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

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A Broadway Cabaret tonight on CALS Ron Robinson Theater stage performed by The Muses

The Muses’ Broadway Cabaret in concert is presented tonight at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

The performance starts at 7pm.

This “best of” Broadway concert is an impressive display of professional musical artistry, spectacular dancing, and extraordinary showmanship! The Muses Professional Performance Troupe of highly skilled, nationally touring professional vocalists, instrumentalists, and resident artists, will present beloved tunes from popular Broadway shows, including: “Cabaret”, “Kiss Me Kate”, “Hello, Dolly!” “My Fair Lady’, “South Pacific”, “Company”, “Wicked”, and “Rent”.

Driven by a live big band sound, these musical theater classics, are performed in colorful and engaging combinations of solos, duets, and ensembles, along with lovely and energetic dance performances sprinkled throughout the show.

Professionally executed, high quality artistic programming, are the distinguishing features of all Muses’ productions. Professional and undeniably first rate, the Muses Broadway Cabaret, Seasons of Love concert, embodies the charm, passion, wit, and powerful storytelling found on the Broadway stage, right here in central Arkansas! Don’t miss this highly entertaining summer highlight!

Sponsored by Arkansas Arts Center, First Security Bank, UA Little Rock Downtown, Central Arkansas Library System, Merritt Dyke & Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

“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.

GUYS AND DOLLS rolls in to Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre this summer

Logo.jpgGuys and Dolls is the musical in the 2019 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

This self-described “Musical Fable of Broadway” is based on Damon Runyon’s stories. With a score by Frank Loesser, it has a book by Abe Burrows. (Contractual obligations required that Jo Swerling get credit as a co-author, though none of his original draft ended up in the final product.)

Telling the story of a pair of gamblers and their romantic entanglements, it features memorable characters who frequent nightclubs, a storefront mission, Cuba, and a floating crap game in a sewer.  The original production won the 1951 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Performances started last night (June 15) and continue today, June 16 (2:00pm), June 23 (2:00pm), June 25 (7:30pm), June 28 (7:30pm), June 30 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm), July 2 (7:30pm), July 4 (2:00pm), and July 6 (2:00pm AND 7:30pm). The musical is performed on the stage of the Reynolds Performance Hall.

The cast includes Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Chris Fritzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Patrice Phillips, Ben Grimes, Will Stotts, Barry Clifton, Cody Walls, Augustine Nguyen, Braxton Johnson, Kevin Alan Brown, Maureen Toomey, Mikala Hicks, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, Dylan Blackwood, Ashley Mahan, Anthony Bryant, Brian Earles, and Moriah Patterson.

The production is directed by Jenna Elser.  A native of Searcy, she is the Artistic Director of Glow Lyric Theatre in South Carolina. She also is Director of Converse Opera Theatre at Converse College.

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

Experience Life on AVENUE Q at The Weekend Theater

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The Weekend Theater kicks off its 2019-2020 season with the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q, with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty.  The original production was directed by Fayetteville native Jason Moore, who received a Tony nomination for his work on the show.

Avenue Q runs June 14-30 at the theater, 1001 W. 7th St. Show dates are June 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Sunday matinees starts at 2:30 p.m. All other shows start at 7:30 p.m.

Often described as Sesame Street-meets-South Park, “Avenue Q” conveys life’s tough lessons through the trials and tribulations of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, where he and his new friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Due to language and adult situations, like full-puppet nudity, “Avenue Q” may be inappropriate for children under 17.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for students, seniors and military. To reserve online, visit centralarkansastickets.com

For more information, visit weekendtheater.org or call 501-374-3761.

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.

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.