WAC OnStage Spring 2023

Page 1

Spring/Summer 2023

also inside:

> Fun Festivals

> Can’t-Miss Comedy

> Why You Should Volunteer

> Staff Spotlight

T. Charles Erickson Hadestown Tig Notaro Artosphere Festival Orchestra Madagascar The Musical

Come see what ’s new

At Crystal Bridges and the Momentary.

Crystal Bridges | Five centuries of American art

The Momentary | Contemporary visual & performing arts

Spring Will Come Again From the President/CEO

A recurring theme in Hadestown is that the arrival of spring brings new hope and a cause to celebrate. At Walton Arts Center we have a lot to celebrate this spring, including the premiere of that Tony Award® -winning musical – and there’s so much more! Our diverse programming offers entertainment options for everyone in our community.

For families, we invite you to join us for The Jungle Book in March, Hiccup! in April, Annie in May and Madagascar The Musical in June. These are exciting opportunities to introduce your kids to live theater and plant the seeds for them to become lifelong fans and patrons of the arts.

The Fayetteville Film Fest has curated four film showcases for our audiences. Each mini film festival is themed, and the movies screened are created by independent filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds and locations. Attending one of these screenings is a fun way to experience the art of film and show support for independent filmmakers.

Back again this season are two fan-favorite annual events: VoiceJam

A Cappella Festival in April and our Artosphere: Arts + Nature Festival in May. Both were created specifically for our Northwest Arkansas community and include unique, accessible and engaging performances that I know you will love.

We believe that the arts bring people together, and that belief is confirmed every time we open our doors. The arts bridge social, economic and cultural differences, bringing hope to communities even in the hardest of times. As in Hadestown, the arts show us how to embrace “the world we dream about, and the one we live in now.” Take the opportunity this spring to explore something new and “come see how the world could be.”

Enjoy the show!

Peter B. Lane President/CEO

Walton Arts Center Council

Nate Hodne Chair

Casey Hamaker


Anne O’Leary-Kelly Vice Chair

Marti Sudduth Vice Chair

Megan Timberlake Vice Chair

Matt Trantham Vice Chair

Tony Waller Vice Chair

Jody Dilday

Ryan Harrington

Laura Jacobs

Mervin Jebaraj

Shabana Kauser

Diana Marshall

Chris Nicholas

Karen Roberts

Cal Rose

Elda Scott

Shelley Simmons

Elecia Smith

Justin Tennant

Lia Uribe

Scott Varady

Walton Arts Center Foundation

Sarah Diebold Chair

Gary Peters


Colleen Briney

Jeff Clapper

Brock Gearhart

Marybeth Hays

Jaclyn Henderson

Mark Power

Kelly Sudduth

This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Contents © 2023. All rights reserved. Produced by DOXA/VANTAGE.
4 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023

At Washington Regional’s HerHealth Clinic, we’re committed to empowering every woman on her health care journey because we know that giving a woman the resources she needs to take control of her health can empower her life. Whether it’s gynecology services, prenatal care, childbirth, infertility treatments, birth control, or specialized treatments and procedures, we’re here for women of all ages.

15 16 26 40
VoiceJam Hadestown Madagscar The Musical
27 Contents 6 Event Calendar 8 Our Sponsors and Funders 10 Friends of Walton Arts Center 15 Celebrating All Things A Cappella 16 Diversity and the Dynamic Women Behind Hadestown 17 Friends of Broadway 19 10x10 Arts Series: Take a Chance on Something New 20 Friend Spotlight: Tony Waller / Test Your Knowledge of Theater Jargon 22 Artosphere Festival Orchestra: Classical Performances Inspired by Nature 27 artlook ®: Connecting Schools, Arts Organizations and Funders 29 Building the Next Generation of Dance and Dance Lovers 30 Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Ross 31 Staff Leadership 33 Open a World of Opportunities for Students with Arts Integration 34 SoNA’s “Biggest and Boldest” Season Yet Continues 36 Q&A with the Producers of Madagascar The Musical 38 Volunteers Building Community Beyond the Theater 40 Enjoy a Comedy Night Out 41 Corporate Leadership Council Spotlight: Kent Arnold, Signature Bank of Arkansas empowering her 479.463.5500 wregional.com/herhealth
David Sedaris
waltonartscenter.org 5

Our 2022/23 Season Continues!


Moulin Rouge! The Musical

February 9-19


Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y

March 4

Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume

March 5

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

March 10

Arkansas Filmmakers Showcase

Curated by Fayetteville Film Fest

March 11

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s STAR DUST: From Bach to Bowie

March 16

John Crist

March 19

Trike Theatre, Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation and Dhirana Dance present The Jungle Book

March 25


March 30


New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ The Pirates of Penzance

April 1

Blue October

April 2

Brianna Thomas Sextet

April 7


April 14

VoiceJam Competition

April 15

Windmill Theatre’s Hiccup!

April 16

Visceral Dance Chicago

April 20

A Letter for Elena

April 23

David Sedaris

April 25



May 5-7

Indie Films Artosphere

Curated by Fayetteville Film Fest

May 12

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

An Evening of Brahms and Beethoven

May 16

Dover Quartet

An Evening of Haydn, Walker and Dvořák

May 17

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Respighi’s Roman Trilogy

May 20

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum

May 24


May 23-28


Madagascar The Musical

June 2-3

Pride Showcase

Curated by Fayetteville Film Fest

June 22

Tig Notaro

June 23

Brianna Thomas Sextet Annie John Crist LADAMA Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie The Pirates of Penzance Visceral Dance Chicago A Letter for Elena Artosphere Festival Orchestra
Walton Arts Center Box Office 495 W. Dickson Street / Fayetteville, AR 72701 Located just inside the West Ave. entrance Phone: 479.443.5600 Scan for our current calendar listing

Learn. Play. Grow.


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Thank You Sponsors & Funders!

