Lara Hightower

Features Reporter
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Recent Stories

As Smooth As Silk

‘Intimate Apparel’ glides lyrically across heart

Subscriber onlyAt a recent rehearsal for Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" at TheatreSquared, director, actors and assorted designers are preoccupied with the minute, technical details that must be ironed out in any production so close to opening. The beautifully detailed set by scenic designer Jean Kim, which fills the T2 auditorium and offers patrons a startlingly intimate view of the performances, embodies four different spaces -- all bedrooms. Actor Britney Walker-Merritte must exit one side of the set and enter another in a short amount of time, requiring practice. The musical recording of ragtime piano music must be matched to the hand movements of the piano-playing actor on stage, and sound designer Sinan Zafar starts and stops the recording of piano playing until the coordination is perfect. Continue reading...

Let There Be Light

‘Retrograde’ starts from different perspective

Subscriber onlyDirector Cole Wimpee says the concept for his show, "Retrograde," premiering at Backspace (541 W. Meadow St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, came out of a collaboration with University of Arkansas lighting designer Emily Clarkson. Continue reading...

Two Languages Better Than One

Trike Theatre creates new telling of ‘Cinderella’ tale

Subscriber onlyThe inspiration for the upcoming bilingual production of "Adalita y Su Caballo: A Rodeo Cinderella" was born from a bilingual production of "The Odyssey Experience," adapted and directed by Christopher Parks four years ago, says Trike Theatre's artistic director, Kassie Misiewicz. Continue reading...

Break Out Into Fun

Students spring out of school next week

Subscriber onlyKeeping kids entertained during spring break can be a real headache -- until you look around Northwest Arkansas and realize that a wide variety of activities exist for kids of all ages and all interests. Sports, arts and crafts, theater -- we've got you covered in our spring break guide. Continue reading...

Benton County Boys and Girls Club announces 'Youth of the Year'

Subscriber onlyThe Benton County Boys & Girls Club boasts some pretty impressive statistics on the front page of its website: Seventy-five percent of Boys & Girls Club members report finding valuable adult connections at the club. Eighty-two percent of teen members volunteer in the community at least once per year. Ninety-five percent of members report being on grade level. Eighty-six percent report plans to go to college after graduation. Continue reading...

John Mack

Building a sense of place

Subscriber onlyMy life is pretty simple," says John Mack. "It's pretty linear. Doesn't have a lot of bends in it." Continue reading...

Tots To Teens

Theater troupes share stories for youngsters

Subscriber onlyThere have been an abundance of studies over the past 10 years that demonstrate the benefits of exposing children and teens to theater, including higher grades, improved literacy skills, higher graduation rates, lowered disciplinary and attendance issues and greater community engagement. Northwest Arkansas parents might count themselves lucky, then, to be in an area that offers plentiful theater opportunities. This weekend, two of the area's most established youth-centered companies are offering stimulating options for tots to teens. Continue reading...

Sunshine School hosts hair-raising fund raiser

Subscriber only"We're so excited about it -- it's one of the newer and more different things in this area," says Chelle Phillips, events and communications coordinator of the Sunshine School and Development Center in Bentonville, of the organization's event Saturday. Continue reading...

Lessons On Loyalty

High school senior directs ‘Number the Stars’ at Haas Hall

Subscriber only"Haas Hall has a drama class, but I wanted to take theater to the next step by offering the opportunity for anyone at school to be in a full-length, licensed production," says Caroline Elser. The Haas Hall senior did not shy away from the challenge: In her second effort as director, she's tackling Lois Lowry's "Number the Stars," which details the escape of a Jewish family from Copenhagen during World War II. Continue reading...

Humor And Harmonies

Comedy troupe does the work to remain relevant

Subscriber only"As composers and comediennes, writing songs and stage comedy about the challenges of modern day life has not only been cathartic but [also] has kept us relevant and plugged in," says Sally Fingerett, who is the only remaining original member of the the all-female musical comedy troupe Four Bitchin' Babes. "Our desire to be authentic and current has allowed us to continue doing this thing we love. It's been our passion to view contemporary life through our own wacky viewfinder and report back through music and humor." Continue reading...

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