What is the Gridiron Show?
Well, first of all, it has nothing to do with football!
The Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show is a theatrical performance that spoofs local, state and national newsmakers and cultural trends of the past year in sketch and song. It is written, directed and performed by the local Society of Professional Journalists.
In addition, it’s a very nice social event. Fans come out to see who’s going to get skewered and many of those targets are in the audience! Before the show and at intermission, the cash bar is open and you can hobnob with the cast.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets go on sale Sept. 1 each year and are available online, by calling the Arkansas Public Theater box office at 479-631-8988, or purchasing the tickets at the box office on show nights — if there are any left!!
All tickets are for general admission. There are no reserved seats.
Food and drink?
Snacks and drinks – including soft drinks, beer and wine – are available for purchase at the show.
Where is the Theater?
Arkansas Public Theater at the Victory (formerly Rogers Little Theater) is located at 116 S. Second Street in downtown Rogers.
- From Interstate 49
- Take Exit 85 to Walnut Avenue and turn toward Rogers (east).
- Go east about 2.6 miles to North Second Street.
- Turn right (south) on North Second. The theater is half a block down on the right.
Where do I park?
Patrons are invited to park diagonally along the streets adjacent to the building.
Nearby public lots are located at Second and Elm streets (1/2 block from the theater), around the corner mid-block on Walnut between Second and Third streets; and in Frisco Park.
Special seating for patrons in wheelchairs is available. Please inform box office personnel at 479-631-8988 about any mobility needs before you come.
Where does the money go?
The Society of Professional Journalists uses proceeds to fund journalism scholarships and provide continuing education. The show will also benefit the Arkansas Public Theater building fund. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
How long is the Gridiron Show?
We work really hard to be sure that neither half lasts more than 45 minutes. Of course, that depends on how much you laugh!
The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and with the 20-minute intermission between acts, we usually have folks out of the theater by 10 p.m.
Who’s in the Gridiron Show?
Our rule is: You gotta be a journalist to be in front of the curtain, except for the emcee, who is often a well known public figure. Most of our cast comes from staffs of the local newspaper, TV and radio stations, public relations agencies and faculty of the university journalism department. We also are lucky enough to get journalism students involved each year.
One thing’s for sure: If you’re a newsmaker, you won’t be on the stage, but we hope you’ll join the audience! It’s our turn.
Who writes the Gridiron Show?
Same folks as above.
Who plays the music?
In 2019, Kristi Peterson took the reins from our long-time musical director, Emily Kaitz. Emily decided it was time to retire and move to the quiet life of Calico Rock. Of course, we did not do the show live in 2020, but Kristi performed what little music we had in our online version.
How long has the local Gridiron been around?
The first Northwest Arkansas Gridiron Show was produced more than 40 years ago. The troupe played to packed houses from 1978-1990, then took a 13-season hiatus. We’ve been back now since 2004.