ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2018-19 SEASON
Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the state’s largest nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce its 2018-19 Season. Beginning in September, the new season exemplifies The Rep’s mission of producing diversified work of the highest artistic standards.
"Variety is, once again, the watchword at The Rep,” said Producing Artistic Director John Miller-Stephany. “Our 2018-19 Season will see the production of two very different musicals, a Shakespearean comedy, a classic American drama, the stage adaptation of a popular award-winning film, and a hilarious contemporary play. I feel passionate about each and every one of these stories, and I am truly excited about the combination."
The Glass Menagerie
Sept. 5 – 23, 2018
Opening Night on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by John Miller-Stephany
“…I am the opposite of the stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you the truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion."
The Rep’s 2018-19 Season opens with one of the most beloved American plays of the 20th Century.
The Glass Menagerie is a delicate memory play about family life set in a Depression-era St. Louis tenement. While rebellious Tom Wingfield dreams of running away from his tedious existence, his stubborn mother Amanda elegizes romantically about her Southern debutante past. And in the midst of their disputes, Tom’s timid sister Laura escapes from the cruelty of the world by retracting into an imaginary realm populated by her collection of fragile glass animals.
“Tennessee Williams is one of my favorite playwrights,” said Miller-Stephany. “When The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in 1945 it catapulted the unknown author to fame. This poignant story about breaking the ties that bind remains as powerful today as it was when it first premiered.
Williams’ semi-autobiographical drama resonates with humor, sadness, regret, and poetry: a quiet, gentle masterpiece in a chaotic modern world.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Oct. 24 – Nov. 11, 2018
Opening Night on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018
By Todd Kreidler | Based on the screenplay Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by William Rose
Directed by Cliff Fannin Baker
“The only thing that really matters is what they feel and how much they feel for each other.”
When Joanna decides to surprise her parents with an impromptu introduction to her new fiancé John, she overlooks one small detail – he’s Black. Despite their self-professed liberal political leanings, Mr. and Mrs. Drayton find themselves scrambling when their beliefs are put to the test.
But Joanna has yet another bombshell in store – she has invited John’s parents over for the evening as well.
“The genius of this play, and the 1967 Academy Award-winning screenplay by William Rose upon which it is freely based, is that it takes a serious and timely subject and thoughtfully examines it with great humor and heart,” said Miller-Stephany.
Made famous by the film starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Sidney Poitier, good intentions collide with intense social pressures as the families confront each other and their own secret prejudices in this comic drama that tests the true boundaries of love.
Dec. 5 – 30, 2018
Opening Night on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018
Based on the novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Book by Allan Knee | Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein | Music by Jason Howland
Directed by John Miller-Stephany
“Sometimes when you dream, your dreams come true in extraordinary ways."
Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel about the strength and resilience of the March sisters, led by the stalwart Jo, vibrantly springs to life in this joyous Tony-nominated musical.
While the Civil War rages far away from their humble New England home, tomboy Jo refuses to conform to the demands made upon her by “polite society,” and redefines what it means to be a woman.
As her mother and sisters patiently await the return of their father from the battlefield, Jo’s contagious optimism endures in the face of romantic confusion and personal tragedy.
“This charming musical, based on one of the most popular novels ever written for young people, is an affectionate celebration of family,” said Miller-Stephany. “Louisa May Alcott’s long-cherished story of the four spirited March sisters and their beloved mother is an ideal tale to share during the holidays. “
Rejoice in the unbreakable bonds of love with Little Women, sure to be a holiday treat for the entire family!
As You Like It
Feb. 6 – 24, 2019
Opening Night on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Orlando loves Rosalind. Rosalind loves Orlando. But Rosalind is disguised as Ganymede - who’s a boy! And Phebe loves Ganymede - who’s really Rosalind. Yet Silvius loves Phebe. And Rosalind’s best friend Celia loves Orlando’s brother Oliver. But Oliver hates Orlando. And Touchstone lusts after Audrey. Unfortunately, no one much cares for Jacques.
Join fervent lovers and hapless clowns in the idyllic Forest of Arden, where love poems are pinned to every tree, an exiled duke has created an unlikely utopia, and the wordplay is as sharp as a sword.
“It has been quite a few years since The Rep produced one of Shakespeare’s comedies. The delightful cast of characters in this rollicking romantic-comedy includes two of the Bard’s most fascinating figures: the jaded Jaques and the incomparable Rosalind, a remarkably modern heroine,” said Miller-Stephany. “I’m thrilled that our 2018-19 Season will include The Rep’s first staging of the play that reminds us that “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.””
Celebrate romance as Shakespeare’s timeless comedy takes center stage at The Rep!
Million Dollar Quartet
March 27 – April 21, 2019
Opening Night on Friday, March 29, 2019
Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
Original Concept and Direction by Floyd Mutrux
Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins
Directed by Hunter Foster
Four musical legends. A one-in-a-million recording session.
On December 4, 1956, in the studios of Sun Records in Memphis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered to meet with legendary producer Sam Phillips. What happened next was pure rock and roll magic.
A casual introduction of Lewis to Perkins unexpectedly evolved into an epic jam session of country, gospel and rock classics, captured on tape but not released until 1981.
With a collection of hit songs that includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Hound Dog,” this Tony Award-winning musical is guaranteed to blow the roof off The Rep!
“Based on the real-life meeting of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, this musical features some of the biggest hits from the early years of rock and roll,” said Miller-Stephany. “When this foursome gets going, there’ll be a ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On!’”
So, put a nickel in the jukebox and prepare for a blast from the past that will have you dancing in the aisles!
Women in Jeopardy!
June 5 – 23, 2019
Opening Night on Friday, June 7, 2019
By Wendy MacLeod
Directed by John Miller-Stephany
"I mean, I know at her age the options are kind of limited, but shouldn’t that be a deal-breaker?”
When Liz starts seeing a new man, she throws caution (and her book club selections) to the wind. However, her friends can’t get over the fact that Liz’s latest beau is just plain creepy. What else are they supposed to think about a dentist with a Hannibal Lecter obsession and a bizarre collection of “antique” orthodontic contraptions in his basement?
And then there’s the recent disappearance of his dental hygienist…
“I rarely laugh out loud when reading a play, but playwright Wendy MacLeod had me doing just that within the first few pages of her script,” said Miller-Stephany. “40-something divorcees Mary and Jo are worried about their friend’s new dentist-boyfriend. He may be more than just a weirdo… he may be a serial killer!”
Midlife crisis meets mystery novel in this outrageous new comedy by the author of The House of Yes.
Season Subscriptions are on sale now and start at $132, making a subscription to The Rep the most economical way to see all of the productions included in the 2018-19 Season.
For more information about Season Subscriptions, call The Rep’s Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or visit www.TheRep.org.