The Branson Regional Arts Council and Forte Theatre Productions invite everyone to a free online virtual watch party of last year’s 2019 Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet, as performed live at Chad A Fuqua Memorial Park in Hollister, Missouri. This classic play features original music by Chris Skillern. Guest speakers from the creative team and cast will be on hand to share behind the scenes excitement and little known facts about this outstanding event.

This live zoom video event takes place on Sunday, October 4, 2020 beginning at 7:00 pm Central Standard Time.  The entire event is expected to end around 9:30 pm Central.

There is no fee to participate in this viewing party, however attendance will be limited to the first 100 people who pre-register at BransonArts.org/hamletThe event link to this zoom video party will be emailed after your registration has been submitted.

REGISTER FOR THE HAMLET WATCH PARTY

The cast of Hamlet includes: Josh Boulden (Hamlet), Chris Skillern (King Claudius), Charis Boulden (Ophelia), Conor Finnerty-Esmonde (Laertes), Jonna Kae Volz (Queen Gertrude), Ian Lahlum (Lord Polonius), John-Paul Fox (Horatio), Alex Schriver (Prince Fortinbras), Ashley Litke (Voltimand), Austin Delp (Guildenstern and Osric), Brandon Farrar (Francisco), Lindsay Lee (Marcellus and Player), Lizzy Hinton (Player), Michael Sager (Rosencrantz and First Clown), Zach “Bucky” Buckner (Bernardo and First Player) and Justin Ables (Ghost).

The production team includes: Justin Ables (Director), Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer), Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Ian Lahlum (Set Designer), Peter Gibbons (Sound Engineer), Tori Hurley (Lighting Operator), Mariah Garrett (Lighting Operator).

Special appreciation to the City of Hollister, Missouri and the Hollister Parks and Recreation Department for their participation and cooperation each year for our Shakespeare In The Park events.

#forte #hamlet #bransonarts #virtualwatch #shakespeare #missouriarts #watchparty #zoomevent #hollistermo #bransonmo

Triple Threat is the Branson Regional Arts Council’s new online conservatory which focuses on the three major areas of performance of musical theatre: Acting, Singing, and Dance.

This new three week course gives the youth of our community the opportunity to study in these specific areas with local professionals from the comfort of their home. All three of our teachers come directly from the fields of theatre and performance and are excited to offer this masterclass series to educate and enlighten in these specific areas.

triple threat
noun: triple threat; plural noun: triple threats
a person, especially a performer, who is proficient in three important skills within their particular field.
“a triple threat can sing, dance, and act”

We are excited for you to join us!

Dates and Times:
3 Sundays: October 18, 25 & November 1
Times: 2PM-5PM Central Standard Time (3 hours)
Location: Online via Zoom Video (links provided at registration)

Registration Info:
Cost per student (all 3 weeks): $60.00 [click here to register]
Students may register via credit card, or personal check (made payable to BRAC).
Class sizes are limited to 18-20 students per class.
Scholarship opportunities for residents of Branson, Missouri (please inquire at edu@bransonarts.org).

REGISTER FOR THE TRIPLE THREAT CLASSES

Meet the teaching staff:

ACTING… with Justin Ables

Justin Ables - Acting Teacher

Let’s take the stage and bring out your inner monologue in the acting portion of Triple Threat! In this theatre masterclass, students will learn about basic acting techniques brought about by the famous Konstantin Stanislavski and Uta Hagen.  Students will dive into the techniques of sense memory, naturalism and the different steps that actors take to develop a character onstage. As a class, we will use these new skills to become more aware of ourselves as performers and look through the lense of life as our stage characters do. So join us, as we develop these basic skills that have shaped the careers of artists all around the world! 

About the instructor: Justin is beyond excited to be joining the teaching staff for BRAC as well as their new series, “Triple Threat”. A native to Baltimore, Maryland, Justin holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC and has been performing professionally for 10 years.

Over the last six years, Justin has been working as a performer for Sight and Sound Theatres here in Branson. Some shows you may have seen him in are Noah, Samson, Miracle of Christmas, Moses, and Jonah.

