Little Mermaid Monday: 8 Fun Facts

Happy Little Mermaid Monday!

We are in the fourth week of our blog series Little Mermaid Monday highlighting all-things The Little Mermaid. This week, we’re sharing a few facts you may not have known about the original animated film, music, author and more.

"The Little Shop of Horrors"

“The Little Shop of Horrors”

Here they are:

  1. If you compare “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors and “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, there is definitely a musical and conceptual similarity between the two songs. Writers Howard Ashman and Alan Menken noticed this and nicknamed the latter song “Somewhere That’s Dry.”
  2. Many of the shots of Ariel seated on an ocean rock in the film are modeled after the “The Little Mermaid” statue, located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  3. It is believed that Ariel’s wedding dress at the end of the film is patterned after Princess Diana’s famous 1981 wedding gown.
  4. The Little Mermaid was the first animated fairy tale by Disney since 1959’s Sleeping Beauty.

    LM%20Statue

    “The Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  5. The Little Mermaid was the first animated film to ever receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.
  6. Walt Disney first planned an animated version of The Little Mermaid in 1941. An animator’s strike and World War II caused him to shelf the idea, but it remained a passion project for the studio over the next 40 years.
  7. The Little Mermaid author Hans Christian Andersen was dyslexic and never learned how to spell correctly.
  8. If you say the names of four of the main characters in the Disney animated movie Frozen (Hans, Kristoff, Anna, Sven), you may hear a familiar name. They were all named after Hans Christian Andersen, the creator of “The Snow Queen.”
    1. For more information about the connection between Andersen’s story and Frozen, click here.

Information compiled by Dramaturg Robert Neblett.

Read more about the music and The Little Mermaid in our Study Guide here.

From Script to Stage: The Little Mermaid Choreography

Arkansas Repertory Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid. photos by STEPHEN B. THORNTON

Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of The Little Mermaid.
photos by STEPHEN B. THORNTON

In our production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, many design elements come together to create the lively world that takes audiences on a magical voyage. From the breathtaking costumes and set to the props and classic score, our production of The Little Mermaid is fit for an underwater paradise.

Something else that adds a lot of pizzazz and gusto to our production of this Disney classic is the choreography, masterminded by Choreographer Adam Cates.

See what he had to say about the dance styles you’ll see onstage and how the incredible aerial stunts – created by 2 Ring Circus – will be incorporated into this underwater adventure!

Little Mermaid Monday: Who are Howard Ashman and Alan Menken?

Ashman and Menken

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken

We are in the third week of our blog series Little Mermaid Monday highlighting all-things The Little Mermaid. Let’s just say, we are all excited about hearing our favorite childhood anthems being brought to life on The Rep stage.

So, who is behind the magical score that captivated children so many years ago and still resonates today? It’s Howard Ashman and Alan Menken!

A great deal of the success of Disney’s animated screen adaptation of The Little Mermaid can be attributed to the film’s infectious score by lyricist Ashman and composer Menken. Featuring bouncy production numbers such as “Under the Sea,” romantic ballads such as “Kiss the Girl,” and the ode to Ariel’s longing, “Part of Your World,” these musical numbers add tone and color to the story. But, more importantly they deftly reveal character motivation and the emotional undercurrents of the story.

Prior to The Little Mermaid, Ashman and Menken were best known for their 1982 sci-fi rock musical based on Roger Corman’s 1960 dark comic film The Little Shop of Horrors. The musical, which grounds the action in its 1960s time period by utilizing doo-wop, rock-and-roll, and Supremes-like girl group R & B numbers, was an overwhelming success Off-Broadway. It was later turned into a 1986 film musical starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene.

Following the release of the 1986 film of Little Shop, Ashman was brought into Disney Studios to assist with the film Oliver & Company, when he was recruited (along with Menken) to create the score for The Little Mermaid. The film broke box-office records and ushered in what is known as the “Disney Renaissance” of the 1990s, a return to the quality and popularity of Disney’s animated features of several decades before. Their contributions to the film won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Grammy.

