Next season, Arkansas Repertory Theatre will be turning 40 and that means a stellar lineup to celebrate! On Monday, our Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp announced the landmark season, which will include Tony Award and Pulitzer prize-winning artistic experiences and family favorites that exemplify The Rep’s mission of producing diverse work of the highest artistic standards for its Arkansas audience.
And drumroll….here they are!
Sept. 11-27, 2015
Murder, madness and magic haunt every shadowy corner in the most powerful of William Shakespeare’s great tragedies.
After receiving an ominous prophecy on a blood-soaked battlefield, Macbeth and his ambitious wife claw their way to the Scottish throne, and damned be all who stand in their way! Each step closer to fulfilling his royal Fate leads Macbeth deeper and deeper into a fiendish quagmire of carnage and corruption, from which none can survive; not even him.
“The original House of Cards. It’s fitting to start off a milestone season with the English language’s greatest author,” said Bob Hupp, Producing Artistic Director at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. “Shakespeare keeps us honest, and tests our mettle when we seek to tell great stories that demand to live on a stage. I’ve been reading and seeing productions of Macbeth for more than 30 years, now I’m ready to direct it for you this fall.”
Join The Rep as we cast a spell on Arkansas audiences with this powerful production that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Oct. 16-Nov. 8, 2015
Music and lyrics by William Finn | Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman | Additional Material by Jay Reiss
Directed by Nicole Capri
From William Finn, the composer of Falsettos, A New Brain and Little Miss Sunshine, comes a Tony Award-winning look at the all-too-familiar world of adolescence, told with hilarity, catchy tunes and surprising poignancy.
The gloves are off in the take-no-prisoners, cold-blooded, dog-eat-dog world of competitive spelling as a menagerie of pre-pubescent misfits vies to d-e-c-i-m-a-t-e their young rivals on the cutthroat path to the national spelling bee championship.
Hormones rage and pulses pound as our awkward adversaries engage in feats of o-r-t-h-o-g-r-a-p-h-i-c prowess. The winner will receive a shining trophy and a luxurious DC hotel room with a big screen TV. The loser – nothing but a broken heart, a pat on the back and a juice box.
“A truly funny, unpredictable night of theatre,” said Bob Hupp. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is never the same musical twice. The actors’ wit and verbal agility are put to the test night after night as each new audience brings new hilarity to the performance. If you can spell “cow”, then this musical is for you.”
Join The Rep onstage (quite literally, since several lucky audience members will be asked to show off their spelling chops alongside the cast each night) as we bring you this sidesplitting, irreverent, interactive musical comedy hit!
Intended for adult audiences.
The Little Mermaid
Dec. 4, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016
Book by Doug Wright | Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and Disney film
Music by Alan Menen | Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
From the creators of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Little Shop of Horrors, this enchanting musical features an infectious score that includes the popular songs “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Adapted from the beloved fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson into one of Disney’s most popular animated films of all time, The Little Mermaid is now a lavish theatrical spectacle you won’t want to miss. Plunge into the colorful depths of an undersea wonderland as The Rep’s stage is transformed into an aquatic playground underscored by a funky Calypso beat.
“A heart warming musical for the entire family,” said Bob Hupp. “From Hans Christian Anderson to Disney to The Rep, generations have fallen in love with the young mermaid who dreams of love and life on land. This musical has it all: a great story, lush designs and all the songs you sang with your kids. You’ll certainly want to make The Little Mermaid part of your world this holiday season.”
Fall in love with The Little Mermaid’s bubbly sense of wonder, romance and rollicking fun all over again.
Peter and the Starcatcher, co-production with TheatreSquared in Fayetteville
Jan. 15-Feb. 7, 2016
Play by Rick Elise | Music by Wayne Barker
Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Think you know all there is to know about Peter Pan? Think again.
In this swashbuckling prelude to J. M. Barrie’s fantasy classic, the secret history of the Boy Who Would Never Grow Up is revealed with theatrical panache. Based on the popular Dave Barry books, and mixing British pantomime with playful elements of childhood make-believe, this raucous adventure journeys into the forgotten realms of the imagination filled with mermaids, fierce natives, pirates and magical starstuff.
Embark upon a treacherous ocean voyage as Molly, a young Starcatcher aboard the good ship Neverland, races to escape the comical clutches of the dread pirate Black Stache. Accompanied by a trio of Lost Boys from a British orphanage, she is soon marooned on a not-so-deserted island filled with otherworldly enchantments and exhilarating danger around every turn. Each breathtaking adventure leads them closer to the mysterious origins of the Peter Pan you know and love.
“Who was Captain Hook before he was Captain Hook? The answer might surprise you!” said Bob Hupp. “This rollicking new play with music is to Peter Pan what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. It was mesmerizing on Broadway: funny, touching and wildly inventive. This one is madcap fun: a dozen actors play over 100 parts. If you liked our production of The 39 Steps, you’ll love Peter and the Starcatcher!”
