Moving On: APT revamps Season 35 schedule

Moving On: APT revamps Season 35 schedule

It’s official. “Meteor Shower” just became the longest-running play never to open on the Arkansas Public Theatre stage.

Originally scheduled for March 20-29, the Steve Martin comedy was the first casualty of covid-19 for the Rogers community theater company. Unwilling to give up, Artistic Director Ed McClure rescheduled it for June, then January. And last week, he announced it has been canceled.

The “Revamped Season 35” will instead begin with Johnathan Tolins’ “Buyer & Cellar” on Feb. 5.

McClure says the final decision was forced by “realizing that despite countless hours of ‘reimagining’ staging that was socially distant, I could not imagine a way to present this sexy, smart comedy with actors standing 6 feet from each other.”

It has never been a question of keeping audiences safe, he adds. APT has proved it can do that with movie screenings throughout the fall. “But how do you keep actors safe in a play that requires intimate interaction?

“We have protocols in place now — albeit unused at this point — with respect to keeping the actors and production staff safe,” he explains. “Certainly, we will continue to monitor and adjust protocols as any new science tells us differently. And we have rearranged a bit to allow the smaller cast shows to be presented first and the bigger shows toward June and July.”

Not all of the lessons of covid-19 have been painful.

“Everyone connected with APT are the best people — and they want nothing more than to get back into the Victory Theater,” McClure says. “We’re looking forward to producing theater, to having our friends and fans in the theater, to having art in our gallery — to the whole APT experience.”

The new Season 35 lineup includes:

Stephanie Whitcomb (from left), Scott Kammerzell, Amy Eversole and Joseph Farmer were cast in the Arkansas Public Theatre production of Steve Martin’s “Meteor Shower,” the longest running show to never open on the APT stage.
(Courtesy Photo/APT)

Buyer & Cellar — A struggling actor in L.A. takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a beloved megastar, Barbra Streisand. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play in this comedy. Auditions: 7 p.m. Jan. 4. Performances: Feb. 5-7 & 11-14.

“The Clean House” — The popular play by Sarah Ruhl takes place in what the author describes as “metaphysical Connecticut,” mostly in the home of a married couple who are both doctors. Trouble comes when Lane’s husband Charles reveals that he has found his soul mate in a cancer patient named Anna. Auditions: 7 p.m. Jan. 11. Performances: Feb. 26-28 & March 4-7.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” — Jim Fingal is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John D’Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy, an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. Auditions: 7 p.m. Feb. 8. Performances: March 26-28 & April 1-3.

“The Waverly Gallery” — Gladys has run an art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel for many years. The management wants to replace her less-than-thriving gallery with a coffee shop. A wacky and heartrending look at the effect of senility on a family. Auditions: 7 p.m. March 8. Performances: April 16-18 & 22-25.

Season Leaks 36 — Find out what’s up for APT’s Season 36 at 6 p.m. April 30.

“Hillary and Clinton” — In an alternate universe light-years away from our own is a planet called Earth. It looks a lot like our Earth, except it’s slightly different. And living on this other Earth is a woman named Hillary who is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America. Auditions: 7 p.m. March 29. Performances: May 7-8 & 13-16.

“Straight White Men” — When Ed and his three adult sons come together to celebrate Christmas, they enjoy cheerful trash-talking, pranks and takeout Chinese. Then they confront a problem that even being a happy family can’t solve: When identity matters and privilege is problematic, what is the value of being a straight white man? Auditions: 7 p.m. May 10. Performances: June 18-19 & 24-27.

“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” — This happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Auditions: 7 p.m. June 7. Performances: July 23-25, July 29-Aug. 1, Aug. 5-8.



APT Auditions

Check the APT website at for information about virtual auditions.

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