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.

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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.

Creative Class 2016: Chad Bradford

cc16-bradfordActor and director Chad Bradford started appearing on Little Rock stages while he was still a student at Hall High School.  Since then, he has appeared Off Broadway, in national tours, and in numerous regional theatres throughout the U.S.  While often appearing in Shakespeare or other classical plays, he is equally at home in farce, musicals, and drawing room comedies.  In 2015, he played the title character in the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre production of Puss in Boots. In other words, he is a versatile actor.

Earlier this year, he directed Twelfth Night for Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (while also appearing in their productions of West Side Story and A Midsummer Night’s Dream).  Twelfth Night was later remounted at Shake on the Lake Shakespeare in New York and returned to Conway for another appearance.  (This is not his first show to originate in Little Rock and be performed throughout the US. In 2013, he helmed David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries here before it played elsewhere.)  In 2015, National Arts Strategies named him a Creative Community Fellows recipient.

He is currently in rehearsals directing David Ives’s The Liar on the UCA Mainstage.  It plays October 20-22, and 27 & 28.

Final Weekend of PUSS IN BOOTS at Ark. Arts Center Children’s Theatre

PussInBoots_posterThis weekend marks St. Francis Day.  He was the patron saint of animals.  It is also the final chance to see the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre production of Puss in Boots.

Based on Charles Perrault’s world famous feline fun-time fairytale, Puss in Bootsis an electric story set in song and dance. This fun for all ages show will run Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Be amazed as swashbuckling Puss the Cat raises his master, Claude, from a down-and-out miller’s son to the heights of happiness. Enjoy all the madcap fun as Puss brandishes, not his sword, but his superior feline intellect to conquer kings, ogres and even a few rabbits along the way. It’s all about brain over brawn. Oh, and you’ll just love his shoes.

The cast includes:

  • Chad Bradford of Little Rock as Puss
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Claude
  • Katie Campbell of Little Rock as Coquette
  • Nick Spencer of Nashville, Tenn. as Major Domo
  • Jeremy Matthey of Little Rock as the King
  • Lauren Linton of Memphis; Aleigha Morton of Beebe; and Moriah Patterson of Sheridan as the Trio.

Bradley D. Anderson is the artistic director for the production. Costumes are designed by Erin Larkin and Nikki Webster, technical direction by Drew Posey, lighting design by Mike Stacks, setting and properties design by Miranda Young, choreographed by Erin Fowler and Sarah Gasser is the stage manager.  

The 2015/2016 season of the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will feature six Main Stage shows: Puss in Boots;The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; The Gingerbread Man; The 13 Clocks; Schoolhouse Rock Live! and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. And is sponsored by: Presenting Sponsor, Arkansas BlueCross Blue Shield; Fall Season Sponsor, Centennial Bank; Spring Season Sponsors, The Fine Arts Club of Arkansas and Dr. Loren Bartole, ‘Family Foot Care’; Additional Support Provided by The Morris Foundation and Media Sponsor, Little Rock Family Magazine.

$12.50 General admission, $10 for Arkansas Arts Center members, $10 per person for groups of 10 or more (Children 2 years of age and under are free, however the child must remain in an adult’s lap at all times.)

PUSS IN BOOTS launches Ark. Arts Center’s 2015/16 Children’s Theatre season

PussInBoots_posterThe Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre is excited to begin the 2015/2016 Main Stage season with Puss in Boots, September 18-October 4.

Based on Charles Perrault’s world famous feline fun-time fairytale, Puss in Boots is an electric story set in song and dance. This fun for all ages show will run Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. September 19 through October 4.

Be amazed as swashbuckling Puss the Cat raises his master, Claude, from a down-and-out miller’s son to the heights of happiness. Enjoy all the madcap fun as Puss brandishes, not his sword, but his superior feline intellect to conquer kings, ogres and even a few rabbits along the way. It’s all about brain over brawn. Oh, and you’ll just love his shoes.

