A Year Long Party for Arkansas Rep 40th Season

The 2015-2016 season is the 40th one for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The audience gets the gifts.

The season kicks off with William Shakespeare’s Scottish play about the Thane of Cawdor and his wife Lady M. It will run September 11-27.

Next up is the Tony winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This tuneful, witty musical with book by Rachek Sheinkin and songs by William Finn, will play from October 16 to November 8.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be the holiday show running from December 4 to January 3.  It will be a regional premiere of this musical featuring a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright and a score by the Oscar winning team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with additional lyrics by Glenn Slater.

2016 will start off with another regional premiere–Peter and the Starcatcher.  This prequel to the Peter Pan stories is by Rick Elice. Though a play, it does have some songs by Wayne Barker and Elice.  This winner of  five Tony Awards will be on stage from January 15 to February 7.

The regional theatre premiere of The Bridges of Madison County will take place on the Arkansas Rep stage from April 8 to May 1.  This musical has a Tony winning score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Pulitzer and Tony winner Marsha Norman.

The main stage season will conclude with a world premiere play Windfall.  Directed by Tony winner Jason Alexander, this comedy by Scooter Pietsch looks at greed among a group of office workers.  It will run from June 10 to 26.

The Rep also has three special offerings during the 2015-2016 year.

From February 11-14, Rebecca Wells, author of the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” novels will present a one-woman show about the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

The Summer Musical Theatre Intensive production will be called Broken Wings and will play from March 1-12 of 2016.

From May 3-15 the Second City will return to Little Rock for Second City: Hooking Up. 

The Rep’s 40th season features comedy, tragedy and musicals spanning from Elizabethan times to world premieres.  It truly is a showcase of the Rep’s mission and the breadth and depth of the Rep’s commitment to bringing great stories to life for Little Rock audiences.

HAPPILY EVER LAUGHTER with Second City at the Arkansas Rep

SecondCityDrawing on the classics from The Second City archives as well as scenes ripped from the morning headlines, The Second City’s Happily Ever Laughter tour is your chance to see comedy stars in the making in an evening of smart, cutting edge comedy.

Many of comedy’s brightest stars have hit the road with The Second City Touring Company including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Keegan Michael Key and most recently, current Saturday Night Live stars Cecily Strong, Tim Robinson, and Jason Sudeikis.

“From John Belushi to Tina Fey to Stephen Colbert, The Second City alumni define comedy in America,” says Bob Hupp. “You’ll want to be the first to check out the rising new stars on their all-new tour.”

The cast includes Scott Morehead, Adam Peacock, Liz Reuss, Marlena Rodriguez, Sarah Shook, and Ted Tremper.

The performance schedule is:

Thursday, May 1 | 7 p.m. | BREWHAHA sponsored by Sync
Friday, May 2 | 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 3| 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 4 | 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 6 | 7 p.m. | Night Out with The Point sponsored by The Point 94.1
Wednesday, May 7 | 7 p.m. | Singles Mix and Mingle Night
Thursday, May 8 | 7 p.m. | Cidre Night with Stella Artois sponsored by The Arkansas Times
Friday, May 9 | 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 10 | 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
The Second City is a $25 add-on for series subscribers; FlexPass holders may use their passes for this show.

Arkansas Rep’s production of The Second City HAPPILY EVER LAUGHTER is focus at Clinton School today

SecondCityThe Arkansas Repertory Theatre works in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service to participate in the UACS’s Distinguished Speaker Series, hosting educational panel discussions on various Rep productions. The latest in these takes place today, Tuesday, April 29 at 12 noon at Sturgis Hall in Clinton Presidential Park.

Join Rep Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp as he hosts the hilarious cast of Second City’s Happily Ever Laughter tour to discuss the art of improv comedy.

Second City’s Happily Ever Laughter opens April 30 and runs through Saturday May 10.

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Arts & Humanities Month: Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents The Second City

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre brings The Second City troupe back to the Rock for another rollicking visit.  To kick things off, The Rep’s popular “Brew-Ha-Ha” event is tonight at 6pm.  Tickets are $30 and include beer, pizza and the performance. The event is sponsored by Sync Weekly.

