Argenta Community Theater embraces new era as Argenta Contemporary Theatre

Photos by Lisa Hutchison

Argenta Community Theater, the iconic institution that has graced the Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock for 14 years, recently hosted a press conference and announced its name change to Argenta Contemporary Theatre (ACT). This transformation marks a pivotal moment in the theater’s journey as it enters its 15th season and embarks on a path to the future while preserving its deep-rooted connection to the community.

Nathan Abshire (from left), Alyson Courtney, Alycya Thomas and Nicholas Bius.

Argenta Contemporary Theatre’s decision to adopt a new name reflects the organization’s expansive growth, new education programming and its commitment to advancing the performing arts within and beyond the community. While the history began on Main Street in the heart of North Little Rock, ACT’s influence has grown to reach people in every corner of the state and even further afield. This expansion includes engagement with industry professionals who wish to teach, participate and support educational and production efforts.

Vincent Insalaco and the late Judy Tenenbaum, the co-founders of ACT, established the organization as a nonprofit committed to serving the community through education and the advancement of the performing arts. ACT’s mission remains steadfast and is amplified through its facilities, which also includes ACT II The Sharon Heflin Performing Arts Education Center.

North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick.
Clark Stewart and her father, Michael Stewart.

The name change is a strategic move to a semi-professional level that will garner increased recognition for its endeavors while enhancing the organization’s potential for securing arts grants. ACT will continue to fulfill its commitment to presenting important stories, classic plays and traditional musicals that resonate with today’s audiences and artists.

“This is the right moment for this change, and I couldn’t be more proud of where we are and where Argenta Contemporary Theatre is headed,” said Insalaco. “We continue to owe a debt of gratitude to the city of North Little Rock, The Tenenbaum Foundation, Karla and Will Felend, Legacy Termite and Pest Control, Gwatney Chevrolet, North Little Rock Tourism, the Arkansas Arts Council and the hundreds of volunteers and donors who have poured into this organization for more than a decade. They are the reason for our success, and my hope is that our supporters always feel a part of the fabric of this organization.”

As it enters its 15th season, the theater has updated its name.

NLR Tourism President and CEO Karen Trevino also spoke at the press conference adding the impact the name change is expected to have on visitors to the area. Video messages of congratulations from NLR Mayor Terry Hartwick, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, Hollywood actors George Newbern and Ashlie Atkinson; Broadway professionals Jacob Keith Watson, Rebecca Bruce and Laura Lee Turner; and Playwright Spirit Tawfiq.

ACT made additional announcements that can be found at Preview, general admission and VIP ticket prices will remain the same for the 2024-2025 season. A limited number of reserved riser seats will now be available to audience members for $10 more per ticket.