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5x5: Arts One Announces ‘Romeo + Juliet’ Auditions

by Becca Martin-Brown | December 3, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
“We are investing equally in the performing arts and visual arts with Arts One Presents,” Anne Jackson, the executive director, said when the new name of the Springdale-based nonprofit was announced in October. “Going into year one, we have ebbs and flows of when one program has a lot going on versus the other, but in general, there’s no down time for one to do the other; we are working in tandem on the project every day with both the performing arts and visual arts elements.” (Courtesy Image/Arts One Presents)

Born out of the restructuring of the nonprofit entity that was the Arts Center of the Ozarks, Arts One Presents promises to create and host events on both the visual arts and performing arts sides of the coin. In October, Executive Director Anne Jackson announced its first three theatrical productions would be “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” “Teen Dad” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Issues with the rights for the first show have forced a change in the lineup, explained in this 5x5 by Taylor Dolan, Arts One’s program manager for performing arts.

Q. What happened to “Pierre”?

A. We are thrilled that Broadway is back, and professional theater is on tour again. As excited as we were about opening our season with “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” we will have to push it back until licensing becomes available again for our region. Stay tuned, as we’ll be sure to add it back to the schedule when we can!

Q. Why “Romeo and Juliet”?

A. We chose ‘Romeo + Juliet’ for several reasons. Aesthetically, we wanted a story that allowed for a wide range of design choices and experiments. The costuming and scenic design will be a little odd, and definitely elegant. The story itself is a classic, and creates some huge exciting acting challenges for the actors and directing team to tackle. And it’s a tale warning about the dangers of division and hatred, which is a theme that always needs retelling.

Q. Tell us a little bit about the modern-day adaptation you plan?

A. Our adaptation will make a notoriously difficult Shakespearean text accessible. Despite the language, this tragic love story can easily be set in any time period or venue so the attitude and decor will be decidedly contemporary and abstracted.

Q. When & where are auditions? And performance dates?

A. Auditions will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at 214 S. Main Springdale. (Link here:

We will also be running an audition workshop at the same venue from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 for anyone who wants to know more about our audition process, gain some insightful audition tips or may be intimidated by Shakespeare. All are welcome! (Link here:

Performance dates are Feb. 10-13 and 17-20. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Q. What are you looking for from those who audition?

A. Come as you are, and let’s tell a story! We welcome all to audition. With this show, we look forward to a nontraditional set and opportunities to cast our super talented community in a beautiful piece of theater!


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