APT reschedules production of ‘Rent’ to The Medium in Springdale

APT reschedules production of ‘Rent’ to The Medium in Springdale

Arkansas Public Theatre’s production of “Rent” was postponed when tornadoes tore through Northwest Arkansas on Memorial Day weekend. The community theater company announced last week that an abbreviated run of four shows only will be on stage Aug. 8-11 at The Medium, formerly the Arts Center of the Ozarks, in Springdale.

“The cast and crew are excited to share this production and its message with audiences across Northwest Arkansas,” says Lisa Turpin, director of operations for APT. “We’re grateful to the staff of The Medium and our cast and crew for their flexibility in making these arrangements.”

“We are so grateful for the Executive Committee at Arkansas Public Theatre for working hard ‘so our dreams can become a reality,’” Alix Barrett, who will play Mimi, quotes from the show. “I love these people and this show and cannot wait to share this beautiful story.”

APT had already abbreviated its Season 38 to just three shows to schedule around the remodeling of its home, the historic Victory Theatre in downtown Rogers. “Into the Woods” went on as planned April 5-7 and April 11-14, and “Rent” was slated to open May 31. Then the tornadoes hit Rogers — and the Victory Theatre — early in the morning of May 26.

Ed McClure, the company’s artistic director and director of “Rent,” had hoped to move “Rent” into the timeslot announced for “Kinky Boots” Aug. 2-4 and 8-11.

“We at this point don’t know when we’ll be able to return to the Victory Theatre, and the cast of ‘Rent’ has worked too hard and loves the show too much to not present it,” he says.

According to Rogers city spokesman Peter Masonis, repair work on the Victory will take nine months to a year, with a year most likely. Since there were unfinished renovation plans, they’ll need to scrap those and put the project back out for new bids. There will be no cost estimate available until the bids come back, he says.

“Rent” is Jonathan Larson’s saga of love and acceptance and death and life and AIDS that changed the theater world when it premiered in 1996. APT has waited 28 years to do the show, McClure says, and now “the talent pool that exists in Northwest Arkansas made me believe we could do it, cast it, and have an amazing production.”

“We have a lot of shifting and adjusting to do quickly, but we are theater people and adapting to fast-changing conditions, under stress, is what we do,” Turpin says. “And we excel at it.

“The wonderful folks at The Medium were quick to respond and help us get ‘Rent’ scheduled, and our cast is over over the moon!

“Obviously we do not know a timeline for the Victory Theater to reopen, but I will tell you this,” Turpin adds. “Season 39 starts in September, and we will be on a stage and ready under the guidance of our very own Alix Barrett, who will be making her directorial debut for ‘Tootsie.’

“APT is the difference between theater and community theater,” Turpin says.



‘Rent’ At APT

APT staff will notify season ticket holders and single-show patrons directly before performance week of “Rent” to share updated seat assignments for The Medium in Springdale. For ticket inquiries, visit arkansaspublictheatre.org or email manager@arkansaspublictheatre.org.

Categories: Theater