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Theresa Bertram Prior to becoming a writer for Broadway World, Theresa Bertram has had an extensive career in the media/entertainment business. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a professional poker-playing mother, Theresa’s formative years during the summer were spent being babysat by entertainers in the Vegas showrooms. “Having children sit in the poker rooms is frowned upon, so they would tuck me away in the various theatres to entertain me while my mother worked,”Theresa said. To this day, she still keeps in touch with the many musicians, magicians, and jugglers through Facebook. “Social media is a wonderful communication tool.”

Theresa has played piano since the age of three and is a sought after regional pianist in Arkansas. “I’m more of an “ear” player, but I can play through sheet music when needed.”

Theresa’s writing career began in high school when she was placed in journalism. “I didn’t even want to be in that class,” Theresa admitted. “I knew they put in a lot more hours than I really wanted to commit. I tried to get the counselor to change it, but she thought I would do really well. So, I stuck it out, became Sports Editor since I played volleyball in junior high and that was more sports than anyone else on the staff had (though my real love was feature profile writing), and ended up taking it to the next level in college.

During college, Theresa studied mass communications and music at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway during the day and was a radio disc jockey at night. “My first radio job was at KVOM in my small town of Morrilton. I was only there for eight months, before I moved on up to Little Rock to work at B98.5--which later would be owned by Citidel. Ultimately, I moved over to Clear Channel stations and met a lot of country stars. Those were some fun years,” Bertram said.

Theresa took a 10-year hiatus to start a family and finished up her educational journey with a Public Relations degree from Arkansas Tech University. “I was a better-focused student my second time around,” Theresa said. “I would be a professional student if I had the funds and time to do so.”

With children old enough to allow Theresa to focus on professional pursuits once again, she began working as a producer/on-air talent in 2011 for AIRS Radio, which is a reading service for the blind and visually impaired offered by the Division Services for the Blind-a branch off of the Division of Human Services in Arkansas. She also started volunteering with local school associations and the historic Rialto Theatre. “I have always been attracted to this haunting building,” Theresa said referring to the Rialto. “It calls to you when you pass by it on the road. I love It.” Theresa does everything from producing music programs to making the popcorn. “It’s a great place to spend time and give my children a memorable place to grow up in. I will always love this theatre.”

Theresa became a copy writer for the local newspaper, when the editor came early to one of the shows at the Rialto and offered her a job. “The best jobs are the ones that are given to you,” she said. “Also, I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people if there is a way I can do what is requested.” A year later she was offered the editor position in the neighboring county. “You just never know what people are going to want from you. I keep thinking of that movie with Jim Carrey and how he had to say ‘yes’ to everything. If it isn’t illegal and time permits, I try to do it if I can.”

And with all the extra time Theresa has after working two jobs and raising three school-aged children, she has started her own publishing business, Petit Jean Media, which is a niche-fundraising group of magazines-one of her favorites being Onstage Arkansas. “I have always been an entertainment cheerleader for as long as I can remember. If I think hard enough, I feel it probably started with those entertainers in Las Vegas. They performed for me, and I was happy to be the enthusiastic audience member night after night. It was a magical and unique childhood. I was very lucky.”

Theresa is excited to join the writing team of Broadway World. “I know when you think of Arkansas, ‘Broadway stars’ is not the first, or maybe even the last, thing that pops into your mind. I beg to differ though. Arkansas has an abundant amount of talent, and not only do we entertain for our own personal fancies, but we raise our children in this environment as well. We are a close-nit group of people, and I want to show how awesome Arkansas entertainers are to the rest of the world through Broadway World.”



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Posted: May. 3, 2020


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BWW Feature: Creative Quarantine presents LES MISÈRABLES IN QUARAN-STREAM
May 28, 2020

What do displaced actors during a pandemic do when there is no stage in which to perform? They take it to the internet, of course, and that is exactly what the company Creative Quarantine has done. CREATIVE QUARANTINE Presents LES MISÈRABLES In QUARAN-STREAM will broadcast Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m., on their Creative Quarantine Youtube channel. Based out of Los Angeles, Calif., two dozen actors from all over the country, including Arkansas' own Piper Wallace, came together with co-founders and producers Benji Kaufman and Lara Lafferty to create a fully realized - and fully virtual - tribute to the beloved musical, LES MISERABLES.

BWW Interview: Corbin Pitts of BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL at Argenta Community Theater talks of Billy, auditions, and rehearsal
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BWW Review: INTO THE WOODS at Red Curtain Theatre Get Their Wishes
March 5, 2020

I wish....more than anything that the Red Curtain would have extended their run of INTO THE WOODS just a little longer, because I knew of other people who had scheduling conflicts, but really wanted to see it. And they should have seen it. It was comparable to the 1987 Broadway version. I ended up catching the last show of the run on Sunday, February 23, at Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College, and though I thought the audience lacked in energy, the cast pushed on through their wishes like pros.

