21 & Over hosts Twenty Something: A Song Cycle

Omaha Community Playhouse's 21 & Over program hosts Twenty Something: A Song Cycle.

Monday, May 12, 2014
7:30 p.m.
Omaha Community Playhouse
Free and open to the public, with an opportunity for donations. No tickets or reservations are necessary.

Twenty-something Song Cycle (special guest artists)
Omaha's own rising musical theatre star, Paul Hanson, presents this musical song cycle touching on life and love for a new generation. Starring some of Omaha's best talents including Grace Bydalek, Paul Hanson, Analisa Peyton and Sam Swerczek, this is contemporary musical theatre at its finest.
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.

Go Beyond the Show!

Go Beyond the Show with a community conversation following Race. These discussions give audiences opportunities to discuss themes and subjects within a production with experts and community partners. They are free and open to the public and immediately follow a show.

How do we talk about race and the intersectionality of race, gender and power?:  A community conversation
Facilitated by Peggy Jones
Sunday, May 25 and Sunday, June 8 following the matinee productions of David Mamet’s play Race.

Peggy Jones, (M.F.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is an associate professor and past interim chairperson of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Black Studies department, a member of the Graduate and Women's and Gender Studies faculty and the Nebraska Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

Her research interests include intersections between language and identity, White privilege and media (mis)representations of race and gender. She received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council for The Journey, a play about Aaron Douglas, the first black graduate from the art department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1922. It premiered at The Rose Theater in Omaha, NE on February 16, 2013. Her most recent publication is a book chapter: My Mother Tongue: A Linguistic Autoethnography in African American Women’s Language: Discourse, Education and Identity.

To purchase tickets to Race or for more information, visit the OCP Box Office, call (402) 553-0800 or click here.

Go Beyond the Show is a series of patron enrichment events that take a deeper look into the work that we produce on our stages.

Consultation Time Heats up the Law Office

Written by David Mamet, Race is the enticing legal story that faces controversial issues including sexual assault, gender discrimination and race.

The drama begins when a wealthy white man is charged with raping a young black woman. He goes to the law office of a small firm in hopes they will represent him. The firm’s partners, one white, one black and their new female employee, grapple with the decision. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” These raw performances on controversial topics are brought to light with witty and provocative dialogue that will push boundaries.

Jonnique Peters as Susan, Brennan Thomas as Charles Strickland, Andre McGraw as Henry Brown and Doug Blackburn as Jack Lawson

Some of the actors give a little insight to their characters. Doug Blackburn who plays Jack Lawson, the white attorney and partner in the firm, describes his character as a showman who’s like a bulldog that never backs down from a good fight. “He does not shy away from confrontation and always says what he believes the truth to be,” said Doug.

Jonnique Peters who plays Susan, the female employee at the firm, describes her character as fresh out of law school. “She believes she can be a warrior. Idealism still hangs upon her like morning dew,” said Jonnique.

Why should audiences come watch this production? Doug said, “[The play is written by] one of the greatest playwrights of our generation with topics told through incredible dialogue that is so rarely and bluntly approached in theatre. Remember to keep your mind open when watching this production,” said Doug.

Jonnique has similar thoughts. “An attentive observation and intellectual engagement is needed among the audience,” said Jonnique.

Doug has enjoyed his time working on this production. “The discussions that have arisen, such as making sure we all understand the context of each scene has been a great experience,” said Doug.

Jonnique has enjoyed her time too. “I've been away from the theatre for a long time so being cast in Race is like starting over again. I'm the newbie! Working with the director and actors who are so good at what they do has been equally exhilarating and terrifying,” said Jonnique. “I love watching them work.”

Amy Lane, the director, has enjoyed working with this script and actors. “The playwright, David Mamet, offers so much to the actors: great characters, high-stakes storyline, exciting twists and turns. His language is usually stripped down to essentials, but so rhythmic and precise. It's a real challenge for actors. As a director, it's exciting to guide a group of actors through the story,” said Amy. “I think audiences will be surprised at how their views of the characters and their perceived innocence or guilt shift throughout the play,” said Amy.

“There [are] so many lines that we believe are resolutely fixed between right and wrong, black and white, good and evil, and I think David Mamet, the playwright, has gone to great lengths to ensure that everyone leaving the theatre is left with a world of realities to consider, ideas to wrestle with and truths to discover,” said Jonnique.

Don’t miss this thought-provoking production, Race, May 9-June 8 in the Howard Drew Theatre. Tickets are $35 for adults and $21 for students. For groups of 12 or more, adult tickets are $23 and student tickets are $15. For more information, call (402) 553-0080, visit the Box Office or click here.

After the Show

A talk back with the cast and crew will be Friday, May 23 immediately following the performance. Post-show discussions facilitated by Peggy Jones, associate professor of Black studies at UNO, will be held after the performances on Sunday, May 25 and Sunday, June 8.

