The South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado is preparing for the second weekend’s performances of the Southern production of “An Evening of Culture -- Faith County: Romeo and Juliet” with showings November 15-17.

A roaring southern twist on a “play within a play,” audiences follow the performance of “star crossed lovers” Mildred Carson and Bubba Bedford. Not entirely prepared for the production, the cast struggles with forgotten lines, a set constructed and

falling apart throughout the show, out of this world costumes, and Bee-Luv-Lee beauty products.

“An Evening of Culture” is a look at Shakespeare, through the eyes of a small Southern town.

Darrin Riley, co-director for the production, said, “‘An Evening of Culture’ is a satirical comedy that gently pokes fun at amateur community theatre and the people whose passion for performing may outweigh their talent. he play is similar in style to the current Broadway smash hit and Tony Award winner for Best Play, ‘The Play That Goes Wrong,’ and the cult classic comedy film by Christopher Guest, ‘Waiting for Guffman.’ Both of which center around a small group of actors trying to keep a show going that is falling apart at the seams.”

“One of the challenges we found with ‘An Evening’ is that during the progression of the play, everything that could go wrong does, including the destruction of the set by the time the final curtain falls,” Riley said. “For our production that means that instead of only creating and painting the set once, as it is with most plays, our scenic painters must create seven versions of the same set. Each performance starts with a ‘fresh’ set that slowly is destroyed by our over ambitious actors.

“The wonderful thing about ‘An Evening of Culture’ for an audience is that there is no hidden deeper meaning, just pure, fun, laugh-out-loud entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Oh, yeah, and there’s some Shakespeare in it too, but trust me, you’ve never seen ‘Romeo & Juliet’ quite like this before. Take none of this seriously,” said Riley.

Ticket prices for this production are $20 general public, $10 for SAAC members and $5 for students. For more information on this show, call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474.

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