Artist’s Laboratory Theatre to host a month of shows in a sheet fort

Artist’s Laboratory Theatre performs “Found Fayetteville” at Last Night Fayetteville in 2011.

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Over the past few years, Artist’s Laboratory Theatre has hosted several shows in the sheet forts they’ve built in venues around Fayetteville. You know, the kind you made from your parents’ sheets and blankets when you were a kid.

Event poster

Beginning this weekend, the experimental theatre group will allow other local performing arts organizations an opportunity to the share the thrill of performing inside a giant sheet fort.

The group has leased space at 612 W. Center St. through the end of March, and will build a sheet-structure for a month of improv, storytelling, movie nights, comedy, and other theatrical performances inside the temporary venue.

“There’s a lot going on here in town in terms of performing arts, but there really isn’t a dedicated venue for these groups to perform,” said ALT founder Erika Wilhite. “That’s one of the reasons we’re doing this.”

Among those scheduled to perform in the sheet fort are a long-form music improv group called Sound Affects, comedians Jocelyn Morelli and Sam Letchworth, and poets Houston Hughes, Sparkman, and Leah Gould.

Other planned events include movie nights and a performance of Artist Laboratory Theatre’s popular “Found Fayetteville” show.

Movies will be hosted by Big Picture House, a project from local resident Rachna Muldoon, who is seeking a permanent home for an independent and art house movie theatre in Fayetteville.

“Found Fayetteville” is a multi-media performance featuring content found in Craigslist ads, home videos, love letters, and other items found around town.

Wilhite said she has raised funds through local business sponsorships to cover the rental fees for the space and advertising expenses for the shows so that the artists will be able to set their own door fees, and keep the money to help their organizations grow.

“Really, one of the things I was trying to do was help these groups build audiences, build awareness about the things happening in Fayetteville, and help them establish themselves,” she said.

Performances begin Friday, Feb. 22 with Sound Affects Improv. A full schedule of sheet fort shows is listed below.

Show descriptions provided by Artist’s Laboratory Theatre.

Sheet Fort Performances

Feb. 22-23 – Sound Affects Improv ($5)— a HILARIOUS long-form musical improv group.

March 1 – Speak For Yourself Open Mic (Free) — Do you have a really great story? Here is you chance to tell us! SFY is a new storytelling series open for amateur and professional storytellers to share in front of a live audience. Sign up in advance to ensure your spot by emailing: [email protected]

March 7 – Big House Pictures Presents “Goonies” (Free)

March 8 – Speak For Yourself Open Mic (Free) – Sign up in advance to ensure your spot by emailing: [email protected]

March 17 – St. Patty’s Day Party with Jocelyn Morelli and Sam Letchworth ($5) – Hosts Sam Letchworth and Jocelyn Morelli host a St Patricks Day party filled with song, stand up comedy and good old fashioned limericks.

March 21 – Big House Pictures Presents “Pretty in Pink” (Free)

March 22-23 Found Fayetteville ($10) – A popular multimedia variety show of “Found-in-Fayetteville” material. It is created from Craig’s List ads, love letters found on the ground, home videos, and other bits of local ephemera. The show is a love letter to our favorite sweetheart of a city.

March 29 – Big Tent Revival ($5 donation) – Have the worries of the world got you weary? Are trials and tribulations troubling you? Need something to stir your soul? Then come out to THE BIG TENT REVIVAL! featuring the most soulful music and words in all of Arkansas! Includes musical performances by Shawn James and John Henry and the Earthshakers. Spoken acts include Houston Hughes, Sparkman, and Leah Gould.