AST Bard Ball on Jan. 21

Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will host its annual fundraiser, Bard Ball, onstage and backstage in Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.

AST favorite Dan Matisa will serve as emcee for the night’s festivities, and several AST company members will share stories about how the organization has shaped their lives and careers. Jacob Keith Watson, an AST alum fresh off of turn in Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” and returning soon to Broadway in “Amelie,” will entertain the crowd with a few favorite songs.

"Jacob is a brilliant actor and singer who was with us in 2012 and has since soared in New York City and beyond,” said Mary Ruth Marotte, AST’s executive director. “He’s an Arkansas native and former Thea Foundation scholarship winner who we are proud to have with us before he returns to Broadway in March. We are thrilled that he’ll be joining us for our big night."

Individual tickets to Bard Ball are $75; tables for 10 are $750. Guests will also enjoy live music and silent and live auctions. Tickets can be purchased on the AST website at or by calling 501.269.9428.

All proceeds from Bard Ball will go to support AST’s 11th season, which will open Friday, June 9, on the lawn of McAlister Hall on the UCA campus with “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” directed by producing artistic director Rebekah Scallet. “The Music Man,” “Julius Caeser” and “The Taming of the Shrew” will open soon after in Reynolds Performance Hall. “The Taming of the Shrew” will also tour the state throughout the season.