A trio of offerings mark 2020 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (AST) has announced its 2020 season of professional theatre.

“The 2020 season will feature Shakespeare’s delightful comedy ‘As You Like It,’ the beautiful and intriguing musical ‘Into the Woods’ and the hilarious mashup ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),’” said Mary Ruth Marotte, AST’s executive director.

Performances will take place on the UCA campus, both in Reynolds Performance Hall and outdoors on the lawn of McAlister Hall.

As she prepares for her ninth year as producing artistic director of AST, Rebekah Scallet said she wanted an exciting repertory season that would capture audiences’ imaginations and challenge them to think about their lives. She chose the three shows in the 2020 season based around the theme “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” a line from “As You Like It.”

Actors, directors, designers and crew members will arrive in Conway in early May 2020 to begin the process of creating the three shows in AST’s 14th season.

“We’ll open the season with ‘The Complete Works’ outdoors on the beautiful lawn of McAlister Hall. Our outdoor venue draws huge crowds, and our audiences look forward to the show and the entire experience of Shakespeare under the stars. We hope that theatre-goers in Arkansas and around the region will recognize AST for its dedication to the cultural and artistic growth that is currently underway in our state,” said Marotte.

The remaining two productions will be performed in UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is the state’s only professional Shakespeare company and is proud to make its home on the UCA campus. Each summer, AST offers full productions of Shakespeare’s works, as well as other plays and musicals that help fulfill AST’s mission to entertain, engage and enrich the community. For more information, visit arkshakes.com or call (501) 852-0702.

2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season “were done quickly” as the final performance today

The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre wraps up 2019 by invoking the spirits in presenting THE SCOTTISH PLAY. As the Culture Vulture does not utter nor write the name of that play, one will just have to look at the logo on this entry to see its name.

The final performance of THE SCOTTISH PLAY is at 2pm today at Reynolds Hall on the UCA campus.

Brave warrior the Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.  It also contains what may be the Culture Vulture’s favorite exchange of dialogue in Shakespeare’s canon.

Lady M: To bed. To bed. To bed. (She exits)

Doctor: Will she go now to bed?

The cast includes Paige Reynolds, Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Keith Illidge, Chris Fitzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Justin Jones, Ben Grimes, Kevin Alan Brown, Mikala Hicks, Zachary Blair, Jack Hradecky, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, and Saxon Whitehead.

The production is directed by Rebekah Scallet, the Producing Artistic Director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.

Double Double Toil and Trouble as Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre presents The Scottish Play

Logo.jpgThe Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is invoking the spirits by presenting THE SCOTTISH PLAY this season. As the Culture Vulture does not utter nor write the name of that play, one will just have to look at the logo on this entry to see its name.

Brave warrior the Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.  It also contains what may be the Culture Vulture’s favorite exchange of dialogue in Shakespeare’s canon.

Lady M: To bed. To bed. To bed. (She exits)

Doctor: Will she go now to bed?

Performances begin tomorrow (June 21 at 7:30pm) and  continue June 22 (7:30pm), June 27 (7:30pm), June 29 (2:00pm), July 3 (7:30pm), July 5 (7:30pm), and July 7 (2:00pm. The play is performed on the stage of the Reynolds Performance Hall.

The cast includes Paige Reynolds, Chad Bradford, Emily Wold, Benjamin Reed, Keith Illidge, Chris Fitzges, Rebecca Brudner, Nick Narcisi, Justin Jones, Ben Grimes, Kevin Alan Brown, Mikala Hicks, Zachary Blair, Jack Hradecky, Regean Allen, Stephanie Craven, and Saxon Whitehead.

The production is directed by Rebekah Scallet, the Producing Artistic Director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director.

“The Comedy of Errors for Dummies” is special program tonight at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

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Two sets of twins, a shipwreck, unrequited love, and much more!  Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors has twists, turns, humor and romance.

AST Executive Director Mary Ruth Marotte will discuss The Comedy of Errors’ plot and themes in a user-friendly way to enhance your viewing pleasure of AST’s outdoor production this summer.

It will take place in McAlister Hall’s Mirror Room, UCA. The program starts at 5pm.

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.

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.

Shake a Spear, or What You Will on Shakespeare’s Birthday

Today is the traditional birthday of William Shakespeare. It seems a good chance to preview the 2019 Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre season.

The lineup includes: The Comedy of Errors (the first Shakespeare play I ever read), The Scottish Play (sorry, but I don’t want to invoke the curse so I won’t write or say the title), as well as a streamlined version of Romeo and Juliet for families.  Also on tap, in the non-Shakespeare musical slot is Guys and Dolls.

Here is more about each show.
The Comedy of Errors
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.
Outside on the lawn at UCA – Performances June 7, 8, 9, 23, 26, 29, and July 4

Guys and Dolls
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on a Story and Characters of Damon Runyon
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
High-rolling gambler Sky Masterson never took a bet he couldn’t win, until he met the no-nonsense Sarah Brown, a mission worker set on redeeming the sinners of Broadway. While fellow gambler Nathan Detroit has his own hands full with his fourteen year engagement to Miss Adelaide. It’s the audience who wins in this delightful musical of love and luck!
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall – Performances June 15, 16, 23, 25, 28, 30 (twice), and July 2, 4, and 6.

[The Scottish Play]
Brave warrior The Thane of Cawdor emerges victorious from battle to be greeted by three witches who hail him as the future king of Scotland. What follows is a dizzying descent into political machinations, murder, and madness.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Performances are June 21, 22, 27, 29 and July 3, 5, and 7.

Family Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
The fighting families of Montague and Capulet put their feud before their children’s happiness in Shakespeare’s classic tale of “star-crossed” young love, reimagined for audiences of all ages in this one-hour adaptation.
On-stage in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Also available to tour.  Performances are June 26, 28, 29 and July 2 and 4.

Mary Ruth Marotte is the Executive Director and Rebekah Scallet is the Producing Artistic Director.