OCP Directing Fellowship


Omaha Community Playhouse Directing Fellowship Announced


In an effort to support the development of future Omaha directors, Omaha Community Playhouse is excited to announce the Omaha Community Playhouse Directing Fellowship, providing early and mid- career directors with the opportunity to develop their skills by directing an OCP Alternative Programming production, as well as assisting directing a regular OCP season musical or play. 

The 2018/19 Directing Fellowship inaugural class includes Emily Mokrycki, Breanna Carodine, Christopher Scott, Kaitlyn McClincy, Kevin Goshorn, Joey Galda, Caitlin Mabon, Mackenzie Dehmer and Marie Amthor Schuett. The directing fellows will be working alongside OCP lead directors Kimberly Faith Hickman, Roxanne Wach, Beth Thompson, Ablan Roblin, Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek and Amy Lane. 

“Theatrical directing is a difficult field to enter and one that leaves many people unsure of how to even begin. I believe that OCP has a responsibility to support the development of community-based artists, and I am thrilled that we are able to provide this opportunity,” said OCP Artistic Director Kimberly Faith Hickman.  

In addition to directing a staged reading of a play or musical for OCP’s Alternative Programming season, the fellowship provides the opportunity to assistant direct, which includes access to an entire pre-production and rehearsal process as a lead director directs a play or musical. This fellowship will present a new generation of gifted artists with a unique education and understanding of the directorial skills necessary to create theatre, the workings of Omaha’s leading organization for community based theatre and education, as well as the leadership of artists shaping Omaha’s theatrical landscape.

Applicants admitted into the program will be put into a pool from which OCP’s Artistic Director will select Fellows for the upcoming season. Generally, Fellows will direct a production in the OCP Alternative Programming season, as well as assist a lead director for one regular season production. While directing an Alt Programming production, a Fellows’ schedule and duties will include coordinating with the OCP Artistic Director and the Executive/Artistic Assistant regarding casting and rehearsal schedules, coordinating with the Alt Programming actors and creating a rehearsal schedule, attending all rehearsals and the performance.  While assistant directing for a regular OCP production, a Fellows’ schedule and duties may vary widely based on their personal strengths and the director they are paired with, but may include observership, dramaturgy, note-taking and generally supporting the various people in the rehearsal room.

Directing Fellowship applications for upcoming seasons are due on April 1st of each year. Applicants should send a cover letter and theatrical resume. The next application deadline will be April 1, 2019 for consideration for the 2019/20 season. Please visit www.omahaplayhouse.com for more information.

Shrek the Musical

Cast List

CHARACTER—ACTOR

Shrek—Steve Krambeck
Fiona—Mackenzie Dehmer
Donkey—Jordan Smith  
Lord Farquaad—Jonathan Smith  
Dragon—Kerri Forrester
Pinocchio—Justin Dehmer
Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy—Erin Florea         

Adult Ensemble   

Brian Priesman, Danielle Smith, Scott Van Den Top, Joe Mokrycki, Matthew Tolliver, Emily Mokrycki, Ejanae Hume, Sheldon Ledbetter, Olivia Howard, Cody Girouex, Valerie Braun, Boston Reid, Jared Dominguez,

Kids Ensemble

Brohdi McClymont, Cleo Washington, Bella Washington, Rylie Washington, Isabelle Rangel, Samantha Gillotte, Emma Johnson, Dina Saltzman, Tessa Priesman, Judson Cloudt, Stella Clark-Kazmarek, Francesca Kerkhoffs, Maddie Smith, Austin Lempke, Andrew Hedin    

Cast of Fun Home



Cast:                                     
CHARACTER                                       ACTOR                                 
Small Alison                                       Sasha Denenberg           
Medium Alison                                 Analisa Peyton
Adult Alison                                        Angie Heim        
Bruce Bechdel                                   Michael Trutna
Helen  Bechdel                                  Jennifer Gilg
Joan                                                     Julia Ervin           
John Bechdel                                     Tyson Bentley

Christian Bechdel                             Ryan Laughlin

Male Ensemble                                 Josh Peyton






Q&A with Camille Metoyer Moten


The Camille Metoyer Moten Songbook

June 8 - 10 | Omaha Community Playhouse | Howard Drew Theatre


Q:  Tell us about the format for your show The Camille Metoyer Moten Songbook.  What songs can we expect to hear?

A:  The show is going to be a fun, more informal version of our previous shows.  Because we are performing in the Howard Drew Theatre, there is more opportunity for audience participation and interaction. We will be performing several Streisand songs because whenever I get the opportunity to pay tribute to her I do. LOL!  We have added some new Streisand songs like "Stoney End," but we have also included some very unique song stylings of hits such as "Every Breath" and Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" as well as a few standards such as "God Bless the Child" and "Wonderful World."

Q:  How did decide what to include in this show?

A:  Basically we put together the Streisand favorites plus a few of the songs that resonate well with audiences when I sing with the Camille Metoyer Moten Band (such an original name, don’t you think?) Ha! There are also a couple of original tunes by my music director David P. Murphy in there that are beautiful and will be on my next CD, which I am currently working on. 

Q:  Who is this show a good fit for?

A:  The music in this show will be fun for not only Streisand fans but also folks who love the standards of the '40s and those that like to hear a few pop songs that have stood the test of time. Also, anyone who appreciates a smoking group of instrumentalists that know their stuff!


Designer Spotlight: Aja Jackson

60 second life story: How did you come to be a lighting designer?

