“A Doll’s House, Part 2”: SLT play chosen for national play festival

Shawnee Little Theatre

Shawnee Little Theatre, Inc. is one of 12 community theaters across the United States chosen to present its production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” by Lucas Hnath, at Virtual AACTFest 2021, the National Community Theatre Festival, June 14-20. SLT is the only Oklahoma community theater production chosen to advance to national competition.

Virtual AACTFest 2021 will present the finalist community theater productions, which will be streamed during the week of the festival. “A Doll's House, Part 2,” is scheduled to be broadcast at 8:30 p.m., Friday, June 18.

Also at the national festival, Shawnee Little Theatre will be honored with the Twink Lynch Organizational Achievement Award by the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT). The AACT Twink Lynch Organizational Achievement Award recognizes AACT member theaters for successfully completing major steps in new directions, expanding services to their communities, or moving to the next level of organizational development.

A live dress rehearsal encore performance of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” will be presented April 23 at 7:30 p.m. at SLT, 1829 Airport Rd. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for general seating with social distancing. Masks are required. There is no admission, but donations are accepted. According to contest rules, the play has been shortened to a one-hour version.

In the final scene of Henrik Ibsen’s, “A Doll’s House,” Norma Helmer decides to leave her husband and children and begin a new life. In “A Doll’s House, Part 2” many years have passed and now there’s a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. Why? What will it mean for those she left behind?

The Shawnee Little Theatre production includes Karla Kelly, Nicki Sherman, Scott Bartley, and Jill Fry. The artistic production crew includes Director Rebecca Fry, Stage Manager Lynn Goodson, with scenic design by Matt Hopkins, lighting design by Preston Fry and Ronny Jones, costume design by Tami Lawson and Rebecca Fry, wig design by Jennifer Teel, makeup by Jill Fry, sound by Michael Schwab, and set construction by Preston Fry, Tom Dicken, and Kate Blain.

Rebecca Fry, who directed Shawnee Little Theatre’s production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” said, “We are honored to be a part of the Virtual AACTFest 2021. This cast and crew have worked very hard to bring this wonderful script to the stage. This past year has been difficult for a lot of community theatres. It is exciting for all of us to return to the stage after 2020’s Long Intermission! Shawnee Little Theatre’s last appearance at the national competition was in 1979.”

For the past year, community theaters around the country have had to make difficult decisions due to the pressures and restrictions imposed by the global pandemic, functioning in survival mode. But theater is resilient, and companies around the country are pivoting, redefining, and reimagining who they are, and how they will continue to serve their communities now and into a post-pandemic future.

Virtual AACTFest 2021 will celebrate those stories of resiliency, representing the best of community theater in America. In addition to the 12 productions, keynotes, workshops, educational programming, vendor exhibits, a design competition, and special events will focus on supporting theaters through this evolutionary journey.

A professional video production company, Colvin Theatrical, will shoot each show on four professional Blackmagic cinema cameras, with a mixture of close-ups, wide angles and moving shots. Using live-editing and broadcasting technology, each performance video will emulate the theatrical experience each finalist would have at an in-person AACTFest, while maintaining professional, high-quality cinematic standards. National sponsor Broadway on Demand will stream the performances during festival week.

AACTFest is a celebration of theater and a learning experience for those who take part. Each National Company production will receive an online adjudication from experienced and nationally known adjudicators. Their comments on productions will be a learning experience for all participating company members and audience members.

Registration and performance tickets are available to all. More information is available at aact.org/21.

National Companies and their productions being presented at Virtual AACTFest 2021:

· INNOVAtheatre, Cincinnati, Ohio, Ordinary Days, music and lyrics by Adam Gwon

· Stage Left Theater Association, Spokane, Washington, Lonely Planet, by Steven Dietz

· Theatre Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Love and Cheese Toast, by Cooper Shattuck

· Artists Collaborative Theatre, Elkhorn City, Kentucky, Blood Song, by Chelsea Marcantel

· SHAPE Players, Mons, Belgium, Holy Days, by Sally Nemeth

· Players de Noc, Escanaba, Michigan, Jerry's Brain, by J.R. Spalding

· Windham Actors Guild, Windham, New Hampshire, How to be a Good Son, by Julia Cho

· The Studio Theatre, Little Rock, Arkansas, Hillary and Clinton, by Lucas Hnath

· Shawnee Little Theatre, Shawnee Oklahoma, A Doll's House, Part 2, by Lucas Hnath

· City Theatre, Pelham Alabama, Collected Stories, by Donald Margulies

· Bellingham Theatre Guild, Bellingham, Washington, The Harry and Sam Dialogues, by Karen Ellison

· The Lexington Players, Lexington, Massachusetts, The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall

Shawnee Little Theatre is a non-profit totally volunteer community theater celebrating its 54th year in Shawnee.

AACT provides networking, resources, and support for America’s theaters. AACT represents the interests of more than 7,000 theaters across the United States and its territories, as well as theatre companies with the U.S. Military Services overseas.