Some of his favorite regional credits include: Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye), Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod), The Three Musketeers (Porthos), Lil’ Abner (Marryin’ Sam), Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls (Donny McGreggor), The Reluctant Dragon (Dragon/LeadPuppeteer), The Sword in the Stone (Merlin), The Music Man (Ensemble/Marcellus u.s), Les Miserables (Fueilly/The Foreman/Brujon), Legally Blonde (Kiki/Dewey/Ensemle), and The Who’s Tommy (The Specialist/The Harmonica Player).

Justin also serves as the Artistic Advisor for BRAC as well as one of the Mainstage Directors for the theatre. For BRAC, he has directed The Diary of Anne Frank, Into the Woods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.


VOICE… with Tiffany Bear
Tiffany Renee Bear - Vocal TeacherAs singing actors we are partners with the text and our voice is a means of communicating the story to our audience. In our Musical Theatre Voice section of Triple Threat we will focus on how to be compelling storytellers through music. Come ready with “your book” and several contrasting 32 bar cuts that we can “put on their feet”! We will also touch on how to choose appropriate material for YOUR voice, how to prepare your audition and present yourself “in the room” and in when creating a character on stage for an actual show. Together we will sharpen skills, dive deeper into Musical Theatre voice, make strong acting choices that create compelling performances, and most of all have fun while building confidence! 

About the instructor: Tiffany Renee Bear is an extremely versatile performer and teacher. She is actively working on stage, on camera, in voice over and in print modeling. She has enjoyed performing in regional theatres and tours across the country, as well as internationally (China, Germany.) Tiffany has also been very involved in the world of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) and the creation of new works. She has been a part of bringing several new shows from page (staged reading) to stage (world premiere productions) with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, CITA and other theatres.

Tiffany and her husband Conrad moved to Branson 3 years ago to join the cast at Sight and Sound Theatres. She has had the joy of portraying Mary in Miracle of Christmas and several fun roles in SAMSON. She is currently portraying the role of Cayla, Japheth’s wife, in NOAH.

Some of her favorite past stage roles include: Rapunzel (Into The Woods), Maria (West Side Story), Glinda (Journey to Oz), Ruby (Ella’s Big Chance), Nancy (Oliver!) Princess of France (Love’s Labour’s Lost), Lily (Secret Garden), Magnolia (Showboat), Gertrude (Seussical), Kelsi (High School Musical) and Eliza & Belle in Concerts versions of My Fair Lady & Disney’s Beauty & The Beast.

Tiffany is also an award-winning Director, Music Director and Vocal Coach. She holds an advanced degree in Voice and passionate about “cross training” artists to be excellent musicians and compelling actors. Her students have won numerous competitions across the country for music and theatre. Many of current and former students be found in Film/TV/Commercials, in Regional Theatres, on National Tours (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lion King, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Cruiselines (Disney Cruise Lines, Carnival) and on Broadway (Matilda!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). www.tiffanyreneebear.com


MUSICAL THEATRE DANCE… with Jacob Estes
Jacob Estes - Dance TeacherThis class is designed for students with a passion for musical theatre. Get ready to step outside of your comfort zone, while learning various fun pieces of choreography! We will study/move to a vast variety of musical theatre rep and even learn some original Broadway steps! The choreography taught is meant to challenge you and there will be different options of difficulty to choose from when doing the routine! Dance class is how you study, which means auditions are the test. We will be learning by setting up virtual mock auditions where you will receive feedback and instruction. You will leave feeling confident, and ready to book that next audition! 

About the instructor: Jacob is a performer and director based in Branson. He has had the amazing opportunity to travel the United States teaching, performing, and directing in various theatre venues throughout his professional career.

Jacob is currently the director of Staccato show choir at the Branson Regional Arts Council. You may have seen his work performing locally at Silver Dollar City, The Welk Resort, Branson Regional Arts Council, and Sight and Sound Theatres.


 

The Branson Regional Arts Council is now accepting video submission auditions for it’s Halloween weekend production of Bram Stoker’s classic tale, Dracula, as adapted by author William McNulty.

Actors over the age of 18 are invited to submit a video audition performing a short read for one or more roles they are interested in. The monologue script may be downloaded for printing by clicking this link.

