Share Your Favorite Memory of Bob! Wish Him Well at First-Ever Open House

BobHeadshotCan you believe it? It’s Producing Artistic Director Bob Hupp’s last month at The Rep!

In anticipation of Bob Hupp’s departure at the end of June, we are asking friends and loyal patrons of The Rep, to share your favorite memories from Bob’s 17 years as Producing Artistic Director. We will share these throughout the month of June as we bid him farewell.

Please share your memories HERE!

Have a favorite photo with Bob? Send to Lauren at ljames@therep.org!

To send Bob in Rep fashion, we are hosting a special First Open House at Arkansas Repertory Theatre from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, June 20! All of the doors will be open for tours of the space (Costume Shop, Prop Shop, rehearsal spaces, included!) at every half-hour and patrons will have a chance to wish Bob the best at his next endeavor, Syracuse Stage!

Enjoy live music from local musician and Rep Board Member Ben Brenner and ice cream from the super-popular Loblolly Creamery, who will have their food truck parked right out front. Admission is free and open to the public.

See you there!

Choose The Rep for #ArkansasGives Day on April 7!

imagesThis spring, nonprofits and communities across Arkansas are coming together for one day to give: #ArkansasGives Day.

On Thursday, April 7, be a part of this statewide celebration of a new tradition of generosity by making any size monetary donation to Arkansas Repertory Theatre to help keep live professional theatre alive and well in central Arkansas.

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Faith Sandberg (Molly Aster), Steve Pacek (Peter), Nathaniel Stahlke (Prentiss) and Garrett Houston (Ted) in The Rep’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Photo by Stephen Thornton.

Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Arkansans across the state are encouraged to grow the love for Arkansas’s nonprofit organizations by making a donation to the charity of your choice. ArkansasGives is our state’s opportunity to say thanks to its many philanthropic organizations!

By making a gift to Arkansas Repertory Theatre during this 12-hour giving period, your impact will be DOUBLED!

So, how will your impact be doubled?  Thanks to a generous gift from the family of longtime Rep supporter and advocate, Betty Brown, The Betty Brown Memorial Challenge Gift will match dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 on this day of giving when you choose to give to The Rep.

And make your dollars count even more! On ArkansasGives Day, each nonprofit is eligible to qualify for additional dollars through a matching pool of funds from Arkansas Community Foundation. All participating nonprofits will receive a portion of the matching pool. The more a nonprofit raises, the more bonus dollars it will receive.

How to Give

  • On April 7, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., visit ArkansasGives.org to make your online gift to Arkansas Repertory Theatre.
  • To give to the theatre, CLICK HERE or select Arkansas Repertory Theatre in the drop-down menu when making your gift.

Your financial donation will ensure The Rep can continue provide:

  • Top-notch educational programming
  • Deeply discounted matinees, attended on a regular basis by students from 29 Arkansas counties
  • New and classic works created right on The Rep stage just for you!

Take the next step and join as a donor here!

For more information about ArkansasGives Day, click here.

An Iliad Presents Arkansas Stories of War

American flag

What has really changed since the Trojan War?

The Poet, played by Rep veteran Joseph Graves, helps answer this question in our latest production, An Iliad, the inqaugural production in our newspace, The Annex, located at 518 Main St.

Running now through March 5, the play adapts Homer’s Trojan War epic into a compelling monologue that captures both the heroism and horror of warfare.

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Joseph Graves (The Poet) in The Rep’s production of An Iliad. Photo by John David Pittman.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, An Iliad will include Arkansas Stories of War, a series of six talkbacks featuring local service members and their families who will share their personal stories of war. From deployment and returning home, to triggers and the impact war has on their families, these talkbacks will allow participants to share their personal stories and create a dialogue with the greater community.

Don’t miss these insightful conversations immediately following performances on:

  • Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Saturday, Feb. 27
  • Wednesday, March 2
  • Friday, March 4

Single tickets are $25 and $40 for a combo pass that includes admission to An Iliad and Bill Clinton Hercules, which runs March 24-26 in The Annex. Get your tickets here or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Get the scoop on this powerful production here:

 

Peter and the Starcatcher: 8 Fun Facts

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Faith Sandberg (Molly Aster), Steve Pacek (Boy/Peter), Nathaniel Stahlke (Prentiss) and Garrett T. Houston (Ted) in The Rep’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Just 12 actors play more than 100 characters onstage. Photo by Stephen B. Thornton.

We are in the middle of our run of Peter and the Starcatcher and to highlight some of the history and interesting trivia about the Peter Pan story, we thought it would be fun to share eight fun facts that you maybe didn’t know!

Here they are:

  1. One of the reasons that adult women played the role of Peter Pan in the first half of the 20th century was to avoid British child labor laws that prevented child actors from working on stage after 9 pm.
  2. Aerial effects company Flying by Foy earned its international reputation based on the flying effects it created for stage versions of Peter Pan, beginning in 1950.
  3. In stage versions of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell is often created only by a spotlight and the sound of bells.
  4. In Peter and the Starcatcher, 12 actors play more than  100 roles onstage.
  5. Jungian psychologists refer to the “Peter Pan Syndrome,” in which an adult male’s  mental maturity seems to be stalled in adolescence as Puer aeternus, which is Latin for “eternal boy.”
  6. In the 1978 dark comedy ‘dentity Crisis by Christopher Durang, the character of Jane delivers a monologue about attending an absurd, accident-prone production of Peter Pan in which the actress playing Peter Pan accuses the children in the audience of not clapping hard enough and, therefore, killing Tinker Bell.
  7. As Smee, Borle featured a tattoo on his left arm that is the Mandalorian crest from the Star Wars universe, which is the same symbol featured on bounty hunter Boba Fett’s armor in the Star Wars films.

