June 1, 2024

By The Delta Informa Staff ­– The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC) is thrilled to announce its line-up for the 2023 theater season. With over 50 years of experience, ASC invites theatergoers far and wide to experience this diverse line-up of shows. 

With two dynamic, multi-use theaters at its disposal, ASC will utilize both to create an immersive atmosphere for each production. The Catherine M. Bellamy Theater, located at ASC’s home facility at 701 S. Main St., holds 232 seats — perfect for larger productions. In 2021, ASC expanded its theater facilities with the opening of the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater, located in ART WORKS at 627 S. Main St.,and is intended for more intimate, interactive productions with only 65 seats.

With the addition of the black box theater, the center will offer seven productions during the 2023 season for the Southeast Arkansas community and beyond to audition, perform, and enjoy. This will be the center’s largest season since 2004-05.  

The season will kick off in February with the hilariously unfortunate production of “The Play That Goes Wrong – High School Edition,” directed by Jonathan R. Hoover. The show will take the stage today on February 16-19, at the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater. 

March will bring a classic to the Robinson Black Box Theater with the dramatic production of “Steel Magnolias,” which will be directed by ASC Theater Programs Manager Lindsey Collins. The production is scheduled for March 10-12 and 17-19.

Kayla Earnest, Keiren Minter and Kourtlynn Pinkins, all employees at ASC, will co-direct the classic children’s-tale “Charlotte’s Web” this Spring. Guests will follow the journey of Wilbur and Charlotte, laughing and crying throughout.  The production will be held on the Catherine M. Bellamy stage and is set for April 20-23.

“I’m really excited about how diverse our theater season is this year,” says Earnest. “There’s an opportunity for everyone to be a part of a production, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy as an audience member.”

Seasoned ASC theater veteran Bethany Gere will direct our first show of the summer “The Last Five Years.”  June 16-18 and 23-25, adults can enjoy the intimate, two-person musical following a five-year relationship between Jamie, a rising novelist, and Cathy, a struggling actress. The production is made of touching revelations about the pervasive joys and stresses that emerge when two creative people fall in love. 

Summer musicals are the largest productions of the year, and the 2023 summer musical will be “Rock of Ages,” directed by Lindsey Collins and Joel Anderson, and choreographed by Heather Bankhead. The production will be a big, brash, energetic tribute to classic rock, to over-the-top ballads and fierce guitar, to the gritty glamour and rough energy of the Sunset Strip. This jukebox musical features ‘80s hits such as “We Built this City”, “I Wanna Rock”, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and much more!  This show will be one for the ages, taking place July 21-23 and July 28-30. 

Fall will bring another classic to the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater with “Over the River and Through the Woods.” The play follows Nick, a single, Italian-American marketing executive from New Jersey, who announces to his grandparents his upcoming plan to move across the country. His grandparents are devastated and quickly concoct a series of hilarious schemes to keep Nick from leaving, including introducing him to the woman of his dreams. The production will take place Sept. 15-17 and 22-24. 

Our last production of the year is a Southeast Arkansas staple — Razzle Dazzle. ASC’s longtime biannual fundraiser show returns just in time for the holidays. Visitors can enjoy a celebration of the holiday season with performances by talented volunteers from all across Southeast Arkansas. Proceeds go toward ASC’s children’s programming. The lively fundraising production will take place December 15-17 in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater. 

The theaters offer full-scale collaboration and give volunteers the opportunity to learn skills in set design, lighting, sound, directing, and other theater related facets. The creative minds of the entire community are welcome to participate. ASC welcomes community members to audition regardless of experience. 

Matthew Howard, ASC’s visitor relations coordinator, describes ASC as “a place to connect with community members and build friendships — some of which last a lifetime.”

For more information on ASC’s productions and season tickets contact Lindsey Collins at lcollins@asc701.org. To register for auditions, visit asc701.org/auditions. More information on the 2023 theater season can be found at asc701.org/2023-season

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), located 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is accredited with the American Alliance of Museums. ASC presents programming in the visual arts, performing arts, and the sciences through exhibits, performances, classes, and local partnerships. Gallery admission is free. ASC is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday. In 2021, ASC opened two new facilities as part of its “ARTx3” campus — The ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main, located at 623 and 627 S. Main St. For more information, visit asc701.org or call 870-536-3375.

Support for ASC is provided in part by the ASC Endowment Fund, the City of Pine Bluff, the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional operating support is partly provided by the Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, Kline Family Foundation, Relyance Bank, and Simmons Bank.


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