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 TheRep.org 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.

Pulitzers play Little Rock – Arkansas Rep’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

cat20tin20roof-webMendacity hangs in the air through any production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Since it premiered on Broadway in 1955, it has been performed in Little Rock numerous times.

In 2010, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presented this play in a languid, steaming production.  Directed by Robert Hupp, the cast was led by Trista Moldovan, Michael Ellison, and Joe Vincent.  Rep favorites Amy Tribbey and Jeff Bailey were in the cast as well as Kathleen Doyle, Brian Wallace, and Roger Jerome.

The design team included Mike Nichols (sets), Margaret A. McKowen (costumes), Matthew Webb (lighting), Jason Pruzin (sound) and Lynda J. Kwallek (props).

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama being given. To pay tribute to 100 years of the Pulitzer for Drama, each day this month a different Little Rock production of a Pulitzer Prize winning play will be highlighted.  Many of these titles have been produced numerous times.  This look will veer from high school to national tours in an attempt to give a glimpse into Little Rock’s breadth and depth of theatrical history.

ROCKing the TONY AWARDS – Barbara Loden and Elia Kazan

Rock the Tonys

William H. Alden/Evening Standard, via Getty Image

William H. Alden/Evening Standard, via Getty Image

BARBARA LODEN and ELIA KAZAN

Little Rock connection: The pair were married in 1967 in Little Rock at the home of Kazan’s son, who lived here at the time.

Tony Awards connection: Loden won a 1964 Tony for Featured Actress in a Play for her performance of a Marilyn Monroe-like character in After the Fall, Arthur Miller’s roman a clef about his marriage to Monroe. Loden was directed in the play by Kazan. He won Tonys for directing Miller’s All My Sons (1947) and Death of a Salesman (1949) as well as MacLeish’s J.B. (1959). He was nominated for directing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Sweet Bird of Youth. As a producer, he received Tony nominations for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Strange Interlude and Tartuffe.