Hunter Seegers (Will Shakespeare) and Mikalyn Reif (Viola) in a scene from Shakespeare in Love.
Hunter Seegers (Will Shakespeare) and Mikalyn Reif (Viola) in a scene from Shakespeare in Love.

Theatre @ UAFS will perform Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16 and 18-19 in the Breedlove Auditorium on the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith campus as part of the Season of Entertainment 38.


Tickets for the comedic drama are $6 for the general public and free to UAFS faculty, staff and students. To acquire tickets, contact the UAFS Box Office at 479-788-7300 or http: and and


The 1995 Best Picture winner film has been adapted for the stage and will be performed at UAFS in glorious style. The play’s lead, Will Shakespeare, is a down-and-out playwright who needs a breakthrough. A beautiful and fiery woman, a producer with shady underworld financing, and a witless cast of start struck hopefuls are sure to entertain. 


“This new adaptation is so fun and so much like the film that it’s a treat to get to tackle it,” said Bob Stevenson, director of Theatre @ UAFS. Stevenson noted that though theater students will of course study Shakespeare while in the program, the poet’s works can be challenging for modern audiences. “With this piece, you get the best of both worlds, you get some of the best and most famous bits of Shakespeare with a story that is accessible and easy to understand in standard English. It’s a gift for the audience, a funny, witty, romantic piece that brings the world’s most famous love story to the stage with a unique twist.” 


“Plus, it opens on Valentine’s Day,” Stevenson added, “What a great treat for that special someone in your life.”


Two guest directors will be directing Shakespeare in Love, Laura Shatkus, a professional actor and director who originally hails from Chicago, but comes to UAFS from northwest Arkansas of and Andrew Snyder, a UAFS theatre graduate who went on to get his MFA in Acting as well as studying theatre abroad before working professionally. 


“There is nothing unfamiliar to us about socio-political forces rending lovers, parents and children, family, and friends apart. The world has always been a mess of imperfect political systems and inequity. That which survives, that which is perfect is art--music, theatre, dance, poetry, painting, etc. Through this play, we are flung directly back in time into the exact moment in which the art-making occurs and we become these people who really lived, even if they are somewhat fictionalized. The play is a call to arms about the importance of creation and creativity in the face of oppressive forces. It is a plea to us to appreciate and glorify the work that has come before and, as Viola does, to revere and encourage young artists so that perhaps 500 years from now their words, ideas, and hearts can shine as brightly as they do today,” said Shatkus.


“Working on this show has been a great treat. Getting to know the students and collaborating creatively to tell this epic love story is both challenging and exciting. The play asks us to engage in almost every element of performance in the theatre--dance, combat, comedy, tragedy, intimacy...and a bit with a dog! Even if you don't know too much about Shakespeare you are sure to fall in love with Shakespeare In Love,” she continued. 


Students and faculty members performing in the show are:



Laura Shatkus – Co-director, of  Elgin, Illinois;

Andrew Snyder – Co-director, of Texarkana, Texas;

Aubry Nelson – Assistant Director and  Dance Choreographer, of Sycamore, Illinois;

Jacob Price – Stage Manager, of Lavaca;

Logan Parks – Assistant Stage Manager and Dramaturg, of Soldotna, Alaska;

Pablo Guerra-Monje – Scenic Design, of Madrid, Spain;

Bob Stevenson – Fight Choreographer, of Fort Smith;

Stephan Copeland – Technical Director, of Fort Smith;  

Mollie Armour – Intimacy Choreographer;

Madison Smith – Lighting Design, of Fort Smith;  

Matt Bowers – Sound Design, of San Diego, California;

Jennifer Moua – Props, of Fitchuburg, Massachusetts;

Tori Buie – Props, of Van Buren;

Andrew Duch – Costume Design, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma;

Hailey Buie – Costume Design, of Van Buren;   

Paige Lokey – Hair and Makeup, Pocola, Oklahoma;

and Samantha Benton – Assistant Hair and Makeup, Prairie Grove.



Hunter Seegers – Will Shakespeare, of Van Buren;

Mikalyn Reif – Viola de Lesseps and Thomas Kent, of Poteau, Oklahoma;

Devin Phongsavanh – Kit Marlowe, of Woon Socket, Rhode Island;

Allen Phetchareun – Fennyman, of Fort Smith;

Logan Parks – Henslowe, of Soldotna, Alaska;

Tori Buie – Lambert, Catling, of Van Buren;

Brandon Way – Frees, Boatman, of Stillwater, Oklahoma;

Kerri Douberly – Richard Burbage, of Hot Springs;

Kevin Baily – Ned Alleyn, of Irvine, California;

Olivia Coulter – Sam, Juliet,, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma;

Madison Smith – Mistress Quickly, Burbage’s Heavy #, of Fort Smith;

Paige Lokey – Valentine, Viola understudy, Adam, Benvolio, Servingman, of Pocola, Oklahoma;

Andrea Lawrence – Proteus, Abraham, of McAlester, Oklahoma;

Cheyanna Stricker – Queen Elizabeth I, of Elkins;

Malcum Nobles – Edmund Tilney, of Pea Ridge;

Samantha Benton – Nurse, of Prairie Grove;

Kelly Webster – Sir Robert de Lesseps, of Poteau, Oklahoma;

Asante Pulliam – Lord Wessex;

Grant Mortenson – Guard 1, of Greenwood;

Kaitlyn Lichti – Guard 2, of Lavaca;

Danica Marcum – Waiter, Kate, of Russellville;

Margie Barragan – Molly, Barman, Burbage’s Heavy #2, Partygoer, of Temecula, California;

Andrew Duch – Ralph, Nurse, Petruchio, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma;

Dallas Bryant – Nol, Benvolio, Samson, of Benton;

Gabby Carter – Robin, Lady Capulet, of Greenwood;

Dillon Hudson – John Webster, of Centerton;

Brandon Stone – Wabash, of Poteau, Oklahoma;

and Kaleigh Krimmel – Peter, Tybalt, of Greenwood.


The performance is part of the Season of Entertainment 38, a yearlong lineup of entertainment sponsored by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith featuring a variety of plays, musicals and symphonic performances.


For more information on the play, contact Stevenson at 479-788-7303 or

Rachel Rodemann Putman, Interim Public Information Director
Date Posted: 
Saturday, February 2, 2019
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