Information compiled by Dramaturg Robert Neblett.

Read more about Peter and the Starcatcher in our Study Guide here.

Tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher are on sale NOW! Purchase yours online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. And it’s your lucky day– we’ve added two additional Tuesday night performances on Feb. 2 and 9!

 

Opening Week of Peter and the Starcatcher: Engage with Us!

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Hugh Kennedy as Black Stache in The Rep’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Photo by Beth Hall.

It’s the Opening Week of our Tony Award-winning show, Peter and the Starcatcher– the fourth production in The Rep’s landmark 40th MainStage Season!

Now that we are in our third week of January (can you believe it?), we are excited to get this Peter Pan prelude started and give our patrons engaging activities, despite the looming winter weather slated for Thursday night.

Here is this week’s lineup of fun events:

Thursday, Jan. 21:

  • 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, Jan. 22:

 

  • 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!

 

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

Sunday, Jan. 24:

  • Pay Your Age Night, 7 p.m.: Little Rock Soiree presents The Rep’s “Pay Your Age Night” on Sunday, Jan. 24. 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 Jan. 22- Feb. 14 here and book your tickets by calling (501) 378-0405 or visiting TheRep.org.

Help Name Special Beer for Peter and the Starcatcher

PeterandtheStarcatcherWith our production of Peter and the Starcatcher taking The Rep MainStage here in January, we have teamed up with Stone’s Throw Brewing to create a beer for the swashbuckling production.

And guess what? We need your help naming it!

Here is the scoop on the beer contest:

Beer Naming Contest

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 13, The Rep is following up with a Peter and the Starcatcher Beer Naming Contest, where we will be accepting entries for the brew– a “Dark Mild” English-style brown ale with light to medium roasted notes

Here is the rundown of the contest:

1. Submit your clever beer name from 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15  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 mild-ale-2favorite on our Facebook page from 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 to 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. 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 Peter and the Starcatcher!

The special brew will be on tap at Stone’s Throw Brewing, 402 E. 9th, Little Rock, and in Foster’s, located on the First Mezzanine at The Rep, during the run of the show, Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2016.

Don’t miss your chance to try this one-of-a-kind beer celebrating this magical prelude to Pete Pan and get your tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.

Vote for your favorite beer name here!

Peter and the Starcatcher: Staff Reviews

PeterandtheStarcatcherWe still may be under the sea for a few more weeks with The Little Mermaid, but we are already looking forward to setting our sails with our production of Peter and the Starcatcher, which takes our stage from Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2016.

This clever play with music is presented as a co-production with TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Ark, and we are excited to present it as a regional premiere this winter! TheatreSquared’s production is showing now through Jan. 3, at which time the entire production – cast, set, costumes, etc. – will transfer to our home on Main Street to be reworked for our space.

Luckily, some of our staff (including me!) were able to travel north to preview this Tony Award-winning production before it comes to The Rep!

Here are our reviews of this funny, touching and wildly inventive production:

Peter and the Starcatcher was just magical! It was a beautiful story of becoming who you’re truly meant to be. Watching Peter search for his purpose and his happiness is captivating. This show will make all of the young-at-heart glow with warmth and happiness. With clever references to both the original story by J.M. Barrie and current pop culture, this show is laugh-out-loud funny and as endearing as it possibly could be!

-Bailey Lamb, Assistant to the Production Manager

 

The journey you take with Peter and Molly (female protagonist) is a unique one filled with a nostalgic and yet child-like innocence that helps you witness the creation of the story Peter Pan.  The development of the characters from unknown protagonists into some of the most highly known names in the world is one of simplistic effortless beauty. Trish Clark was able to capture Peter’s unknown existence and transition into finding his name Peter Pan through costumes with great care and simple transitions that you can barely notice until he has fully become the character. Watching these characters adventures unfold with brilliant wit and literary references is an adventure in its own for audience and cast, alike. You will walk away from this show smiling.

-Elise Kulovany, Costume Shop Manager

 

This delightful journey that you take with Peter is one that you have to experience for yourself! From the moment the voyage begins, you are transported to this colorful world where you are introduced to the orphan boy and get to witness his incredible transformation to the Boy Who Would Never Grow Up.

The slapstick humor and comedic timing of the crew is perfect and leaves you wanting more. And you owe it all to the brilliant cast who bring these fascinating and magical characters to life from when they’re on the ships all the way to the tropical island. I grew up watching Peter Pan and to be able to see the beginning of his journey in such a magnificent way is something I’ll never forget!

-Lauren James, Communications Manager

Bottom line: Don’t miss it!

Tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher are on sale NOW! Purchase yours online or by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.

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    “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.