“Rebuild the Rep” 2019 Season Announced


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the state’s largest nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce its 2019 “Rebuild the Rep” Season. Beginning in February, the new season marks the return of The Rep after productions were suspended in April because of funding shortages. 

“The community responded,” said Ruth Shepherd, 2018-2019 Board Chair. “Since April, we have received more than $875,000 in donations, which the John & Robyn Horn Foundation and the Windgate Charitable Foundation have matched. We have a plan to rebuild The Rep as a stronger organization that will serve our community and state long into the future.”

The new season exemplifies The Rep’s mission of producing a diverse array of work of the highest artistic standards, Shepherd said. 

“Storytelling will be our focus in 2019 at The Rep,” she added. “Our 2019 Season brings a diverse array of uniquely American stories. We feel passionate about each and every one of these stories, and I am truly excited about the combination.”

The 2019 “Rebuild the Rep” season includes the following productions:

Chicago. February 20 – March 24, 2019. Opening Night on Friday, February 22, 2019
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse | music by John Kander | lyrics by Fred Ebb. Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins | script adaptation by David Thompson. Directed and choreographed by Ron Hutchins. 

“Why don’t we paint the town? And all that jazz!”

The Rep opens the 2019 Season with Chicago, one of Broadway’s longest running musicals. 

Opportunity knocks when a crime of passion earns Roxie Hart the kind of notoriety that slick-talking attorney Billy Flynn can exploit for her dreams of fame and his hunger for fortune. Roxie’s story captures the imaginations of newspaper readers and reporters who fall hook, line and sinker for Billy’s clever manipulation. Roxie quickly overshadows previous murderess, media darling, and fellow Cook County inmate – vaudevillian Velma Kelly. Set in the Jazz Age, Kander and Ebb’s legendary, Tony Award-winning musical takes a tantalizing look at how the times may change, but the allure of fame remains a fundamental motivation for those willing to sacrifice their scruples for the spotlight.

Shepherd says, “We are thrilled to open with Chicago!  Who doesn’t love a little ‘Razzle, Dazzle’? This beloved, wonderful, big musical says, ‘We’re back! And how!’ Even though Chicago is totally fun, it also presents a timely question – what does celebrity mean and is it more important than substance?”

Native Gardens. April 17 – May 5, 2019. Opening Night on Friday, April 19, 2019
by Karen Zacarias

“Just because you don’t like what you hear doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen.”

What makes a good neighbor? 

When a young, up-and-coming Latinx couple move in next door to an older, well-established white couple, everything is downright neighborly until it’s discovered that the fence separating their backyards is over the property line — a property line that cuts right through a prize-winning flowerbed! Cultures and generations clash with comedic results in this hip and hysterical new play written by one of the nation’s leading Latina playwrights, Karen Zacarias. 

Audiences will love this sidesplitting contemporary comedy that critics have called a “‘woke’ DICK VAN DYKE SHOW for the stage.” 

Zacarias is one of the most produced playwrights in the nation. She is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage in Washington D.C, and is a core founder of the LATINX THEATRE COMMONS. She is founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater, an award-winning company that teaches playwriting in public schools in Washington D.C.

Million Dollar Quartet. September 4 – October 6, 2019. Opening Night on Friday, Sept. 6, 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

“That night they made rock’n’roll history.”

Four musical legends. A once-in-a-lifetime recording session. On December 4, 1956, in Memphis at Sun Studios, 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. 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 bring down the house! 

“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,” says Shepherd. “When this foursome gets going, there’ll be a ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On!’”

It’s a Wonderful Life: A LIVE Radio Play. Dec. 4 – 22, 2019. Opening Night Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. 
Adapted by Joe Landry

“Tonight, we bring you a real feel-good heart warmer perfect for this or any Christmas Eve…”

Back by popular demand, The Rep brings this holiday classic back to our stage to close the 2019 season.

Ring in the holidays with an entertaining spin on a familiar holiday favorite. Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, enjoy a live radio version of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as the actors on stage transform into dozens of characters from Bedford Falls. Faced with the threat of scandal and financial ruin, George Bailey experiences a crisis of faith and wishes he had never been born. Divine intervention arrives in the form of Clarence (Angel Second Class), who is on a mission to restore George’s will to live… and earn his own wings in the process. Every life impacts countless others, whether we know it or not. 

We hope to see your family at The Rep in December!


Willy Wonka Jr. June 21 – 30, 2019
Adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy A. McDonald. Lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Based on the book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. Directed by Anna Kimmell.

“Nothing compares to pure imagination.”

The scrumdidilyumptious adventures of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory light up the stage this summer at The Rep. Featuring many of the enchanting songs from the 1971 film, generations of candy lovers will delight in this devilishly delicious adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale, brought to life by a company of young artists. Grab your golden ticket to see Willy Wonka Jr.!

The Rep’s Director of Education Anna Kimmell says, “We’re thrilled to showcase the amazing talent of our local young artists and offer both performance and training opportunities for generations to come here at The Rep.”

Season Subscriptions are on sale online or by calling the Box Office starting November 14. At a cost of $88 (for students) or $155 (for adults), a subscription to The Rep is the most economical way to see all of the productions included in the 2019 Season. There is also a Pay-Your-Age subscription option for young adults ages 22-40. Season subscriptions provide one ticket to each of the four productions. Tickets to Willy Wonka Jr. are sold separately. Single ticket sales open in January 2019. 

For more information about Season Subscriptions, call the Box Office at (501) 378-0405, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or visit www.TheRep.org.

Arkansas Repertory Theatre was founded in 1976 with a mission to produce a diverse body of work intended to illuminate the human condition through great storytelling and is the largest non-profit professional theatre company in the state. Having produced more than 350 shows (including 40 world premieres), the 377-seat theatre is located in downtown Little Rock where it serves as the anchor of the city’s Creative Corridor. For more information, visit www.therep.org

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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