Favorite

Hupp, Rep go 'epic' 

Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' will live on.

Robert Hupp's love of Shakespeare and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre's grant from the National Endowment for the Arts have blended to create what promises to be a powerful production over the next three weeks at the Rep: Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." The Rep was among six U.S. theater groups (and the only one in the South) selected as a beneficiary of an NEA Shakespeare in American Communities grant. The program is designed to take professional productions of Shakespeare to smaller communities that otherwise wouldn't have access. Hupp, producing artistic director of the Rep for going on five years, has brought "Othello" and "The Tempest" to the Little Rock stage - the latter performed outdoors at Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts in 2002. He looks forward to returning the Rep to Wildwood for "Much Ado About Nothing," his favorite Shakespearean comedy, in the summer of 2005. Hupp is directing a production of "Romeo and Juliet" for the first time. "I've always been attracted to the play because of the power of the story," Hupp said. "To me the play is about passion and it's about what happens, both the positive and negative, that revolve around our passions. It's been a play I've wanted to work on for years and we've assembled an outstanding cast." Opening night is Friday, March 12. The play continues through Sunday, April 4. Because it's part of the NEA Shakespeare in American Communities initiative, the play will go the road for five weeks after its run in Little Rock and then return to Arkansas for staging in four state parks and venues in Jonesboro and Texarkana. After a few months' hiatus, it resumes in October with a two-week stint in Las Vegas. "We can't kill Romeo and Juliet off; we're going to be living with them for a long time," Hupp said. Hupp has set the timeless play in the Romantic era "to reflect the ideals, the passion of that era." Hupp has cast 15 actors, with many faces familiar to regular Rep goers. The leads are new to the area: Shannon Michael Wamser, a veteran of several regional theaters and Shakespeare festivals, is Romeo; Anne W. Griffin, who has performed Off-Off Broadway and in film and TV, is Juliet. Brian Webb Russell, whose hilarity sparked the recent Rep drama "God's Man in Texas," is part of the cast. Longtime Hupp collaborator Ellen Mandel of New York composed a score for the play. With leading U.S. Shakespearean actors performing to Mike Nichols' beautiful set, an acclaimed fight choreographer and an original score composed by Mandel, the play should be "an epic production," Hupp said. "I've been thrilled to work on it." Showtimes Thursday through Saturday are 8 p.m.; Wednesday's curtain is 7 p.m. Sunday has two shows, at 2 and 7 p.m. The running time is 2 1/2 hours with two acts. Tickets are $28 and $20. Call the Rep at 378-0405. Now might be a good time to line up reservations as well for The Second City, which has been substituted for "Stones in His Pocket" beginning April 16. Terry Sneed, one of the two actors who were going to play 30 parts in "Stones," had to pull out because of another performance he's in that was extended through the year. Cliff Baker, set to direct, didn't want to seek out a new actor at this late date, Hupp said. The Second City is a nice fallback - the Chicago-based sketch comedy and improvisational troupe has packed the Rep in its three previous visits since 1999, bringing out a hip, eclectic crowd. After almost two years since the last appearance, it's time again.
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Latest in Jim Harris

  • What a great, fast eight years

    Eight years. I’ve really been “at the job” of newspapers for much longer, it just focused on entertainment during these past eight years. Starting next week, it will focus on sports. Again. Where I started eons ago.
    • May 4, 2007
  • Mickelson goes by the numbers

    It's all in the short game, Phil Mickelson says s at Alotian.
    • Apr 26, 2007
  • Back to what I really love

    Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull
    • Apr 23, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

Learn about one of the wildest oil booms in history in Smackover

This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Woeful

    • If the UA could get the SEC to stop all games if at any time…

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Woeful

    • The Mizz loss was worse than getting beat by Louisiana-Moron

    • on December 2, 2016
  • Re: Fear and wonder

    • this is real take it serious,my name is Caroline Smith from usa, who will believe…

    • on November 30, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation