THE HOBBIT closes 2018-2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre season

The HobbitThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre closes this spring with The Hobbit. The show runs April 26 – May 12, 2019.

Performances of The Hobbit are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 each or $10 for members of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Bilbo Baggins is swept away – a reluctant hero on the adventure of his lifetime. In the company of thirteen rough and tumble dwarves and one cryptic wizard, Bilbo braves danger at every turn on this exciting quest for dragon’s gold. Mister Bilbo Baggins cordially invites you to travel with him “There and Back Again” in this new adaptation of Tolkien’s classic tale. So come and join the quest. There’s a partner’s share of treasure waiting just for you.

The play is based on The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and licensed by Middle-earth Enterprises. It was adapted for the stage by Keith Smith. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of The Hobbit is directed by John Isner. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. The set was designed by Keith Smith, costume design by Nikki Gray, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Liz McMath is the stage manager. The Hobbit is a trademark of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.

The cast includes:

  • Mike Stacks of Conway as Balin and Great Goblin
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Bard
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Bilbo
  • Anna Mammarelli of Little Rock as Elf Guard
  • Paige Carpenter of Lonsdale as Elf King and Bolg
  • Jared Gibson of San Antonio, Texas as Elrond
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Gandalf
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Thorin
  • Grace Stacks of Conway as Thursh

Angelina Bearden, Paige Carpenter, Jared Gibson, Matthew Cantone, Simon Gess, Sophia Gonzales, Isabella Gonzales, Mackenzie Holtzclaw, Bella Kerby, Rachel Lara, Stephanie Lyle, Anna Mammarelli, Bethany Post, Taliah Pulley, Madelin Reyes, Grace Stacks, and Madison Stolzer are the ensemble.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will offer several events in conjunction with The Hobbit, including a Pay-What-You-Can preview, opening night celebration and a pajama party. Full programming details can be found below.

Friday, April 26, 2019
Opening Night Dinner at Watercolor in the Park – 5 p.m.
Join us for dinner at Watercolor in the Park before the 7 p.m. opening night performance of The Hobbit! Creative coloring placemats featuring activities and artwork from the show will be available for children to enjoy. Seatings at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6 p.m. Reservations recommended. Call 501-396-0390 for reservations

Friday, April 26, 2019
Opening Night Celebration: The Hobbit – 7 p.m.
After the show, enjoy a meet and greet with the cast, snacks and punch to celebrate the opening night of The Hobbit.

Thursday, May 2, 2019
Adult Night at The Hobbit – 6 p.m.
Back by popular demand! Join us in the Lower Lobby before the 7 p.m. performance of The Hobbit. We’ll adventure “there and back again” with specialty drinks and snacks. 21+ event. $20 or $10 for members of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Friday, May 3, 2019
Pajama Night at The Hobbit – 7 p.m.
Toss on those cute pajamas and join us at the Children’s Theatre for the 7 p.m. performance of The Hobbit. Stickers are available at the Box Office before the show for children (and parents!) wearing pajamas.

Saturday, May 4, 2019
ASL Interpreted Performance – 2 p.m.
There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the 2 p.m. performance of The Hobbit. Visit the Box Office before the performance for seating assistance.

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G-O-N-E. Final weekend for CHARLOTTE’S WEBB at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Charlotte's WebThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this spring with Charlotte’s Web. The closes on Sunday, March 31, 2019. Performances of Charlotte’s Web are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each for Arkansas Arts Center members or $12.50 for non-members.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig. Pink and plump and so polite.

Yep. Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. But Charlotte’s greatest gift to Wilbur goes beyond just flattering words spun in a web. Through this gentle creature, he experiences the true meaning of responsibility, friendship, and loyalty. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Charlotte’s Web is based on the book by E. B. White. It was adapted by Joseph Robinette. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Webis directed by Katie Campbell. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design by Vandy Scoates, costume design by Erin Larkin, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager. Charlotte’s Web is produced with special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois

The cast includes:

  • Harper Keith of Alexander as Fern Arable
  • Jared Thomas Kneip Gibson of St. Louis as John Arable and Gander
  • Beck Hudelson of Little Rock as Avery Arable
  • Paige Carpenter of Little Rock as Mrs. Arable and President of the Fair
  • Braxton Johnson of Texarkana as Homer Zuckerman
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Lurvy and Judge at the Fair
  • Walt Wenger of North Little Rock as Young Wilbur
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Adult Wilbur
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Templeton
  • Verda Davenport of Little Rock as Charlotte
  • Mackenzie Holtzclaw of North Little Rock as Goose and Judge at the Fair
  • Georgeann Burbank of Benton as Sheep and Judge at the Fair
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Uncle Pig, Reporter and Mrs. Carter
  • John Isner of Little Rock as Narrator