Ashman and Menken collaborated on two more mega-hits for Disney: 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and 1992’s Aladdin. However, Ashman would not live to see the premieres of either of these films. Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, he passed away in March 1991. Beauty and the Beast was dedicated to his memory.

Broadway lyricist Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) assisted Menken with completing the songs in Aladdin. Menken went on to compose music for Newsies (1992), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Enchanted (2007) and Tangled (2010).Kiss the Girl

In 2007, Disney Theatricals mounted a live stage production of The Little Mermaid on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, with an expanded score featuring the film’s songs by Ashman and Menken and additional lyrics by Glenn Slater. It was helmed by noted opera and theatre director Francesca Zambello and starred Sierra Boggess as Ariel, Tituss Burgess as Sebastian, Norm Lewis as Triton, and Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula. The original production encountered several script and technical issues and was reimagined in 2012 for subsequent performances, most notably updating the undersea effects with aerial flying technology.

Information compiled by Dramaturg Robert Neblett.

Hurry! Get your tickets to The Little Mermaid online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Read more about the music and The Little Mermaid in our Study Guide here.

Opening week of The Little Mermaid: Engage with Us!

Arkansas Repertory Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid. photos by STEPHEN B. THORNTON

The cast of Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of The Little Mermaid. Photo by STEPHEN B. THORNTON

It’s the Opening Week of our blockbuster holiday musical, The Little Mermaid, the third production in The Rep’s landmark 40th MainStage Season!

Now that we are in our first week of December (can you believe it?), we are excited to get our big musical started and give our patrons engaging activities.

Here is this week’s lineup of fun events:

Wednesday, December 2:

  • Preshow Director Talk, 6:15-6:45 p.m.: Get exclusive insight into our production of The Little Mermaid from Director Bob Hupp and the creative team before the start of the preview performances. FREE!
  • Pay What You Can Night, 7 p.m.: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette presents The Rep’s “Pay What You Can Night” on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Patrons can pay any amount they wish for their ticket. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Box Office at 601 Main Street the day of the performance. The Box Office will be open from 9 a.m. until curtain. Tickets are limited to (2) two per person. Offer is based on seating availability.

Thursday, December 3:

  • Clinton School Speaker Series, 12-1 p.m. Clinton School Join Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp and members of the cast and creative team for a panel discussion on this musical. RSVP by calling the Clinton School at (501) 683-5239. FREE!
  • Preshow Director Talk, 6:15-6:45 p.m.: Get exclusive insight into our production of The Little Mermaid from Director Bob Hupp and the creative team before the start of the preview performances. FREE!

Friday, December 4:

  • Opening Night performance and post-show party, 8 p.m.: Opening Night for The Little Mermaid will include a post-show reception with the cast immediately following the show. Complimentary champagne and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

Sunday, December 6:

  • Pay Your Age Night, 7 p.m.: Little Rock Soiree presents The Rep’s “Pay Your Age Night” on Sunday, Oct. 18. Are you age 22 – 40? Pay Your Age at The Rep! Top off your weekend with great theatre at a great price. Plus, enjoy a complimentary wine tasting provided by Colonial Wines and Spirits. Tickets are limited to four per household, Proof of age for each member of the party is required at time of pick-up.

Check out our full lineup of surround events during the show’s run from December 2- January 3 here and book your tickets by calling (501) 378-0405 or visiting TheRep.org.

Little Mermaid Monday: Q&A with Aerial Director Joshua Dean

Flying 1We are in the second week of our blog series Little Mermaid Monday highlighting all-things The Little Mermaid. One thing is for sure: this is going to be a musical that you’ve never seen before.

To create the movement you’ll see in this underwater adventure, Choreographer Adam Cates enlisted the help of 2 Ring Circus, a theatrical circus group out of New York City, to add aerial and groundwork circus acts. Our Dramaturg Robert Neblett interviewed aerial director Joshua Dean, who, alongside Ben Franklin and Lani Corson, will be a part of the ensemble in the show.