Audition video links (YouTube, Google Drive, etc) or attached video files (under 8 MB) may be emailed to BransonArts@gmail.com. Please include a digital headshot and acting resume if available. Women who are only interested in auditioning for one of the brides, may just submit a headshot and resume as there are no spoken lines for those roles.

Video audition submissions must be received no later than 11:45pm on Wednesday, September 16th.

Character Roles include: 

  • Dr Seward – Head doctor at the asylum. In mourning over the death of his fiancée Mina.
  • Count Dracula – Seward’s new neighbor; recently moved from Transylvania.
  • Professor Abram Van Helsing – old friend of Seward; comes to help Lucy.
  • Mina – Love of Seward; recently died of a mysterious illness involving a loss of blood.
  • Lucy – Mina’s friend; Displaying the same troubling symptoms as her friend Mina.
  • Jonathon Harker – Lucy’s fiancée; missing after a trip to Transylvania.
  • Renfield – Psychiatric patient who seems to know a bit too much about what is going on.
  • Miss Sullivan – Dr Seward’s assistant.
  • Mr. Briggs – Dr. Seward’s orderly. Responsible for maintaining peace among the patients.

Under the Direction of Jacob Deck, this production is scheduled for five thrilling performances at Branson’s Historic Owen Theatre on Thursday, October 29th (7pm), Friday, October 30th (7pm & 11pm), and October 31st (2pm & 9pm). Advance audience tickets are on sale now at BransonArts.org/tix. All seat purchases will be social distanced for extra safety of the audience, therefore, seating for each production will be limited to approximately 50 patrons per performance.

Rehearsals are tentatively scheduled to begin on September 18th with sessions on Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri (6:30pm – 10pm) and Sat (9am-12pm and/or 2pm-5pm) at the Historic Owen Theater.

Professor Van Helsing and his brave comrades must hunt down and destroy the profoundly evil Count Dracula. But the Count is exceedingly resourceful, employing superhuman strength, psychic powers, and shape-changing to confound and frustrate his antagonists. Culminating in a wild and shocking confrontation between the King of Vampires and those who would rid the world of him, this adaptation is an action-packed, blood-soaked retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic tale of horror.

Modern Songwriting & Production with Prince Ivan

Saturday, September 5, 2020 9:00am-12:00pm
Historic Owen Theatre
$20 Registration Fee (benefits the Branson Regional Arts Council)

REGISTER FOR THE PRINCE IVAN WORKSHOP

Aaron Space, Brydon Brett

Over the last couple of years, local songwriting and production duo, Prince Ivan, has traveled between Branson and LA to collaborate with writers, producers and engineers who have worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Lady Gaga to Justin Bieber. Along the way they have learned many of the secrets of commercial songwriting and production and now they are going to share them with you.

The duo recently released a new album, “The Preface,” which earned them a spot (from a field of over 3000 bands) on the Springboard West Festival roster in San Diego, CA and their song, “Let Her Be Beautiful,” will be featured in an upcoming film release “The Never List.”

In this workshop presented by the Branson Regional Arts Council, they will take you behind the scenes and into the process of creating their album and share with you everything from song structure to toplining, beat making to recording and all of the elements that you’ll need to create high quality music for today’s competitive musical marketplace.

Click PLAY on this video for a special greeting from Brydon Brett about the workshop…

Whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned writer or producer, you will benefit from the wealth of knowledge and experience Prince Ivan will share with you in this three-hour workshop.

“We invite folks to bring their songs to the workshop (either to sing live or play an MP3 for us), as we will do some live feedback during the workshop. We can’t guarantee their song will get critiqued during the workshop, but we’ll have time to do that on 3-5 songs.” – Brydon Brett 

CLICK HERE to register to attend the workshop.

REGISTER FOR THE PRINCE IVAN WORKSHOP

About Prince Ivan

Prince Ivan is a songwriting, production and performing duo consisting of Brydon Brett and Aaron Space. The duo calls their musical output, SpectraPop— a fresh fusion of styles from across the Top 40 spectrum designed to break down cultural and musical boundary lines. From being a trio to being a duo, to seeking a record deal and not getting it, and then almost quitting altogether, Prince Ivan has been through the fire over these last two years. Their first full length album, “The Preface,” (released on December 13, 2019) marks the completion of that phase of their story and the beginning of a new chapter in the Chronicles of Prince Ivan.