The Second City plays Wednesdays through Sundays from October 12 (tonite) through October 23 on stage at the Rep.  On Friday, October 14 and October 21, they’ll be joined on stage for a portion of the evening by Little Rock’s own Improv Little Rock. 

In conjunction with the Rep’s production by The Second City, 10Horse Johnson will appear at Argenta Community Theatre for four performances from October 20 – 22.  

Later this month, the Rep’s Young Artists take the stage with That ’80s Showfrom October 25 through November 5. This production will be on stage at Wildwood Park for the Arts. 

Favorite 1980s songs are pulled together in a lively revue by performers from The Rep’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive or SMTI (pronounced Smitty). Nicole Capri is the conceiver and director of the production while Karen Q. Clark is musical director.

Arts & Humanities Month: Clinton School lectures and Old State House

Two cultural institutions in Little Rock are partnering today on an event.  The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is presenting one of its lectures today at the Old State House Museum.

The Clinton School lecture series offers a variety of speakers on a panoply of topics.  The speakers range from local figures to international dignitaries.  The lectures are free and open to the public; one needs only to RSVP since the seating is limited. The speeches are filmed and archived on the school’s website, as well.  This month’s lineup features:

  • “Behind the Scenes at Clinton’s ‘91 Announcement: Building a Community of Hope that Inspires the World” – Monday, October 3, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Old State House) *In Partnership with Old State House Museum
  •  “Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock,” author David Margolick -Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
  •  “Scaling Social Good,” Erin Ganju, co-founder and CEO of Room to Read – Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • John Kinkade, executive director of the National Sculptors’ Guild – Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • “Cotton and Race in the Making of America,” author Gene Dattel – Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
  •  “The Second City,” a panel discussion – Friday, October 14, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre
  •  Arkansas Puzzle Day 2011 – Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  •  Phillip Singerman, associate director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Monday, October 17, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
  •  Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor of architecture and urban design, Georgia Tech – Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • Toni Maloney, co-founder and CEO of BPeace – Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • “Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide,” author Rebecca Hamilton – Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
  •  Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf – Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • David J.R. Frakt, Professor of Law and United States Air Force Officer – Friday, October 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • The Arkansas Consumer Confidence Report – Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  • Markus Kostner, economist, World Bank – Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  •  Catherine Bertini, former World Food Prize Laureate – Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  •  “Straight Talk,” A Community Conversation – Thursday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  •  Congressman Tim Murphy (R, Penn.) – Friday, October 28, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
  •  Melissa Boteach, Half in Ten manager, Center for American Progress – Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)

Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu, or calling 501-683-5239.

The Old State House Museum is located inside Arkansas’ first state capitol building.  A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, it is dedicated to showcasing Arkansas history from 1836 to the present.  It has a variety of permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits.  The building’s most famous modern moments have been when it served as the backdrop to Bill Clinton’s 1991 presidential race announcement.  It was also on the front lawn that he celebrated on election nights in 1992 and 1996.

Current exhibits at the Old State House are:

  •  Arkansas/Arkansaw: A State and its Reputation, through March 4, 2012.

This exhibit sheds new light on the evolution of Arkansas’s backwoods, hillbilly image. The exhibit entitled, explores both the favorable and unfavorable parts of this history.

  • An Enduring Union: Arkansas in the Civil War, through 2012

This exhibit examines why Arkansas commemorates its Civil War veterans and features artifacts documenting the post-war Confederate and Union veteran reunions in the state. As part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it will be followed by four other exhibits.

The permanent exhibits are:

  • As Long as Life Shall Last: The Legacy of Arkansas Women
  • Pillars of Power: The Old State House – A Historical Landmark of Arkansas
  • On The Stump: Arkansas Politics, 1819 – 1919
  • 1836 House of Representatives Chamber
  • First Families: the Mingling of Politics and Culture
  • In addition, the museum has five parlors and one hallway depicting different eras of furniture and decorative styles ranging from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

Some of the programs the Old State House has planned in October are:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 12 noon

  • Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – Public Health and the Syphilis Epidemic in Arkansas in the 1940s

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 10:30am

  • Little Beginnings Toddler Program – Fall, with Jane Jones-Schulz