Bard Ball 2015: The Taming of the Brew

Come out for big-tasting beers, a catered buffet, live and silent auctions, and a musical sneak peek at the 2015 season.


The 2015 Season



The Two Gentlemen of Verona

"Every member of the cast is extraordinary...brings out the best in one of Shakespeare's earliest plays." —The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette



"I was...completely blown away....I have read Shakespeare most of my life but nothing compares to seeing it acted on the stage." —Sharon K., audience member of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre 2014 season



"...amazing performance. The show was perfectly cast and simply outstanding! Bravo!"--Michelle C., 2014 AST Audience Member


On Friday October 4 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will announce its 2014 season at Garland House, the hippest art scene in Little Rock, during Garland House’s fifth gallery show. (more…)

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s seventh season of entertaining and thought-provoking summer theatre in repertory will run June 6-30 at multiple venues: the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus and The Village at Hendrix, both in Conway, as well as outdoors in the Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock.

The season will include Much Ado About NothingKing LearOliver! and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted for a young audience.

“Actors, designers and crew will arrive in Conway on May 12 and begin the exciting process of creating the four shows we’ll produce in multiple venues in central Arkansas,” said Dr. Mary Ruth Marotte, AST’s executive director. “We will open Much Ado About Nothing at The Village at Hendrix on June 6 and then move this production to the Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock for performances on June 21 and 22.

With pay what you can performances at these two outdoor venues, AST officials hope that theater-goers in Arkansas and around the region will embrace AST as a reflection of the cultural and artistic growth that is currently under way in the state.

“Our outdoor venue at The Village at Hendrix has drawn huge crowds the last two years, and we look forward to bringing our professional theatre to a wider audience with the addition of an outdoor venue in Argenta.” Marotte said.

The remaining productions will be performed at Reynolds Performance Hall.


“Every summer we have artists converge on Conway from across our country to create great productions in an extremely short period of time, and all of us really become a family,” said producing artistic director Rebekah Scallet.“It is therefore fitting that our theme for this summer is ‘family.’”

“The importance of family runs through all of the productions this year, from the obvious connections in King Lear (the story of a father who abdicates power to his daughters only to find the ties that bind are not as strong as he thought) and Oliver! (following an orphan’s search to find ‘love’ and a family) to the not so obvious in Much Ado, which also has an orphan at its center — Beatrice. Having just started a family myself with the birth of my son in September, this is definitely a topic that finds resonance with me, as I trust it will with our audiences this summer.”

Chicago-based actor Ron Thomas and Little Rock-based actress Heather Dupree, who both starred in last summer’s Twelfth Night, will take on the roles of sparring lovers Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Other productions this summer include King Lear (starring veteran Shakespearean actor Henson Keys as Lear) and directed by Scallet; a children’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dubbed “Bottom’s Dream,” directed by AST’s beloved actor and director Josh Rice; and the family-friendly musical Oliver!, directed by DJ Salisbury and featuring New York-based actor Warren Kelly as Fagin and marking the premiere of Simon Marotte of Conway in the title role.


Subscriptions for the season are on sale; single tickets for any show may be purchased online or by phone at the Reynolds box office at 866-810-0012.

Big River” was the first Broadway musical I saw in New York City. If I’m remembering correctly, it was only the second Broadway show I’d ever seen, the first being the traveling run of “The King and I” at the Orpheum in Memphis. (more…)

Former producing artistic director Matt Chiorini speaks to the crowd at The Village at Hendrix.

A couple of years ago on a visit to Rosemary Beach, Florida, my family and I watched a production of The Tempest in the village square of the town, a setting very much like The Village at Hendrix. (more…)

Alaina Kizer in our 2011 production of "As You Like It"

I met Alaina Kizer when she was in AST’s production of Alice in Wonderland a few years ago. I asked Matt Chiorini (our former artistic director) who that lovely, talented young college intern was who played the Queen of Hearts in the show. (more…)

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is looking for a few noble men and women to lend theirhands as volunteers for the 2012 summer festival. If you have brains or brawn(or both!) to offer up to the cause, please contact Rebekah Scallet. (more…)

For the third year in a row, The New York Times has selected AST as one of its must-see summer festivals! AST shares the spotlight with Oregon Shakespeare, the American Shakespeare Center, and the Stratford Festival in Ontario, among other notable festivals. (more…)

The Oxford American Magazine and Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre invite you to a gathering with select actors and directors of AST’s 2012 summer season on Monday, May 21st at 5:30 p.m. at the new Oxford American building located at 1300 South Main Street in Little Rock (formerly Juanita’s). Join the actors for a glass of wine or beer, then stay for a panel discussion with Producing Artistic Director Rebekah Scallet, during which she and members of her cast from Twelfth Night will discuss their vision for this season’s comedy. (more…)

2nd Annual Shakespeare Scurry Family Fun Run 2K & Festival
The Village at Hendrix
Friday, April 20th
5:30 p.m. • Race Starts 6:00 p.m.

Race participants are encouraged to wear Renaissance inspired attire to pay tribute to Shakespeare during the race, but this is not required. The evening begins in the Market Square at the Village at Hendrix where race participants will begin the Shakespeare Scurry Family Fun Run led by Shakespeare himself! (more…)

Like AST, Artsfest is relatively young in Conway but is likewise growing as one of the most valued and valuable festivals Conway is lucky enough to call its own. My own involvement is inspired by remembrance of my grandmother, Lillie Belle Warren, of Morrilton. (more…)

Paul Menzer gives his audience a historical framework for the ways in which Othello has been cast, conceived, and performed over the past 200 years. His insights into the problematic nature of “black-face” interpretations of the character of Othello invite us to explore how the play has–from the moment it was first performed–forced audiences to come to terms with their own fears of interracial marriage and miscegenation. (more…)

Today Matt Chiorini, our artistic director, turned to me and said,”It’s happening, isn’t it? It’s really happening.” Indeed, it is. Working on a festival for an entire year, you can lose perspective. In the throes of fundraising and artistic production, you can lose sight of the end goal, but these past few days have reminded me why we do what we do. Sitting in on rehearsals, I’ve been privy to the palpable excitement generated in a festival such as ours. (more…)

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    Reynolds Performance Hall
    223 Beatrice Powell St
    Conway, AR 72035

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  • Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre proudly makes its home at the University of Central Arkansas.