Darby Haddock, Kennedy Laster, and Reese von Storch are Baby Spiders. Via Benjamine Gahi, Isabelle Marchese, and Dylan Sykes are the ensemble.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB up next at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

Charlotte's WebThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this spring with Charlotte’s Web. The show runs March 8–31, 2019 with a special Pay-What-You-Can preview performance on Thursday, March 7. Performances of Charlotte’s Web are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., with spring break matinees March 19–22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each for Arkansas Arts Center members or $12.50 for non-members.

Wilbur the piglet is the runt of his litter. But under the loving care of eight-year-old Fern Arable—and due in no small part to the delicious and plentiful slops on her Uncle Homer’s farm—Wilbur grows up into a fine specimen of a pig. Pink and plump and so polite. Yep. Wilbur is no ordinary pig, and thanks to the acrobatic web-writing of his friend Charlotte, a kindly barn spider, the world soon learns just how “terrific” and “radiant” he is. But Charlotte’s greatest gift to Wilbur goes beyond just flattering words spun in a web. Through this gentle creature, he experiences the true meaning of responsibility, friendship, and loyalty. Come join in this heart-warming barnyard adventure and marvel at the wonder of Charlotte’s web.

Charlotte’s Web is based on the book by E. B. White. It was adapted by Joseph Robinette. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Web is directed by Katie Campbell. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design by Vandy Scoates, costume design by Erin Larkin, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager. Charlotte’s Web is produced with special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois

The cast includes:

  • Harper Keith of Alexander as Fern Arable
  • Jared Thomas Kneip Gibson of St. Louis as John Arable and Gander
  • Beck Hudelson of Little Rock as Avery Arable
  • Paige Carpenter of Little Rock as Mrs. Arable and President of the Fair
  • Braxton Johnson of Texarkana as Homer Zuckerman
  • Stephen Jones of Little Rock as Lurvy and Judge at the Fair
  • Walt Wenger of North Little Rock as Young Wilbur
  • Anthony McBride of Benton as Adult Wilbur
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Templeton
  • Verda Davenport of Little Rock as Charlotte
  • Mackenzie Holtzclaw of North Little Rock as Goose and Judge at the Fair
  • Georgeann Burbank of Benton as Sheep and Judge at the Fair
  • Bethany Post of Austintown, Ohio as Uncle Pig, Reporter and Mrs. Carter
  • John Isner of Little Rock as Narrator

Darby Haddock, Kennedy Laster, and Reese von Storch are Baby Spiders. Via Benjamine Gahi, Isabelle Marchese, and Dylan Sykes are the ensemble.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will offer several events in conjunction with Charlotte’s Web, including a Pay-What-You-Can preview, opening night celebration and a pajama party. Full programming details can be found below.

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Pay What You Can Preview: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
“Pay What You Can” tickets are available for the 7 p.m. preview performance of Charlotte’s Web. Tickets are available for purchase in person, at the Arkansas Arts Center, 501 East 9th Street from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. The maximum ticket purchase is six tickets per person and ticket sales are based on availability. PWYC SHOWS CAN AND DO SELL OUT. We recommend arriving early for the best chance at “Pay What You Can” tickets. Additional tickets can always be purchased in person, online or by phone at regular ticket pricing: $10 for AAC members; $12.50 for non-members.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Dinner at Watercolor in the Park – 5 p.m.
Join us for dinner at Watercolor in the Park before the 7 p.m. opening night performance of Charlotte’s Web! Creative coloring placemats featuring activities and artwork from the show will be available for children to enjoy. Seatings at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Reservations recommended. Call 501-396-0390 for reservations

Friday, March 8, 2019
Opening Night Celebration: Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
After the show, enjoy a meet and greet with the cast, snacks and punch to celebrate the opening night of Charlotte’s Web.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Friday, March 15, 2019
Pajama Night at Charlotte’s Web – 7 p.m.
Toss on those cute pajamas and join us at the Children’s Theatre for the 7 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Stickers are available at the Box Office before the show for children (and parents!) wearing pajamas.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