Star Level

Producing Level

Directing Level

Performing Level

Contributing Level

Supporting Level

28 Springs

Alchemy Macarons

Arkansas Wine & Spirits


Atlas the Restaurant

Big Box Karaoke


Boston Mountain Brewing

Briar Rose Bakery

Central Distributors

Con Quesos

Core Brewing & Distilling

Damon’s BBQ

De Nux Distributors

Deep Branch Winery

Ella’s Table

Meiji Moon Distributors

Nellie B’s Bakery and Eatery

Plomo Quesadilla Bar

Post Winery

Rise Physical Therapy

Rock Town Distillery

Sassafras Springs Winery

Shake’s Frozen Custard

Southern Glazer’s

The Bloody Buddy


Urban Cellar Winery

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars

Wright’s BBQ

8 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
N O R TH W EST A R K A N S A S A TTORNEY S : 4 3 7 5 N O R TH V A N T A G E DRI V E, S U ITE 405, F A Y ETTE V ILLE, A R 72703 | 4 7 9 .58 2 5 7 1 1 A Whole Step Above N W A R KANSA S | TULS A | OK C | DAL L A S | HOUSTO N | W A SHI N G TON, D. C V I C KI B R ONSO N | J OHN E L R O D | R O B E R T JONES, II I | KE R R I K O B B E M A N | TODD LEW I S | EM I L Y MIZEL L A M B E R P R I N C E | J O R GE R OD R I G UEZ | G R E G S C H A R L A U | JOHN S C OT T | A M Y WI L B O U R N | G. A L A N WOOT E N 100 W Dickson St. | 479.442.6262 | collierdrug.com Serving families in Northwest Arkansas since 1917. Bring your ticket to our Dickson St. location before or after the show for $5 off an OTC or gift purchase. waltonartscenter.org 9
Walton Arts Center Council Board and Foundation Board members denoted in bold Chandelier Walton Arts Center Friends Thank you for being a light! Spotlight $50,000+ Bob & Becky Alexander Kelly & Marti Sudduth $25,000+ Kara & Brett Biggs Cynthia Coughlin Reed & Mary Ann Greenwood Eric & Elda Scott David & Candace Starling Bill & LeAnn Underwood Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation $18,000+ Cece Box Prudy & Dale Caudle Peter B. Lane & Barbara Putman Hannah & Greg Lee Dick & Margaret Rutherford Todd & Melissa Simmons Billie Jo Starr | Starr Foundation Tony Waller $10,000+ Les & Mina Baledge Bozie Foundation Malcolm & Ellen Hayward Johnelle Hunt Paula Jenkins & Lee Brown Cynthia Jones Tom & Jill King Rick & Tracie Layton Marybeth & Micky Mayfield Ellis & Kay Melton Anton & Linda Myers David & Pam Parks Mary Lynn Reese Bob & Diane Shaw Dennis & Evelyn Shaw John & Kitten Weiss $6,000+ Serrhel & Patty Adams Michael & Shannon Arcana Larry & Laurie Armstrong Wendy Bennett Greg & Rachel Billingsley Katherine & Curt Calaway Joel & Lynn Carver Ed & Carol Clifford Nick & Carolyn Cole Roger Collins Sandy Edwards Murray & Judy Harris Bryan & Mandy Hunt David & Deborah Thomas Malone Meagan & Chris Nicholas Nichols Family Terryl & Shannon Ortego Dr. Martin & Lisa Porter The Reed Family Shelley Simmons & Stacie Burley Underwood’s Fine Jewelers Jason Viator Jerry & Brenda Walton Linda L. Wray $3,000+ 8th & Walton Biff & Ann Averitt Banks Family Mary & George Benjamin Bryan, Kristen, Brady, Brock, & Brooklynn Billingsley Kent & Nancy Blochberger Dick & Anne Booth Raymond & Katie Burns Judith McKenna & Phil Dutton Jon & Joanie Dyer Pete & Shirley Esch Chuck & Suzy Fehlig Beverly Fountain Harrison & Rhonda French Andrew & Martha Frits Hershey & Denise Garner Lindsey & Brock Gearhart Don & Debra Harris Family Charitable Trust Rick & Marybeth Hays Brad & Kathy Hicks Michael E. Hill & Gary Fast Dr. Michael Hollomon & Eric Wailes Dr. Anthony & Susan Hui Rebecca Hurst & Jim Smith Terry & Mary Ann Klefisch Longer Investments Inc. Diana Marshall Brock & Natalie McKeel Jerry & Cherie Moye Debby Nye & Catherine Lyon The Tim Ogg Family Elizabeth Phillips Paul & Linda Pinneo Pruitt Tool & Supply Company, Inc. Larry & Janice VandenBosch Sidney & Mirela Vinson Jim & Lynne Walton Sharon Wasson Michael White & Bao Bui Carole & Jim Williamson Ann Marie Ziegler $1,300+ Gary & Carol Adams Aaron & Cindy Alexander Henry & Amy Alvarado Bob & Theresa Arvin Frank & Pat Bailey Larry Bittle Insurance Agency, Inc. The James Burton Blair Family Foundation Maurice & Maya Bowie CoBare Plumbing Jacqui Brandli & Doug Cummins Patrick & Holly Brannan Keith & Becky Brink James & Salena Brown Robert Burns & Cris Hamer Christi & Jeff Byron Catt Family Foundation Steven Charles R.Ph. Connie & Bill Clark Steve & Suzanne Clark Mike & Sandy Cockrell Bart & Heidi Cohen Jenny Coogan Barry & Debra Cooksey Wayne & DeLane Cox Ross & Kate Cully Diana Danforth Jacob & Brittany Deans Jimmy & Lisa Deen Barb & Doug Degn Susan & Joe Delacruz Don Deweese Lamar & Joy Drummonds William & Doris DuBose Terry Edwards & Brenda Alison Timothy & Stephanie Ensley David & Cathy Evans Karolyn & Donald Farrell Carey Fenton Amanda Ferm Mike & Carolyn Fincher Lance & Kelly Foster David & Jane Gearhart James & Amy Gilmore Nan Ginger Nancy Garner & Mort Gitelman Dash Goff Douglas & Heather Goff Albert Gray Chris & Casey Hamaker Howard & Treva Hamilton Al & Dorothy Hanby Todd & Majorie Hanus Linda & David Hargis John & Lynne Hehr Mary Jo & Paul Henry Eddie & Retta Hight Curtis Howells Joan & Wm Bruce Johnson Terry & Mike Johnson Bob & Linda Kelly Johnna & David Kosnoff Stephanie Stephens Alicia Levy Robert & Vella Lewis David & Sue Maddox Seth A. Malley & Luke Bridges Jeffrey Mann Cathy & Steve Marak Bill & Sabra Martin Chris May Dr. Jay & Judy McDonald Brian & Melonie Moore Ron & Susan Neyman Tim & Rhonda O’Donnell Anne O’Leary-Kelly Madeline O’Toole & her loving family Perry Roofing David Petersen Andrew & Laura Plaukovich Ed & Tish Pohl In loving memory of Bernice Harner from Rickie & Nancy Porter & Family Barbara & Doug Prichard Regions Bank Joshua Ridgeway & Caleb Vega Jon P. Robinson Catherine & Stephan Roche Shelby Rogers Elizabeth & Cal Rose Dr. Kenton & Jennifer Ross Joe & Catherine Ross Libby & Bart Schaller Dave & Becky Schoewe 10 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
Dr. David & Becky Seidl Cait & Ken Shemin Barb Sieger Sandra Sims & Maggie Cook Carolyn J. Smart Judge Jim & Dixie Spears James Spencer & Susan Parks-Spencer Joyce Stafford & Jack Cole Robert & Elizabeth Stauffer Richard & Anna Marie Steeneck Dick & Mary Stockland Don & Kathryn Stroessner Martha Sutherland Philip & Mary Ann Taldo Barbara G. Taylor Mike & Pam Thorn Mike & Debi Thurow Robert & Rachael Tovey Dick & Nancy Trammel Kelly Tucker Steve & Susan Tucker Carol Vella Tom & Barbara Verdery Matt & Katie McClanahan Jim & Susan Von Gremp Bill & Nancy Waite Gary & Shea Weidner Susan & Randy West Pattie & David Williams Jeffrey Williams & Janet Penner-Williams Michelle & Jamie Wolfe Carol Sue & Alan Wooten Dan L. Worrell Tod Yeslow & Jackie Telfair Gracie & Michael Ziegler Robert A. Zierak Walton Arts Center Council Board and Foundation Board members denoted in bold Limelight $600+ Tim & Jennifer Alderson Gary & Melanie Alecusan Debbie Alsup Jim & Margaret Antz Dr. SL Armstrong Susie Arnold & Bruce Strom In Memory of Cameron Bobbitt Bachman Family Phillip Baldwin Todd Barlow Andy & Stacy Barron Louis & Patricia Beland Sarah Bell & Sarah Clinard Donald & Yvette Bell Anabelle Steelman-Berry & Ron Berry Christopher & Tracy Berry Bickell Family Mrs. Don Bishop Dr. Michael & Mary Jane Bolding Marian G. Bolen Family Michael & Marlena Bond Ray & Brenda Boudreaux Chuck & Lisa Bowman David & Linda Ann Bragg Wendy Brant Lorraine & Dennis Brewer Elaine Briggs Jim Bob & Kelly Britton Robert & Melissa Brown Gene & Debi Buckley Ron & Sonja Burkett Paula Burks & Bill Edwards Samantha Cage Chet & Susan Caldwell Nadine K. Carfagno Richard & Paula Carlson Judy & James Cole Heather & Tony Cook James Correll Jim & Kathy Counce LeAnn & Steve Cox Brian & Day Crowne Nancy Cullins Ms. Pauline Darling Darmon-King Trust Clay & Ann Davis Rich & Kim Davis Don & Kelly DeSoto John & Emily Douglas Tom & Kathy Duba 5G Consulting Tom & Dana Dykman Justin & Sara Eichmann Gar & Debby Eisele Douglas Elliott Travis & Callie Embry Mark & Dalicia Emerson John & Brooke Erwin David & Linda Ferrell David Fish Bill & Laura Flesher Wayne & Carol Brantley Greg & Robin Forbis Perry & Shirley Franklin Carla Crawley & Joel Freund Liz Fulton AR & Laura Gant Kevn & Kara Gardenhire Ed & Mary Lou Garrison In Memory of Mary L. Gibbs Don & Carol Lynn Gibson Geoff Gibson Martin & Betty Gilbert Ryan & Jenna Gill Butch & Christie Ginther The Godsey Family Rigo & Laura Gomez