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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Jay Rogers and Michele Aushale rehearse for "Murder at the Banquet."

"The timing is right for live entertainment."

So says Debbie Reynolds, founder of Playwerks, a new Bella Vista theater company. But "new" is not an entirely accurate description. The troupe was born out of the Village Players, which disbanded in 2013, and used the name Theater II when it presented "Nunsense" in January.



‘Murder at the Banquet’

WHEN — 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. show June 22

WHERE — Parish Hall at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Bella Vista

COST — $25 dinner & show; $10 show only

INFO — 855-9087; reservations are required

"Playwerks is a Bella Vista group performing, for now, only in the village," Reynolds explains. "Some of actors come from other areas; Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale are represented in this play. That's what is so great about community theater: You get to meet so many new people. We may be strangers going into production, but we are all friends in the end. Our circle keeps widening as more and more people are added to our group."

For its June show, Playwerks has chosen "Murder at the Banquet," which Reynolds describes as a murder-mystery in three scenes. In addition to the troupe's regular actors, Reynolds has recruited members of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church, hosts of the production, to be involved in the "many surprises and audience participation." Chris Delacruz plays Foster Holmes, the great-great-grandnephew of Sherlock Holmes, and Amy Miller is the great-great-grandniece of Dr. Watson. Mike Mondl is master of ceremonies.

"Playwerks will also have a meet-and-greet function at the end of the summer," Reynolds adds. "This will be to meet new people who would like to participate in our theater group. Many jobs are available.

"Plans at this point are to have one musical, one light (one-act) play, a standard play in two or three acts and a follies," Reynolds says of the troupe's future. "This follies will be a fundraiser that will feature singing and dancing [and] a snippet of 'possible' upcoming plays. The audience will be invited to vote to see what play they would like to see. The follies will also feature a new addition: live ads. These will be an ad for a business or group with a decidedly comical slant.

"Our ultimate goal would be to find a location where we could have a permanent theater."

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 06/14/2019

Print Headline: Playwerks Brings Theater Back to Bella Vista

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