Saturday, March 16, 2019
ASL Interpreted Performance – 2 p.m.
There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the 2 p.m. performance of Charlotte’s Web. Visit the Box Office before the performance for seating assistance.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

The 2018–2019 Children’s Theatre Season is presented by Arkansas BlueCross and BlueShield. Spring Season Sponsors are Dr. Loren Bartole, Family Foot Care and Centennial Bank. Show Sponsors are Cindy and Greg Feltus and the Junior League of Little Rock. Media Sponsor is Little Rock Family Magazine. Pay What You Can previews are presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Additional support is provided by Morris Foundation, Inc. For more information about the Children’s Theatre, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/childrenstheatre.

THIS LITTLE PIGGY WENT TO MARKET comes to Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre stage

This Little Piggy Went to MarketThe 2018–2019 Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre continues this winter with This Little Piggy Went to Market. The show runs February 1– 17, 2019. Performances of This Little Piggy Went to Market are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Hooray! Hooray! It’s Cajun market day! Little Piggy loves Cajun market day. So many good things to eat! So many good games to play! When Mama Piggy sends her precious piglet off to Boudreaux’s Bayou Market for flour and sugar and eggs – wearing the pretty little dress her grandma made – she reminds her of three things: Be kind to others; obey all the rules; and never stray from the market road.

Fairly squealing with excitement, Little Piggy trots off to town, promising to be good. But can such a fun-loving little pig keep her promise? Especially when her two best friends, Skinny Piggy and Curly Piggy, join the adventure? They are the two “rowdiest boys in the bayou,” after all.

This Little Piggy Went to Market was written by Keith Smith. The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of This Little Piggy Went to Market is directed by John Isner. Bradley D. Anderson is the Artistic Director. Original music was composed by Lori Isner, set design and technical direction by Frank Mott, costume design by Nikki Gray, properties design by Cathleen Brignac, and lighting design by Mike Stacks. Liz McMath is the stage manager.

The cast includes: Mark Hansen (Boudreaux), Anthony McBride (Thibodeaux and Curly Piggy); Stephen Jones (Fontenot and Skinny Piggy); Morgan Jones (Charmaine); Samantha Harrington (Little Piggy); Georgeann Burbank (Momma Piggy); and Hazel Ragsdell (Market Girl).

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will offer several events in conjunction with This Little Piggy Went to Market including a Pay-What-You-Can preview, opening night celebration and a pajama party. Full programming details can be found below.

Friday, February 1, 2019
Opening Night Dinner at Watercolor in the Park – 5 p.m.
Join us for dinner at Watercolor in the Park before the 7 p.m. opening night performance of This Little Piggy Went to Market! Make memories while enjoying a Cajun Buffet Dinner, with favorites like Cajun Spiced Pork Loin, Veggie Gumbo, PK Mac and Cheese, Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders, Strawberry Shortcake and more. Creative coloring placemats featuring activities and artwork from the show will be available for children to enjoy. Seatings at 5 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Reservations recommended. Call 501-396-0390 for reservations

Friday, February 1, 2019
Opening Night Celebration: This Little Piggy Went to Market – 7 p.m.
After the show, enjoy a meet and greet with the cast, snacks and punch to celebrate the opening night of This Little Piggy Went to Market.

Friday, February 8, 2019
Pajama Night at This Little Piggy Went to Market – 7 p.m.
Toss on those cute pajamas and join us at the Children’s Theatre for the 7 p.m. performance of This Little Piggy Went to Market. Stickers are available at the Box Office before the show for children (and parents!) wearing pajamas.

Saturday, February 9, 2019
ASL Interpreted Performance – 2 p.m.
There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the 2 p.m. performance of This Little Piggy Went to Market. Visit the Box Office before the performance for seating assistance.

For more information, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre or call 501-372-4000.

31 Days of Arkansas Rep: PETER PAN in 1994

Peter Pan flew into the window of the Darling’s nursery in December 1994 on the Arkansas Rep stage.  With a cast of thirty-six, Peter Pan was one of the Rep’s larger productions.

Directed by Brad Mooy, the production featured Steve Wilkerson in the title role. It gained some national press attention, because the role is usually played by women, so Wilkerson’s casting was a bit of a novelty.

