THE OLD MAID & THE THIEF – A 1939 Radio Hour presented by Opera in the Rock this weekend

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Step back to 1939! This one-act opera described by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti as “an opera-buffa for radio in fourteen scenes” tells a twisted tale of morals amongst a gaggle of nosy women and an unsuspecting man. Commissioned by NBC Radio in 1939, it was one of the earliest operatic works composed specifically for live radio.

In what’s sure to be a fun-filled evening of laughs and spectacle, Opera In The Rock will be presenting the work as a live radio play, complete with larger-than-life actors, on stage music, live sound effects, and comical commercial breaks. Starring Metropolitan Opera singer Diane Kesling alongside local soprano favorite Christine Donahue, the cast also includes Shannon Rookey, Ron Jensen-McDaniel, Sarah Stankiewicz Dailey, and Kevin Lambert of Lancaster, PA.

“The Old Maid and The Thief: A 1939 Radio Hour” will be sung in English with music direction and piano accompaniment by John Willis.

Performances are August 23 and 24 at 7:30pm and August 25 at 2:30pm.

Ticket Types:
General Admission, $35
Student Ticket, $25
VIP Ticket, $50 (Includes Drink Voucher & Prime Reserved Seating)

Venue Information:
The Studio Theatre
320 W 7th Street


Join Arkansas Rep supporters at a Jailhouse Rock Party tonight at Rocktown Distillery

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Four musical legends are coming to Arkansas Rep – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins – and what better way to celebrate than a with a rock ‘n roll-themed party?

It will take place at Rocktown Distillery located at 1201 Main Street. The party will run from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Come out to support The Rep and meet others who are excited to see Million Dollar Quartet this fall!

*Enjoy a special performance by cast member Trent Rowland as Elvis.

*Taste Rock Town’s special $5 cocktail, “The Jailbird.”

*Members of The Rep’s young professionals group, The 601 Club, will receive a coupon for a free tour and tasting at Rock Town.

Elvis Lives – or at least he will be on stage of Arkansas Rep in September with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET

August 16 marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.  (Or did he die?  Is he actually living in seclusion with JFK and others?)

In September, Elvis will come back to life as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET.

Four musical legends. A one-in-a-million recording session.
On December 4, 1956, in the studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered to meet with legendary producer Sam Philips. What happened next was pure rock and roll magic.

A casual introduction of Lewis to Perkins unexpectedly evolved into an epic jam session of country, gospel and rock classics, captured on tape but not released until 1981.

With a collection of hit songs that includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Hound Dog,” this Tony Award-winning musical is guaranteed to blow the roof off!

The show, which won a Tony Award and was nominated for Best Musical, was written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux.  The Rep’s production is directed by Hunter Foster who played Sam Phillips in the original Broadway cast.
The production opens on September 6 and plays through October 6.

3 shows highlight Arkansas Rep’s Spring 2020 season!

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the state’s largest nonprofit professional theatre, has announced its Spring 2020 Season. The new season, which begins in January 2020, marks the first productions selected under the leadership of Little Rock native Will Trice, the Rep’s new executive artistic director.
“The season is a trio of productions I think audiences are going to love,” Trice said, adding that in Fall 2020 The Rep will resume a full-season schedule on a school-year calendar. “We’ve got a Tony Award-winning icon in a tour-de-force performance; a visionary adaptation of a contemporary, best-selling novel; and undoubtedly the most fun of the classic musicals.”
Trice added: “These are three very different stories, each told in a very different way. But they are all uplifting, entertaining, and can only be experienced live at The Rep. I can’t wait to share this season with my hometown.”
The Spring 2020 Season starts with Ann. Written by Holland Taylor, the Rep’s production will star Tony winner Elizabeth Ashley as Texas Governor Ann Richards. Known for her no-holds barred approach, Ann Richards was opinionated and possessed a wicked sense of humor. Taylor’s script captures the essence of Richards. (When Taylor was still developing the play, she appeared at the Clinton School as part of the speaker series.)
Ashley, who won a Tony for Take Her, She’s Mine and has been nominated for Barefoot in the Park and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was most recently on Broadway in The Best Man. It will be directed by her frequent collaborator Michael Wilson. A Drama Desk Award winner, Wilson has directed two Tony nominees for Best Play and two more for Best Play Revival (three of which have starred Miss Ashley.)
Ann will run from January 29 to February 16 of 2020.
Next on Arkansas Rep’s stage will be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel of the same name, this play by Simon Stephens has won five Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, and seven Olivier Awards, including Best Play from all three. 
It tells the story of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties” who has never ventured alone past his street. Now he is on a mission – an investigative adventure that will upturn the world of his family and community forever.
Through innovative design and storytelling, it puts the audience inside Christopher’s mind as together they go on this incredible journey. The production will run from April 1 to April 19.
The classic musical Bye Bye Birdie will take the Rep stage in the summer. Written by Michael Stewart, Lee Adams, and Charles Strouse, it takes a comic, tuneful, nostalgic look at rock ‘n roll, the early days of television, teenage love, and family dynamics.
Experience this beloved classic through a fresh, new production directed by Jeff Award-winner and Olivier Award-nominee David H. Bell (Hot Mikado, the Closing Ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics). When It first appeared, Bye Bye Birdie won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
It will be on the Rep stage from July 8 through 26 of 2020.
Season Subscriptions are on sale at or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405. Subscriptions start at just $96 and are the most economical way to see all of the productions included in the Spring 2020 Season. Single ticket will go on sale four weeks before a show opens.
Two productions remain in the Rep’s 2019 season. Million Dollar Quartet opens next month and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is the December holiday offering.