Live on stage, Prince Ivan is captivating and engaging—combining the energy and hype of a DJ dance party with the connection and intimacy of a singer-songwriter set. Their fully produced live concert can be experienced on tour at high schools, colleges, festivals and cities all across North America. For more information about Prince Ivan’s music, message and mission please visit www.princeivan.com.


The Branson Regional Arts Council welcomes video audition submissions for it’s upcoming production of The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Historic Owen Theatre.<

The Marvelous Wonderettes Performance Dates [tickets on sale now]

  • Jan 28-30, Feb 4-6, Feb 11-13, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
  • Jan 31, Feb 7, Feb 14, 2021 @ 2:00 pm (12 Shows total)

Cast of Characters:
(Some roles may be double cast. We are also looking to cast swings to play multiple roles. Swings are guaranteed actual performances as well, so if you are interested in auditioning and can’t make every performance, we encourage you to still submit.)

MISSY (Adult Female): Always the over-achiever of the group, Missy is the one to cover for mistakes and is always ready to jump in and save the day. Head of the prom decorations committee, and absolutely smitten with her music teacher. She has been best friends with Suzy since elementary school. (Soprano with wide range and very high vocals; also requires the ability to belt/mix)

CINDY LOU (Adult Female): Cindy Lou is the “bad girl” of the group. It seems that things always go her way, making Betty Jean crazy. She makes the biggest change between Acts I and II, having learned the lessons of true love and loss. (Mezzo Soprano with strong belt; sings melody line on most songs; the role requires strong vocal abilities)

BETTY JEAN (Adult Female) Betty Jean is the self-anointed clown of the group, always vying for attention from her best friend Cindy Lou. Cindy Lou steals Betty Jean’s boyfriend away, causing a lot of the friction at the prom; she holds this grudge against Cindy Lou, until they make up at the 10-year reunion. (Mezzo/Alto with strong range)

SUZY (Adult Female) Gum-chewing Suzy is happy-go-lucky, a little giddy, and a little silly. She finds great pleasure in everything she does; the sillier it is, the more fun she finds it. Her best friend is Missy. (Please note: The script does not want you to play her like a stereotypical “ditzy blonde.”) (Mezzo Alto with a sweet, soulful sound, and big belt)

Show Description:

This smash off-Broadway hit takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” In act two, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and perform at their ten-year reunion. We learn about the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade and are charmed to find that no matter what life throws their way, they will conquer it together. Featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s hits, The Marvelous Wonderettes will keep you smiling in this must-take musical trip down memory lane!

Audition Requirements:

**Due to the impact of COVID-19 and our commitment to your safety, the initial round of auditions will be by video submission only.

Please send all audition videos with the headline WONDERETTES SUBMISSION to: BransonArts@gmail.com.

Please prepare 32 bars (no more than 2 minutes) of a pop song or ballad FROM THE 1950s OR 1960s…You can also choose to sing a Musical Theatre piece, but please make it of the appropriate show style. (NO A CAPELLA SINGING)

This is a jukebox musical (all of the songs are well known) so it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the shows approach. Click here to listen to the cast recording on YouTube.

When picking an audition song, this note from the creator may be helpful:

“Listen to Connie Francis, Doris Day, The Chordettes, & The McGuire Sisters for Act I styles; listen to Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, The Shangri-Las, & Betty Everett for Act II styles.”

From the director…
All four characters are powerhouse vocalist. These girls sing very tedious harmonies and get a full vocal workout throughout the show. (30+ songs!) When selecting a song, pick something that will showcase your greatest strengths and range. With a video submission, you have the advantage to sing without the nerves of a live audition…be bold with your choice!

After your initial vocal audition, we will be in touch if we need to see more from you. (Sides, dance)

Please feel free to contact the director with any questions you may have at jacobmestes@gmail.com.

ALL VIDEO SUBMISSIONS DUE BY OCTOBER 20, 2020!

