The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Special Programming and Opening Weekend

OCP’s production of the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens on Fri. Jan. 18. The play takes audiences on a journey through the eyes of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, as he investigates the mysterious murder of his neighbor’s dog.

Opening Night Celebration
Join OCP for opening night of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Fri. Jan 18, 2019. Guests with opening night tickets are invited to arrive at 6:30 p.m.—an hour before the show—to experience two different art exhibits with works by local artists and themes related to the show. Snacks and refreshments will also be served in the Owen Lobby.

The Inner Dialogue Paper Lantern Exhibit
A collaboration with CHI Health and the CHI Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility
Over twenty patients at the CHI Pyschiatric Residential Treatment Facility have designed and constructed nearly 60 paper lanterns which represent—in visual form—the voices of the play’s main character, Christopher. These paper lanterns will be on display in OCP’s Owen Lobby throughout the run of the show, from Jan. 18 through Feb. 10, 2019. The artists—children and adolescents between the ages of nine and 18—invested nearly 150 hours of work time over the course of two months to create these works of art. In sharing their creative perspective with the community, these artists, in turn, experienced the healing power of arts—improved self-esteem, better creative thinking and stress relief, just to name a few. Although the participants are anonymous, their creative talents and dedication to the project shine through in their artwork. OCP would like to thank CHI Health and the patients of CHI Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for their partnership and contributions to this exhibit.

Adventures Art Exhibit
A collaboration with WhyArts and the Autism Center of Nebraska
WhyArts and the Autism Center of Nebraska have teamed up to create Adventures, an art exhibit designed to accompany The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Throughout December, these two organizations hosted visual arts workshops in which participants explored themes from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time through clay, paint and collage creations. The artwork created in these workshops make up the Adventures Art Exhibit, which will be on display at the Omaha Community Playhouse throughout the run of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jan. 18 through Feb. 10, 2019. OCP would like to thank WhyArts  and the Autism Center of Nebraska for their partnership and contributions to this exhibit.

OCP announcesThe Bridges of Madison County cast

We are thrilled to announce the cast for The Bridges of Madison County, directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman.

Francesca - Mackenzie Dehmer and Angela Jenson Frey
Robert - James Verderamo and Thomas Gjere
Bud - Mike Palmreuter
Michael - Matthew Tolliver
Carolyn - Julianna Cooper
Chiara/Marian - Analisa Peyton
Marge - Joey Hartshorn
Charlie - Kevin Olsen
Young Bud/Ensemble - Brandon Fisher
State Fair Singer/Ensemble - Mary Trecek
Paolo/Ensemble - Bowen Peterson
Ginny/Ensemble - Brooke Fencl
Ensemble - Brendan Brown, Justin Eller, Katie Miller, Amanda Vyhlanek

The Bridges of Madison County opens Friday, March 1 and runs through March 24, 2019 in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre at Omaha Community Playhouse. Tickets start at $42 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (402) 553-0080 or online.

The Bridges of Madison County is a sweeping love story about an emotional yet brief love affair. Robert, a National Geographic photographer, seeks directions to an iconic covered bridge from local Iowa housewife, Francesca. Their immediate connection takes them both by surprise, and ultimately changes them forever. Featuring a Tony Award-winning score by Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years), The Bridges of Madison County heartbreakingly explores the “what if…?” in life and will leave audiences breathless.

OCP announces Of Mice and Men cast

We are thrilled to announce the cast for Of Mice and Men, directed by Ablan Roblin!

George - Josh Peyton
Lennie - Tony Schik
Candy - Dennis Collins
Slim - Nick Zadina
Carlson - Mike Leamen
Curley - Steve Catron
Curley’s Wife - Mallory Vallier
Crooks - Donte Plunkett
The Boss - Randy Vest
Whit - Benjamin Battafarano

Of Mice and Men opens Friday, Feb. 15 and runs through March 17, 2019 in the Howard Drew Theatre at Omaha Community Playhouse. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (402) 553-0800 or online at

Based on the critically-acclaimed classic American novel by John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men explores the ultimate meaning of friendship. Migrant ranch workers in California during the Great Depression, George, an intelligent but uneducated man, and Lennie, a large man with the mind of a child, dream of making enough money to buy their own land. When a crime is accidentally committed, the two men are faced with a moral predicament in one of the most powerful and devastating stories of the 20th century.

Illuminating Dickens by Jeremy Caniglia brings A Christmas Carol to life

I am notoriously anxious when it comes to navigating downtown, so my heart nervously started pounding as I stared though my windshield at the monstrous building before me. I almost thought I was in the wrong place as I turned off the ignition of my car and craned my head around to get a better look at the street signs. They read 16th and Leavenworth Streets. I was definitely at the right address. My heels clacked their way from the car to a heavy metal door that marked the entrance to my destination. As I as stepped inside, I was instantly reminded of why Omaha is becoming the cultural centerpiece of the Midwest. The space I entered was vast, yet inviting. Stillness hung in the air but not in a stuffy way. I felt perfectly welcome there. By there, I mean Gallery 1516: a fine art gallery whose mission includes providing a free space for Nebraska artists to showcase their work.

The artist I came to support that day was Jeremy Caniglia and an exhibit entitled: Illuminating Dickens. I work for the Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) and I suppose you can guess where I’m going with this. You are correct! This exhibit is all about A Christmas Carol. And what an exhibit it is! The artwork consists of over 40 paintings and sketches that were created for a now, sold out limited edition version of the novel published by Easton Press. Fans of the OCP’s A Christmas Carol tradition will recognize some of their favorite scenes such as the appearance of Jacob Marley or the arrival of the Crachit Christmas pudding, immortalized in oil paint or ink upon canvas or paper. More than a few times, I found myself staring at the intricate details in Scrooge’s scrunched up face or the colors mixed together to form the perfect shade of red for Tiny Tim’s coat. I was in awe of how well the artist had captured everything I loved about the story with the stroke of a pen. I was thrilled to be able to visually immerse myself in the story. As I gathered my things to leave, I wished I was heading back to the theatre to watch our production all over again.

If you are a fan of Charles Dickens, fine art, A Christmas Carol or new experiences, I highly recommend adding a visit to Gallery 1516 as part of your holiday adventures this year. They are open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. I intend to take my family there before our yearly excursion to see A Christmas Carol together. (Yes, I see it multiple times.) I can’t wait to see the look on my son’s face as he recognizes and names the characters in each of the drawings. That joy to me is what this season is all about.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Henry Fonda Theatre Academy!

By: Mackenzie Dehmer – Henry Fonda Theatre Academy Director