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Arkansas Rep announces new season lineup

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre will bring five shows to the stage for its upcoming 2022-2023 season.

As its current season winds down, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is announcing its all-new lineup of shows set to begin next fall.

The region’s professional theater company is wrapping up its current season with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” featuring an off-stage recorded cameo by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Rep’s Executive Artistic Director Will Trice says the demand for in-person performances has remained high despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think if we noticed anything it’s just how happy folks seemed to be about getting back out and getting in the building, getting in the theater and seeing live entertainment. I think we all had a feeling there was going to be some pent up energy to do that, and that’s certainly been the case,” Trice said.

The next season will kick off with Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” which opens on Sept. 27. Trice says that production will feature Emmy-nominated actor and Little Rock resident Judge Reinhold.

“He and I have been trying to come up with a project together for a while, pre-COVID, and this is the one we sort of finally settled on. We’re all really excited for the collaboration, and he’s perfect for that role and perfect for an ensemble like that, too,” Trice said.

The Rep’s new season will also feature two contemporary plays, including the comedy “Clyde’s” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” will be followed by the classic Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls,” which Trice says has been called the “perfect musical” by some.

“There’s a reason why things endured like that… kind of golden-age score, and it’s just funny and it’s fun, and just some great characters and some wacky stories and good for the family which is what I think folks are looking for that time of year,” Trice said.

Those who subscribe by the end of June will also have access to a digital streaming version of the play “FLEX” by Arkansas Rep’s Playwright in Residence Candrice Jones.

The Rep’s final show of the current season, Into the Woods, runs until May 15.

Daniel Breen is News Director of Little Rock Public Radio.