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Get your fill of performing arts this weekend

Feeling like you haven’t seen enough onstage this summer? How about you take the rest of the week to catch up — after all, this is your last chance for several of these performances, including those by the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, The Rep and Armadillo Rodeo.

Follow links to find out more about each performance.

Garrett Whitehead (left) as Pippin and Evan Tyrone Martin as Leading Player

Garrett Whitehead (left) as Pippin and Evan Tyrone Martin as Leading Player in Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s Pippin

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The Rep season ends on a high note with Compleat Wrks

Patrick Halley in The Rep's Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).

Patrick Halley in The Rep’s Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).

To be (or not to be) a fan of Shakespeare is not a requirement of enjoying the current show at The Rep.

See what I did there?

Plays on words and themes from Shakespeare’s 38-play repertoire are the focus of Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), which opened last week at The Rep. As a fan of The Bard, I’ve been looking forward to this show since The Rep’s season line-up was announced last year. But my date to the show admitted she’d never had the least bit of interest in Shakespeare, having zoned out during much of high school English, so she wasn’t sure she would catch many of the jokes.

But with our knowledge of the writer and poet at different ends of the spectrum, it’s safe to say we loved the show equally (we both complained of sore cheeks from laughing by intermission). The humor is a brilliant mix of choreographed and improvised, high-brow and slap-stick, inside jokes, rapping, puppet shows, audience participation, bathroom humor, all of the above. I’m a big fan of silly and surprising, and I felt constantly on my toes during … Read more >

Shaping up Shakespeare: Q&A with Rebekah Scallet

Rebekah Scallet, artistic director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

Rebekah Scallet, artistic director of Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre

After 10 years in Chicago — some of that time spent working with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival — Rebekah Scallet moved back to her home state of Arkansas in 2011 to take the job as the artistic director of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. The month-long festival offers four Shakespeare (or Shakespeare-related) performances every June in various venues in Conway, usually holding a handful in Little Rock or North Little Rock also. Scallet’s third season with AST opens Thursday with a performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Hendrix Village.

Q: How did you get involved with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre?

A: I actually grew up in Little Rock, then, after college, went to Chicago to work in theater. I really got involved in the Illinois Shakespeare Festival when I was in graduate school and spent a lot of time working on Shakespeare there. I always loved Shakespeare, but that was my first time staging it, versus just reading it or seeing it. So I got excited about Shakespeare, and then this opportunity [in Arkansas] came up. They were looking for a new artistic director. It just seemed like a really perfect … Read more >

Succinct Shakespeare: Compleat Wrks opens at The Rep

This Scene was originally published in the June 4, 2014, issue of Sync.

Avery Clark is one of three cast members in The Rep's Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).

Avery Clark is one of three cast members in The Rep’s Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).

If you’re looking for a crash course in William Shakespeare, you could sit down and read through the poet and playwright’s complete works — some 38 plays — or you could witness bits and pieces from the entirety of his canon in a quick trip to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre sometime this month.

The Rep’s final production of the 2013-14 season is The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), which parodies the best of the Bard of Avon while staying true to many of the themes and characters of the original plays.

So: Can you really fit 38 plays into one two-hour performance?… Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.