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Cast Announcement “It’s a Wonderful Life”


Cast Announcement “Murder at Cafe Noir”

Congratulations to the Murder at Café Noir cast. Come see them at the Civitan event October 27:

Rick Archer – Jacob Alan Sturgeon

Madam Toureau – Charlotte Sears Hammonds

Sheila Wonderly – Angela Morgan

Anthony Cairo – Frank O. Butler

Marie Larue – Francesca Bee

Simon Gutterman – Tommie Tinker

Thursby/Vangilder/Rigfield – Brian Christopher Roberson

Cast Announcement for “Boy Hero: The Story of David O. Dodd”


Mother Lydia Dodd: Amber Threlkeld
David O. Dodd: Jacan Earnest
Frank Tomlinson: Dakota Leslie
Minerva Cogburn: Delaney Leslie
Gen. Fredrick Steele: Doug Morris
Senhora Dodd: Lily Matney
Mary Dodge: Abby Windsor
Prv. Olderburg: Mason Newberry
Cpl Clausen: Tim Sopel

Loren Newberry = Older Lydia Dodd
Paul Johnson
Isabelle Marchese
Christian Marchese

Written by: Nancy Hendricks
Directed by Randall Earnest
Student Director: Tierney Earnest
Produced by: Tim Sopel and Cindy Grisham

The Royal Players Present “One Night Only”


The Royal Theatre will host a night of vocal performances One Night Only by the Young Players and other local vocal students from the Central Arkansas area, as a fundraiser for the Young Players. Proceeds will fund Young Players Destination NYC in the summer of 2017, celebrating the 15th Birthday of the Young Players!
Musical direction by Jo Murry.

Tickets are on sale now at through TicketLeap and reservations will be available by calling 501-315-5483 beginning Saturday, September 10th. If you have any questions about this performance, or about the trip to NYC please feel free to call before then and leave a message for us. Your call will be returned.

Hope to see you there! As always, thank you for supporting local theater and expecially the fabulously talented kids that make up the Young Players!

September Newsletter

September Newsletter is now posted. Please go to the top and click on newsletter tab.

“Murder at Cafe Noir” Auditions

14088430_1200264823327406_612936672667014888_nThe Royal Players will hold auditions for Murder at Café Noir by David Landau on Friday, September 9 (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday, September 10 (10 am-noon) at the Royal Theatre, 111 S. Market in downtown Benton.
Directed by Frank O. Butler, this production is for the one-night Civitan Services Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre to be held October 27 at the Benton Events Center.
Described as a “fast and funny satire,” Murder at Café Noir is a comic tribute to the Bogart movies of the 1940’s with musical interludes, and uses a cast of four men and three women ages 18-65 (details below).
Please prepare 16-32 bars of music to sing (please provide sheets), and there will be cold readings from the script. If you are interested in auditioning, but cannot make these dates, please inform Susan Dill at, and we will try to make other arrangenments. Theater phone is 501-315-5483 and the website is

List of Characters –

RICK ARCHER – a private eye who’s always wanted to be Bogart or Mitchum in one of those 40s film noir movies, and has not gotten his chance.
MADAM TOREAU – a lady who’s seen it all while managing the Cafe Noir – where everything is for sale.
SHEILA WONDERLY – her real name is Sheilda Schickelmeier. Once a spoiled rich girl, she took a job at Cafe Noir and learned about life the hardest way of all, becoming hardened in the process.
ANTHONY CAIRO – a dealer in the black market working Cafe Noir to avoid the St. Vincent police. He has two scars, one on either side of his face.
MARIE LARUE – the Creole illegitimate daughter of a Voodoo priestess and a St. Vincent’s political figure. She sells spells and fortunes at Cafe Noir.
SIMON GUTTERMAN – a British barrister who lost his standing when he became implicated in a scandal of having affairs with wealthy female clients. He now caters to the clientele of Cafe Noir. Simon is always looking for a quick way to make it to the top.

THURSBY – a two bit gun runner.
VANGILDER – a Dutch blackmailer.
RIGFIELD – a British cop from St. Vincent.

THURSBY, VANGILDER and RIGFIELD are all played by the same actor.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Auditions


Royal Players will be holding auditions for It’s a Wonderful Life by Doug Rand, produced by special arrangement with Playcripts, Inc. Auditions will be held at the Royal Theatre, 111 South Market Street, Benton, AR 72015 on September 10 at 2pm and September 12 at 7pm with possible call back September 15 at 7pm. Please bring a list of your conflicts with you. Auditions will consist of readings from the script. Rehearsals will begin in October and show dates are December 1-4 and December 8-11.

This faithful, fast-moving stage adaptation of the classic film features fluid scene changes, reasonable set requirements, and scores of beefy roles, particularly for women. It’s not only a joyful Christmas tale — it’s the gorgeous love story of George and Mary Bailey, a vivid portrait of the Greatest Generation, a descent into the darkest hour of a man trapped by circumstance, and a powerful meditation on what makes a meaningful life.

