Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Begins Season at Hendrix Village

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CONWAY, Ark. (June 2, 2014) – The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is back again this summer with its first performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Village at Hendrix on Thursday, June 5.

There will be five shows at The Village – June 5 – 7, 13 and 15.

“This will be AST's fourth year at The Village,” said Executive Director Mary Ruth Marotte, a University of Central Arkansas professor of English and a 1995 Hendrix graduate. “Obviously the Village has grown dynamically over the past four years with new businesses, more homes, and new restaurants, all of which increase the visibility of our festival. We like to think that we have been a part of that growth now that June has become synonymous with Shakespeare in Conway.

“Those trees around the green were just little things when we started, and now they provide shade! We are excited to add to the fun at The Village, with a visually stunning show that will draw in the crowds and keep surrounding businesses booming while we are there,” Marotte said. “And this year for the first time we are partnering with Preston Palmer Studios to bring live music to our stage for some pre-show entertainment.”

“These outdoor performances are nice for families because they are laid-back enough that people can bring their kids, a picnic, and enjoy the festival atmosphere,” she said.

Cheryl Dunson, director of sales and marketing for The Village, added, “The outdoor venue provides an intimate and informal setting for the AST. With the audience and actors in close proximity, it is easy for the audience, regardless of their knowledge of Shakespeare or the play, to catch the nuances that add to their enjoyment and appreciation of the performance. That in turn allows the actors to feed off of the audience response and make it a lively experience for everyone.”

In addition to performances at The Village, performances will also be held at Reynolds Performance Hall at the University of Central Arkansas, Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain and the Argenta Branch of the Laman Library in North Little Rock.

Along with The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will also perform Pippin, Hamlet, and Comedy of Errors.

Tickets are “pay what you can” and open to the public at The Village and Argenta performances. Tickets at Reynolds Performance Hall may be purchased at the Reynolds box office by calling 501-450-3265 or 866-810-0012. 

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 CollegesForbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit  www.hendrix.edu