Leslie & Tom Gordon Custom Powder Coating Services Ron & Jann Gorman Adella & Gary Gray Wilma & Ed Gray Robert & Courtney Green John & Nicole Gulas Linda & Sam Gutierrez Kelly & Kim Hadley Martha & Mark Haguewood Anne & Tim Hartney Jennifer Hefler Lance Heiliger Heroncrest at Elmdale Estate Peggy Treiber & Jeremy Hess Jim & Debbie Hodges Tina & Nate Hodne Brantly Houston Joey & Jennifer Huerta Cheryl Hull Risa Hunter John Jackson Calvin & Shawna Jarrett Teryl Hampton Jebaraj & Mervin Jebaraj Ann Jeter Bonnie Johnson & Mike Smets Mrs. Carl (Lee) Johnson Theresa Johnson Don & Donna Johnston David Joliffe & Gwynne Gertz Kay Jones Larry & Kimberly Jones Jim & Suza Jordan William & Ann Justiss Whit & Lindsay Karnes Barry & Judy Katz Heather Kees Fern Kelsay Jan & Doug Kent Cheryl Kester Missy & Bill Kincaid David King Jay & Julie King Jeanneane King Amy & Vaughn Knight Kerri Kobbeman Jeff & Sara Koenig Ken & Karen Kolls Priscilla Kumpe Mark & Michel LaCrue Tony & Jill Law Beverly & Charles Lee Shawn & Jalane Lee John & Carolyn Leonard Bernard Levitt Sarah Lewis & Kelly Tribell Michael & Eileen Lieber Charles Lincoln Gene & Cheryl Long Larry & Nancy Long Nick & Laura Luchi Robert D. Luper Roy & Amanda Madrid Dr. Ann-Marie Magre Doris Marks Todd Martin David & Jo Martinson Irma & Duell Mathis Mary May Buster & Kari McCall William & Kim McComas Carrie McDaniel In Memory of Astrid & Ernst Seifen Angela Courage & Tom Mellott Rob & Kathy Merry-Ship Rachelle Milam Jason Miller Dwight & Brandy Mitchell Julie & Jerry Moody Hillary & Taylor Morgan Don Moseley Cody & Gara Mosier James & Angie Muldoon David & Betty Nichols Andy & Joan Noble Larry & Marilou Noller Ernie & Gayle Olsen Murphy & Carol Pair Larry & Susan Patrick Randall & Mary Payne Larry & Tommi Perkins Judy & Phil Phillips Kathy & Rick Pierce Patrick & Carolyn Pio Darrin & Marci Pitts Jimmy Plumlee & Lee Long Sandy Poore Pamela & Paul Prebil Marshall Prettyman & Judy Dunleavy David & Carol Ratcliff Carey & Bud Reeves Heather Rekhi In Memory of Roger Gross George & Kathey Rhoads Paul & Tracy Rice Randy & Tia Risor Deborah & Darrell Robinson Randy & Anna Robles Lynn B. Rogers James & Andrea Romine Matt & Jamie Romine David A. Russell Linda Rye & Randall Webb Robert James & Joe Sidney Peter & Mary Savin Kate Schifano Doris A. Schuldt Larry & Julie Shackelford Brian & Lynn Shaw Ron & Regena Shelby Ken & Celia Shireman Eneida Silcott Jayme & Erin Smith Tammy & Tom Smith Stu & Debbie Sorensen In Memory of Stuart Sinclair Chuck Steger Mallory & Sheldon Steinert Rachel & Zach Strickland James & Marsha Swim James Swindle Doug Talbott, Jr. & Martha Morrison, MD Dustin & Jessica Temple waltonartscenter.org 11
Walton Arts Center Council Board and Foundation Board members denoted in bold Arkansas Community Foundation Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund The Clorox Company Foundation Edward Jones Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Greater Horizons IBM Corporation Kimberly-Clark Schwab Charitable Foundation Texas Presbyterian Foundation Tyson Foods, Inc. Walton Enterprises Walton Family Foundation Walmart Foundation Walton Arts Center thanks the following companies and foundations for matching their employees’ donations to the Friends Annual Giving Program. Walton Arts Center Council Board and Foundation Board members denoted in bold Omer Tore Jenifer Tucker Ron & Susan Tucker Lee & Janice Van Allen Rex Vaughn Jim & Nancy Vawter Thomas Ward, Jr. Diane & Ron Warren Anna & Michael Watts Terrica Weatherford Karen L. Welch Bob & Kathy Welsh Margaret Whillock Amy & Caroline Wilbourn Scott & Cheryl Williams Craig & Leslye Wilson Marv & Donna Wiseman Dane & Michelle Workman Drew Workman Todd & Emily Wulf Denise Yealy $300+ Richard & Jennifer Alexander Michael & Jacque Allen Jackie & Jana Bays Don & Maxine Bechtel Laureen Benafield Bob & Patty Besom Mark & Mimi Blackwood The Bloodworth Family In Memory of Patricia Ellison Col. (Ret) John F. Brewer, Jr. Howard & Katherine Brill Gen W. Broyles David Carlisle, MD & Wendy Taylor Carlisle John & Karen Cole Corinna & Alan Dranow John Gaudin & Corky Patton John & Tamara Gilmour Mark & Debbie Griffin Allison Griffino Robert & Wendy Harding Hank & Cheryl Harrison Tanner & Jaclyn Henderson Michael & Kim Holly Bart L. Howell Read & Tammy Hudson Helen Barrack-Huff Don & Claudette Hunnicutt Marsha Jones Hugh & Brenda Kincaid In honor of MBL Architecture Tena & Mark Larsen The Liles Family Clifford & Jane Lyon Robert & Deidre Martin Gary & Bonnie Martineck Duane & Allison McElroy Gary & Athina McLendon Marilyn & Joel Newcome Derrik & Julie Olsen Lou Phillips Jim & Kay Pickett Archie & Suzanne Ryan Angela & Randy Ryan Dennis & Patti Sanders Craig & April Shy Rebecca Summerlin Jason & Andrea Trout Shelley Tustison Rick & Terri Warren Kathryn Widder Tom Zhang $150+ Heather Agerton Ed & Angie Baker Phillip & Oteeka Baker The Croken Family Sumner & Jackie Brashears Bob & Carol Brooks Rob & Becky Brothers Jim & Mary Buchanan Ron & Kitty Burton Ellen Byars & Jeffrey O’Dea Brent & Teresa Campbell Tom & Susette Cole Ben Cormack & Casey Rector Leslie Cowles Jim & Jerene Cross Jerry & Judy Davison David Douglas & Anastasia Strokova Sarah Duffel June West Duke James & Betty Ezell Linda McKennon Smith & Bill Finer Gayle Fochtman Carol & Grimsley Graham The Grand Family Dale & Marilyn Green John & Tina Hagberg Debbie Hall Candis Harrell Susie & Jim Henley Richard Higgins Gabe & Hunter Hollingsworth Glen & Ann Hopkins James A. & Angela Hopkins Marcia B. Imbeau In Memory of George Spencer David & Shannon Inglis Jerome & Harriet Jansma Tom & Cathy January Owen Johnson Jacqueline S. King John & Sally King Timothy A. Kral & Connie L. Hendrix-Kral Morannaya Kulink Burnis Leavens Beth Keck & Ken Leonard David & Linnea Lillquist Paige Mann Debbie & Mason McLoud Bill & Deeg Mitchell Earnie & Dona Montgomery Mrs. Gina Nida Tom & Sallie Overbey Mary Sue Price Georgia & Bill Ross Charlie & Shirley Russell Alfred Angulo, Jr. & Mary Sanders The Schmieding Foundation Jeanne Silvestri Kathy Sprouse Rick & Terese Staton Ruth W. Stock Sharon Thomason Gary & Julia Thorn Thomas M. Triplett Larry & Debbie Tuttle Elizabeth Washington Chris & Melissa Wick Victor A & Monica E Wilson Larry & Eleanor Winter Garnett & Julie Wise $75+ Ms. Essie Anderson John Arthur Mr. & Mrs. Steven Baer Dr. Murl & Concetta Baker Rachel Baker Thomas & Joanne Blount Derek & Lynsay Brautnick Richard Bushkuhl Skinny Craig Tim & Lynn Culver Marsha Daniel Donnie Ewald Emily Fourmy Kathleen & Fred Fullerton Gelbach Family Missy Gocio Christina & David Gray Nancy Guisinger Patrick Haines, Katia Rojas & family Keith & Brenda Hall Garry Henbest Karen Hughes Randy & Cynthia Hutchinson Derek & Andrea Jackson Tom & Jean Jacobsen Mike & Kim Johnson Pooja & Ajay Joshi Klint Kendrick & Scott Lindauer George & Vicki Knight Peter & Judy Kohler Mike & Stephanie Krupka Cody Long Isaac Long Bob & Madeline Marquette Warren & Kim Massey Kyle & Rachel May Scott McCollum Harvey & Sharon McCone Bob & Judy McMurtrey Ozark Sales & Marketing Tessa Miner Patrick & Peggy Moriarity Josh Murphree Bret & Stacey Park Mel & Jan Phillips Susan Rieff Roy Family Bud & Mary Storey Jill & Jason Suel Bob & Sheila Suvino In Memory of Jerry Olsen John & Joan Threet Dr. Kenneth & Susan Tonymon Don & Shannon Walker David Walton Betty Williams All contributions to Walton Arts Center Council, LLC a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Listings are current as of November 1, 2022. If we have inadvertently omitted your name or you would like your name to appear in a different way, please let us know so we can make that correction for the next OnStage edition. For information about becoming a Friend, call 479.316.7550 or visit waltonartscenter.org/friends. 12 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
waltonartscenter.org/friends 479.316.7550 friends@waltonartscenter.org + + + + waltonartscenter.org 13
LIKE YOU, WE’RE 100% FOCUSED ON PEAK PERFORMANCE PROUD TO SUPPORT WORLD-CLASS ARTS AND WORLD-CLASS CARE IN NWA PROUD SPONSOR OF THE WALTON ARTS CENTER (479) 443-5851 | PCIAwealth.com 3790 N. Bellafont Blvd, Suite 2 | Fayetteville, AR 72703 Colangelo(Scott)_PCIA_WaltonArtsCenter_Playbill_AD_42354819_0722.pdf 1 7/19/22 9:13 AM 14 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023

