An Insider’s View: News About Upcoming Performances

The buzz around the office today is the amazing turnout for auditions for Cheaper By the Dozen. Nearly 150 kids auditioned on Sunday for the show! The OCP was very impressed by the amount of kids and has some tough decisions to make for the cast. A lot of the kids performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and other OCP performances, but a lot were newcomers to the stage. Tonight will be auditions for adults and teens. I hope there is another amazing turnout.

Lately, I have been working with Karli Newman on sales and marketing. We have nearly full houses for some of the performances of A Christmas Carol and Yesterday and Today, but there are still tickets available for the shows! If you are interested in tickets, you can call the box office at (402) 553-0800. If you are interested in taking a group of 15 or more, you can contact Karli Newman at (402) 553-4890 x147 for a special group rate. More information about group discounts are here:

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Jackie Skarda

A Christmas Carol - Dedicated to the Memory of Eleanor Jones.

Watch the video
I sat down with Eleanor Jones in November 2008 and recorded an hour of audio on the topic of "A Christmas Carol". Here is 8 minutes of that conversation set to a montage of stills photographs from last season's production. John Gibilisco

An Insider's View: A New Week at the Playhouse

Lately, Karli Newman and I have been tracking stats using SmarterStats. This program tracks how many people come to the OCP website from certain websites like Facebook or Google. It is a great tool that I think is important for all businesses to utilize.

Last Wednesday, I sat in with Amanda Hoklin on one of her design projects. She showed me a lot of great tools to use when designing. I think there is a lot that I can learn from Amanda and I appreciate the time she spent with me teaching me those techniques.

I have been brainstorming ideas for my next video project. I was thinking about doing an interview with one of the characters from A Christmas Carol, possibly Scrooge. I have to talk more with Betsye Paragas to see what I would be able to do. I am looking forward to doing a new video!
Check back next week for more updates!

Jackie Skarda

An Insider’s View: Another Week at the OCP

Looking at all of the pictures of the performances makes me wish I had the time to try out for a show! I encourage everyone to audition for a performance if they have the time. The cast and crew have so much fun. The next tryouts will be for Cheaper by the Dozen on November 22 & 23. You can find more information about those auditions here:

I was focused on tagging pictures of Almost, Maine last week. The six person cast was quite easier to tag than the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!

I have been mostly working with Karli Newman, the Director of Sales, the past couple of weeks. I look forward to working with Amanda Hoklin, the Publications Coordinator, in the future and sitting in on the creative process. She is such a talented designer. I would love to learn more tips from her. I am also planning on working more with Betsye Paragas, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

Everyone here has something to teach me. I am definitely taking advantage of what the Omaha Community Playhouse has to offer me.

Jackie Skarda- Intern

On the Road with the kids of A Christmas Carol!

Q&A with Max Hauze, East Coast Tour’s “Tiny Tim”

When the Nebraska Theatre Caravan heads out on the road this November with two A Christmas Carol tours, it won’t be just with adult performers. Each year, three Omaha-area youngsters hit the road with each of the touring casts from the beginning of November thru the end of December. We caught up with Max Hauze, East Coast’s “Tiny Tim” to find out what it was like to be on the road with the Caravan!

How many years have you been part of the ACC tours?
This is my third year on tour, but my first with the East Coast tour. The past two years I have been with the Midwest tour.

Have you been involved in other Playhouse shows? Which ones?
Yes, I was in the Main Stage A Christmas Carol in 2006, South Pacific in 2008 and Gypsy this past summer. Currently, I am part of the children's choir for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

What made you decide to audition for one of the ACC tours?
Well, I wanted to broaden my acting experiences and I wanted to work with professional actors.

How does your school help you get ready to be on tour for almost two months?

I think my teachers letting me go in the first place is astounding. I “un-enroll” for the two months I am gone, so I don't get any grades for that time.

