Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Returns For Summer 2022

CONWAY– After a two-year hiatus, the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre returns for the summer of 2022 with one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

“Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed at the University of Central Arkansas Bridges Larson Theatre in Snow Fine Arts on June 23-25, June 30 and July 1.

Times are listed below:

  • June 23-24 at 7:30 p.m.

  • June 25 at 2 p.m.

  • June 30 and July 1 at 7:30 p.m.

  • July 2 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://uca.universitytickets.com/w/event.aspx?id=1503.

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is the state’s only professional Shakespeare company and makes its home on the UCA campus. Traditionally, AST would present full productions of Shakespeare’s works, as well as other plays and musicals that help fulfill AST’s mission to entertain, engage and enrich the community each summer. Due to COVID-19, AST canceled its 2020 and 2021 seasons.

“We are so excited to be bringing Shakespeare and professional theatre back to campus this summer. AST has been an integral part of the arts community in central Arkansas since 2007.  While the two-year hiatus has been a huge disappointment, it has also given us a chance to reflect, reimagine and build new connections,” said Shauna Meador, executive managing producer of AST. “As we look forward, we are focused on strengthening our professional theatre foundation, building on our educational mission, and leading and participating in the growth and expansion of the arts in central Arkansas.”

The return of the festival also brings a new partnership with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  AST intends to capitalize on the phenomenal talent and existing resources within the state by taking advantage of the U of A’s graduate performance and design students, as well as talented faculty.

Michael J. Riha, chair and professor of theatre at the U of A says engaging professionals from across the state is a great way to encourage unification. “We are grateful to play a role in building the theatre community right here in Arkansas,” Riha said.

“Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed at the Global Campus Theatre at the U of A June 16-18. Times and ticket information can be found at http://uarkartstickets.com/

“Much Ado About Nothing” will be directed by Stacey Pendergraft, associate professor in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Pendergraft has previously been seen performing on the AST stage in the “Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Fiddler on the Roof,“ “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “The Music Man.”

“‘Much Ado About Nothing’ will transport audiences to the cultural oasis of Messina, a crossroads of Spanish, North African and Italian influences,” Pendergraft said. “Don Pedro and his band of men arrive at the lush court of Leonato, encountering love, the high-spirited wit and exacting lessons of the women who are its driving force.”

The names and characters or positions of the AST “Much Ado About Nothing” crew are listed below:

Name

Character/Position

AR Connection

Hometown

Stacey Pendergraft

Director

UA Little Rock

Little Rock, AR

Katie Green

Assistant Director

UA Little Rock

Joe Millett

Production Stage Manager

UA Faculty

New York City, NY

Brianna Wallace

Assistant Stage Manager

UCA Undergraduate

Cabot, AR

Bill “Clark” Rogers

Leonato

Community

Memphis, TN

Scott Russell

Don Pedro

Community

Indianapolis, IN

Steven Marzolf

Benedick

UA Faculty

Jordan Williams

Claudio

UA Graduate Student

Los Angeles, CA

Chris Fritzges

Antonio/Dogberry

UCA Faculty

Pittsburg, PA

Gabriel Franco-Kull

Verges / Ensemble

UA Graduate Student

Fayetteville, AR

Riles Newsom

Don John / Balth

UA Graduate Student

Chicago, IL

Bret Kagebein

Conrade / Ensemble

UCA Undergraduate

Perry, AR

Edwin Green

Borachio

UA Graduate Student

Houston, TX

Alex Horn

Watch #1 / Friar / Ens.

UA Undergraduate

Benton, AR

Dalton Carroll

Watch #2 / Msgr. / Ens. / Claudio US

UCA Undergraduate

Elizabeth “Betsy” Jilka

Beatrice

UA Faculty

Springdale, AR

Audrey Romero

Hero

UA Undergraduate

Springdale, AR

Leah Smith

Margaret

UA Graduate Student

Cleveland, OH

Grace Taylor

Ursula

UA Graduate Student

Bloomfield, MO

Emma Williams

Ensemble / Hero US

UCA Undergraduate

Maumelle, AR

Morgan McInnis

Scenic Designer

UA Graduate Student

Fayetteville, AR

Callie Lythgoe

Costume Designer

UA Graduate Student

Fayetteville, AR

Zack McJunkins

Light Designer

UA Graduate Student

Texarkana, AR

Chad Bradford

Composer / Music Director

Community

Little Rock, AR

Baqiir Salaam

Sound Designer / Engineer

Community

Little Rock, AR

Eli Summers

Costumes

UCA Undergraduate

North Little Rock, AR

Heidi DeCaluwe

Costumes

UA Graduate Student

Fayetteville, AR

Trey Ewart

Lights / Sound

UCA Undergraduate

Bentonville, AR

Essence Robinson

Lights / Sound

UA Little Rock Undergraduate

North Little Rock, AR

Matthew Coordsen

Scenic / Props

UA Undergraduate

Fayetteville, AR

Destiny Zrebski

Scenic / Props

UCA Undergraduate

Jacksonville, AR

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