I started theatre in grade school and joined the Omaha Community Playhouse Technical Apprenticeship Program majoring in electrics while I was in high school. After seeing more and more shows, I found that lighting was the most articulate way for me to join the theatrical conversation. I enjoy the ephemerality and complexity of lighting and the technology to make it all happen.

As a guest lighting designer, how did you become involved with this production?

Last season I was invited to design Superior Donuts with Susan Bear Collins. I met Susan as an apprentice at OCP. We had a great collaboration together. This season, Jim Othuse, Resident Lighting and Scenic Designer at OCP, invited me to join the creative team for Shakespeare In Love.
Overhead view of Shakespeare in Love lighting plot

What inspired or influenced your design for Shakespeare in Love?

The text. The play is very fast moving and dynamic. I wanted to create a light plot that was flexible so we would be able to go from the bright comedic moments of a pup scurrying across the stage to the sensual and intimate moments between William Shakespeare and Viola De Lesseps.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered while designing this production?

The second level of the set. We have limits to how high we can fly the electrics out. This is one of the tallest sets that the Hawks Mainstage has had. We needed to light the balcony from many positions to make sure that the actors could utilize the entirety of the playing space.

What do you love about Shakespeare in Love?

I found a lot of joy in lighting a play within a play, intimate scenes, and the big company fight scenes. I think the beauty of this play is that there is a moment that can resonate with most people. From work frustrations, financial woes, to love and love lost, Shakespeare In Love is a romantic, action-packed comedy for all hearts.


See Aja's amazing work in Shakespeare in Love playing through May 6th in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre.

A Pre-Rehearsal Chat with Alissa Hanish of Shakespeare in Love



It’s an exciting week in the life cycle of an Omaha Community Playhouse production. Actors are moving out of the rehearsal hall they’ve spent over a month in and moving to their set on the mainstage. They only get about a week to get situated before an audience arrives, so everything has to come together quickly. This is the point where actress Alissa Hanish has a moment to share her experience with Shakespeare in Love.

Alissa is making her OCP mainstage debut in this production as Viola, but she’s no stranger to the Playhouse. Immediately after moving from Chicago to Omaha, Alissa auditioned for the 2015 production of Mauritius “on a whim” and landed a lead role. She followed that up with performances as Rose in the Alternative Programming staged reading of Dogfight, and most recently, Nina in this season’s Stupid F@#%ing Bird.

Moving into the Hawks Mainstage Theatre is an exciting milestone for Alissa. Having done many performances in black-box style theatres, she feels that this stage is the right space for this story. “It’s back to the time of Shakespeare where everything was presentational and everything was for the audience.”

When asked about how she describes the show, her go-to explanation is “it’s Shakespeare, but it’s accessible.” Those who never quite fell in love with the Bard or worry that everything will go over their heads have nothing to fear. “It’s half Shakespeare, half modern speech that you can completely understand,” she says, “and very, very similar to the movie.”

In regards to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Viola in that film, Alissa didn’t feel pressure to copy or compete. The biggest thing she took away was the actress’s approach to playing a man. Those familiar with the story know that while Viola longs to be an actress, it is a forbidden profession for women at the time, so she assumes a male identity­–Thomas Kent–in order to audition. “I was very scared that spending half of this show as a man, it would come across as doing too much,” says Alissa, but just as Paltrow did in the film, a subtle change in voice pitch (aided by Lindsay Pape’s gorgeous costumes) does enough without becoming distractingly comical.

Her biggest challenge of the show? Keeping the character’s secret identity path in check. “I’m Alissa playing Viola playing Thomas Kent playing Romeo…and then playing Juliet,” she says, so it’s crucial for her to differentiate all those layers throughout the show; something she’s still working on. She loves that Viola “completely goes after what she wants,” an approach Alissa clearly also takes as she continues to impress Omaha with her talents on stage.




Shakespeare in Love is playing in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre April 13-May 6, 2018. More info can be found here: http://www.omahaplayhouse.com/tickets/view/shakespeare-in-love/

Cast of Singin' in the Rain


Cast

Nate Wasson* - Don Lockwood
J. Isaiah Smith - Cosmo
Tayler Lempke Plank - Kathy
Cathy Hirsch - Lina
Andrew Karolski - Young Don
Brohdi McClymont - Young Cosmo
Rob Baker - RF Simpson
Don Harris - Roscoe
Payton Alber - Ensemble
Marcus Benzel - Ensemble
Karin Berg - Ensemble
Brendan Brown - Ensemble
Lillian Cohen - Ensemble
Brianna Davis - Ensemble
Jason DeLong - Ensemble
Julia Ervin - Ensemble
Jude Glaser - Ensemble
Joseph Mokrycki - Ensemble
Kara Penniston - Ensemble
Hannah Ramsgard - Ensemble
Boston Reid - Ensemble
Nora Shelton - Ensemble
Mia Sherlock - Ensemble
Becky Trecek - Ensemble
Carrie Trecek - Ensemble
Mary Trecek - Ensemble
Debbie Trecek Volkens - Ensemble
*Guest artist

Production

Kimberly Faith Hickman – Director
Jeanne Shelton – Stage Manager
Jim Boggess – Music Director
Jim Othuse  – Scenic and Lighting Designer
Lindsay Pape – Costume Designer
Roxanne Nielson – Choreographer
Tim Burkhart – Sound Designer
John Gibilisco – Resident Sound Designer/Production Electrician
Darin Kuehler - Properties
Greg Scheer – Production Coordinator