The cast includes:

  • Chad Bradford of Little Rock as Puss;
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Claude;
  • Katie Campbell of Little Rock as Coquette;
  • Nick Spencer of Nashville, Tenn. as Major Domo;
  • Jeremy Matthey of Little Rock as the King;
  • Lauren Linton of Memphis; Aleigha Morton of Beebe; and Moriah Patterson of Sheridan as the Trio.

Bradley D. Anderson is the artistic director for the production. Costumes are designed by Erin Larkin and Nikki Webster, technical direction by Drew Posey, lighting design by Mike Stacks, setting and properties design by Miranda Young, choreographed by Erin Fowler and Sarah Gasser is the stage manager.  

The 2015/2016 season of the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will feature six Main Stage shows: Puss in Boots; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; The Gingerbread Man; The 13 Clocks; Schoolhouse Rock Live! and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. And is sponsored by: Presenting Sponsor, Arkansas BlueCross Blue Shield; Fall Season Sponsor, Centennial Bank; Spring Season Sponsors, The Fine Arts Club of Arkansas and Dr. Loren Bartole, ‘Family Foot Care’; Additional Support Provided by The Morris Foundation and Media Sponsor, Little Rock Family Magazine.

$12.50 General admission, $10 for Arkansas Arts Center members, $10 per person for groups of 10 or more (Children 2 years of age and under are free, however the child must remain in an adult’s lap at all times.)

Best enjoyed by all ages.

A Pound of Flesh and Unstrained Mercy – MERCHANT OF VENICE at Ark Shakes

AST 2015 MoVComedy and tragedy collide in this story of lovers united and families torn apart.  At the center is Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. When the Venetian merchant Antonio is forced to seek a loan from Shylock, a man he despises for his religion and profession, he is asked to enter into an impossible contract: he must give a pound of flesh if unable to pay back the borrowed sum. What follows is a complex and challenging exploration of love, mercy, integrity, and justice that reminds us that, “all that glisters is not gold.”

The Merchant of Venice continues the 2015 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.  Performances are at 7:30 tonight, Saturday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 23.  Matinees are at 2pm on June 20, June 27 and June 28.  All performances take place in the Reynolds Theatre on the UCA campus.

The cast is led by Chad Bradford, Peter Kevoian, Paul Kiernan and Jocelyn Vammer.  Others in the cast are Jordy Neill, Taylor Galloway, Jeff Gonzalez, Hannah Moulder, Ferginho Philippe-Auguste, Hunter Ringsmith, Matthew Schmidli, Tanner Berry, Mattie Bogoslavsky, Mark Fox and Harrison Trigg.  Members of the Youth Ensemble are Anna Caroline Greg, Ethan Marotte and Olivia Marotte.

Merry Wives and Falstaff kick off 2015 Arkansas Shakespeare Theater season

AST 2015 MWWLove and deception are the name of the game in the small town of Windsor when Shakespeare’s famous larger-than-life anti-hero Falstaff comes for a visit.  Falstaff sets out to woo the Housewives of Windsor for some quick cash, but finds himself outfoxed by the wise Windsor Wives, becoming the buffoon instead of the leading man in his own ambitious tale of romance.  The entire family will laugh their way through this energetic and charming farce.

The Merry Wives of Windsor kicks off the 2015 season of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.  Performances are at 7:30 tonight, Friday, Saturday, June 11 and June 13 at the Hendrix Village.  It will be performed at the Argenta Farmer’s Market space on June 25, 26 & 28.

The cast is led by Paul Kiernan, Chad Bradford, Stacy Pendergraft, Paige Reynolds, Courtney Bennett, Matthew Duncan, Jordy Neill, Jeff Gonzalez, Jenna Hokanson, Austin Larkin, Ferginho Pilippe-Auguste, Ricky Pope and Matthew Schmidli.  The youth ensemble consists of Aaron Eley, Jack Ghormley, Sarah Guinee, Ethan Hemphill, Anna Beth Jeane, Camille Lambert, Madeline Leicht, Simon Marotte, Maddie Meek, Kate Parrack, Anna Reynolds, Henry Whisenhunt and Zeke Whisenhunt.

All performances are “pay what you can,” with a suggested donation of $15.