Arkansas Repertory Theatre Brian Chilson

After an inventive and abbreviated season outdoors, and “after what feels like an eternity,” Executive Artistic Director Will Trice said, The Rep is back, and the lineup is incredible.

First up, a holiday play in December. Gods (and virus variants) willing, stage adaptation of the classic TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” goes up December 3-23, 2021.

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Then, a co-production with Fayetteville’s TheaterSquared of the stage play, “Designing Women,” on January 18-February 6, 2022, written by the show’s creator, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, who also created the Arkansas-set TV show “Evening Shade.”

In March, Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play,” goes up March 1-20, 2022. The New York Times described the play as “a comedy built on borrowed templates: not just ‘Mean Girls,’ as the subtitle admits, but also a whole genre of clique-bait movies including ‘Heathers,’ ‘Jawbreaker’ and ‘Legally Blonde,'” which Bioh applies “to the world of her parents, who emigrated from Ghana in 1968. The nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered.”

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Finally, Stephen Sondheim’s smash hit fairy tale-turned-upside-down, “Into the Woods,” goes up April 19-May 22, 2022. With the caliber of cast The Rep is likely to engage for this production, my best guess is that it’s gonna be both polished and wildly enchanting.

More from the press release:

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Ticket subscriptions to the three-production 2022 Spring Season go on sale September 15, with multiple “pick now” and “pick later” subscription options. Patrons who need more flexibility than a subscription can purchase “flex pass” tickets, also on sale September 15. A Charlie Brown Christmas is being offered as a special add-on option to season subscriptions and flex pass purchases for a discounted price.

The Rep is closely following recommended public health protocols to ensure that patrons, artists, and staff all have an enjoyable, comfortable, and safe experience. Specific protocols for each production will be announced as performances approach, based on the most current information.

Primating, The Rep’s world-premiere romantic comedy, is currently running at the Little Rock Zoo through Sunday, August 29. Tickets are on sale through www.TheRep.org or by calling the box office at (501) 378-0405.

Closing out the “Rep Outdoors” Series will be a free-to-the-public concert production of The Fantasticks on Sunday, October 3, at Murray Park. More information on that community event will be announced soon.

A Charlie Brown Christmas will feature a diverse cast of young actors and singers, ages 12 and up. Auditions for the production will be held at The Rep, September 7-9. All cast members must be fully vaccinated, as will the production team and all Arkansas Rep staff. For more information, and to sign up, visit: www.therep.org/charlie-brown-christmas-casting-notice/ Auditions for the remainder of the season will be announced at a later date.

And a lil’ Julia Sugarbaker pre-gaming to get you pumped in the interim.