Final weekend to experience IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Arkansas Rep

This weekend is your last chance to spend time with George Bailey, Mary, Violet, Clarence, and Mr. Potter as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play. It runs through December 29.

Back by popular demand, this holiday classic returns to The Rep’s stage to close the 2019 season. (It was last on the Rep’s stage in 2008.)

Ring in the holidays with an entertaining spin on a familiar holiday favorite. Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, enjoy a live radio version of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as the actors on stage transform into dozens of characters from Bedford Falls. Faced with the threat of scandal and financial ruin, George Bailey experiences a crisis of faith and wishes he had never been born. Divine intervention arrives in the form of Clarence (Angel Second Class), who is on a mission to restore George’s will to live… and earn his own wings in the process. Every life impacts countless others, whether we know it or not.

The production is directed by Giovanna Sardelli (whose most recent Arkansas Rep production was The School for Lies). The design team includes Jo Winiarski (set), Sarah Nietfeld (costumes), Jamie Roderick (lighting), and Jane Shaw (sound). The cast includes the return of Larry Daggett and Patrick Halley along with Alan Dronek, Larissa Klinger and Mary Murphy making their Arkansas Rep debuts.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – A Live Radio Play opens tonight as Arkansas Rep’s final show of 2019

George Bailey, Clarence, and Mr. Potter all make an appearance as the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play.

After two days of previews, the production opens tonight (December 6) and runs through December 29.

Back by popular demand, this holiday classic returns to The Rep’s stage to close the 2019 season. (It was last on the Rep’s stage in 2008.)

Ring in the holidays with an entertaining spin on a familiar holiday favorite. Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, enjoy a live radio version of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as the actors on stage transform into dozens of characters from Bedford Falls. Faced with the threat of scandal and financial ruin, George Bailey experiences a crisis of faith and wishes he had never been born. Divine intervention arrives in the form of Clarence (Angel Second Class), who is on a mission to restore George’s will to live… and earn his own wings in the process. Every life impacts countless others, whether we know it or not.

The production is directed by Giovanna Sardelli (whose most recent Arkansas Rep production was The School for Lies). The design team includes Jo Winiarski (set), Sarah Nietfeld (costumes), Jamie Roderick (lighting), and Jane Shaw (sound). The cast includes the return of Larry Daggett and Patrick Halley along with Alan Dronek, Larissa Klinger and Mary Murphy making their Arkansas Rep debuts.

 

Shake a Spear, or As Will Likes It at 454

Today is the traditionally observed birthday of William Shakespeare. It is known he was born in 1564, which makes this the 454th birthday.

The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre earlier announced the lineup for the 2018 season.   The dates have now been announced.

The lineup for the June 8-July 8 season, which explores the theme of transformation, includes Shakespeare classics The Winter’s TaleHenry IV, Part One; and a family adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, as well as Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. All four 2018 shows feature characters who undergo major changes — some for the better and others, perhaps, for the worst.

The season will open at 7:30 p.m. June 8 with The Winter’s Tale outdoors on the lawn of McAlister Hall on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas. Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady will open in Reynolds Performance Hall on June 15, and Henry IV, Part One, will open on June 22. AST’s family-friendly adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing will open June 28 in Reynolds and will also tour across the state in June and July.

The Winter’s Tale will be directed by Nisi Sturgis, an AST artistic collective member, Conway native and UCA graduate who was a part of the critically acclaimed tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced at the Goodman Theatre, Berkeley Rep and Seattle Rep.

One of Shakespeare’s late romantic plays, it follows the story of King Leontes, who grows jealous of his wife, leading him to make a series of terrible mistakes. “This is a rarely produced Shakespeare gem,” said Rebekah Scallet, AST’s producing artistic director.

Robert Quinlan, who directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in AST’s 10th anniversary season, will return at the helm of Henry IV, Part One. This adventurous tale is centered on the young Prince Hal, who prefers spending his time in the tavern with his fat and jolly friend Falstaff to time in castle with his father, the king. When rebellion stirs in England, he must make a choice as to where his true loyalties lie.

Scallet will direct My Fair Lady. This multiple Tony Award-winning musical premiered in 1956 and will be given fresh life in this intimate new production. A musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl who wants to transform her status by changing the way she speaks, and so goes to curmudgeonly speech professor Henry Higgins for assistance.

Enrico Spada will make his directorial debut with AST for the touring Family Shakespeare production of Much Ado About Nothing. With a cast of just eight people telling a reduced version of this classic tale, Much Ado is a romantic comedy with the great Shakespearean couple of Beatrice and Benedick at its center. This hour-long adaptation is perfect for families to enjoy together and will be performed on stage at Reynolds along with stops at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, Hot Springs Farmer’s Market, The Joint in Argenta and The Griffin in El Dorado, among others.

Audiences will again be seated onstage for the three productions in Reynolds Performance Hall. AST’s 12th season will close on July 8 with a final performance of The Winter’s Tale.

For those who want a Shakespeare fix in the actual winter, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre will present As You Like It from February 6 to 24, 2019.

Containing some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches, As You Like It is a comedy about love, exile, wit, and disguises all set in the Forest of Arden.  Orlando loves Rosalind. Rosalind loves Orlando. But Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede – who’s a boy! And Phebe loves Ganymede – who’s really Rosalind. Yet Silvius loves Phebe. And Rosalind’s best friend Celia loves Orlando’s brother Oliver. But Oliver hates Orlando. And Touchstone lusts after Audrey. Unfortunately, no one much cares for Jacques.

Celebrate romance as Shakespeare’s timeless comedy takes center stage at The Rep!  Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, it runs from February 6 to 24, 2019, with an opening night of February 8, 2019.