Find out what he had to say about how they got involved in the show, what magical elements you’ll see and more:

Q: Tell us a little about 2 Ring Circus.

A: 2 Ring Circus is a company of four friends who came together to create their own brand of circus. We all came from musical theater or dance backgrounds before becoming circus artists. Now, we try to combine the theatricality of those genres with the excitement of the circus to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Q: How did you first become involved with this type of movement/aerial work?

A: I was asked by director Donna Drake to choreograph and perform aerial fabric in a show that she was directing. I began taking classes at once and it all grew from there. I spent several years working to become a professional aerialist and then began to teach. As a teacher, I began to train my friends and future company members.

Q: If a student were interested in “learning to fly,” what would you suggest they need to do to prepare and train for a career in this unique field?

A: Train, train, train. This is field that takes a lot of discipline. It is very dangerous and without Flying 2that discipline, you could get injured by an accident or fall. I do believe that anyone can do this. It just takes the drive and patience. It will take a while to build the strength and any type of conditioning can help.

Q: Is this the first time you have ever worked with the Arkansas Rep? Have you worked with any of the other members of The Little Mermaid’s artistic team?

A: This is my first time working at The Rep. Ben, Lani and I are all very excited to create the circus elements for the show. Ben has worked with our amazing director, Melissa, before. Ben and myself have done several shows with Adam, our choreographer.

Q: What attracts you to a project like The Little Mermaid?

A: As a company, we love to combine theatre with circus. Two of our original production show creations have a very theatrical feel. We like the challenge of making circus elements integral to the plot and finding apparatus and movement that can help forward the story without distracting unnecessarily.

Q: How is this kind of specific movement/aerial work integral to a musical like The Little Mermaid?

A: This show has the potential for lots of magic and spectacle. We are using circus elements to make the life under the sea even more exciting. This includes the various sea creatures floating around under the ocean and the drowning prince being rescued to a mermaid floating on an anchor. These are just a few examples of how you will see circus integrated in the show.

Q: The Little Mermaid is not technically a Christmas story. How do you think this piece, with its memorable music and the special performance aspects you will be contributing, will contribute to the holiday spirit in Little Rock this year?

A: The holiday season is about the joy and wonder of it all and I believe The Little Mermaid checks those boxes perfectly.

Q: What is your favorite moment in the show a) from a choreographic standpoint and b) from an emotional perspective?

A: My favorite moment to create in the show will be the transformation. It is the moment when Ariel first gets her legs. It is going to be quite tricky to get it all right, but that is what will make it worth it. In that instance, it will take every department: costumes, direction, choreography, lights, tech crew pulling lines, etc. Trying to make everything work as we have conceived it is the fun moment for me. It will take a lot of tries, but I am certain it will be worth it.

Q: What do you hope audiences will take with them from this production?

A: The joy of theatre. It is my passion and I am so blessed to be part of it. I hope we can inspire people not only to want to do this, but to want to come back and see another show. Without an audience, we do not have an art.

Q: What is the first instance of theatrical magic you remember? How has that moment shaped you as an artist?

A: The first time I saw a scrim, my mind was blown. I remember seeing a tour of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories brought to the stage on a school trip. When I was looking at a painted drop of a house and then saw an actor appear through it clear as day, I could not believe my eyes. I did not understand it, but I wanted to know more.

For more information about 2 Ring Circus, visit their official website here.

Hurry! Get your tickets to The Little Mermaid online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Little Mermaid Monday: An Introduction

LittleMermaidToday is a big day: We are kicking off our blog series Little Mermaid Monday highlighting all-things The Little Mermaid.

To get you in the mermaid spirit and as a refresher, we are taking look at the story and characters with a little help from our Dramaturg Robert Neblett.

Plot

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs: “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.”

Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.

