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The folks at The Arkansas Repertory Theatre announced the 2012-2013 season Monday afternoon to a crowd of 100 or so theater lovers at the recently renovated venue. Some of the highlights include the massively popular musical comedy "Avenue Q," Arthur Miller's timeless "Death of a Salesman" and a musical version of "Treasure Island" that will have its world premiere at The Rep.
The season kicks off Sept. 7 with Shakespeare's "Henry V," the first time The Rep has produced one of the Bard's historical plays. Artistic Director Bob Hupp mentioned seeing Kenneth Branagh in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of the play in 1984. "It's one of my personal favorites, and one of the most dramatic ever to live on stage," Hupp said.
One title that might not be as familiar to drama buffs is "Gee's Bend," which runs from Jan. 25-Feb. 10. Written by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and directed by Gilbert McCauley, it's a story based on the lives and families of a group of women in a sewing circle of Gee's Bend, Ala. Their strikingly colorful and celebrated quilts have been exhibited at some of the top museums in the country. Hupp said The Rep is working to borrow some of the quilts to display during the production run of "Gee's Bend."
Hupp said he's been trying to get the rights to "Avenue Q" for about six years. The puppet musical comedy ranks 21st among the longest running Broadway shows, and is still a huge draw in New York. It's an adult-oriented spoof of "Sesame Street" that will run from June 7-30, 2013.
The horror film website Bloody Disgusting reports that the next flick for Arkansas-born indie horror director Eric England will be a body-terror film called "Contracted," about a girl who catches a bizarre STD after a one-night stand. If only that had happened in "Twilight: Breaking Dawn," all would be right with the world.
"This is a step in a different and exciting direction for me," England told Bloody Disgusting. " 'Contracted' is a much different subject matter than what I'm used to taking on. It's intimate and personal and has a lot to say about sexuality and promiscuity. If all goes right, I hope this film will do for hooking up with random strangers what 'Jaws' did for going to the beach."
England, the Arkansas-born writer/director whose shot-in-the-Ozarks slasher flick "Madison County" won the audience prize at The Little Rock Horror Picture Show a few weeks back, has just completed his second feature, "Roadside," about a couple held hostage in a car by an armed killer.