After a six-month postponement due to the pandemic, big laughs are about to fill the air as the Branson Regional Arts Council presents the hilarious comedy play The Odd Couple by Neil Simon at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson.

Additional performances have been added to the calendar so that more people can enjoy this incredibly funny production. The facility is continually sanitized with social distance seating established so the audience will have an empty row or a couple of seats between them and other patrons.

Eight performances are scheduled on Sept 10-11 (7pm), Sept 12 (2pm & 7pm), Sept 13 (2pm) and Sept 17-19 (7pm), with advance reserved seat tickets available now at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling the box office at 417-336-4255. Ticket prices are $16.95 (Adults 18+) and $11.45 (Youth 4-17) with proceeds benefiting the work of the Arts Council on behalf of our community.

Recommended for all audiences, this classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assemble for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger, who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed, and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born!

The production is directed by Jody Madaras, star of the popular All Hands On Deck show at the Dutton Family Theatre. “Neil Simon’s timeless American comedy delivers biting zingers and the ingredients that laughs are made of,” says Madaras. “Our BRAC production comes complete with a boat load of laughs, and a heart-warming ending that is sure to please!”

Lead Actors: Sean Neil Myers & Chance Havens

Chance Havens plays the role of Oscar Madison along with Sean Neil Myers as Felix Unger. Additional cast members include Cory Hensen as Murray, Deron Wolfe as Roy, Mark Peper as Vinnie, Dylan Pratt as Speed, J.C. Clinton and Abby Reeve as the vivacious Pigeon sisters. Keep your eyes open for an unexpected virtual appearance by funnyman Terry Sanders!

Producers Kim Hale, Lisa Murphy and Karie Dykeman are assisted by Jack Vandewark (Stage Manager), Pamela Meadows (Lighting Director), and Mac Hill (Set Design and Sound Technician), Marshall Meadows (Photography), and Jim Barber (BRAC Executive Director and Marketing).

As an added bonus, theatre patrons will be invited to visit the Rock Room Gallery inside the Historic Owen Theatre for the new “Cityscapes & New York Nights” exhibition featuring artwork from a variety of local area artists. All works displayed will be available for sale by the artists. Artists interested in placing a work in the exhibit are asked to contact the Arts Council at info@bransonarts.org.

The Branson Regional Arts Council invites the general public to attend their Annual Member Meeting and New Artist Reception at the Art Exhibition Gallery on the second floor promenade of the Branson Convention Center on Friday, September 4th from 7pm until 8pm.

This mostly all-new display features award winning artwork, ranging from oils and acrylics, to photography. There is no cost to attend this event.

Incredible works by several new area artists will be unveiled, and Jim Barber, Executive Director of the Branson Regional Arts Council, will be on hand to announce several exciting announcements for area residents who love the arts.

“Come join us in welcoming fourteen unbelievably talented artists to this wonderful art gallery showing. We want to thank the dedicated management and staff of the Branson Convention Center for working with the Arts Council to make this exciting and free exhibition available to residents of our community as well as the thousands of visitors from around the country who have the pleasure of viewing it each year.”
– Jim Barber, Executive Director

Delyla Uebel - Concert PianistProfessional concert pianist Delyla will provide musical accompaniment to set the mood and provide additional entertainment for the viewers.

New artists now preparing to be welcomed to the gallery exhibition include Meike Aton, Jessica Lowe, Norma Wiedmeyer, Christe Colburn, Regina Willard, Andi Snethern and Gayle Page.

Area artists currently on display include Raine Clotfelter, Kwaku Addai, Jenny Mayor, Jim Tindall, Dee Giles, Jane Parker, Mary Arneson, Galina Foulconer, Leigh Ann Thomas, Marty Goodnight, Alpha Morrow, Thia Shuler, and Meadows Images. Some of these artists will be transitioning to other exhibitions, while some will continue in this location for another six-months with new works of art to display.

Due to the City of Branson mandate, all staff and guests inside the Branson Convention Center are required to wear a facial mask and practice social distancing while attending this event.

The Arts Council appreciates the cooperation of our guests with this request and promises a fun evening of enjoyable art and music.