This production contains strong language and adult situations intended for mature audiences.

Story by Yoyo Ma

May Metro Arts and Culture Pass Deal

Enjoy the arts with a Metro Arts and Culture Pass! If you are a season subscriber to the Omaha Community Playhouse, in the month of May, you can receive 1/2 off admission price at The Centennial Fontenelle Forest as well as buy one, get one free tickets to June's Savor the Flavor through the Bluffs Arts Council.

The Metro Arts and Culture Pass features various nonprofit arts organizations around Omaha. In order to be a Metro Arts and Culture 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 Forest
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
Omaha Creative Institute

Omaha Creative Institute

For more information about the Metro Arts Pass, contact the sales and community relations manager at jroberts@omahaplayhouse.com or (402) 553-4890, ext. 147.

When in Paris, Trois Fiancées for Bernard

Oh la la, Paris, the dazzling city of love, where romances begin, bloom and blossom. But is it possible for too much love to exist? Boeing, Boeing is the classic farce written by French playwright, Marc Camoletti. This English adaptation tells the tale of a man living his fantasy in the1960s. Meet Bernard, the handsome and successful architect, living a swinging bachelor’s life. With the help of his maid, he manages to juggle three gorgeous air hostesses. All of them think they are his one true love, when in reality, he is engaged to all three! His fiancées are American, German and Italian and all travel different flight schedules for different airlines.
Jennifer Gilg as Gabriella, Courtney Stein as Gloria, Teri Fender as Gretchen

But with the new and speedier Boeing jet and a naïve childhood friend, Robert, coming to stay, Bernard’s two-timing or in this case three-timing ways are at risk. Suddenly, all three ladies arrive simultaneously at his apartment. Will he be able to keep all three ladies in the dark of his scheming ways? Or will catastrophe loom as the truth unfolds?  

Some of the actors from the production give a little insight to their characters and their lives. Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek, who plays Bernard, doesn’t feel too much in common with his character.In terms of my character, he is not like me at all in my real life. Ive been married for 20 years, and I suppose the one thing about Bernard is that he is extremely organized and has a plan for everything, said Anthony. I would relate to that. Im a pretty organized guy; I normally have a schedule, and I follow that.

Part of the fun in being able to play these characters is that you have to be able to figure out how to be on their side because on the face of it, Bernard is conniving and certainly not the most honest guy in the world although he is not purposefully trying to hurt anyone, said Anthony. The challenge is to trying to identify with him and figuring out where he is coming from, so I can play an honest portrayal of the character.

Monty Eich, who plays Robert, describes his character as nervous, sincere and totally out of depth.  He understands Robert’s personality. I too, am nervous around air hostesses! said Monty.

The cast was also asked, what would be their ultimate life fantasy. Anthony said, Traveling and being able to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I would love that.

Id like to be able to support my family doing comedy full-time, being able to travel and share those experiences, said Monty. Or a Froyo machine in the house. Imagine frozen yogurt whenever you wanted!

Weve all had a moment or two in our lives where we thought we had everything figured out only to have it unravel, said Monty. Bernards situation may be extreme, but its a feeling weve all had.
Jennifer Gilg as Gabriella, Courtney Stein as Gloria, Teri Fender as Gretchen
Audiences will enjoy the production because its a situation comedy, said Anthony. Audiences who watch television are very familiar to these scenarios.  If you have no conflict and all of a sudden, the conflict happens and unfolds all on stage, its thrillingly fun to watch.  Kind of like watching a long-form sitcom but in three acts, said Anthony.

Don’t miss this hilariously gut-busting production, Boeing, Boeing, April 18-May 11, in the Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Tickets are $35for adults and $21 for students. For groups of 12 or more, adult tickets are $23 and student tickets are $15. For more information call (402) 553-0080, visit the Box Office or click here.  

Story by Yoyo Ma

Young Frankenstein Cast Announced

Production:        Young Frankenstein
Show Dates:       May 30-June 29, 2014
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein                       ABLAN ROBLIN
Inga                                                               KIRSTIN KLUVER
Igor                                                                SPENCER WILLIAMS
Frau Blucher                                                JUDY RADCLIFF
Inspector Kemp / Hermit                          JOE DIGNOTI
Elizabeth                                                      JULIA MACKENZIE
The Monster                                               RYAN PIVONKA
Victor Frankenstein                                   STEVE KRAMBECK
Ziggy                                                             CHRISTOPHER WORK
Lauren Anderson
Peter Barrett
Andrew Baumer
Julianna Cooper
Jason DeLong
Don Harris
Sara Kreski
Kimberly McGreevy
Brady Moe
Hunter Mruz
Maria Naylon
Kevin Olsen
Kate Simmons
Emily Tencer
Brady Vigness