Celebrating All Things A Cappella

A cappella fans and performers alike will gather April 14 and 15 for the annual VoiceJam A Cappella Festival, which includes a weekend of workshops, a headliner concert by Duwendé and the finale event, the VoiceJam Competition.

Founded in 2014, the VoiceJam A Cappella Festival competition was started by Walton Arts Center in partnership with Vocal Asia Festival, an Asian a cappella competition started by Clare Chen in 2010. Chen wanted to create a premier a cappella festival in the U.S. and connect it to the broader world of a cappella, and approached Walton Arts Center with the idea.

The festival brings the best a cappella groups from across the country to compete for the title of VoiceJam grand champion, and there are also opportunities for local singers to learn about the art of a cappella and get involved.


Friday, April 14

Tickets: $10

This award-winning six-person ensemble presents a fiercely original take on a cappella music. Best known for their upbeat, electrifying funk/pop style, Duwendé pumps up the crowd with their exuberant sound, replicating a variety of instruments with their powerful and distinct voices. With ever-growing acclaim and fans all over the globe, Duwendé brings new life to the a cappella genre for contemporary audiences.

10x10 Arts Series Sponsor:

Show Sponsor:

VoiceJam Workshops

Saturday, April 15

Workshops and masterclasses are led by experts in the a cappella community, featuring a variety of topics at different skill levels from a cappella arranging to vocal percussion and more. Workshop instructors include Rob Dietz, Dr. Jeffry Murdock, Brian Atkinson, Christine Liu and Gabriel Hahn.

Local singers, please visit waltonartscenter.org/voicejam for a workshop schedule and to register.

VoiceJam Competition

Saturday, April 15

Tickets: $27

This competition is one of the most-loved events on our season. Come cheer on these harmonizing, beatboxing, mindblowing groups and cast your vote for aca-fan favorite!

Show Sponsors:

Want to see both Duwendé and the VoiceJam Competition? Purchase a combo ticket for just $29. waltonartscenter.org 15

Broadway Series

Diversity and the Dynamic Women Behind

Creating a new benchmark for Broadway, Hadestown demanded that theater make space for diverse voices. The show’s modern premise reflects the values of our changing culture through a transformative musical experience that reimagines Greek mythology. Hadestown intertwines two mythical tales – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone – as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back.

In 2019, Hadestown garnered 14 Tony® nominations, winning eight including Best Musical. Critics praised the show as a “theatrically resonant tale” (Elysa Gardner, New York Stage Review), and “a haunting gut-punch of a new musical” (Naveen Kumar, Towleroad). Hadestown will go down in history as one of Broadway’s most celebrated productions, but beyond its critical acclaim, it is the show’s diversity that cements the musical’s lasting influence.

The women behind the show’s greatness – writer and composer Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin – accentuate and deepen. Between them, they found compatibility, commitment to the project, and the meaning of excellence.

“I will say it was an extraordinarily empowering experience working with so many women. I felt my instincts were really trusted,” says Mitchell. Hadestown’s great success shows that diversity is not simply about gender or racial differences; it is also about differences in background and mindset.

Initially a DIY community theater project in Vermont, Mitchell developed the show into a studio album and then a touring concert. Mitchell decided to seek out Chavkin’s talents to develop Hadestown into a full-length professional musical. “Rachel has a great feel for music and musicals and how to bring the best aspects of concert culture into the theater.” Hadestown became a product of each artist’s greatest strengths, blending Mitchell’s eloquent songbook with Chavkin’s innovative directorial style.

Chavkin says that she was drawn to Hadestown because of its poetic nature, admiring its balance of innovation and tradition: “I’ve never encountered a score that feels so singular in its style while still taking up some of the storytelling rules that musical theater goes by.” Although Chavkin says Hadestown is the hardest show she’s ever directed, Mitchell liked the way Chavkin challenged her and the show.

Chavkin’s contributions helped escort Hadestown to Broadway, where she was also recognized for excellence. She was the only woman nominated for a 2019 Tony for Best Direction of a Musical, which she won. Chavkin used the platform of her acceptance speech to advocate for the hiring of women and people of color in theater.

“There are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many artists of color who are ready to go. And we need to see that racial diversity and gender diversity reflected in our critical establishment, too. This is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be,” Chavkin said in her acceptance speech.