Registration is open for Arkansas Rep fall classes

Image may contain: 6 people, people dancing, people standing, shoes and indoorRegistration is now open for fall classes with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Education Department. Classes run Sept. 9-Nov. 14 for students of all ages and experience levels.

“Whether you’re new to The Rep or continuing your theatre studies, we’ve got something fun for everyone this fall,” said Anna Kimmell, Director of Education. “We create a fun, high-energy creative environment where artists of all ages can learn, discover, and grow.”

Fall classes include training in acting, musical theatre, improvisation, Shakespeare, theatre dance, tap dance and playwriting for students of all ages and abilities. Scholarships are available.

The Rep provides a professional and encouraging environment for artists of all ages and abilities. With new material every semester, classes can be taken multiple times.

Along with Kimmell, faculty members include Matt Boyce, Bridget Davis, Katherine Greer, Leann Hatley, TJ Medel, Brandon Nichols, Rebekah Scallet and Hilary Trudell.

Each year, The Rep reaches more than 7,500 Arkansas students through classes, workshops with guest artists, summer programs, community outreach, and the Student Matinee Program. More than $18,000 in scholarships were awarded in 2017-2018 to students for theatre training at The Rep.

The full class schedule (including class dates and fee costs), online registration and info on teaching artists can be found Available courses include:

Acting and Creative Movement (K-2nd)
In this class, young actors will use their voices, bodies, and imaginations as tools to create new characters, atmospheres, and narrative.

Acting (3rd-5th)
Dive into the foundations of acting technique and improvisation in this fun and collaborative class!

Musical Theatre (3rd-5th)
Discover the fun and fundamentals of musical theatre technique by integrating acting, singing, and simple choreography in the development of Broadway repertoire.

Theatre Dance (3rd-5th)
Learn jazz and theatre basics in this high-energy dance class focusing on Broadway-style choreography.

Theatre Dance (6th-8th)
Learn jazz and theatre basics in this high-energy dance class focusing on Broadway-style choreography.

Acting (6th-8th)
In this class, actors will explore character development skills, delve into text analysis, and learn how to create dynamic relationships on stage through ensemble building.

Musical Theatre (6th-8th)
Build on the fundamentals of musical theatre technique by integrating acting, singing, and basic choreography in the development of a musical revue.

Preach! A Comedy Collage Class (9th-12th)
As media changes, so do the voices that create it. In this youth-centered class, their voices will be tested through an array of forms in comedy that range from improv to spoken word.

Teen Ensemble (9th-12th – Audition Only)
Teen Ensemble is The Rep’s audition-only performance class featuring the top high school-aged singers, dancers, and actors in the area.  Auditions will be held by appointment only on Monday, August 12 from 5-8 p.m. Email for an audition slot.

Theatre Dance (8th – Adult)
Get moving in this fun, high-energy dance class focusing on Broadway-style choreography.

Beginning Tap Dance (8th – Adult)
Make some noise in this introductory course laying the foundation of tap dance technique. (Tap shoes required.)

Intermediate Tap (8th – Adult)
Make some noise in this course that builds upon the foundation of tap dance technique.  This class is not for beginners. Students must have a basic tap dance vocabulary including shuffles, flaps, riffles, paradiddles, drawbacks, etc. (Tap shoes required.)

Shakespeare Scene Study (Adult)
Take a deep dive into Shakespeare text work through this intensive scene study class.  We will cover two plays in the class — As You Like It and Richard III — to give the opportunity to work on both comic and dramatic text.  *Familiarity with using scansion and rhetorical techniques in Shakespeare is required. If no previous experience, please also enroll in the Shakespeare 101 workshop.

Intro to Playwriting (Adult)
Have you ever wanted to write a play but didn’t know where to start? Here’s your chance! Creator of the ACANSA/Rep Ten-Minute Play Showcase, Hilary Trudell, will teach participants the basics of ten-minute playwriting. All completed ten-minute plays will receive an automatic submission into the 2020 Ten-Minute Play Showcase for an opportunity to be produced on a Rep stage! No experience necessary.

Improvisation (Adult)
In this class, students will learn fundamental improvisational skills and how to apply them to their daily lives. Under the philosophy of “Yes! And…,” actors will heighten their ability to listen to understand, build relationships through an “attitude of gratitude,” and enhance their cognitive skills by building a community of support.