UA Little Rock alumnus, student named artistic directors at Little Rock theater

Duane Jackson

Duane Jackson, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumnus, was recently named artistic director at The Weekend Theater in Little Rock. Assisting him will be Zachery Ingersoll, a senior theater student at UA Little Rock.

Both have been involved with numerous productions at The Weekend Theater as well as theaters throughout Central Arkansas.

As artistic director, Jackson will oversee the artistic vision of all productions at The Weekend Theater, which recently concluded its 25th season. The next season includes four musicals and six dramas.

“Duane has been part of The Weekend Theater family for many years,” said Kim Labbate, president of the theater’s Board of Directors. “He understands and embraces the theater’s unique mission of producing socially significant works, and we look forward to seeing his creative vision.”

Jackson, a central Arkansas native, has performed in more than 75 plays and directed 13 productions at The Weekend Theater over the past 20 years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre performance from UA Little Rock, graduating cum laude in 1988.

“UA Little Rock offered me the opportunity to work and create with talented professors and directors, and helped me develop discipline and commitment to the craft of theatre,” Jackson said. “I was able to learn how to work with directors in multiple performance styles. Since it was a smaller department at the time, it allowed more individual attention and performance opportunities. UA Little Rock provided the foundation of teamwork, learning your craft, and the importance of giving back to your community.”

Jackson did postgraduate study at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. (now Missouri State University). He performed in two summer seasons of Tent Theatre and for a season at the Molly Brown Dinner Theatre in Hannibal, Mo.

In 1991, Jackson returned to central Arkansas where he has performed and directed at most of the theatres in central Arkansas, including Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Studio Theatre,Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, Community Theatre of Little Rock, the Phoenix Players, the Royal Players, and Argenta Community Theater.  

Some of his directing credits include “Angels in America,” “The Laramie Project,” and “A! My Name is Alice,” all for Weekend Theater. He will direct “Steel Magnolias” this fall.

Zachery Ingersoll
Zachery Ingersoll

Ingersoll, who will graduate in spring 2019, also has been involved with numerous theater productions.

This summer, he will work as the stage manager for The Weekend Theater’s production of the musical “Bare,” and he will direct “The Survivor’ in May, which also serves as his senior capstone project before graduating. In March, he directed a production of Chekhov’s “The Seagull” with the Little Rock Theatre Guild on the UA Little Rock campus.

He also served last year as the directing intern for The Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” under John Miller-Stephany and as assistant director to Gilbert McCauley for “The Call” in January.

Ingersoll plans to earn an MFA in Directing and eventually work as a professor of theatre and directing.

“A dream of mine has always been to be a part of founding a theatre company with a strong educational mission and a commitment to producing new work and reimagining classics,” he said.

(Top photo right)UA Little Rock alumnus Duane Jackson is The Weekend Theater’s new artistic director.

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