THE JOINT COMEDY THEATRE is in its ninth year in Arkansas, where it has not only enjoyed great success, but it has changed the entertainment landscape for the entire region. Now, due to COVID-19, THE JOINT is in grave danger of closing. But first, a little background.
Since 1972, Steve and Vicki Farrell have been creating original comedy and music, which has been featured on HBO, Saturday Night Live, and in their own comedy theaters — including THE BRAVE NEW WORKSHOP in Minneapolis, THE COMEDY WORKSHOP in Houston (where they helped launch the careers of Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks, Janeane Garafolo, Brett Butler, and countless others) and RADIO MUSIC THEATRE, where they performed their original shows weekly for 26 years.
In 2011, Steve and Vicki decided to begin a new adventure by opening THE JOINT COMEDY THEATER in downtown North Little Rock, Arkansas. At their own expense, they built the state-of-the-art facility, where they have produced original two-act comedies about life in Arkansas.
For nine years, Arkansans have been treated to something completely new to them — world class, professional productions, created specifically for and about them. THE JOINT also provides a venue for local comedians and wannabe performers to learn and practice their craft before a live audience. Classes in improvisation are offered by the staff of professionals, and stand out students are often asked to become members of the resident improv company, THE JOINT VENTURE.
Additionally, THE JOINT presents a weekly jazz night and a monthly concert series, which flies in the world’s top acoustic guitarists. The value of these cultural events for Arkansas has been immeasurable. THE JOINT has become a key element in the region’s art scene, affecting and inspiring thousands of young Arkansans, who might otherwise never get to see entertainment of such quality, or have the opportunity to learn and study.
Since mid-March, THE JOINT has been forced to cease nearly all of its operations. Key employees have been kept on payroll, bills have been paid, and hopes for a re-opening have remained alive. But now, the PPP loan has been spent, the accounts are nearly empty, and the fate of THE JOINT is in the hands of those who would help to keep this cultural landmark alive and well in Arkansas. Never before, in their 48-year careers, have these performers and producers been forced to turn to the public for assistance, but that is what the pandemic and our current economic conditions in America have brought about.
To put it simply, this effort to save THE JOINT is the final card remaining in our hands. Without the generosity of those who can afford to help, THE JOINT will not make it to the end of this year.
We have searched and applied for every possible means of financial assistance, and we have invested all we can from our own, personal resources. Now we must humbly ask for your kindness and charity. If you are in a position to help us, we would be incredibly grateful to receive your support. And, if you could let others know about our desperate situation, we would sincerely appreciate it.
We miss our fans and supporters so much, and we long for the day when we can once again meet at THE JOINT COMEDY THEATER to commiserate and laugh about the experiences we have all been forced to endure. Until that time, thank you for helping to build the bridge that will allow us to continue our adventure, and to remain a vital element in Arkansas’ growing arts and entertainment scene.
- Debbie Bell
- Steve Smith
- James McGehee
- William F Rector Jr
- Sally Scott
Fundraising team: Fundraising team (3)
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