There are several new opportunities for Ozarks area artists to feature their work at area exhibitions sponsored by the Branson Regional Arts Council.

Artist applications are being accepted now for an immediate upcoming exhibition at the Branson Convention Center Art Gallery, Chateau on the Lake, Rock Room Art Gallery at the Historic Owen Theatre, as well as an invitation for artist exhibition booths at the Hollister Grape & Fall Festival in October.

Please submit digital images or portfolio of available work for any of these exhibitions by using the artist submission form or button below.

CALL FOR ARTISTS - SUBMIT HERE

About the exhibitions:

Branson Convention Center – Art Exhibit

Branson Convention Center Art Exhibition [SUBMIT NOW – SELECTIONS ARE SOON]

The Branson Convention Center Art Gallery is located on the second level promenade of the venue. Twelve to Fourteen Ozarks area artists are featured on a rotating basis.  All works are available for sale with a small commission benefiting the Branson Regional Arts Council. This exhibition is free to the public and open year round. This is a juried show, so all submissions will be reviewed by a committee before being accepted in the display.

Chateau On The Lake Artist Wall

The Artist Gallery Wall is located inside the Chateau Grill Restaurant at Chateau on the Lake Hotel and Convention Center. One artist is featured at a time on a rotating basis. All works are available for sale with a small commission benefiting the Branson Regional Arts Council. This exhibition is free to the public and open year round. This is a juried show, so all submissions will be reviewed by a committee before being accepted in the display.

Rock Room Gallery at the Historic Owen Theatre [SUBMIT NOW – SELECTIONS ARE SOON]

This new gallery space opened in the Fall of 2019 with rotating exhibitions that coincide with theatrical performances occurring inside the Historic Owen Theatre. The next exhibition is entitiled Cityscapes & New York Nights and will open on September 10th along with the comedy play by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple. Artists are asked to create works that fit a “New York Skyline” or “Life In The City” type theme. All works are available for sale with a small commission benefiting the Branson Regional Arts Council. This exhibition is free to the public and open during the run of the play. This is a juried show, so all submissions will be reviewed by a committee before being accepted in the display.The image below includes a watercolor by professional artist and BRAC art instructor Jessica Lowe who will also be featured in the exhibition.

Hollister Grape & Fall Festival

In previous years the Branson Regional Arts Council has helped to sponsor the Craftsman’s Village Tent where dozens of area artists can display and sell their works to the thousands of folks who attend the annual festival on Historic Downing Street in Hollister. In 2020 however, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the event organizers to adapt new protocols in order to create a safe event for all, so the indoor tent will not be used this year.  Instead, artists are invited to reserve their own pop-up tent space and sell their works directly. No commissions are involved in this event.  For information on becoming an Exhibitor at the Hollister Grape & Fall Festival visit the Hollister Chamber of Commerce website at HollisterChamber.net.

Forte Theatre Productions, in partnership with the Branson Regional Arts Council, announce that their anticipated 4th Annual Shakespeare In The Park production of The Tempest will be postponed until next year as part of the 2021 line up of BRAC arts events planned for our community. Originally scheduled for late September and early October 2020, the exact dates for the 2021 production of The Tempest is expected to be announced later this year.

Tina Cool-Anderson, Producer and Director of Forte Theatre Productions, shares this video announcement regarding the schedule change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The team at Forte Theatre Productions, along with the Branson Regional Arts Council, have made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest to 2021 due to COVID-19. Now, just because we have this pause in our season, doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop serving our Arts community. I mean, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague! So follow us on our social media pages and you’ll find information on upcoming virtual and in-person events. We’d also like to say a special thank you to the City of Hollister Parks and Recreation Department and all of our Arts Community who have helped make Shakespeare in the Park happen. So, keep safe and support your local Arts!” – Tina Cool-Anderson, Forte Theatre Productions

Past Shakespeare in the Park performances have included  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and last years Rock version of Hamlet. All of these productions have been held outdoors on the pavillion stage in Chad A Fuqua Memorial Park, and both organizations thank the City of Hollister and the Hollister Parks Department for their support and cooperation in making these community events possible.

NOTE: This change will not affect other musicals and plays already rescheduled for the 2020-2021 season at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson.