BWW Review: RAGTIME at Argenta Community Theater Sells Out Shows
February 25, 2020

Telling a story where multiple ethnic groups come together to form an even bigger story can be quite the undertaking, but the Argenta Theater in North Little Rock had no problems pulling it off with the magnanomous RAGTIME, on the official opening night Friday, Feb. 21. And according to their website at argentacommunitytheater.org, the fans agree, leaving Wednesday, Feb. 26, as the only date available for tickets....as of now.

BWW Review: NORTH POLE'S GOT TALENT at Rialto Community Arts Center bring in the holiday season
November 19, 2019

Are you ready for Christmas? Well the Rialto Community Arts Center in Morrilton has the show that will jump start your holiday season into high gear with North Pole's Got Talent. Written by Lavinia Roberts, this holiday spin off brings the inhabitants of the North Pole to compete for a 'super secret surprise,' including the elves, reindeer, Jack Frost and the Snow Queen. Director Casey Myers has brought together a true community cast for this production ranging from age one to folks in their golden years. This blend includes children, teachers, a doctor, and many others all sharing the Rialto stage bringing holiday cheer to the attendees of the show.

BWW Interview: Ember Reynolds, Elisha Summers, Kevin Shipp, Katharine Nelson, Falon Scott of I AM FRANKENSTEIN at Maumelle High School Performing Arts Center
October 29, 2019

Just in time for Halloween, Maumelle High School will be presenting I AM FRANKENSTEIN, an adaptation from Arkansas playwright John Haman, Thursday, Oct. 31, and Friday, Nov. 1. 'It's the story of two tortured creatures,' says Haman. 'Victor's famous monster, and the novel's troubled author, Mary Shelley.' I was privileged to sit in on a rehearsal and speak with some of the actors bringing this show to life.

BWW Interview: Wyatt Crow, Susan Gunther, Kaeden Porter, Kayla Chassels of WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE PANIC BROADCAST at Morrilton High School enjoys performing radio play
October 23, 2019

This weekend, Thespian Troupe 3131, under the direction of Heather Hooten, at Morrilton High School will recreate the dramatization of Orson Welles' reading of H.G. Wells' book THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Considered the first of its kind to imagine what the world would look like if aliens invaded Earth, this story supposedly terrified the radio listening public back in 1938 as they took it for actual news. WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE PANIC BROADCAST will take you through the reading and then show you the response from the people. Broadway World was on set to interview a few of the cast members about their experience with performing this radio play.

BWW Review: CHICAGO: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION at Red Curtain Theatre RAZZLE DAZZLE THE AUDIENCE
October 22, 2019

The Red Curtain's production of CHICAGO: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION 'Razzle Dazzled' the audience as they shimmied across the stage at Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College in Conway Friday, Oct. 11. An abbreviated version of the actual musical with only teenagers 18 years old and younger, this show was a highlight of the songs with heavy dance numbers, and the kids impressed with what they learned at Red Curtain.

BWW Review: The Freaks Amaze at SIDE SHOW at The Weekend Theater
October 15, 2019

The talent at the Weekend Theater will blow you away at their production of SIDE SHOW (2014 Broadway Revival). Running through October 27, you do not want to miss this.

BWW Review: Rock-N-Roll Lives On Through the MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at Arkansas Repertory Theatre
September 10, 2019

Rock-n-Roll came alive on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre stage Sunday afternoon as the 'Million Dollar Quartet' told the story of Sam Phillips (Karack Osborn) and his history with 'my boys' Elvis Presley (Trent Rowland), Johnny Cash (Bill Scott Sheets), Carl Perkins (Skye Scott), and Jerry Lee Lewis (Brandyn Day). Directed by Hunter Foster, who was named 2018 'Director of the Year' by the Wall Street Journal, the show is based on the infamous picture of the four musicians gathered around a piano on December 4, 1956, at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. According to the story, Carl Perkins was having a recording session with a then unknown Jerry Lee Lewis on piano. Elvis Presley stops in since he was in town with motives to convince Phillips to take the deal with RCA, and Johnny Cash was called in for a surprise renewal of his contract. Though labeled as a jukebox musical, it really is a play within a concert.....or a concert within a play, whichever way you want to look at it. I LOVED it! The cast was phenomenal. I want to see it again. It is a definite must-see show!