While you are in rehearsals at the Playhouse or on the road, when do you work with your tutor on schoolwork?
Well, I try to finish all my homework before I leave so I can focus on the performances. However, I will have the tutor help me whenever I am not rehearsing at the Playhouse or Benson High School (where we rehearse for tech for two weeks) so I can reach my goals.

How many other kids are in your show? Do you guys hang out together on the road or in the hotels?
There are two other kids in the cast. This year they are Jared Ott and Emma Cramer. This is Emma's second year on tour, but we weren't together last year. It’s Jared’s first year. You have to bond with the other kids because if there is any tension on stage it is not a good thing. Plus, I have to share a hotel room with Jared, so of course we hang out with each other!

What do you have to have on the road with you? (ipod, cell phone, favorite snack food, etc…)
For me, Pringles! It is important to have a yummy snack on the bus to help pass the time. I bring a laptop to email my class and keep up with friends. I also have my own cell phone to keep in touch with my family.

Which city/venue was your favorite last year and why?
Green Bay, WI. The hotel was the best. They had a restaurant with great food that was unusually cheap and since you only have $30 a day to spend on food, cheap is a very good thing! They also had free hot chocolate and the coolest pool you have ever seen!

You get paid as an actor to participate in the ACC tour – what do you do with your paycheck? On tour, you get $30 a day for food, clothing (in case you lose something) plus the money I get in my weekly paycheck. That goes right into the bank for college.

Be honest: do you do your own laundry on tour? Or does the chaperone help? Here's how we do it. All the kids and the chaperone put all of their clothes into the machine and work as a group, and that is the truth.

Tell me your favorite memory or story from last year’s tour.
I have so many memories, but I do have a very specific one that's pretty cool. Last year, the kids and a bunch of the adults played a Sumo Wrestler game. We stuffed pillows up our shirts and fought to the death. Well, maybe not death....but it was fun!

Thanks for your time, Max. Break a leg this year!

A Conversation with Scrooge and Bob

Breaking News:
Good day, fair residents of London. I’m Edward Snodgrass. We have breaking news to report on this Christmas morning. There seems to be some sort of disturbance at the Cratchit house. We are going live to our gentleman on the scene, Herbert Chesterfield. Herbert can you hear me?

HC: Yes, Edward. There is a lot of commotion happening at the Cratchit home. It seems as if every vendor in town has made their way into the little house.

I am now entering the home of Bob and Mrs. Cratchit. I see toys, dolls and a turkey the size of a small boy! Jake is here with his ale and the Beggar is here as well. Oh my goodness, Mr. Scrooge is here…and he’s smiling!?! Yes you heard it here first, humbug himself, Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge, is at the Cratchit family home and seems to be almost joyous. Let’s see if we can get an interview…

HC: Ebenezer, what is happening here? Have you lost your mind?
ES: I’ve been filled with the spirit of Christmas and plan on making amends for my past cold-heartedness. I’ve not lost my mind---I’ve found it!

HC: Why have you come to the house of Bob Cratchit this morning?
ES: Because of Tiny Tim and the chance to help this family! Please know this is only the first good deed in a long line of many.

HC: What do you plan to do next?
ES: Have Christmas dinner at my nephew, Fred’s house. I then plan to play a good game of Blind Man’s Bluff.

HC: Ebenezer, have you changed your outlook on business:
ES: I learned something this evening past from my good friend and loyal business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge and Marley’s will continue with the mission of improving life for London’s people. God Bless us everyone!

HC: I will now talk with Bob Cratchit to get his reaction.

HC: Bob, what is going through your mind?
BC: I am speechless!

HC: Mr. Scrooge referred to helping your family especially Tiny Tim. Can you elaborate on this?
BC: Mr. Scrooge has arranged for Tiny Tim to be seen by the best doctor in London!

HC: What will you do now?
BC: I plan to enjoy this holiday with my wonderful family.

HC: There you have it folks. The spirit of Christmas found its way into the heart of Ebenezer Scrooge and he is spreading his joy with others. This is Herbert Chesterfield saying thank you and Happy Christmas!