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


The Family Festival and Shakespeare Scurry was a blast! We’d like to thank the kids, the parents, the volunteers and our volunteer guild for the support despite less than perfect weather. We would also like to thank Rene from Tropical Smoothie Cafe for donating food and percentage of her proceeds!

You’ll find several pictures from the event posted below. Click here to view all the photos.


Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will hold auditions for the Children’s Choir, which appears in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on Saturday, May 14 in the Bridges/Larson Theatre of the Snow Fine Arts Center on the campus of UCA, 201 Donaghey in Conway.

There are 20-25 roles available for children age 8-16 who must be able to sing. (There are no speaking or non-singing roles available.) (more…)

Though it might seem on the surface to be just another fundraiser (which, of course, it is!), Bard Ball 2011 seeks to do more than raise money for AST’s upcoming season. The lucky folks who attend on Friday, the 18th at the Governor’s Mansion, will find out more about our summer festival but likewise will be treated to original, live performances by Arkansas musicians, writers, musicians, and actors. This night promises to be a celebration of the enormous artistic talent to be found in our state and how, with your help, we can grow and magnify that talent. (more…)

Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays from Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre! We have a new logo, a new website, and a line-up of shows that are certain to thrill and delight you. With Othello, As You Like It, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Tortoise and the Hare, there will be something to tempt every theater-goer next summer.  As the end of the year approaches, please include AST in your charitable gift-giving. We are a non-profit organization that relies on your kinds for the good work that we do. Your tax-deductible donation will make all the difference!

As you may have heard, we are moving As You Like It outdoors to the Hendrix Village greenspace, a locale befitting this Shakepearean comedy set in the forest of Arden. Directed by Andrew Hamm, who brought you the uproarious Comedy of Errors last season, this will be a must-see, must-do event!

We’ve been busy socializing and drawing attention to our one-of-a-kind professional company in the last few months. Many new folks did in fact ‘Join the Shakespeare Party’ in November, an event that featured live music and performances, and just last week we were honored to be a part of the stunning art-show “Seeing Red,” at the home of Brandi and Kristian Andersen, in which 10% of the proceeds directly benefitted AST.

Currently, we are prepping for February auditions and for our very first Little Rock-based fundraiser, featuring Arkansas artists paying tribute to the Bard at the Governor’s Mansion on February 11th, so please save the date on your calendar. We already have quite an impressive list of performers for this special event, so we hope you can join us.

If you have not bought a membership yet, you may do so online (very easily!) here on our new website at (under support). One of our devoted donors has told me that he will match every financial contribution dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000, so your generous contribution would be immediately doubled! In order to provide you quality entertainment and educational opportunities, we must have your support. And, of course, thanks to all of you who have already shown AST financial support this year.

I have so enjoyed your company and have appreciated your words of encouragement this year. I am giddy with excitement about what AST will bring to you in 2011!


Mary Ruth

We’re thrilled to have our new website up and running. Kudos to Bobby Kelly, webmaster and Shakespeare board member extraordinaire. And a heap of thanks goes out to Kristian Andersen and his team of designers at KA+A in Indianapolis for designing our new logo and our up-coming brochure, as well as our cool new t-shirts, that will be free with the purchase of a membership at our upcoming Shakespeare Party on Nov. 6th. All of the aforementioned folks have donated their time, ample talents, and energy for a cause that they deem worthy–increasing the visibility of AST in the state of Arkansas and beyond.

Just today I heard that Conway’s own Gene Hatfield, one of Arkansas’s most-revered artists, said that in the days of yore Conway was referred to as the “Athens of Arkansas,” meaning that all eyes were on Conway as the progenitor of arts and culture in the state. Certainly a case can be made that we are well on our way to reclaiming that title, with the success of Artsfest, the presence on the UCA campus of the Oxford American magazine, the Murphy foundations’ generous endowment for the arts at Hendrix College, the Public Appearances line-up at UCA (SPIKE LEE is coming!), and, of course, our own pool of talent that comprises Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

I love living  in Conway today, a town with culture so accessible that I need only jump on my bike to ride the short distance to any event. Every day I work with folks who are sharp, energetic, and innovative, and in these interactions I feel sort of euphoric, as though I am involved in some grand experiment. It must be like, well,…. living in the early days of Athens.

Thank you for your steady support for AST over the past several years. I enjoyed seeing you at the shows this past season — and what a great festival it was. Comedy of Errors provided plenty of laughs, Dracula delivered the chills, and Henry V created the illusion of battle with little more than expert ac ting and a fog machine! All in all, the season was a great success, and as the temperatures rose early in Arkansas this summer, Reynolds provided a nice respite from the heat and humidity.

Clearly there are some big chances as we move forward with AST’s 2011 season. Matt Chiorini departed as producing artistic director but will stay on this season as creative director, returning for events that lead up to the season, then returning to run the festival next June. Therefore, know that the quality you have come to expect from AST is assured.

I have taken on the role as Executive Director of AST. Having been involved with AST from the beginning, I know the organization well and have a clear vision of the multitude of possibilities that await us. We feel that this new direction for AST is exactly what this festival needs — a clear focus on the creative elements coupled with a pointed concern for the managerial components. Together, Matt and I will work to increase the visibility of AST throughout the state and region.

Conway as a community is poised to become the center for arts and culture in Arkansas, and the success of AST is pivotal in making that a reality. Professional theater not only provides cultural enlightenment but economic stimulation, as well. Just as the American Shakespeare Center has made Staunton, Virginia synonymous with artistic excellence, AST can and will do the same for Conway. The excellence is already here — we just have to get the word out.

Thank you so much for all that you have done to make AST a success.

Mary Ruth Marotte

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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.