21 & Over: A Bright New Boise

Omaha Community Playhouse's 21 & Over program presents A Bright New Boise.

Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Omaha Community Playhouse
Free and open to the public, with an opportunity for donations. No tickets or reservations are necessary.

A Bright New Boise, by Sam Hunter
The Rapture may be coming to the employee break room of Hobby Lobby. Will, escaping a recent tragic past with a radical religious group, arrives in Boise to reconnect with his estranged teenage son. A small band of lost souls struggles to find strength in each other as their beliefs threaten to shatter everything around them. A beautiful, funny play about the impossibility of modern faith.
The 21 & Over productions are intended for a mature audience and discretion is advised. For more information on 21 & Over and other OCP alternative programs, contact Amy Lane, Resident Director, at alane@omahaplayhouse.com or (402) 553-4890, ext. 164.

21 & Over is sponsored by Omaha Steaks and media sponsored by Omahype.

Omigod You Guys! There’s a Dog in This Show?

Yes, that’s right. The Omaha Community Playhouse’s upcoming production of Legally Blonde features not one but two furry four-legged actors that will be sure to delight audiences in this popular musical adaptation of the 2001 hit movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon.

Meet Remy and Newt, OCP’s newest cast members. Remy, a two-year-old Papillon plays Bruiser. Newt a one-and-a-half year old Maltese mix plays Rufus. Bruiser is Elle Woods’s companion and favorite fashion accessory throughout her self-empowering journey to Harvard Law School. Rufus is Hairdresser Paulette’s dog who she tries to get back from her horrible ex with Elle’s help.

Remy stars as Bruiser Woods

Newt stars as Rufus

Remy and Newt are making their theatrical debut in Legally Blonde. Newt was rescued by OCP alums Connie Lee and Paul Schneider. Remy was also rescued by Sandi Hansen when he was seven months old. Sandi, a professional dog trainer at Sandi’s K9 Management, is training the dogs to follow commands, listen for cues and be obedient while on stage.  

Working with dogs on stage can be quite a challenge at first. Director Carl Beck describes some of the challenges and how he works to overcome them. “It’s difficult to make decisions about movement when we aren’t sure about how comfortable the dog will be in a situation,” said Carl. “We set goals we want the dog to complete such as running on stage or barking on cue. If the dog doesn’t seem to be comfortable with the situation then it’s important to work out the logistics and come up with possible alternatives.“

Remy and Leanne Hill Carlson who stars as Elle Woods

When asked, what is the most difficult part of training dogs for live theatre, Sandi said, “Not having an audience of 600 to rehearse in front of. In my book, there really is no such thing as over-preparation for a live audience! The applause, laughter, “oohs” and “aaahs” are really not something you can simulate in a training environment...”

Preparing a dog for the theatre requires a lot of practice and hands-on experience. Sandi explains, “Several hours are required on stage, backstage and away from the theatre. Aside from the mere basics, extensive socializing is needed to ensure that the dogs will not only be comfortable around new and different settings, but also enjoy the experience.”
Remy and Leanne Hill Carlson

Not every dog is suitable for a career on the stage. “There are certain qualities I look for in theatrical dogs, and it takes a certain character to be able to handle the stresses and training of a stage atmosphere,” said Sandi. “I look for dogs who are both outgoing and comfortable with humans first and foremost. The dogs must also be enthusiastic about learning, and not all dogs have all of these qualities. Of course, physical cuteness is a plus … but then we look at the role of Rufus. This part calls for a big, gruff Bulldog. There aren’t many Bulldogs out there who could handle this role, even though it isn’t a very demanding role … so I’ve borrowed Newt, a Maltese mix. I could see his theatre appeal from day one, and was excited to break him into theatre.”

See Remy and Newt in their theatrical debut on stage in OCP’s production of Legally Blonde. The show runs September 14-October 14 in the Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are $40 for adults and $24 for student tickets. For groups of 12 or more, tickets are $29 for adults and $18 for students. For tickets or for more information, visit the OCP Box Office, call (402) 553-0800 or click here.

Story by Ryan Murray


Metro Arts Pass September Deal

Enjoy the arts with a Metro Arts Pass! If you are a season subscriber to the Omaha Community Playhouse, in the month of September, you can receive $1 off admission at the Omaha Children's Museum and buy one ticket and get one ticket free to Bluffs Arts Council's Savor the Flavor on Oct. 6.

The Metro Arts Pass is sponsored by The Reader and features various nonprofit arts organizations around Omaha. In order to be a Metro Arts Pass member, you only must be a member or subscriber to one of the participating organizations. Every month, OCP members can enjoy a discount at a different featured Omaha arts organization.

Other participating organizations include:
Omaha Children's Museum
Omaha Performing Arts
Bemis Center
Durham Museum
Opera Omaha
El Museo Latino
The Rose
Film Streams
Nebraska Shakespeare
Joslyn Art Museum
Fontenelle Nature Association
The Arts Center
Ballet Nebraska
Love's Jazz and Arts Center
Lauritzen Gardens
Bluffs Arts Council
Strategic Air and Space Museum
Nebraskans for the Arts
BlueBarn Theatre
For more information about the Metro Arts Pass, contact the director of sales at lkaup@omahaplayhouse.com or (402) 553-4890, ext. 147.