After financial troubles last year, officials with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre hope their first show of the season is a sign of future success. The Rep's production of the musical "Chicago" finished its run Sunday.
Karen Rudolph, the organization's director of marketing and audience engagement, said tickets sales from the show were encouraging.
"It was the perfect choice to kick off the 2019 season. The community really came out in droves and showed their support with their ticket purchases. We hit 100 percent of our goal for single ticket sales and particularly in the last week of the run we had multiple sold-out nights," Rudolph said.
"Chicago," a well-known musical, was chosen to lead off the season. The Rep's remaining schedule includes "Native Gardens," a contemporary comedy addressing racism, "Million Dollar Quartet," a musical inspired by the true story of a recording session with Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, and "It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play."
According to Rudolph the organization is still hoping to sell more season passes.
"We do have room for a little bit of improvement," said Rudolph. "We still need to hit our subscription goals. We fell a little bit short of them, but the community can still support The Rep by purchasing a flex pass, which would give them tickets to come see the remaining three shows in the season."
The Little Rock theater suspended operations in April of last of year after not meeting financial goals. The Rep has since hired Tony Award winner Will Trice as Executive Artistic Director to bring a new perspective to the organization. Trice is a graduate of Little Rock’s Central High School and performed at The Rep in his youth.
Musicals and plays are one strategy for building community support for the state's largest non-profit professional theater. The Rep also has a series of educational classes beginning in April for young people and adults on topics ranging from stage combat to improvisational acting.
The Rep's next production, "Native Gardens," opens on April 17.