BWW Review: Audiences fall in love with SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at TheatreSquared
August 29, 2019

Shakespeare may have been in love with Viola in this season's premiering romance/comedy Shakespeare in Love at the brand new installation for TheatreSquared, 477 W. Spring Street, in Downtown Fayetteville, but I was in love with this theatre the moment I stepped inside the venue. The look of the building, the eagerness from the staff, and the fun coming from my fellow patrons made Wednesday night's (Aug. 28) production immensely enjoyable. Running through September 15, this performance is a must see.

BWW Review: SINGING IN THE RAIN at Red Curtain Theatre Has The Audience Singing Along
August 13, 2019

With only having seen a sampling of 'Singing In the Rain' with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, I didn't have a formed idea of what the Red Curtain's interpretation of the musical should have been like, but I knew Director Bob Bidewell, Choreographer Olivia Stephens, Music Director Kent Britton, and Producer Kristen Sherman had some big tap shoes to fill. Friday night's show in Staple's Auditorium at Hendrix College in Conway was enjoyable. This was definitely a different type show than normal for the Red Curtain, but it was a solid performance with memorable scenes.

BWW Review: A CHORUS LINE at Argenta Community Theater is One Singular Sensation
July 26, 2019

The Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St., in North Little Rock, never fails to bring a top-notch performance with every show, and the audience has caught on to this fact. Not only was the show that I saw on Sunday sold-out, the whole entire run was sold out by opening night. When most theaters hope to at least break even, the Argenta has to decide if they want to add extra shows to accommodate all of their fans. I do not have to go to a show at the Argenta to write about whether the production is good or not. I am lucky enough to get to attend the performances to catch the details and watch emerging stars shine on the stage.

BWW Interview: Cast of WILLY WONKA JR. at Arkansas Repertory Theatre tells of experiences
June 19, 2019

For the candy lover in all of us, the Arkansas Repertory Theater, will present Willy Wonka Jr., their first all-kids cast on the main stage June 21-30.

BWW Review: ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA THE MUSICAL at Red Curtain Theatre
April 24, 2019

Revolting children? I think not! Audiences were encapsulated by the enter-twining story that Matilda spun in The Red Curtain Theatre's regionally premiered Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical at The Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College in Conway April 12, 13, 14, 19, and 20. Directed by Kristin Sherman, with help from Music Director Kent Britton and Choreographer Olivia Stephens, the Red Curtain has proved to be a powerful force in the community theatre arena.

BWW Review: KITCHEN WITCHES at Rialto Community Arts Center
March 22, 2019

The Rialto Community Art Center performs a charming rendition of Caroline Smith's Kitchen Witches Thursday through Sunday, March 21 through 24. This is the funniest cooking show you will see on stage. Touted as a cross between Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer, this play touches base with infidelity and friendship.

BWW Review: SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL at North Little Rock High School Theatre
March 11, 2019

With a very colorful set and equally colorful costumes, North Little Rock High School Theatre Arts Department presented SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Friday March 1, through Sunday March 3, to well attended and entertained audiences both young and young at heart. Music and lyrics are by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns, and based on characters by Dr. Seuss. The show was directed by Mike Noland, choreographed by Christen Pitts, with music direction by Lori Isner. As a fellow Dr. Seuss lover, I smiled through the whole performance, and they get extra bonus points for including a live orchestra.

BWW Review: DISNEY'S NEWSIES! THE MUSICAL at Argenta Community Theater
March 5, 2019

The Argenta Community Theater cast of Newsies may not be the King's of New York, but they are most definitely the King's of North Little Rock. Argenta never fails putting on a fantastic show. Led by Director Vincent Insalaco, and produced by Judy Tenenbaum, the casting was superb, the set was envious, and the choreography was top notch--and looked like so much fun!

BWW Review: LES MISERABLES SCHOOL EDITION at RED CURTAIN THEATRE
January 21, 2019

Do you hear the people sing? Well if you didn't hear these performers sing, you missed out. The Red Curtain Theatre presented Les Miserables: School Edition, December 7-16, 2018, at the Staples Auditorium located on the Hendrix College campus, and let me tell you, I found it hard to believe these kids weren't even out of high school yet.

BWW Review: BIG RIVER at Argenta Community Theater
July 23, 2018

Nestled at 405 Main Street in North Little Rock, the Argenta Community Theater deserves its spot amongst the other 'artsy' venues and clubs taking residence in the Argenta district. Though it isn't a very big setting (not as small as a black box theater, but definitely not auditorium size), they impress this writer with their creative use of space. And the talent? It's surprising that these people are not professional actors, though I do take the liberty to prophesize that some of them very well may be in the near future. The Argenta family never disappoints.



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