Shakespeare is coming to Petit Jean Mountain

The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre will present its performance of “The Comedy of Errors” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, on the front lawn of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. The one-hour, family-friendly performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the cast. The performance is free and open to the public, but reservations are required and can be made by emailing [email protected] or by calling 501.727.6220.

The show will be the last in a sequence of on-the-road productions for the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, which will perform “The Comedy of Errors” in North Little Rock and in Bentonville earlier in June.

In this gleeful adaptation geared toward young audiences, “The Comedy of Errors” offers double the fun as two sets of long-lost twins cause chaos and comedy by ending up in the same place at the same time. Their grossly mistaken identities lead to trouble in love and with the law.

Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, said the performance will be a fun event for the communities on and surrounding Petit Jean Mountain.

“When Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller lived here, he was known for opening his ranch and its facilities to the public for parties, auctions and other events,” Loyd said. “We see this performance as a continuation of that tradition, and we’re thrilled to be working with such a talented group as the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.”

The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre is a professional theater company based at the University of Central Arkansas. Each year in Conway, it produces a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, along with other productions, for its summer festival. This year’s performance at the institute will mark the first time the theater company has performed on Petit Jean Mountain.

“We love performing for new audiences,” said Mary Ruth Marotte, executive director of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. “We’re especially excited for our actors to interact with the audience after the show. It’s nice to have the exchange between the actors and the audience. Petit Jean is the perfect setting for an outdoor theatrical experience. AST is really looking forward to collaborating with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. We could not ask for a more beautiful venue.”

Two hundred chairs will be set up at the institute for the performance, with plenty of additional space for audience members to spread out blankets on the lawn. The River Rock Grill, the restaurant located within the institute, will open at 4 p.m. with a special buffet option available for those who want to come have dinner before the performance. During the performance, there will be free popcorn available and bottled water for sale.

In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be moved indoors to the institute’s Show Barn Hall.