Upcoming BRAC performances include: The Odd Couple (Sept 10-15, 2010), The Sound of Music (Feb 11-14, 18-21, 25-28), The Glass Menagerie (Apr 8, 11,12), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged (Apr 30, May 2-3), Summer Youth Theatre Institute (May 17-21, 24-28, 31-June 2), Peter Pan Jr. (June 3-6), Mama Mia! (July 8-11, 15-18), 9 To 5 The Musical (Sep 9-12, 16-19), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Nov 4-7, 11-14). Other concert type events and possible additions to the musical theatre schedule are expected and will be announced at the appropriate time. Reserved seat tickets the above performances are now on sale at BransonArts.org/tix.

 

Postponed since last March due to the COVIC-19 pandemic shut down, the Branson Regional Arts Council is excited to finally present the hilarious comedy play The Odd Couple by Neil Simon at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson. Five performances are scheduled on Sept 10 (7pm), Sept 11 (7pm), Sept 12 (2pm & 7pm) and Sept 13 (2pm), with limited advance reserved seat tickets available now at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling the box office at 417-336-4255. Ticket prices are $16.95 (Adults 18+) and $11.45 (Youth 4-17) with proceeds benefiting the work of the Arts Council on behalf of our community.

Chance Havens as Oscar Madison

The unexpected postponement of this production unfortunately forced one of the lead actors to step away from the show, however Branson audiences are in for a treat as local theatre veteran Sean Neil Myers will be taking on the role of Felix Ungar.

Sean is thrilled to appear in his 12th BRAC production! He was last seen as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. His past roles for BRAC include Moonface Martin in Anything Goes, as well as standout roles in Beauty and the Beast, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, Annie, and Chicago. Sean’s favorite past roles include Igor in Young Frankenstein. 

Recommended for all audiences, this classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assemble for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger, who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed, and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born!

The production is directed by Jody Madaras, star of the popular All Hands On Deck show at the Dutton Family Theatre.

“American comedy, The Odd Couple, delivers biting zingers and the ingredients that laughs are made of.  Our BRAC production comes complete with a boat load of laughs, and a heart-warming ending that is sure to please!” – Jody Madaras, Director

 

Chance Havens plays the role of Oscar Madison along with Sean Neil Myers as Felix Unger. Additional cast members include Cory Hensen as Murray, Deron Wolfe as Roy, Mark Peper as Vinnie, Dylan Pratt as Speed, J.C. Clinton and Abby Reeve as the vivacious Pigeon sisters.

The Odd Couple Supporting Cast (L-R): Dylan Pratt, Cory Hensen, J.C. Clinton, Abby Reeve, Deron Wolfe, Mark Peper

Producers Kim Hale, Lisa Murphy and Karie Dykeman are assisted by Justin Ables (Artistic Advisor), Pamela Meadows (Lighting Director), and Mac Hill (Set Design and Sound Technician), Marshall Meadows (Photography), and Jim Barber (BRAC Executive Director and Marketing).

As an added bonus, theatre patrons will be invited to visit the Rock Room Gallery inside the Historic Owen Theatre for the new “Cityscapes & New York Nights” exhibition featuring artwork from a variety of local area artists. All works displayed will be available for sale by the artists. Artists interested in placing a work in the exhibit are asked to contact the Arts Council at info@bransonarts.org.

Theatre enthusiasts are reminded to purchase advance tickets for all of the upcoming Broadway musicals and plays that are already scheduled and in production at the Historic Owen Theatre throughout the 2020-2021 season. Visit BransonArts.org/tix for more information.

After a three month break due to the pandemic shutdown, the Branson Regional Arts Council is excited to announce that Roger and Karen Bergford are once again offering LIVE private voice lessons for students of all ages in various styles from classical to musical theater, pop, jazz, gospel, and country. Classes are available in 30 or 60 minutes sessions and will be held in the Rock Room Gallery of the Historic Owen Theatre.

BRAC Vocal Instructors Roger & Karen Bergford

Interested parents or adult students should contact the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255 or edu@bransonarts.org for more information on class scheduling and tuition rates.