From MTIshows.com

Characters

(In Order of Appearance)

  •  ARIEL, a mermaid, King Triton’s youngest daughter
  • PILOT, helmsman of Prince Eric’s ship
  • SAILORS
  • PRINCE ERIC, a human monarch
  • GRIMSBY, guardian of Prince Eric
  • FLOUNDER, a fish, Ariel’s best friend
  • SCUTTLE, a seagull, expert in human artifacts
  • SEA CREATURES of various shapes, sizes and species
  • WINDWARD & LEEWARD, trumpet fish, heralds in King Triton’s court
  • KING TRITON, King of the Sea
  • SEBASTIAN, a crab, advisor to King Triton
  • MERSISTERS (Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Atina, AdelIa, Allana), daughters of King Triton
  • FLOTSAM, an eel, lackey to Ursula
  • JETSAM, an eel, the other lackey to Ursula
  • URSULA, the Sea Witch, sister of King Triton
  • GULLS
  • MAIDS
  • CHEF LOUIS, the Palace chef, a culinary perfectionist
  • CHEFS, sous staff of Chef Louis
  • PRINCESSES, potential mates for Prince Eric

The magical musical will run for five weeks with performances from Dec. 2-Jan. 3, Wednesday through Sunday, with special Saturday matinees on Dec. 5 and 26 and Jan. 2. Check out all of the fun surround events here.

Hurry! Get your tickets to The Little Mermaid online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Help Name Special Beer for The Little Mermaid

LittleMermaid

With our production of The Little Mermaid taking The Rep MainStage in December, we have teamed up with Moody Brews to create a beer for the underwater wonderland production.

And guess what? We need your help naming it!

Here is the scoop on the beer contest:

Beer Naming Contest

Starting Monday, Nov. 23, The Rep is following up with a Little Mermaid Beer Naming Contest, where we will be accepting entries for the tropical brew– a tropical saison. 5% ce46c3e5297f7bd48b1b154bab2da76354942964_gold-recipeabv farmhouse/saison style ale fermented atop citrus fruits of lemon, tangerine, pineapple, and hibiscus and lightly dry hopped with amarillo (orangey, apricot aroma) hops.

Here is the rundown of the contest:

1. Submit your clever beer name from 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.  Bonus points if you include “Rep” somewhere in the name! Enter HERE!

2. Our top five favorite names will be selected and fans will be allowed to vote for their favorite on our Facebook page from 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 26 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. The name with the most ‘Likes’ at the end of the voting period will be the winner!

3. The winner will receive a growler of the special flavor and a pair of tickets to see The Little Mermaid!

The special brew will be on tap at Vino’s Brew Pub, 923 W. 7th, Little Rock, and in Foster’s, located on the First Mezzanine at The Rep, during the run of the show, Dec. 2, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016.

Don’t miss your chance to try this one-of-a-kind sweet treat (and beer!) celebrating our holiday musical and get your tickets to The Little Mermaid online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Vote for your favorite beer name HERE!

Win Cool Prizes in First-Ever Saints and Sinners Raffle

photoThink of what you could do with $5,000 or who could use 10 tickets to the hottest ticket in town this holiday season, The Little Mermaid, or who would like to hone their acting skills.

By buying a Saints and Sinners Raffle ticket, you would have a chance to win one of these cool prizes!

While the annual gala may be months away, the fun begins now with this special raffle, which includes three amazing prizes. The three raffle prizes include:

  • $5,000 Cash
  • 10 Tickets to The Rep’s Production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Includes ice cream and drinks
  • Private Performing Arts Workshop for up to eight young artists (or adults). Minimum age 10.

Winners will be announced during a live online drawing at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23. The public can follow along on Facebook and Instagram as the winners are announced.

Tickets cost $20 each and are $100 for six. They can be purchased online at www.TheRep.org/saintsraffle; by calling Ronda Lewis at (501) 378-0445, ext. 203; or at The Rep’s Box Office at 601 Main Street, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Saints and Sinners Raffle benefits The Rep. For more information, visit www.TheRep.org or call Ronda at (501) 378-0445, ext. 203.

The Rep Announces 40th MainStage Season Lineup

40thMainstageLogoCan you believe it?

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!

Macbeth

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.

Windfall

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.

Non-Subscription Productions

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

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.