Theatre Department, TheatreSquared Collaborate With Fayetteville Library to Present 'Matilda'

Photos courtesy of TheatreSquared

TheatreSquared's Matilda: The Musical began performances at the brand-new Fayetteville Public Library Event Center in June, and shows run now through July 25. 

Matilda marks two firsts: with a 33-member cast, nine-member orchestra and more than 15 crew members behind the scenes, it is the company's largest-ever production as well as the first professional theatre production on the Fayetteville Public Library's new stage. 

Matilda: The Musical also marks an expansion of T2's long-standing collaboration with the U of A's Department of Theatre with equipment on loan and more than 25 faculty, students and alumni working on the production.  

In order to accommodate a professional musical production of unprecedented scale in the venue, the theatrical lighting system of the Fayetteville Public Library Event Center has been augmented by numerous state-of-the-art automated lighting fixtures, control system components and rigging equipment on loan from the Department of Theatre's recently renovated U of A Blackbox Theatre. 

"We are thankful to the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences for their collaboration and vision in this project," Miller said. "We especially want to acknowledge the support and leadership of Todd Shields, Michael Riha and Weston Wilkerson."

Based on the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl, the five-time Tony Award winner Matilda is an international phenomenon. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to change her own destiny. A classic underdog story, Matilda's journey sets an incredible example of how to stand up for what is right—no matter your stature.

Directed by Aimée Hayes and starring young actors Leanne Parks and Piper Wallace alternating in the role of Matilda, this show is a riotous, inspiring experience for the whole family.

As with many past TheatreSquared productions, many U of A faculty, students and alumni contributed their time and talent to the production, with more than 25 credited on this show.

The creative team of the show includes Jason Burrow (musical director), Weston Wilkerson (lighting designer), Noah Johnson (guest fabricator) and Amy Herzberg (associate artistic director), who all serve as faculty members in the Department of Theatre. 

Department of Theatre alumni Bryce Kemph, Drew Johnson, Jacquelyne Jones, Claire Fossey, Anna Knight and Triston Sutterfield, as well as current student Leah Smith, can be seen onstage as principal members of the cast. 

Current and former students Austin Bomkamp, Zack McJunkins, Anna Grace Estes, Josh Harpell, Jake Lewis and Sophie Harris are also members of the production crew who built and assembled Matilda.  

In addition, many U of A alumni are members of the TheatreSquared staff that create every production at the company, including Na'Tosha De'Von, Morgan Hicks, Elliott James, Ruby Kemph, Rachel Mills, Elizabeth France McCue, Jennifer McClory, Derrick Rassinier, Rebecca Rivas and Chris Seawood. 

Tickets for Matilda: The Musical range from $17-$58. All fees are included, with no additional charges at checkout. Reduced-price tickets are available through the Lights Up! Program, as well as to students and patrons under 30 years of age. Ten free tickets per show are available for checkout through the Fayetteville Public Library. Subscription packages for TheatreSquared are also available. 

Subscriptions and single tickets can be reserved by calling TheatreSquared at (479) 777-7477 or by visiting

About TheatreSquared: TheatreSquared's signature offering of bold new plays in an intimate setting has driven its growth to become the state's largest theatre, offering more than 300 performances annually in two intimate spaces and online. The playwright-led company is one of mid-America's leading laboratories for new work, having launched more than 60 new plays. Notable collaborators have included Bryna Turner, Anne García-Romero, Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D'Amour, Qui Nguyen, Mona Mansour, Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing, Amy Evans, and many others. TheatreSquared's remarkable expansion — with a twentyfold increase in audience in just the past decade — parallels the emergence of its home region in the northwest corner of Arkansas as a booming population center and destination for American art. Offering far-reaching access and education programs and an open-all-day gathering space, the Commons Bar/Café, TheatreSquared remains rooted in its founding vision, that "theatre — done well and with passion — can transform lives and communities." 

About Fayetteville Public Library: The Fayetteville Public Library was founded in 1916. Fayetteville Public Library received Library Journal's Library of the Year award, was named an American Landmark Library by TravelSmart and Best Library in NWA by Citiscapes. Its existing Blair building was the first in Arkansas to be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program. Its vision is to be a public institution that is powerfully relevant and completely accessible. Visit for more information. 


Joanna Sheehan Bell, director of marketing and communications

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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