A limited number of youth scholarships for Branson (65616) residents may be available for these classes.

All students will be required to follow the current health and safety protocols set forth by the Branson Regional Arts Council which include arrival temperature checks, masks when others are present, and social distancing in the classroom area.

Roger and Karen have over 30 years experience teaching both private and group vocal lessons. Roger earned his Bachelor of Music Education – Vocal Specialist from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, as well as graduate work in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado – Boulder.  Karen graduated with high honors from the University of Colorado – Boulder to earn her Bachelor of Music Education. Together they co-authored an industry book titled, “Sound & Language, the Defining Elements of the Complete Singer” in 2007.

After retiring as public school music educators in Colorado, the Bergfords moved to Branson in 2008 and began teaching 26 frontline singers in the Hughes Brothers it show, which won the Branson Show Award for “Best Show of the Year” (2009-2012).  In addition to working with the Hughes family, the Bergfords have also taught singers from The Haygoods and Jim Stafford Show casts, a backup singer with Andy Williams, and Voices of Glory, the top 5 finalists of America’s Got Talent (2009) who worked with the Michael Jackson/Boyz II Men manager, Qadree El-Amin. In 2017, the Voices of Glory were named “Vocal Group of the Year,” receiving both the prestigious Terry Award and the Branson Show Award.  Eighteen-year-old Nadia was  named “Female Vocalist of the Year.” The Bergfords were even invited to host a master class on a Bahamas cruise alongside Michael Jackson’s voice teacher in 2012.

Click Here For High Resolution Promotional Photo of Roger and Karen Bergford with BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber

Quarantine Cat Film Fest Benefits Branson Regional Arts Council’s Historic Owen Theatre

A new online cat video movie made its virtual world premiere on June 19, and proceeds will help keep the Historic Owen Theatre afloat amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Filmmakers sifted through more than 1,100 submissions from across the world to create Quarantine Cat Video Film Festival— a 70-minute compilation cat feature that is now available to watch at home through virtual cinema.

The film brings together the cutest, funniest, bravest, and most loving cat videos exclusively filmed during the 2020 quarantine. Its release is through virtual cinema – a new tool used by cinemas nationwide to sell tickets for newly released films that customers can watch at home.

The response has been better than we could have ever hoped and we have so much great content to work with. It’s going to be a really fun feature with hilarious and adventurous cats and, of course, some adorable kittens too. – Brian Mendelssohn, Film Director

Quarantine Cat Film Fest was developed to help bring digital revenue to independent theaters during the COVID-19 closures. More than 60 independent theatre houses, most of which were closed this spring, signed on to show the movie through virtual cinema. Half of the $12 ticket will go directly back to the theater screening it through its virtual cinema portal.

The pandemic forced the Branson Regional Arts Council to close the Historic Owen Theatre last March, yet our expenses to lease and maintain the facility have continued without any productions to help support our efforts. Until we are able to safely welcome audiences back into this 200 seat venue, we are relying on virtual education classes in the arts and outdoor events to entertain our area residents. This online film fest is a fun and unique way to assist in our ongoing fundraising activities. – Jim Barber, Executive Director of the Arts Council


Unlike most virtual cinema films, Quarantine Cat Film Festival was created and distributed through Row House Cinema, an 84-seat independently owned theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mendelssohn, who also owns Row House Cinema, and his wife came up with the idea at the beginning of the quarantine when they were watching their own cats, Oliver and Isabella, play at home.

“We thought, if everyone is stuck inside with our cats anyway we might as well start filming the hilarious things they do and make a cat movie” said Mendelssohn.

Virtual cinema ticket sales for Quarantine Cat Film Festival in support of the Historic Owen Theatre can be purchased securely online now at BransonArts.org/meow.

GET QUARANTINE CAT TICKETS HERE

Just The Facts:

  • Quarantine Cat Film Festival invites viewers watch adorable cat videos at home while supporting their local theatre venue.
  • More than 1,100 cat videos were submitted for the compilation film Quarantine Cat Film Festival.
  • Ticket sales will help support more than 60 small, independently owned and historic venues across the country, including the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson, MO.
  • Purchase your virtual film ticket at BransonArts.org/meow