Rachel Chavkin Director –
“Diversity is inextricable from excellence”
16 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
Photos: T. Charles Erickson

When assembling teams for her productions, Chavkin draws from the best and selects the most talented artists. By intentionally embracing inclusivity, she builds a diverse company that understands the needs of a global audience.

Special Thanks

to our Premier Broadway

Supporters Bob & Becky

Alexander and 2022/23


May 23-28

“I think diversity is inextricable from excellence, and I think all too often people, and in particular the dominant culture, tends to frame it as a choice that you have to make between diversity and excellence. And I personally think it’s the opposite,” Chavkin assures. “I think a [diverse] room is far more interesting, just purely on a dramatic level. It’s so much better stylistically, emotionally to have varied voices. And so, with Hadestown specifically, we have reaffirmed time and again that racial diversity in particular is core to our vision of excellence.”

There are numerous notable women working off-stage and challenging the status quo. Hadestown’s lead producer, Mara Isaacs, says there’s still more work to be done. “Hadestown is built on a set of core values – the power of community, equity, diversity and inclusion,” says Isaacs. “We are proud of the incredible women who helm this production and the talented and diverse company that brings it to life, but we recognize that there is always more work to do. We must continue to strive for equity – gender, racial and otherwise – throughout our industry, not just on stage. This is a challenge that we must recommit to every single day.”

“Theater depicts and celebrates humanity, and humanity is diverse,” asserts Mitchell. And so, thanks to the shared commitments of its creators, Hadestown strives for connection to every human experience, showing diversity to be colorful, productive and exciting.

Friends of Broadway for their additional support this season:

Brett & Kara Biggs

Cece Box

Prudy & Dale Caudle

Malcolm & Ellen Hayward

Peter B. Lane & Barbara Putman

Hannah & Greg Lee

Marybeth & Micky Mayfield

Judith McKenna & Phil Dutton

Anton & Linda Myers

David & Pam Parks

Neal & Gina Pendergraft

Elda & Eric Scott

Todd & Melissa Simmons

Kelly & Marti Sudduth

Bill & LeAnn Underwood

Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation

Tony Waller

John & Kitten Weiss

Local Show Local Show Underwriter:

Sponsor: Elda & Eric Scott

Rachel Chavkin Anaïs Mitchell
waltonartscenter.org 17


A special thanks to this year’s Masquerade Ball sponsors, Honorary Chair Tom Ward, and Event Co-Chairs Jeff Clapper & Tony Waller


Walton Arts Center’s Corporate Leadership Council hosts annual fundraisers with proceeds supporting arts programs that inspire Northwest Arkansas children, strengthen our schools and our community.

18 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023

Take a Chance on Something New

Walton Arts Center’s 10x10 Arts Series is curated for the curious and features exciting and innovative art forms, performances and experiences. Designed by our programming team specifically for our unique Northwest Arkansas community, it encourages all of us to dip into a new art form. Explore and take a chance. Try something new! After all, tickets are only $10.

10x10 performances typically include a creative conversation with the artists so you can learn more about their work and background. Audience members are also encouraged to give their feedback about each performance they attend via a handwritten Post-It ® note. Notes are collected post show and shared with the artists and the programming team.


Thursday, March 30

Experience a modern twist on Latin Alternative music with LADAMA, an international collective of women building community through sound. Blending South American and Caribbean styles like cumbia, maracatu, onda nueva and joropo with pop, soul and R&B, these four women seamlessly create a unique blend of enthralling sound, transporting listeners to a future where the world communicates across continents and cultures through sound and story.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ The Pirates of Penzance

Saturday, April 1

Join the band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens and the delightfully dotty “model of a modern Major-General” for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. Presented in its original format, this is your chance to see Gilbert’s incisive wit and Sullivan’s memorable score performed by a full orchestra.

Show Underwriter: Tom & Jill King


Friday, April 14

Kicking off this year’s VoiceJam A Cappella Festival, this award-winning six-person ensemble presents a fiercely original take on a vocals-only music. Best known for their upbeat, electrifying bass-andbeatbox-driven funk/pop style, Duwendé gets the crowd on their feet with their exuberant sound, replicating a variety of instruments through their powerful and distinct voices. With ever-growing acclaim and fans all over the globe, Duwendé brings new life to the a cappella genre for contemporary audiences.

Show Sponsor:

Visceral Dance Chicago

Thursday, April 20

Visceral Dance Chicago is a contemporary dance company dedicated to a bold and progressive world of movement that challenges audience expectations. In their Northwest Arkansas debut, the company will present a diverse repertoire featuring emerging voices and distinguished, worldrenowned choreographers. Named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, the company “breathes life into the Chicago arts community with their ability to intertwine complex human emotions with the raw beauty of dance and physical movement” (Chicago Stage Standard).

Artosphere Festival Orchestra An Evening of Brahms and Beethoven

Tuesday, May 16

Under the direction of Maestro Corrado Rovaris, this performance will honor Johannes Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 and Ludwig Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 “Pastoral.”

Artosphere Festival Support: Friends of Artosphere

Premier Show Underwriters: Kelly & Marti Sudduth

Principal support for Maestro Corrado Rovaris provided by: Reed & Mary Ann Greenwood

Show Underwriters: Peter B. Lane and Barbara Putnam

LADAMA Duwendé Artosphere Festival Orchestra
waltonartscenter.org 19
Visceral Dance Chicago

Friend Spotlight

Tony Waller

Vice President of Constituent Relations & Racial Equity at Walmart, Walton Arts Center Council Vice Chair

What inspired you to become a Friend of Walton Arts Center?

I wanted to have a role in supporting and influencing the performing arts in Northwest Arkansas. Because I am a Friend of Walton Arts Center, I am kept abreast of all that is happening. I also have the opportunity to participate in unique experiences that, otherwise, I most likely would never have access to.

What do you feel is the greatest benefit to being a Friend ?

Knowing that I am contributing to the performing arts experience of students, many of whom would never be able to have this experience if it were not for the Walton Arts Center’s commitment and those who support the organization.

Test Your Knowledge of

Theater Jargon

How does it feel to know your contribution helps further arts education and share transformative experiences with students, educators and the community?

There are no words to adequately describe how it makes me feel. The arts changed my life. The arts kept me inspired and motivated throughout my school days and helped build up my confidence and self-esteem. I want the arts to do for others what the arts have done for me.

There are a lot of different technical terms when it comes to operating a theater and staging productions. From the performers, the crew and the staff, learn some of the words we use every day at Walton Arts Center.


The part of the stage closest to the audience. The area of the theater located between the curtain and the orchestra pit.


Direction given to actors as to where they should stand or move to during the course of the play. Actors are given these bits of direction during blocking rehearsals.


The script of the musical that includes characters, dialogue, etc.

Call Time

The time that all actors and crew are expected to be at the theater.


Where the orchestra sits.


Any round of auditions after the initial audition. Depending on the production, the director uses callbacks to select principal roles (having already selected chorus/ensemble during the first round), or the director uses callbacks to review his/her short list of potential cast members.

Curtain Call

When the actors come out at the end of the show to take their bows.

The Fourth Wall

An invisible dividing “wall” between the stage and audience. Characters will sometimes “break the fourth wall” and interact with or speak directly to the audience.

Ghost Light

Before the entire theater is closed for the evening, all lights except for a single, exposed, incandescent bulb is left on stage. For practical purposes, this is a safety precaution. For superstition, this gives the ghosts who inhabit the theater some light so that they can perform.


When you tear down the set or remove something (“strike the ladder” means to take it off the stage).


The swing is a multi-talented performer who’s responsible for learning many ensemble tracks so that they can “swing on” when someone is ill, injured or missing the performance for any reason.

