In its three years of operation, Argenta Community Theater has been very active in the arts and nonprofit communities, renting the facility for big events while also hosting stage productions, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performances and a free film series.
But they've lacked one key piece of equipment: a movie screen.
That's a bit problematic when the ASO needs to do a slide show for one of their children's events or when a renter needs it for a video presentation. The absence is especially felt when it comes to the monthly free film series, a partnership with the William F. Laman Public Library that's a major part of their community outreach.
"It's always been a hassle to get a screen for the event," general manager Parisa Kiani says, explaining the theater always has to rent or borrow one.
They're finally on their way to getting that screen and have worked out a deal with CTI (Conference Technologies, Inc.), who will sell it and install it at a third of the cost. The ACT needs to raise $4,000. They're going to do that by "screaming" for it -- and by throwing in a little bit of everything.
Today's Screaming for the Screen will be a "jam-packed night, a little bit for everybody."
The event planning began, Kiani says, by asking, "Who can we get to perform for free?"
Several phone calls and meetings followed.
"These are people who just jumped on board and wanted to help, so we just threw everybody in!" Kiani says. "They've all been to our film series and were happy to help out with that."
The evening will start with singer/songwriter Mandy McBryde and Michael Hall and a collection of acrobats performing in the lobby, where guests can also bid in a silent auction, eat food from North Little Rock's Whole Hog Cafe and buy drinks at the cash bar.
That will be followed by a special theatrical presentation of Sam Shepard's short play Fool for Love by the Precipice Theatre company, a small black-box theater group.
At 8 p.m., the after party gets going with music by the John Burnette Band, Charlotte Taylor and 2 Lane Blacktop.
It's an eclectic group, Kiani says, but there is a loose theme: "The play has a bit of a country element. The music will have a laid-back country vibe."
All the money raised from ticket sales will go toward the screen fund. Money from the silent auction, though, will benefit the performers.
"We can raise a little money that way to help with the costs they may have accrued in helping us out that night," Kiani says.
Argenta Community Theater isn't just a theater. It's a nonprofit organization that makes itself available to the public while also working with other nonprofit groups and interacting with the community. Once the screen is bought and in place, the theater will be able to do even more with no extra rental charges or fees for certain events.
Kiani says, "Anything that helps the theater, we try to put back into helping enrich the community in this area."
Weekend on 06/05/2014
Print Headline: Screaming for the Screen in NLR