"REHEARSAL: The Show" proved that "the show MUST go on!"
What would have been Southwest Arkansas Arts Council and Hempstead Hall's first community theater stage production, turned out to be the #SWActors' first live-streamed event!
Out of an abundance of caution surrounding COVID-19, “REHEARSAL: The Show” was not performed in front of a live, public audience on March 13, as previously planned. Instead, through a coordinated effort with SWARK Today, “REHEARSAL: The Show” was live-streamed to over 570 unique devices across the country.
"We're just thrilled with how the production turned out," said Lindsey Honea, SWAAC Vice President and co-writer/producer/director of "REHEARSAL." "We knew the #SWActors would be a new adventure for the community, and the event itself showed how resilient and supportive southwest Arkansas truly is."
Amanda Lance is a member of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council Board, one of the writers/producers/directors for “REHEARSAL,” and the Director of Hempstead Hall & Workforce Development for UAHT. “Amazing,” said Lance. “I simply was amazed at the outpouring of support on the night of the show. The cast performed the absolute best version of the play, and I personally could not be any prouder of their accomplishments. Some cast members were disappointed about not getting to perform for a live audience, but everyone was extremely understanding and supportive once the decision was made.”
“It was incredible to see everyone rally together,” said Jennifer Wright, a third co-writer/producer/director of the original play, and UAHT’s Director of Student Services. “We could have just cancelled the performance all together but I’m so happy we were able to find a modern, creative way to showcase all of the performers hard work.”
“We found a way to adjust,” said Lance. “No, it wasn’t the performance we originally planned, but it was the best performance we could have hoped for.”
“One thing we really missed showing to the public were the ‘commercials’ we had filmed to run between several of our scenes,” said Wright. These videos are now available for viewing on hempsteadhall.com and through SWAAC and Hempstead Hall’s Facebook pages.
University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana Chancellor Chris Thomason issued the following statement regarding COVID-19: “UAHT is committed to providing safe and open access to our campus, especially through broad use of Hempstead Hall. However, out of an abundance of caution and to assist in our campus cleaning efforts, we will be strictly limiting the use of Hempstead Hall and our other meeting facilities by outside groups for gathering to mitigate the introduction and spread of potential illness on our campus.”
The Southwest Arkansas Arts Council (SWAAC) has been a staple in southwest Arkansas for over 30 years. The Arts Council was formally founded in 1986 and has operated as one of Hempstead County and the surrounding area’s primary sources for cultural enhancement. SWAAC sponsors a wide variety of educational opportunities, cultural experiences, and as a source of artistic expression for local artists. Those years of purposeful service have established the Arts Council as a primary source for multidisciplinary cultural programming, professional performances, art-in-education classroom enhancements, gallery exhibits, after-school programming, public art projects and participation in community celebrations, causes, and partnering organizations.
View pictures from the dress rehearsal of "REHEARSAL: The Show."