Others in the cast were Ed Romanoff, Angie Ohren, Dustin Alford, Matthew Block, Peggy Billo, Tanya Duggar, Gary Taggart, Angie Foresman, and Linda Sue Sanders. The Lost Boys were played by Adam Napper, Bernie Baskin, James Knight, Brian Jones, Kale Ludwig, and Kyle Ludwig.

The pirates were played by Mark Hansen, Joel Gordon, Derek Reid, Shannon E. Farmer, Tony D. Owens Jr., DeJon Mayes, Kenneth Elins, Matt Patton, Eric Harrison and Tom Kagy. Taking on the roles of the indians were Suzan Hart, Rusty Miller, Mikel Brown, Ryan Martine, Patrick McNally, Christina Boatwright, Leslie Goodwin, Tori Petrus and Dennis Glasscock.

Glasscock was the production’s choreographer. Flying for Pan and others was created by Foy, the same firm which was responsible for Mary Martin’s flying in the role on Broadway in 1954. Hans Stiritz was the musical director, Mike Nichols was set designer, and Don Bolinger provided costume design.

The production was so successful, it was nearly sold out before it opened.  Two years later, the Rep reprised it.  There were some different design elements as well as a largely different cast. Wilkerson returned as did Ohren, Dugger, Gordon, Knight, Napper, Alford,  Petrus, and Kagy.

The Elves and the Shoemaker up next at Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

The Elves and the ShoemakerThe Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will bring the spirit of the holiday season to the stage in The Elves and the Shoemaker, a musical adapted from the folktales of the Brothers Grimm. The show will run December 2 through December 18.

The holiday reimagining of the Grimm’s folktale tells the story of a poor cobbler with a good heart and a grateful spirit. Jack Shoemaker and his family have fallen on hard times. Jack’s debts are coming due with the new year, and his family’s chances of a happy Christmas are looking bleak. But just when he seems to be losing all hope, he receives a strange visit in the night. Elves grant a magical gift that reminds him what is truly important in life: family. And when that family gratefully returns the elves’ kind gesture, they are doubly blessed with the happiest, most love-filled Christmas ever. This traditional family favorite is ideal for the holiday season of giving.

The Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre performance of The Elves and the Shoemaker is directed by Keith Smith. Bradley D. Anderson is the artistic director. The sets are designed by Miranda Young, costumes are designed by Nikki Webster, technical direction by Drew Posey, lighting design by Mike Stacks, choreography by Erin Fowler and musical direction by Lori Isner. Rivka Kuperman is the stage manager.

The cast includes:

  • Aleigha Morton as Herself
  • Jeremy Matthey as Himself
  • Barlow Brenner as Slumber
  • Connor Hadden as Chimney
  • Brady Chandler as Pantry
  • Collete Crochet  as Emily
  • Katie Campbell as Anna
  • John Isner as Jack
  • Mark Hansen as Man
  • Simon Gess  as Boy

Tickets can always be purchased in person, online or by phone.  Prices are $10 for AAC members; $12.50 for non-members.

Explore THE ODYSSEY for two weekends at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre

The Odyssey

For two weekends only, the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre will bring Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, vibrantly alive in a fusion of music, dance, mime, masks and choral effects as part of the theatre’s Studio Show series. Running February 19-28, The Odyssey tells the story of King Odysseus who enduring Poseidon’s wrath, faces witches, sirens and a cyclops as he wends his way—literally through Hell and high water—to his home and the long-suffering love of his Queen Penelope.

The Odyssey will run February 19-28; Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

John Isner directed The Odyssey. It was adapted for the stage by Keith Smith who also designed the set. Costumes are designed by Erin Larkin, lighting design by Mike Stacks, properties design by Miranda Young, music composed by Lori Isner, choreography by Erin Fowler and Nicole Jovanovic is the stage manager.

The cast includes:

  • Paige Carpenter of Lonsdale as Penelope;
  • Aleigha Morton of Beebe as Calliope;
  • Margaret Lowry of Little Rock as Erato;
  • Samantha L. Harrington of Little Rock as Athena;
  • Mark Hansen of Little Rock as Odysseus;
  • Nick Spencer of Nashville, TN, as Poseidon;
  • Richard Nelson of Little Rock as Elpenor;
  • Geoffrey Eggleston of Sioux Falls, SD, as Telemachus and
  • Jeremy Matthey of North Little Rock as Eurylochus.

Show times: February 19-28; Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices: $10 General admission, $8 for Arkansas Arts Center members

Best enjoyed by children in third grade and up.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ArkansasArtsCenter.org/theatre