Argenta Community Theater will host reopening festivities this summer, starting Aug. 17 with an outdoor banquet and celebration reminiscent of ACT’s 2010 Grand Opening Dinner, which welcomed Bill Clinton.
“You only get to have one grand opening, unless you live through a pandemic and then you get to have two,” said Vincent Insalaco, ACT’s producing artistic director and co-founder. “We are humbled and proud that we are re-opening our theater soon and equally as proud to be announcing our Arkansas Patron of the Year.”
The event will celebrate ACT’s Patron of the Year and will feature selections from the theater’s presentation of the musical “Pippin,” which will open in previews the following night. This is only the third time ACT has presented the Arkansas Patron of the Year Award. The previous honorees included Philanthropist Rick Fleetwood and former Arkansas REP Director Robert Hupp. Tickets and information for the banquet will be announced May 10.
Following the grand reopening events, ACT will resume live performance for the first time since closing for COVID-19 last March. The opening night of “Pippin” will coincide with the Argenta Arts District’s “Argenta Dogtown Throwdown,” where patrons can expect a vibrant scene of outdoor dining, arts and entertainment.
“Pippin” is a 1972 musical featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson. Bob Fosse, who directed the original Broadway production, also contributed to the libretto. The musical uses the premise of a mysterious performance troupe, led by the Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaning and significance. The protagonist, Pippin, and his father, Charlemagne, are characters derived from two real-life individuals of the early Middle Ages, though the plot is fictional and presents no historical accuracy regarding either. The award-winning music includes the hit songs “Magic to Do,” “Corner of the Sky,” “Glory,” “Spread a Little Sunshine,” “Morning Glow” and “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man.”
ACT’s production is directed by Producing Artistic Director Vincent Insalaco, with musical direction by Bob Bidewell, choreography by Allison Stodola Wilson and technical direction by Sara Cooke. Auditions will be held at Argenta Community Theater on June 5. Visit argentacommunitytheater.org for complete audition information and to schedule an audition.
Performance and Tickets
PIPPIN is scheduled to run Aug. 18-28. Two friends and family preview performances will be held on Aug. 18 and 19. Opening night will be Friday, Aug. 19. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. except the Aug. 22 matinee, which will begin at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25-$35. Tickets may be purchased at www.argentacommunitytheater.
COVID safety measures will be in place for both the Grand Re-Opening Banquet and performances of “Pippin,” with CDC guidelines and industry best practices at the time of production. Safety measures and audience expectations will be communicated to patrons and participants in advance of their attendance at either event. Argenta Community Theater continues to monitor the public health situation in central Arkansas and will adjust as necessary to maintain a safe environment for artists and audiences.