Arkansas comedy theater struggling during pandemic receives $15k in donations to stay open

A couple who’s made a name for themselves in the comedy theater world have made a name here in Arkansas, but the pandemic has made times difficult.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A couple who’s made a name for themselves in the comedy theater world have made a name here in Arkansas, but the pandemic has made times difficult.

Vicki and Steve Farrell packed up their bags and left the Big Apple 9 years ago.

They landed in North Little Rock’s Argenta District, where they wanted to bring their talents that would offer something new for the Natural State.

So, they opened a theatre comedy club called The Joint Theater and Coffee House.

“We each play, along with our partner, dozens of different characters to make an illusion of a complete Arkansas town,” said Steve.

“Steve writes all the original comedy shows,” said Vicki.

The Farrells spent most of their lives in New York City and Los Angeles writing scripts and making people laugh.

“I did pieces for Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, we ran the show off-Broadway, we were on HBO, we were syndicated on radio for 10 years with Dick Clarke,” said Steve.

The Joint put Argenta on the map. With its unique storytelling, it drew more business to the area.

Fast-forward, the area has now become a thriving entertainment district.

“It was a nice steady climb as people got to know us here, and then March 14th, that’s when everything stopped and shut down.”

For the business that makes Argenta special, it’s hanging by a thread thanks to COVID-19 and the restrictions that make it nearly impossible to survive.

“We can only seat 34 people if they come in groups of 4, if it’s groups of 2, it’s less than that,” said Vicki.

Typically on a steady night, The Joint seats 100 people.

Then, a group of fans— total strangers— started a Go Fund Me titled Iconic Arkansas Comedy Theater Fights to Survive. 

Their hope is to help the couple keep the doors open.

“The Go Fund Me is the bridge that can get us to the other side,” said Steve.

So far, they’ve received a little more than fifteen thousand dollars.

Though The Joint’s future isn’t clear just yet, the couple said the generous donations have them staying afloat for now.

They are slowly finding new ways to host stand-up and improve shows.

“With the kindness of people, we are seeing there is a possible future ahead,” said Steve.

Vicki and Steve’s show will begin running again Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and will have limited seating.

For more information on scheduled events, you can head to The Joint’s Facebook page.