In 2012, Peter and the Starcatcher was nominated for nine Tony Awards.
Peter and the Starcatcher will be presented as a co-production with TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Ark. The Rep presents the regional premiere of this award-winning play as a perfect outing for young and old alike.
The Bridges of Madison County
April 8- May 1, 2016
Based on the novel by Robert James Waller
Music and lyrcis by Jason Robert Brown | Book by Marsha Norman
Fresh from Broadway, this amorous new musical from Jason Robert Brown, the acclaimed composer of Parade, Songs for a New World and The Last Five Years, will transport you to the soaring heights with its lush score and its all-too-human characters. The Rep is proud to present this breathtaking work of theatre, based on the runaway bestselling novel by Robert James Waller.
Italian-American wife and mother Francesca lives a dutiful life on a quiet Iowa farm, until a charismatic, handsome photographer sweeps into her world, reigniting her passion for life and reawakening her capacity for romance. Torn between her need to be loved and her promise to her family, Francesca must make the most difficult choice of her life. Either way, her world will never be the same again.
“This one will melt your heart. It did mine,” said Bob Hupp. “Jason Robert Brown has written one of the finest musical theatre scores imaginable. I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t read the book or watch the movie. It didn’t matter; the first note captured me. This is the don’t-miss show of the season.”
Winner of the 2014 Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, The Bridges of Madison County is an experience your heart won’t soon forget.
Fall head over heels with this poignant love letter for the stage, told through a mixture of pop, folk and country melodies that will ignite your soul.
June 10-26, 2016
Play by Scooter Pietsch | Produced in partnership with John Yonover
Directed by Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame directs this world premiere production that rounds out The Rep’s 40th Season.
“I am thrilled and grateful that Arkansas Repertory Theatre is giving us the chance to bring this fascinating and funny play to their audience,” said director Jason Alexander. “Within this play is what many would consider an American Dream and it becomes an American nightmare. To be able to make our world premiere in this beautiful theater and for this appreciative audience is a real gift and I am looking forward to it immensely.”
At a small data processing business in Columbus, Ohio, four coworkers toil under the heavy hand of their maniacal and deceitful boss. So far, camaraderie and mutual support have allowed them to survive his low wages, verbal abuse and unreasonable demands for perfection. But, when his manipulation escalates to ridiculous, unprecedented heights, they are driven to the brink of sanity.
Desperate to escape to live the lives they’ve dreamed of, they put it all on the line, betting every last cent they have playing the lottery. But the possibility of sharing the $300 million jackpot brings out the hysterically worst in these best friends. Compassion and human decency have no place in a world where money can buy happiness.
“I’m so excited to be working with Arkansas Repertory Theater on the world premiere of Windfall,” said Scooter Pietsch, playwright, Emmy nominated composer and TV producer. “I think the theatergoers of Little Rock will love not only the humor of the play but its relevance to all of us who would love to strike it rich.”
Windfall is a dark, hilarious comedy that delves into how far any of us would go, how despicable we might become, in our attempt to have it all.
“Rep audiences will be the first to experience this dark, delicious comedy,” said Bob Hupp. “I laughed out loud when I read it, I can’t wait to see it come to life on our stage. We’ve read a lot about our state lottery in the local papers, so Windfall is truly ripped from the headlines! And we’re honored to welcome Jason Alexander to our theatre, and to our state.”
Pietsch’s music has appeared in thousands of television episodes and many movies, including: Pretty Little Liars, Sex and the City, Burn Notice, Van Wilder and American Idol.
Windfall is produced in partnership with John Yonover. Yonover has invested in more than 30 productions on Broadway, in Chicago and in London’s West End, including Memphis, Hair, The Addams Family and Catch Me If You Can.
In addition to The Rep’s MainStage productions, special projects and educational programs round out the theatre’s calendar.
- An Evening with Rebecca Wells and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
- February 11 – 14, 2016
- Join author Rebecca Wells for this new one-woman show based on her No. 1 New York Times Bestseller “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”
- Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI): Broken Wings
- March 1-12, 2016
- Celebrating the beginning of their second successful decade, The Rep’s SMTI young artists will take the stage in a musical revue conceived and directed by Nicole Capri, Resident Director and Director of Education. With an encouraging message inspired by the Beatles song “Blackbird,” this piece will remind audiences that sometimes we have to break in order to breathe again.
- The Second City: Hooking Up
- May 3-15, 2016
- America’s favorite comedy improv troupe is back at The Rep with this gaspingly funny revue that includes a modern mix of romance, rancor and everything in between. Hooking Up with The Second City makes mirth out of missed connections, girls’ night out adventures and all the crazy things we do for love.
Season Subscriptions are on sale now and will range from $198 – $276, making subscribing to The Rep the best way to get the best seats at the best price. Early Bird Discounts will be available through May 31, 2015. Single ticket sales open to the public in August 2016.
For more information on Season Subscriptions, call The Rep’s Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or visit www.therep.org.