The tides are shifting for this pillar in the arts community. The Arkansas Repertory Theatre just announced it will release a 2019 mainstage season on Tuesday, Nov. 13., at a special reveal party at 5:30 p.m.
The reveal party will offer attendees the first glimpse at the reimagined Rep, as well as the opportunity to purchase season tickets on-site. Local restaurants will also provide food and drinks for guests.
"We are thrilled to confirm that The Rep is returning with a revitalized commitment to providing Arkansas audiences with the same high quality professional theater that they have come to expect from us," Rep board chair and interim leadership team member Ruth Shepherd says.
Admission to the reveal party is free, but reservations are required. Secure your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since The Rep suspended operations in April, countless questions and rumours have swirled as the theater worked to raise funds and reevaluate structures through its "Save The Rep" campaign. As the campaign continues, the season announcement marks a pivot to "Rebuild The Rep" through its ongoing efforts.
"Our audiences have stepped up and answered the call to help us 'Save The Rep' … We could not be more grateful, but the crisis is not entirely over just yet," Shepherd says. "With the generosity and support of our audiences, we have thankfully saved the theater, but now it’s time for us to transition that same enthusiasm and commitment into efforts to 'Rebuild the Rep.'"
More than $692,000 in gifts and pledges have flowed in from supporters, a dollar amount that was doubled by matching grants from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.
The board of directors is currently working to raise an additional $1.2 million "to help The Rep rebound and move forward on firm financial ground." According to organizers, while The Rep continues to raise operating funds for the 2019 season, completion of the campaign will retire all remaining property debt and help establish operating and facilities reserve funds, as well as the new Cliff Fannin Baker Artistic Director’s Fund.
In honor of The Rep's founder Cliff Baker, who passed away on Sept. 6 after suffering an intracranial brain hemorrhage, the fund established in his name will help bring in guest directors from across the country, "[supporting] the new work and bold choices in programming that have made The Rep a significant part of the American theater scene." Gifts made in Baker’s memory will be directed to this fund.
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