Tony Waller
20 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
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Artosphere Festival Orchestra: Classical Performances Inspired by Nature

The annual Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts + Nature Festival brings together world-class performers and the Northwest Arkansas community to celebrate and experience art inspired by nature. It also provides a creative framework to discuss issues of sustainability and environmental awareness.

The Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) returns this year performing under the baton of acclaimed Music Director Corrado Rovaris with classical music performances that you don’t want to miss.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

An Evening of Brahms and Beethoven

Tuesday, May 16

Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center

Tickets: $10

This performance includes Johannes Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello featuring Joel Link on violin and Camden Shaw on cello, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral.”

Dover Quartet Chamber Music Concert

An Evening of Haydn, Walker and Dvořák String Quartets

Wednesday, May 17

Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Tickets: $29

The internationally acclaimed Dover Quartet will present an evening of exquisite entertainment. Named one of the greatest string quartets of this century by BBC, the group will highlight over 160 years of classical music, from Franz Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in E-flat major “The Joke” to Antonín Leopold Dvořák’s Quartet No. 10 in E-flat major to George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1.

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Respighi’s Roman Trilogy

Saturday, May 20

Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center

Tickets: $15-50

The AFO performs a program showcasing Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s masterpiece, Roman Trilogy including Roman Festivals, Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome

Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum

Wednesday, May 24

Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Tickets: $49

This finale performance, in memory of Mary Ann Greenwood, will be a stunning salute to Mozart, highlighting the musical talents of the orchestra’s oboes, horns and strings. The performance includes Symphony No. 11, Exsultate jubilate featuring soprano Alexandra Nowakowski and Symphony No. 25

In addition to these performances, there will be other chances to experience more intimate performances by AFO musicians during Artosphere, including the popular Off the Grid performances. Purchase tickets and find a full Artosphere schedule at waltonartscenter.org.

Artosphere Festival is sponsored by Walmart. Reed & Mary Ann Greenwood provide Artosphere Festival Orchestra Principle Support for Maestro Corrado Rovaris and are Show Underwriters for Dover Quartet. Premier Show Underwriters are Kelly and Marti Sudduth and Show Underwriters are Peter B. Lane and Barbara Putman for An Evening of Brahms and Beethoven, Respighi’s Roman Trilogy and Mozart in the Museum. Artosphere Festival is made possible by Friends of Artosphere.

Corrado Rovaris Dover Quartet Artosphere Festival Orchestra Artosphere Festival Orchestra
Scan for full Artosphere schedule
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Friend Spotlight Get it now by scanning this QR code! WHAT’S UP ? Get the What’s Up! newsletter and you’ll always know. You can count on Becca to keep you informed on the best things to go and do. The What’s Up! newsletter comes to your email each Friday! 3M Proudly Supports Walton Arts Center 26 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023


Connecting Schools, Arts Organizations and Funders

How do arts organizations connect with schools who need their arts programming?

Where do schools find arts resources for their classrooms?

How do funders identify arts programming that they want to support?

Until recently, there was no one place to find this information, but now it is just a few clicks away with artlook.

Walton Arts Center and CACHE (Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange) joined forces to bring the artlook map to Washington, Benton and Madison counties. This online tool connects schools, arts organizations and the funding community with the goal of increasing access, equity and quality arts programs in every public school and every grade in these counties.

“Since our organization began, arts education training for teachers and arts programming for students were the first community services we provided,” said Sallie Zazal, Walton Arts Center director of learning and engagement. “But even with our resources, we have struggled to get in touch with the right contacts within schools to let them know about arts education opportunities. As a result, we tended to work with those schools where we had good contacts, but that left out some schools.”

organizations that serve them. Among other valuable information, artlook contains data on the presence of arts teachers and partners in schools, minutes and disciplines of instruction, school and partner arts programs and school needs. This information can then be used to advocate or fundraise to bring similar resources to other schools.

“Our goal has always been to ensure that every student in our region has access to arts experiences.”

“This platform helps identify districts or schools that are lacking in arts education opportunities so that arts organizations and teaching artists can reach out and offer help to fill those voids,” Zazal said.

artlook has been used in Chicago since 2012 to monitor arts education, and they have seen great success with the program. They now have 1,200 arts organizations bringing services into their schools and 100,000 more students annually receive weekly access to arts instructions.

“Our goal has always been to ensure that every student in our region has access to arts experiences. artlook is the tool that connects all parties in one platform, making that goal a reality –not just for us, but for arts organizations of all sizes.”

artlook provides easy access to information about our local arts education environment, allowing users to explore and download information about both the schools and the community-based arts

“We are just now launching our artlook map, and it could take another couple of years to see full participation by all schools and arts organizations, but it is a start,” Zazal said. “It is an important first step, and one that we can all continue to build upon.”

You can access the artlook site at nwarkansas.artlookmap.com. The artlook platform is made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

waltonartscenter.org 27
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Building the Next Generation of Dancers and Dance Lovers

A recent survey conducted by dance artist Karen Castleman looked at our region’s dance community. It identified a high level of interest in attending dance performances and documented that people are leaving NWA to attend dance performances in other cities, some as close as Little Rock and Tulsa.

While we at Walton Arts Center recognize the need to continue bringing world-class dance performances to the region, there’s also an opportunity to support the development of local dancers and dance organizations.

CONTRA-TIEMPO, a bold multi-lingual activist dance theater company, performed at Walton Arts Center in spring 2022. They also hosted a workshop for a dozen local dancers that was part dance instruction and part social activism training.

Walton Arts Center, with the help of NWA Movement Hub, sent four professional performers, CeCe Marie, Blake Worthey, Todd Belin and Garrett McCarty, to FUTURO spring workshop in Los Angeles in August so they could continue learning and growing.

Hosted by CONTRA-TIEMPO, this yearly two-week dance intensive teaches ancestral movement practices such as salsa, Afro-Cuban and hip hop. Along with learning new dance styles, students learned the history and meaning of each.

This group of Arkansas dancers, now known as Rooted Movement Collective, is the first to participate in Walton Arts Center’s Performing Artists Exchange. Local artists study with professionals in their field, and then they share what they learn with their local community through performances and workshops in schools and public spaces. This program invests in local artists and further develops dance opportunities in NWA.

During Black History Month in February, Rooted Movement Collective brought their Reclaiming Our Roots tour to 600 local middle and high school students. After performances, students engaged in interactive programs, including dance and history lessons on social dances of Afro-Caribbean and black culture.

Everyone benefits when dance thrives, and programs like Performing Artists Exchange pave the way for future performers and organizations.

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Blake Worthey

Jennifer Ross

Vice President of Programming 20 years

Can you describe your primary role at WAC and what that looks like on a typical day?

My primary role is to oversee the entire arc of artistic programming and entertainment that we present – from our school matinee performances to our Broadway series and everything in between. I work with a great team in our programming and learning & engagement departments, and we all work together to find artists for our stages – as well as artists for our fundraising events and community events like blood drives. A typical day for me is filled by conversations with agents about artists or research on artists, working through financial proformas for shows, drafting offers and working through artist contracts. The work we do is very collaborative internally and externally, so there are always conversations!

How did you get into this industry?

Missy Darwin Kincaid, a former Walton Arts Center colleague, told me about an open position in the education department one

I applied for the position and was so excited to get the job! I have held many different positions here since, such as school performance coordinator, programming manager, artist services director and director of programming. I am so lucky to have worked with amazing mentors throughout my journey and have also met many colleagues across the country who have helped me grow in my knowledge of the different art forms and the broader performing arts industry.

What is the most interesting thing about your job?

To bring a diverse palette of artists to our stages, I see a lot of performances! Concerts, Broadway shows, dance . . . it is important to see the work live when possible because audience reaction and engagement is part of the performance. I also think the deal-making aspect of my job is fun and interesting!

