To see the full works of Shakespeare, or to not see the full works of Shakespeare: that is the question.
According to Liz Parker, Treasurer and Board Member of the Conway Community Arts Association (CCAA), the answer is an affirmative. She said, “If you like Shakespeare you’ll love the show, if you not, you’ll still love the show.”
The CCAA has been around since the seventies, serving the community of Faulkner County. With the mission of enhancing the artistic and cultural scene in Conway by engaging the community, the group has made a definite impact over the last 35 years.
As a past President of the CCAA , Parker said her initial involvement was sparked by an audition: “I saw an audition for a show and I tried out. I was cast and it was a great time.” Parker now works at UCA in the Theatre Department, but she still finds time for the CCAA. Mirroring Parker’s experience, the group works to reach out to the community, the college campuses of Conway, and anyone interested in theatre.
In April 2011, the organization finally was able to secure a physical location in Downtown Conway. Located on 1021 Van Ronkle Street, the store-front has been transformed into a black-box theatre that seats 75 patrons.
The CCAA uses the space to present various plays to the community, and is currently in its first full season. Parker said, “We are so extremely excited to have our own space now. We’ve had wonderful success and people are really responding to it.”
The upcoming performance, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” promises to add to the list of growing success for the Lantern as well as the CCAA.
Under the direction of Sheila Hall Dean, three actors, A. J. Spiradigliozzi, Shua Miller, and Jeff Ward will attempt to play every role in every Shakespearean play ever written.
The fast paced journey through the entire repertoire of The Bard’s plays is what Parker terms, “a tour-de-farce.”
The show is a roaring comedy, which is reassuring if the word Shakespeare sounds too literary. Parker said, “It’s a hysterical show. People get turned off when they see the word Shakespeare, […] but it’s a really fun romp.”
The show runs November 9-10 and 16-17 at 7:30 p.m., and November 11 and 18 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 each. For reservations call 501-733-6220 or email ConwayLanternTheatre@gmail.com.