Photographs by Courtesy Photo
Katy Featherston as Martha, Brenden Chick as Colin, Marie Gray as Mary and Eric Wells as Dickon rehearse for the Fort Smith Little Theatre’s 2017 production of “The Secret Garden.”
Sunday, January 7, 2018
"We're over 70 years old, so we kind of have it down to a science," Carole Rogers says of the Fort Smith Little Theatre's season selection process. Operating on a calendar year schedule, not a school year one, the company starts work on its season in the spring and announces it before the end of the year.
"We start about April and send out letters to directors for submissions," Rogers explains. "They submit plays they would like to see on the season. There's a production committee, and everybody reads the plays, and we try to find a balance: some comedy, some drama, some mystery, and we have one musical a year. Depending on how many submissions we have, the committee comes up with what we think would make a good season, it's presented to the board, then the board has a month to six weeks to read the plays if they want to. Then it's voted on. So by August we have a season for the next year."
Fort Smith Little Theatre
Feb. 15-24 — “The Little Foxes”: In an avaricious family of Southern entrepreneurs in 1900, a woman considers killing her husband, bartering her daughter and double-crossing her brothers to get the ruling interest in a cotton mill. Directed by Jim Moody.
April 5-14 — “Calendar Girls”: Carole Rogers’ favorite of the season, the play is based on the movie about 11 “mature” British women who raise money to fight leukemia by posing for a nude calendar. Directed by Eric Wells.
May 31-June 9 — “The Fox on the Fairway”: A Ken Ludwig comedy about how far arch-rivals will go to win the annual inter-club golf tournament. Directed by Duff Taylor.
July 19-Aug. 4 — “My Fair Lady”: In this beloved musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion,” Professor Henry Higgins attempts to transform a cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a proper lady. Director: Valerie Valentine; musical director: George Mann.
Sept. 20-29 — “Night of the Living Dead”: A satellite probe shot goes to Venus and returns to Earth carrying mysterious radiation that leads to the creation of zombies in this cult classic horror movie brought to the stage. Directed by Rikkee and Scott Black.
Nov. 8-17 — “Noises Off”: A fictional show titled “Nothing’s On” crumbles during its 10-week run, and the audience watches the demise from backstage in this play within a play. Directed by Summer Robinson.
Off-season productions are “Mythical Creatures And How To Approach Them,” directed by Eric Wells, April 19-21; “Belle Starr By Herself,” directed by Jim Moody, Aug. 9-11; and “The Wackiest Tackiest Christmas,” directed by Shannon Stoddard, Dec. 6-8.
Regular season tickets for seven performances (six evening and one matinee) are $60. Opening night season tickets are $100.
INFO — 783-2966 or fslt.org
The 2018 season includes a Southern drama, a movie-turned-play, a Ken Ludwig comedy, "My Fair Lady," a sci-fi cult classic and a modern-day farce, along with three "off-season" productions. Rogers says 700 to 800 series tickets will be sold before the season starts.
"We are very blessed in that we have a lot of audience members who have been with us for years and years and years," she says. "The demographic doesn't change a whole lot. We're getting more younger people into our audience, but mainly it's middle-aged people who still enjoy live theater. There are a lot of venues for people to attend other live performances, but we have people who have been very faithful patrons over the years."
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