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Jennifer Ross

Staff Leadership


Peter B. Lane President & CEO

Jeff Mann ............................. Chief Operating Officer


Heather Holland ............................. Creative Director

Hillary Morgan Director, Marketing

Jill Suel Senior Director, Marketing & Sales

Casey Weiss ........................ Digital Marketing Manager

Jennifer Wilson Director, Public Relations


Becky Brink Vice President

Kaylin Mason Director, Institutional Giving

Kyle May .............................. Director, Walmart AMP

Rachel Pianalto Strickland Director, Individual Giving

Zach Strickland Development Manager, Walmart AMP


Shannon Eubanks Director


Jason Smith Director of Executive Administration, Classical Music, & Special Initiatives

Lorinda Smith Administrative Services Manager


Thomas DeBari Director, Facility Services

Mike Herbert Maintenance Engineer, Walton Arts Center

Bob Pless ................. General Manager, Walton Arts Center

Jorge Vazquez Maintenance Engineer, Walmart AMP

Beth Washington Facility Services Supervisor


Leslie Cowles Accounting Manager

Tim Vogt ............... Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Ginny Wilson Director


J.O. Bailey Director

Hayley Drake Manager

Maurie Edwards .............................. Senior Manager

Dillon Hager Warehouse Supervisor


Kristin Coffman Director


Jon Downey Director

Gilles Grandidier Systems Infrastructure Engineer


Dr. Samantha Stinson School Engagement Manager

Sallie Zazal Director


Nathan Bell Manager, Volunteer Programs

Kaitlin Higgins Director

Ranny Kulink Manager


Cody Kopp Production Manager

Alex Newby Technical Director

Honnah Sartin Audio Supervisor

Josh Spurgers Assistant Technical Director


Curt Owens Director

Jennifer Ross Vice President


Tommy Sisemore Director


Ryan Bradshaw Ticketing Services Manager

Andrew Crowe Box Office Manager, Walmart AMP

Tiffin Feltner Director, Ticketing Services


Brian Crowne Vice President

Patrick Orndorff Director, Production

Heath Parnell Assistant Director, Production

Stephanie Simpson Director, Operations

Nick Zazal General Manager

waltonartscenter.org 31
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Open a World of Opportunities for Students with Arts Integration

As a non-profit organization, the revenue from Walton Arts Center programming supports learning and education programs and ensures that the arts remain an essential part of the lives of students, teachers and families in Northwest Arkansas. Through the generosity of our supporters, all of our school programs are offered free for students.

We believe that integrating arts into classrooms is a critical part of the learning process. Research has shown that there is a positive cumulative effect on students who participate in arts experiences and field trips. Students benefit when they can create and express their own knowledge, vision and voice in school projects. The arts provide the platform and skill set to promote student collaboration and creativity. With arts integration, students are empowered!

When students come to Walton Arts Center, they see innovative performances based on literature they already know and also hear new languages and music from around the world. Students respond enthusiastically and are often given the opportunity to meet the artists following the performance, ask questions and reflect on great works. Further, children remember these performances from years past and grow into theater-loving adults.

Additionally, researchers have learned that students have a desire to participate in cultural activities – not just attend them. That’s where we come in with our commitment to putting arts resources and education in the hands of teachers. As an arts venue, we know we are in a unique position to pass learning experiences on to students in Northwest Arkansas and it is a responsibility we take very seriously.

In 2022, Walton Arts Center proudly celebrated 31 years of partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative as an arts integration training provider. Walton Arts Center helps public schools by providing arts integration training programs at both the elementary and secondary school levels. We have collaborated with all 17 school districts in our region.

In total, more than 600,000 students and teachers have been served by our arts education programs since 2001. Each season, more than 26,000 students from nearly 90 schools experience a live performance at Walton Arts Center as part of the classroom series. Each year, nearly 100 teachers and teaching artists learn to use the arts to teach core curriculum subjects like literacy, social studies and science. These exemplary educators bring the arts to more than 1,000 students from kindergarten to high school, annually.

Walton Arts Center is proud to serve the students and teachers of Northwest Arkansas through thoughtful programming designed to educate, entertain and engage – and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.

“We believe that integrating arts into classrooms is a critical part of the learning process.”

SoNA Continues “Biggest and Boldest” Season Yet

Featuring Contemporary Programs Reflecting the Powerful Future of Orchestral Music

Fresh on the heels of three sold-out holiday performances in December and a bold kickoff to 2023 with Mother and Child in January, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) continues its 2022-23 mainstage season at Walton Arts Center with more performances in March and April.

The symphony is releasing a groundbreaking debut album with music that artfully blends virtual and “real life” performances by SoNA musicians, special guest soloists and ensembles from around the world. They will be celebrating this release and performing new works from the album on March 11 with New Canons. Under the baton of Musical Director Paul Haas, SoNA will feature music from the album including Trevor New’s Cohere I, with virtual tieins to multiple international locations, and Paul Haas’ In saecula saeculorum. Following intermission, the orchestra will perform the joyously beautiful Symphony No. 3 in F Major by Johannes Brahms.

Next, on April 8, Battle of the Bands brings SoNA and the Fayetteville Jazz Collective together, alternating between pieces played by the jazz band, pieces played by the orchestra, and then pieces played together, for an evening of genre-defying music that will be enjoyed by a wide variety of music lovers.

And later that same month, SoNA will close the season on April 29 with Evoking Folklore. This program speaks to SoNA’s wide view

of orchestral music and its commitment to uncover music that has been historically and unjustifiably ignored by the classical industry. Each of the works are captivating storytelling of folklore: starting with Chickasaw Nation tales through Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Chokfi (Rabbit), then traditional Spanish stories with Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain featuring pianist Angela Cheng, and lastly classic Americana evocations with Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3

“This season, we imagine big and present music that reflects our bold vision for our orchestra and the wide possibilities of orchestral music,” says Haas. “We represent the past and present of our artform through time-honored works by Copland, William Grant Still, Brahms, and so much more. But we also show the powerful future of our artform through works by contemporary visionaries, and through collaborations with guest artists that also point to our artform’s bright future.”

Single ticket prices for SoNA’s mainstage performances range from $36 to $60, based on seating preferences. Discount student tickets are available with a student photo I.D. Children under 18 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limited quantities). To purchase tickets, visit sonamusic.org, or call the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479.443.5600.

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It’s a Crack-a-lackin’ Good Time

Q&A with the Producers of Madagascar The Musical

Don’t miss Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria as they bound out of the zoo and onto Walton Arts Center’s stage in a musical adaptation of the animated movie, Madagascar. This brand-new musical from Dreamworks will leave audiences with no choice but to “Move It, Move It!” We sat down with the producers and found out what makes this show so special.

What are the challenges you faced adapting this animated movie into a musical theater production?

When you have a film franchise as popular as Madagascar, the challenge becomes knowing which parts of the story to tell while giving audiences what they expect to see. As we bring these beloved characters to life, I believe we have found the right balance of heart and humor that won’t disappoint and will be fun for the whole family.

Why do you think Madagascar lends itself to being a musical theater adaptation?

It was a no-brainer. The larger-than-life characters and the colorful backdrop from the film made the leap to stage an easy one. The fun part is figuring out how to bring the animated world to life through scenic elements and using stage craft to enhance the story. We must give credit to Kevin Del Aguila for his great work with the book and our

composers Joel Somellian and George Noriega. These elements really propel the story and make it feel like a party.

What are the biggest differences between the film and the theater production and can you explain what led to these choices?

The biggest difference is the new music and the focus on pivotal moments from the original story. Film allows you to cover more time and space in the storytelling, but in theater you have to focus on important moments. The use of original songs in these moments enriches the story.

Is this a show for kids or for the whole family?

This is for the whole family. It is visually stimulating and very funny. It will keep everyone entertained and having a good time. I mean the penguins alone… come on!

How can this show get younger audiences interested in theater and Broadway?

