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New troupe to play Rail Yard; UALR professor honored

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THEATER: New troupe

Actors Theater of Little Rocka new professional theater group, billing itself as “home for fearless works” that will produce “boundary-breaking theater” with “substantial community partnerships,” hits the “stage” with “Bard @ the Bar: A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 7 pm Aug. 11 at the Rail Yard, 1212 E. Sixth St., Little Rock.

Producing Artistic Director and co-founder Mark A. Burbank describes the production as “presenting [William Shakespeare’s comedy] in a totally new way,” in a casual setting and in 60 minutes. Co-founder Shelby-Allison Hibbs, the group’s executive director, directs. Admission is by free ticket (donations are encouraged); visit centralarkansastickets.com.

The show kicks off a seven-play “Season Zero,” by way of introducing the group before its official first calendar-year season starts in January 2023.

The rest of the line-up:

◼️ Aug. 18: Off the Page: The Arkansas premiere of “Mrs. Phu’s Cleansing Juices (and also salads)” by Emily Witt, 7 pm, Nexus Coffee and Creative, 301 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. The Off the Page series of single-night presentations provides “a chance to hear new or rarely produced plays that connect with today’s social and political issues,” the theater’s opening announcement explains.

◼️ Sept. 16-25: “The Wish: a manual for a last ditch effort to save abortion in the united states through theater” by Justice Hehir, Dena Igusti, Phaneisia Pharel, Nia Akilah Robinson and Julia Specht, venue(s) to be determined, also with pop-up performances.

◼️ Sept. 28-Oct. 2 and Oct. 13-16: Artists Lab: “SkyWoman: a devised piece,” created by the Artists Lab Ensemble, opening weekend at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia with a cast of HSU students and the second in Little Rock with a combined cast of HSU students and Little Rock residents.

◼️ Oct. 27-31: “The Rocky Horror Show,” book, music & lyrics by Richard O’Brien.

◼️ November, TBD: Micro Play Festival, premieres of new works by area playwrights based on prompts and themes directly related to central Arkansas.

◼️ Dec. 13-18: “Black Nativity” by Langston Hughes, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W. Ninth St., Little Rock.

The theater will hold auditions by appointment, 10 am-3 pm Aug. 13 at Pinnacle View Middle School, 5701 Ranch Drive, Little Rock, and encourages performers of all ethnicities, races, gender identities, body types and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to hearing. You must be 12 or older. Prepare one 60-second contemporary monologue and two contrasting songs that show off your range and style as a performer. Bring sheet music for the accompanist.

To arrange another audition time, or to submit a video audition, send an email with subject line “2022 Season Auditions” to info@actorstheatrelr.org. A small stipend will be offered for most roles. Sign up at tinyurl.com/2nzcde6f. For more information, visit actorstheatrelr.org.

Rep shifts schedule

The Arkansas Repertory Theater is juggling its 2022-23 performance schedule, switching out the dates on two shows: Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” starring Emmy-nominated actor Judge Reinhold, originally scheduled to kick off the season Sept. 13-Oct. 23, will now take the stage Jan. 31-Feb. 19 at the theater, 601 Main St., Little Rock. And the one-person show “Every Brilliant Thing,” by Duncan Macmillan with Johnny Donahoe, originally scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 19, is now the Sept. 13-Oct. 23 season curtain raiser.

A theater spokesman explained that the switch was the result of a scheduling conflict with one of the actors.

Previously announced performances of three other shows will take place as originally planned — the musicals “Guys & Dolls,” Nov. 29-Dec. 30 and “Little Shop of Horrors,” April 4-30; and Lynn Nottage’s comedy “Clyde’s,” June 6-25. Subscription packages are on sale; visit TheRep.org or call (501) 378-0405.

MUSIC: Chamber concerts

Faculty members of the Faulkner Chamber Music Festivala project of the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, will give two free concerts at the Center for Humanities & Arts, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock:

◼️ 5:30 pm Tuesday: “Even-ing Harmony” — violinists Geoffrey Robson and Er-Gene Kahng, violist Ryan Mooney and cellist Jeremy Crosmer play the “String Quartet No. 3,”https://www.arkansasonline.com/ news/2022/jul/31/new-troupe-to-play-rail-yard-ualr-professor/”Mishima,” by Philip Glass. Katherine Williamson replaces Robson in the quartet for “Shadow of the Words for String Quartet and Tape” by Anna Clyne. And Robson shifts to viola for the “String Quintet” in C major, op.29, by Ludwig van Beethoven.

◼️ 7 pm Friday: “Bartok & Brahms” — Williamson and Robson, violins; Mooney, viola; and Crosmer, cello, play the “String Quartet No. 2” by Bela Bartok. Kahng and Robson, violins; Mooney and Williamson, violas; and Crosmer, cello, play the “String Quintet No. 2” in G major, op.111, by Johannes Brahms.

Call (615) 775-6744, email chambermusicLR@gmail.com or visit faulknerchambermusicfestival.com.

faculty honor

the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has elevated Linda Holzer, a music faculty member since 1995, to the honorific title of “university professor.” She is only the second faculty member to receive the honor, joining sociology professor David Briscoe, who received the honorific promotion in 2021.

The university confers the title “only upon active faculty in recognition of an extended period of exemplary service in a spirit of collegiality to [the university] as well as a combination of service in their profession and to the public through their professional activities,” according to a news release.

Holzer, a pianist, will give a Sept. 23 recital at UALR, performing the Arkansas premiere of Gwyneth Walker’s “Riddle Variations” and pieces by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom.

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