of a $14,900 grant to host the NEA Big Read: CALS. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

CALS is one of 78 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading. The NEA Big Read: CALS events will take place between March 16 and April 26, 2020.

“We are very excited to host Tim O’Brien and to explore his classic The Things They Carried throughout the library system and beyond,” said Mark Christ, CALS adult programming coordinator. “As an institution, we strive to improve literacy and encourage the exchange of ideas, social engagement, and cultural expression. We hope that additional partners will join with us before the NEA Big Read begins next March.”

The NEA Big Read showcases a diverse range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.

“It is inspiring to see both large and small communities across the nation come together around a book,” said National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We always look forward to the unique ways cities, towns, and organizations, like Central Arkansas Library System, explore these stories and encourage community participation in a wide variety of events.”

Planned events for the NEA Big Read: CALS include a lecture by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried; book clubs, readings and exhibits at CALS branch libraries; an Operation Song event at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock; a film and documentary series, panel discussions and dramatic readings at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater; readings and discussions of The Things They Carried by private book clubs in the area; Vietnam veteran oral history recordings by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies staff in the CALS Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art; performances by the Writeous Poets from Little Rock Central High School; special displays and discussions during the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, and other events.

Partners include the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, Arkansas State Library, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Little Rock Central High School, public radio station KUAR, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, the Arkansas Educational Television Network, Central Arkansas Literacy Council, professors from Hendrix College, Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and others.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $20 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past twelve years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread.

For more information about NEA Big Read: CALS, contact Mark Christ at (501) 918-3069 or mchrist@cals.org.

AST Tonight – “Performing Shakespeare’s Women” with Paige Martin Reynolds

Paige Martin Reynolds's Profile PhotoThe Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre continues to expand its offerings.

Following the model of other acclaimed and established Shakespeare festivals in the country like Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is thrilled to offer educational prep sessions, workshops, lectures, and talk-backs to enhance theatregoers’ understanding of the plays produced during our 13th summer season on the campus of UCA.

In utilizing academic leaders, professional actors, and other members of our creative team, we will enrich exploration of themes and ideas in both the Shakespeare plays and in our musical this season as a way to both facilitate reflection and expand understanding of the plays produced at AST during our summer festival. (Sponsored by Conway A&P Commission.)

Their first lecture will be by Paige Martin Reynolds, AST Actor, Artistic Collective Member, and Director of Dramaturgy: “Performing Shakespeare’s Women”
Why might what happens to Shakespeare’s women matter to us today?

Join AST Artistic Collective member Paige Martin Reynolds for a discussion of what is at stake for Shakespeare’s female characters (and the actors who play them), based on her recent book, Performing Shakespeare’s Women: Playing Dead (Bloomsbury Arden, 2019).

It takes place from 5pm to 6pm in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center.

Journalist Ernie Dumas discusses his new book tonight (6/10)

Veteran journalist and political observer Ernie Dumas will talk about his new memoir The Education of Ernie Dumas. He’ll sign copies of the book both before and after his talk, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Dumas’s book traces the post-World War II evolution of Arkansas, beginning with the defeat of Governor Francis Cherry by Orval Faubus, the son of a hillbilly socialist, at the end of the Joseph McCarthy era, and leading up to Arkansas’s first president of the United States.

The book collects the mostly untold stories, often deeply personal, that reveal the struggles and tribulations of the state’s leaders—Cherry, Faubus, Winthrop Rockefeller, Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, John McClellan, J. William Fulbright, Bill Clinton, Jim Guy Tucker, and others.

Schedule of events:

  • Doors open at 5:00 p.m.
  • Book Signing: 5:30 p.m.
  • Talk: 6:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service and Political Animals Club.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS kicks of 2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season

AST2019_TheComedyOfErrors_FinalLogo.pngThe Comedy of Errors launches the 2019 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

A tragic shipwreck, two sets of twins divided at birth, mistaken identities, and unrequited love provide the perfect recipe for fun in this Shakespearean farce. The fates bring the brothers and their long-lost father Aegeon together in the land of Ephesus with hilarious results.

Performances started last night (June 7) and continue tonight (June 8), June 9, June 23, June 26, June 29, and July 4. They take place at 7:30pm on the lawn at UCA, across from the President’s House.

The cast includes Paige Reynolds, Chad Bradford, Benjamin Reed, Chris Firtzges, Keith Illidge, Rebecca Brudner, Verda Davenport, Justin Jones, Kyle Clark, Chris Farrell Jr., Corrie Green, Charlotte Mae Ellison, Jack Hradecky, and Saxon Whitehead.

The production is directed by Jack Young.  He is the Artistic Director of Houston Shakespeare Festival, and leads the University of Houston’s MFA Professional Actor Training Program.

Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director and Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.