Live theater is a magical experience. Seeing a show like this come together with the lights, sets and music will give a joyful, positive message will always inspire future storytellers and supporters of the arts.

36 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
“This is for the whole family. It is visually stimulating and very funny. It will keep everyone entertained and having a good time.”
Family Fun Series

For the young and the young at heart

What about the story of Madagascar makes it so beloved worldwide and what is exciting about this new adaptation?

4 SHOWS / June


I think the story resonates with people of all ages. We all get restless and want to find where we belong, but we can’t do it alone. It’s a simple story of adventure and community wrapped in a party. And you watch it come to life right before your eyes. What’s not to love?

Show Underwriter: Todd & Melissa Simmons

Show Sponsor:

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waltonartscenter.org 37

Building Community Beyond the Theater

There’s an age-old saying in theater: “the show must go on.” At Walton Arts Center, we say something similar about our volunteer team: the show can’t go on without them! Our dedicated corps of volunteers are involved in every aspect of the work at Walton Arts Center – helping in the administrative office, box office, the Friends lounge, ushering in the hall and more. The volunteers say that a major perk of volunteering at Walton Arts Center is that it is so much fun! Who wouldn’t want to wear their PJs to work at The Polar Express screening?

Volunteering isn’t all work and no play. There is an incredible sense of community that is established inside and outside of the performance hall. The volunteer team is a great place to meet other service-minded individuals. Friendships are formed as volunteers work alongside each other in a supportive and creative environment.

As a thank you to our volunteers, we host an annual volunteer appreciation night, complete with a party and awards. The fun doesn’t stop there! The volunteers gather socially throughout the year at various events and locations, including concerts at Gulley Park, happy hours at Boston Mountain Brewery, nature hikes, Lights of the Ozarks, a night at Arvest Ballpark and even backstage tours at the Walmart AMP.

To learn more or become a volunteer, please visit waltonartscenter.org/edu/volunteer.

Happy Hour Gulley Park Lights of the Ozarks Group Hike Wearing Pajamas for Polar Express Northwest Arkansas Naturals Game
at WAC 38 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
Volunteer Appreciation Night
waltonartscenter.org 39

Never Stop Laughing

Face it, we all need to laugh, especially after the last few years. So grab your friends and head to Walton Arts Center where you can see several very funny people this spring including an internet sensation, one of today’s best and funniest storytellers and someone who knows the comedic value of vulnerability. Pick your favorite entertainer, grab a snack or a specialty drink, take a seat and laugh your cares away.

John Crist’s Emotional Support Tour

Sunday, March 19

Tickets: $29.75-149.75

Viral sensation John Crist is one of today’s fast-rising stand-up comedians, with more than one billion video views, over five million fans on social media and sold-out

David Sedaris

Tuesday, April 25

Tickets: $53

For more than 25 years, David Sedaris has charmed audiences with his sometimes neurotic and seemingly mundane, yet profound storytelling. Beloved for his personal conversational essays, short


Tig Notaro

Friday, June 23

Tickets: $39-69

Tig Notaro is a groundbreaking stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. Hailed for her effortless storytelling and fearless stage presence, her subject matter ranges from the delightfully absurd to the

John Crist Tig Notaro Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
David Sedaris Walton Arts

Corporate Leadership Council Spotlight

Kent Arnold Signature Bank of Arkansas

Walton Arts Center’s Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) is one way for local businesses to give back to the community through the arts. The group works to secure resources for arts education and supports our mission of bringing arts experiences to Northwest Arkansas. Kent Arnold, senior vice president of business development at Signature Bank of Arkansas and member of the CLC sat down with us to share more about the group and what it means to him.

“The CLC brings together the top leaders of the community and aligns them towards a common cause that is near to all our hearts.” Arnold is referring to the guiding responsibilities of the CLC, called the 3 C’s: Engaging children through funding for arts education, enhancing culture by hosting the annual Masquerade Ball and connecting the community through networking opportunities.

Signature Bank chose to join the CLC because it felt like a natural extension of their values. “We strive to be a trusted pillar of our community by keeping the best interest of our customers at the forefront of what we do,” Arnold said. “We decided to support Walton Arts Center’s CLC because they mirror our values and seek to enrich the lives of all residents in NWA.”

The council is made up of 28 individuals, each representing influential organizations in the local area. From banks to law firms and food suppliers, CLC members represent businesses that, on the surface, seem to have different priorities. Yet, they all support the arts as one way to improve the quality of life in our region. Arnold says these representatives share a common goal to “better serve the community in which we all live, work and play.”

Walton Arts Center benefits from the expertise and insight of these successful business professionals – Arnold was named one of Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine’s 2022 Top 100 Professionals. Likewise, Arnold explained that the business world has a lot to learn from the arts. “The level of organization and precise timing it takes — with all of the moving parts required to put on a top-tier traveling show for a two-week run — is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen and can be used in the business world to maximize efficiency,” he said.

Arnold specifically highlighted Hamilton from the 2021-2022 Broadway season. “The cast, crew and Arts Center staff did a phenomenal job, and I kept thinking throughout the show of how fortunate the NWA community is to have the No. 1 show on Broadway travel and perform here,” he said.

Members of the CLC know that time they spend serving is a necessary investment into the future of Northwest Arkansas. Ensuring arts education is a part of local schools helps children grow into arts-loving adults that can collaborate and communicate effectively. Likewise, the performances at our venues encourage future generations to find their passions.

It would be impossible for Walton Arts Center to operate without the support of the CLC and the local businesses they represent.

If you’d like more information about becoming a member of the Corporate Leadership Council, please visit waltonartscenter.org/support/clc/.

“...the business world has a lot to learn from the arts.”
waltonartscenter.org 41
BEST OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS Creating a better world, together. Unilever is proud to support Walton Arts Center programs. Enhancing Livelihoods Reducing Environmental I m p tca I m provingHealth&Wellness ©2022 Unilever unilever.com/sustainable-living 42 Walton Arts Center OnStage Spring/Summer 2023
Symphony of Northwest Arkansas
The 2022-23 Mainstage Season Continues at Walton Arts Center MARCH 11 New Canons APRIL 8 Battle of the Bands APRIL 29 Evoking Folklore Tickets On Sale Now! / sonamusic.org / 479.443.5600 waltonartscenter.org 43
Paul Haas, Music Dir ector

General Mills is proud to support

Walton Arts Center programs

Media Partners

3M 26 Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield 18 Beaver Water District 30 Bordinos Restaurant 21 Botanical Garden of the Ozarks 7 Butterfield Trail Village 7 Celebrate Arkansas Magazine 40 Choctaw Casinos & Resorts 29, 48 CitiScapes Magazine 42 The Coca-Cola Company 39 Collier Drug 9 Community Creative Center 43 Conner & Winters 9 Crafton Tull ............................... 14 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art & The Momentary 3 Discover Siloam Springs 21 Eason Insurance Agency Inc. 14 Friday, Eldredge & Clark 26 Frost PLLC 28 General Mills 44 Graduate Fayetteville ..................... 29 Grub’s Bar & Grille 21 HerHealth Clinic 5 J.B. Hunt Transport 40 KNWA TV 32 Land O’Lakes 26 Mockingbird Kitchen 21 Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 26 Opera in the Ozarks 23 Peel Compton Foundation ..................30 Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects 9 Prime Capital Investment Advisors 14 Pringles 18 Procter & Gamble 35 Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation 23 Scott Family Amazeum 37 Springfield Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau 46 Stout Executive Search 30 Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) 43 Titanic Museum Attraction 15 Trike Theatre 42 Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge 32 Tyson Foods 32 U of A Global Campus 7 UAMS Health 14 Underwoods Fine Jewelers 2 Unilever 42 University of Arkansas Department of Theatre 9 Washington Regional 24 Advertiser Index
waltonartscenter.org 45

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