New to NWA, Theatre Collective announces first season on stage

New to NWA, Theatre Collective announces first season on stage

Some people get together at a party and plan … oh, a vacation or a camping trip or a night out.

The people who got together at Kailey Erwin’s in December planned a theater company. And now, the Theatre Collective of Northwest Arkansas is announcing its first season.

It’s true, the participants were invited because they wanted to “brainstorm ideas for a performance outside of the current Northwest Arkansas community theater organizations,” admits Stephanie Whitcomb, the Theatre Collective’s artistic director.

“After some discussion, we decided to do a musical theater showcase, but we didn’t want to stop at just one performance,” she remembers. “We got together again in January and decided as a group to make Theatre Collective a reality.”

Leading the group are Rachel Mills, executive director; Whitcomb as artistic director; and board members Sarah Doyle, Lexie Edmunds and Juliette Robinson. All of them are veterans of various stages in Northwest Arkansas.

The company’s first performance — an evening of songs and monologues — was May 7 as part of Sunday Night Socials at TheatreSquared.

“It was brilliant,” enthuses Whitcomb. “We are so proud of our performers and grateful to the community for their support. It really was a dream come true.”

Whitcomb also admits that the season, voted on by members of the company after submissions were narrowed down by the board, is “ambitious.”

“We have four productions planned in a six-month timeframe, and that is a lot! However, we are enthusiastic about these choices and the talent we have in Northwest Arkansas. We are confident that these shows will be excellent.”

Mills shares the four shows planned:

“’A Night of One Acts’ will be a collection of one-act performances presented consecutively in a single evening,” she begins. “We’re excited by the level of participation this allows for local talent; several directors and even more cast and crew members.

“’Miscast Cabaret’ invites performers to showcase their talent in roles they can’t play — either now or ever! Audiences and performers will enjoy songs that bend the rules of age, gender, style, or key.

“‘Nightfall With Edgar Allen Poe’ is a full-length production that weaves together four of the works that Poe considered to be his best: ‘The Raven,’ ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ ‘The Pit and the Pendulum,’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’ We’re very excited about the opportunity for open casting for all the roles in this production, including Poe!

“’Holiday Cabaret’ is exactly what it sounds like — spending an evening with your favorite community theater performers and singing holiday songs. This production will be family-friendly, and we’re inviting anyone interested to audition with any holiday song — not just Christmas.”

Mills says they hope to put the ‘Night of One Acts’ on stage in late August or early September.

“Now that we know the season lineup, setting the rest of the details is the primary task on our to-do list,” she says. “True to our values, though, we made that a collaborative process as well. At our general meeting in May, we brainstormed with members on ideal dates and potential venues.”

Mills says she wouldn’t turn down a permanent home for the company, “but we’re not concerned with that at the moment. Buildings don’t make great theater — people do. For this season — and the foreseeable future — you’ll see us in various locations throughout Northwest Arkansas.”

To keep up with the Theatre Collective, find the company on Facebook or Instagram, Mills says.

“If someone wants to become a member of TCNWA (and get to vote on things like programming), they can join the Facebook group ‘Theatre Collective of Northwest Arkansas Members,’” she adds, “or sign up for our email list to be one of the first to get audition information and ticket information for our upcoming performances.”



Theatre Collective

To keep up with the Theatre Collective, find the company on Facebook or Instagram.

Categories: Theater