George Bailey – The everyman of Bedford Falls – a good man whose patience is tried – obviously a major acting role — approximately aged 25 +
Mrs. Bailey – A very kind and understanding woman who should be old enough to be George’s mother as an adult – approximately aged 50 or above
Uncle Billy – George’s uncle and business partner – An older male approximately the same age as Cousin Tilly and Mrs. Bailey
Cousin Tilly – George’s Cousin – works at The Building and Loan
Cousin Eustace – George’s Cousin – works at The Building and Loan
Mary Hatch (later Mary Bailey) –George’s Loving Wife – female approximately the same age as George
Pete/Young George – George and Mary’s Oldest – may double for young George
Janie-George and Mary’s Oldest Daughter
Zuzu – George and Mary’s Younger Daughter
Tommy – George and Mary’s Youngest Child
Clarence Odbody – An AS-2 (Angel Second Class) – male of indeterminate age
Annie – The maid for Ma and Pa Bailey
Harry Bailey – George’s younger brother – male approximately 18-25
Mr. Gower – Proprietor of the corner drug store – older male aged 50 or above
Violet Bick – Friend of George – age will match George and Mary
Bert – a patrolman – male of indeterminate age
Ernie – a cabby – same age as George
Henry F. Potter owns practically the entire town – the villain of the story – older and domineering male aged 50 or above
Mr. Martini – a proprietor of a bar – male aged 35 or above
Mr. Carter – The Bank Examiner
And Townspeople
For more information please contact Director Lisa Goodrich at 501-249-3169 or email at

August Newsletter

August Newsletter is now posted. Please go to the top and click on newsletter tab.

“’Boy Hero: The Story of David O. Dodd,” Auditions

The Royal Players will hold auditions for “’Boy Hero: The Story of David O. Dodd,” a historical drama written by Dr. Nancy Hendricks of Hot Springs and set in Central Arkansas during the Civil War. Audition Dates are Sunday, August 14th at 6 pm and Monday, August 15th at 6 pm at the Royal Theatre, 111 S. Market in Benton. There will be dry reads from the script. The play is directed by Randall Earnest. Author Nancy Hendricks is best known for her research and portrayal of Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, the first woman elected to the United States Senate. Show dates are October 6-9, 2016, to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the birth of David O. Dodd. This is a fundraiser for the Bryant Historical Society, as well as the Royal Players, since the Dodd family lived in that area, and the members of the society do a tremendous job of keeping that legacy alive. Director requests that those who audition be 16 years of age and up please. Theater phone is 501-315-5483; website
David O. Dodd: Male, 17
Frank Tomlinson: Male, 17
Pvt Daniel Olderburg; Male, Young (Union)
Cpl Clausen: Male, Any (Union)
Senhora Dodd: Female, 18 (David’s Sister)
Minerva Cogburn: Female, 17
Lydia Dodd: Female, Middle-Age (David’s Mother)
Lydia Dodd: Female, Older (David’s Mother) will be played by Dr. Hendricks
Mary Dodge: Female, 17
3-5 ensemble

The Royal Players Present “You Can’t Take it With You”


The Royal Players end their 2015-16 season with its production of the classic Moss Hart-George S. Kaufman comedy “You Can’t Take It with You” August 11-14 and 18-21, at the Royal Theater in Benton. The production is sponsored by Regions Bank of Benton. Thursday through Saturday shows start at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 adult, $8 seniors and general military, and $5 students. Tickets will be available on the website –

Directed by Frank O. Butler, the play presents the Sycamore family during the Great Depression, in all its eccentric glory – Mother Penny (Amanda Gilmore) aspires to become a writer; Father Paul (Chris Counts) makes fireworks in the basement with the help of Mr. Da Pinna (Randall Earnest); Older daughter Essie (Destiny Marchese) wants to be a dancer, with the support of her husband Ed (Mason Newberry) and dance teacher Mr. Kolenkhov (Harold Dean); and ‘Grandpa’ (Tim Sopel) wants them all to be happy. When younger daughter Alice (Hannah Hill) falls for the boss’s son Tony (Brian Christopher Roberson), matters of love escalate to impending catastrophe when Tony brings his parents, Mr. Kirby (Paul Johnston) and Mrs. Kirby (Karen Ray), on the wrong night for dinner. In a world of fact-checkers versus dream-catchers, can true love really win out?

Rounding out the cast are Jaketa McClure as Rheba, Keith Harper as Donald, Pam Vidt as Olga, Tom Wilkerson as Henderson, Hillary Bell as Gay Wellington, and Hunter Strom as an agent, with his assistant played by various “special guest stars” – having local “celebrity” actors has become a Royal tradition in Frank O. Butler plays.

“You Can’t Take it with You” originally premiered on Broadway in 1936, and played for 838 performances. The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was adapted for the screen as You Can’t Take It with You, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director (Frank Capra). There have been numerous Broadway revivals of the show, including the most recent in 2015, with James Earl Jones as ‘Grandpa’.

The Royal Theatre is in historic Downtown Benton at 111 S. Market Street. Phone is 501-315-5483(LIVE).