Shakespeare 101 Workshop planned by Education at the Rep

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting, living room, shoes and indoorIn the immortal words of Cole Porter:

If you can’t be a ham and do Hamlet

They will not give a damn or a damlet

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Education at The Rep program is offering a chance to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” in a Shakespeare 101 Workshop on Monday, September 9.

The Bard of Avon would doubtlessly be mortified to know that he is often viewed with disdain because most persons exposure to him was in stiflingly dull English classes. There is so much more than just reciting in a sing-song voice “Two house-holds both a-like in dig-ni-teeee…”  (Go back and look at the photo above.  The people are smiling while discussing Shakespeare.)

Learn the basics of The Bard from Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre‘s Artistic Director, Rebekah Scallet. This workshop introduces foundational skills including iambic pentameter and scansion, poetry and prose, and rhetorical devices. Explore Shakespeare’s vocabulary and learn to use the clues found in his punctuation and text to help reveal meaning and intention. A perfect first introduction to working with Shakespeare and heightened text.

Recommended for those who plan to take the Shakespeare Scene Study course without previous experience:

Monday, September 9, from 7 – 9 p.m.
Tuition: $15
Age: Adult
Instructor: Rebekah Scallet

31 Days of Arkansas Rep: ANYTHING GOES in 2001

The Arkansas Rep concluded its 25th season with the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. Directed by Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker, it featured an onstage orchestra led by then-Arkansas Symphony maestro David Itkin.  (Rep Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and Itkin had been trying for a while to find a project for collaboration.)

This shipboard romantic farce featured a book by Guy Bolton & P. G. Wodehouse which was revised before the 1934 opening by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse in their first collaboration. In 1987, Timothy Crouse (son of Russel) and John Weidman updated the script for a Lincoln Center Theatre production. It was that version which the Rep presented.

The cast was led by Rep newcomers Heather Ayers and Pat McRoberts. Kelly Vivian, Thomas-David McDonald, Rick Cox, Julie Conners, Marlene Toth and Steve Wilkerson also were featured.

Others in the cast included Bob Hulsey, Amy Curnow, Annie Mistak, Allison Stodola, Sarah Squire, Miranda Vannoy, Pamela Crane, Buddy Reeder, Case Dillard, Christopher Brown, Don Hill, Daryl Minefee, Matt Crowle, Christopher Crane, Scott Duquette and Joe Terry.

Ron Hutchens was the choreographer. Others on the creative team included Mike Nichols (set), Yslan Hicks (costumes), Japhy Weideman (sound), and Leland Jones (lighting).

The production proved so successful that even before its June 1, 2001, opening night, the run was extended a week. It closed on June 24, instead of the original June 17.

Black History Month – Ella Fitzgerald and Robinson Auditorium

ellaElla Fitzgerald appeared at Robinson Auditorium in the 1940s.  She made the stops as she crisscrossed the US performing her hit songs.

Born in Virginia in 1917, she was raised in Yonkers. At 17 she won a contest at the Apollo Theatre which launched her career.  Saxophonist Benny Carter and bandleader Chick Webb were both instrumental in helping her establish her career.  She would tour with Webb until his death, and then took over as bandleader.

In 1938, at the age of 21, Ella recorded a playful version of the nursery rhyme, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.” The album sold 1 million copies, hit number one, and stayed on the pop charts for 17 weeks.

She later toured with Dizzy Gillespie’s band and there met Ray Brown. The two would marry and adopt a son, Ray Jr.  Though they divorced in 1952, they remained friends.

In the late 1940s through the 1960s, Ella joined the Philharmonic tour, worked with Louis Armstrong on several albums and began producing her songbook series. From 1956-1964, she recorded covers of other musicians’ albums, including those by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart.

As she moved into the 1970s, Ella kept performing. She also started receiving honors and honorary degrees.  She was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1979.  In 1987, President Reagan bestowed upon her the National Medal of the Arts.  Her final concert was in 1991 at Carnegie Hall.  She died in June 1996 in California.

A second season of Jazz at South on Main set for 2015-16

2e6b4_1320267846-oxa_logoAfter last season’s successful Jazz on Main series, the Oxford American is bringing more Jazz to South on Main next season.  
Things kick off on September 3 at 8pm with Anat Cohen.  Clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds tAnat Cohen [Jazz Series]he world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. Anat was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and raised into a musical family. She began clarinet studies at age twelve and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland Band. At sixteen, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play the tenor saxophone; it was this same year that Anat entered the prestigious “Thelma Yellin” school, where she majored in jazz. After graduation, she discharged her mandatory Israeli military service duty from 1993-1995, playing tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force band.
Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.
Aaron Diehl [Jazz Series]
In an era revolving around celebrity hype and mediocre entertainment, Columbus, Ohio native Aaron Diehl seeks to stand out as an artist in his generation that exemplifies excellence, sophistication, and a fluency in the American musical vernacular. The 2011 Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, Diehl has been hailed by the New York Times as “a smart young pianist with a fastidious grasp of Jazz traditions.” He is committed to unearthing the treasures of a musical aesthetic through collaborative efforts with musicians across generations.
The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Aaron Diehl to Little Rock on November 5 as the second show in our 2015 – 2016 Jazz Series! Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.
Victor Goines [Jazz Series]
On January 21 at 8:00 PM, Victor Goines takes the South on Main stage! This is the third show in our 2015 – 2016 Jazz Series!  Clarinetist, saxophonist, and educator, he is one of the most respected and multi-faceted musicians in the jazz world today. He is also an acclaimed and sought after solo artist who leads his own quartet and quintet.

Adept in a bevy of instruments, Mr. Goines has also collaborated, recorded, and/or performed with many noted jazz and popular artists.  Victor Goines has played the clarinet since the age of eight and continued his studies with Carl Blouin, Sr., who introduced him to the saxophone at St. Augustine High School. In 1980, he entered Loyola University in New Orleans where he studied clarinet and saxophone, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in 1984.

Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.

Bria Skonberg [Jazz Series]
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Jazz when Bria Skonberg perofrms on the South on Main Stage at 8:00 PM.   This is the fourth and final show in our 2015 – 2016 Jazz Series!  Hailing from Chilliwack, BC, and now living in New York City, award-winning trumpeter / vocalist / composer Bria Skonberg is “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.”Best known for her knowledge of classic jazz and instigative nature, she is now creating an adventurous style rooted in New Orleans jazz and blues, world percussion, soul, and cabaret. She currently tours the world, headlining major clubs and festivals, as well as programming music education workshops for all ages.

Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time.
This series is made possible by presenting sponsor, the UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication.