Rupa Dash

A Star is Born: UA Little Rock Alum Rupa Dash Taking the Lead to Empowering Women Globally

A dozen years ago, Rupa Dash got her start in the fast-growing Indian film industry of Bollywood. At the time, she didn’t see a lot of women in leadership roles. That’s something Dash quickly set out to change.  Continue reading “A Star is Born: UA Little Rock Alum Rupa Dash Taking the Lead to Empowering Women Globally”

UA Little Rock Downtown to host morning of physical and financial wellness on June 22

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is offering a chance for people to put their physical and financial wellness in shape during one fun-filled morning.  Continue reading “UA Little Rock Downtown to host morning of physical and financial wellness on June 22”

Arkansas Space Grant Consortium celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing

The UA Little Rock-based Arkansas Space Grant Consortium is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing with two out-of-this-world events this summer.  Continue reading “Arkansas Space Grant Consortium celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing”

UA Little Rock Downtown to showcase local art

UA Little Rock Downtown will exhibit works by two local ceramics artists and a painter on June 14 for this month’s Second Friday Art Night on June 14 from 5-8 p.m. at UA Little Rock Downtown, 333 President Clinton Ave. Continue reading “UA Little Rock Downtown to showcase local art”

 UA Little Rock theater student cast in NY Shakespeare company

UA Little Rock theater major Keith Harper has learned that an acting career requires both talent and extensive networking. Through the UA Little Rock Department of Theatre Arts, he has developed both.

This summer, Harper heads to Silver Lake, New York, where he will spend six weeks performing in Shake on the Lake’s production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” The acting company performs classic Shakespeare throughout western New York.

Harper, 26, of Little Rock will play the roles of Adam and Audrey, which he is familiar with since he was cast in the same roles last year in UA Little Rock’s production of “As You Like It.” That show was guest directed by Chad Bradford, a Little Rock actor based in New York City who is the associate artistic director for Shake on the Lake.  

Harper worked with Bradford in 2017 when Bradford directed The Studio Theatre’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and cast Harper.

Then in October 2018, Bradford directed UA Little Rock’s production of “As You Like It” and worked again with Harper. When it was time to cast his New York show, Bradford encouraged Harper to audition for the Shake on the Lake acting company.

“I didn’t hear anything for a couple of months, and then I got an email,” Harper recalled. “I was happy and excited. It’s a paying gig!”

Harper earned an Associate of Arts at University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, where he took his first acting classes with theater instructor Sheila Glasscock who cast him in a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He fell in love with theater and came to UA Little Rock as a transfer student. Harper received the Joan R. Taylor Scholarship and will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Art in Theatre Arts.

“The theatre department at UA Little Rock has given me a great foundation,” said Harper, who plans to pursue a career in film and theater in Los Angeles or Atlanta. “The faculty here have been great. Stacy Pendergraft and Larry Smith are awesome.”

While at UA Little Rock, Harper has performed in the Department of Theatre Art and Dance’s productions of  “Octoroon,” “Detroit 67,” and “As You Like It.”

Harper also has performed in several productions at The Weekend Theater, including “The Member of the Wedding,” “Two Trains Running,” “Stick Fly,” and “12 Angry Men.”

Before he leaves for New York, he will wrap up work with the Northwest Arkansas Prison Story Project. He and other actors will perform “On the Row,” a collection of staged readings of poems from death row inmates. The group leaves leaves June 13 to perform four shows in four cities including Dallas, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Later this month, Harper will also shoot the TV pilot “Lela’s Place,” being filmed in Arkansas. Harper plays an attorney. His residency with Shake on the Lake runs July 7 to Aug. 11.

“This will be my first trip to New York, and I’m looking forward to working and building network connections and expanding my skill set,” Harper said. “I hope my art in this field reaches and inspires others to do what they love. Whatever gift God has given you, you just share it. Everything will take care of itself.”

Photo top right: Keith Harper plans to pursue professional acting as a career when he graduates later this year.

Photo above left: Keith Harper (seated) performed in UA Little Rock’s production of “Detroit 67” earlier this year.

Photos by Benjamin Krain 

Oeur Sokuntevy's 2015 painting "What My Father Gave Me"

UA Little Rock Art Gallery to highlight recent acquisitions from permanent collection

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Art Gallery will showcase new pieces of art that the university has added to its permanent art collection over the past two years.  Continue reading “UA Little Rock Art Gallery to highlight recent acquisitions from permanent collection”

UA Little Rock art galleries feature work by former art professor

Photography by Carey Roberson, a former UA Little Rock art and photography professor, is on display through June 28 in the Focus Gallery of the Windgate Center of Art and Design, located at 28th Street and Campus Drive East. Continue reading “UA Little Rock art galleries feature work by former art professor”

Arkansas bands to play Tiny Desk concert

Three of Arkansas’s top bands will perform Thursday, June 6, as part of National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Arkansas event benefiting Little Rock Public Radio’s KUAR FM 89.1 and its regional program “Arts & Letters Radio.” Continue reading “Arkansas bands to play Tiny Desk concert”