Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Sets 2013 Lineup

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will present Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Oliver! and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (specifically adapted for a young audience), for its seventh season, scheduled for June 6-30, 2013.

The season will open with William Shakespeare’s witty romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, following the famous bickering couple, Beatrice and Benedick, as they find love where they least expect it. It will be followed by Oliver!, the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist, brilliantly set to music by Lionel Bart.  It tells the story of the charming orphan as he navigates the seedy underbelly of Victorian England in search of a family to call his own.  Next to open will be King Lear, Shakespeare’s epic tragedy of a king, confident in his identity and power, who is transformed into a rejected father who loses faith in everything he had come to know as true.  AST rounds out the season with the family production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play full of magic, comic hijinks, and true love.

“The thread that ties the 2013 productions together is the idea of family — how do we find and hold on to our families? For orphans Beatrice and Oliver, circumstance has taken their traditional families away, while in King Lear, loved and trusted family remove themselves by betrayal,” said Rebekah Scallet, producing artistic director of AST. “In all cases, the characters go on a journey to discover, as Oliver so eloquently puts it in song, ‘Where is love?”

The season will see AST return to some familiar venues and add a new one.

“We will perform Much Ado About Nothing both at The Village at Hendrix in Conway and outdoors in the Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock,” said Dr. Mary Ruth Marotte, AST’s executive director. “With these two outdoor venues, we hope that theatre-goers in Arkansas and around the region will embrace AST as reflection of the cultural and artistic growth that is currently under way.

“Our outdoor venue at The Village 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.”

The remaining productions will be performed at the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus, home to AST.

Auditions for the 2013 summer season of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will be held in Reynolds Performance Hall Dec. 10-11 from 6-10 p.m. To schedule an audition, actors should send a headshot and resume to [email protected].com.  Actors should prepare two contrasting classical monologues (at least one of which must be by Shakespeare) no longer than two minutes each, as well as 16 bars of a song if they would like to be considered for the musical.  An accompanist will be provided. Separate auditions will be held for youth (17 and under) who wish to audition for the season.

For more information about auditions or the 2013 season, contact Scallet at (501) 501-852-0702 or [email protected]uca.edu.