2015 Playhouse Awards Night

Last night the Omaha Playhouse held its annual Awards Night to honor the contributions of its numerous volunteers on all sides of the stage.

Volunteer Awards

PRESIDENT’S AWARD:  Trish Liakos and Steph Gould, Act II

EDWARD F. OWEN AWARD:  Carter and Vernie Jones

TRUSTEES’ AWARD:  Mary Dew and Bob Fischbach

Acting Awards

FONDA-MCGURE AWARD (Best Actor)

Brennan Thomas for his performance as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Melanie Walters for her performance as The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot

MARY PECKHAM AWARD (Best Featured Actor)

Musical

Dave Wingert for his performance as Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone

(Tie)  Megan McGuire for her performance as the Drowsy Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone and Molly McGuire as Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone

Play

Matthew Pyle for his performance as Jeffrey Skilling in Enron

Charleen Willoughby for her performance as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Viriginia Woolf?

BARBARA FORD AWARD (Best Supporting Actor)

Musical

Brian Priesman for his performance as Patsy in Spamalot

Rebecca Noble for her performance as Norma Valverde in Hands On a Hardbody

Play

Andrew Prescott for his performance as Caleb DeLeon in The Whipping Man

Megan Friend for her performance as Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

ELAINE JABENIS CAMEO AWARD (Best Cameo Performance)

Musical

Matthias Jeske for multiple roles in Spamalot

Roni Shelley Perez for her performance as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar

Play

Paul Schnieder for his performance as Kenneth Lay in Enron

Julie Fitzgerald Ryan for her performance as Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet

BILL BAILEY DEBUT AWARD (Best Debut Performance

Nick Albrecht for his performance as King Arthur in Spamalot

Sarah Query for her performance as Cindy Barnes in Hands On a Hardbody

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Eureka, Ho!!, Days 1 and 2: Small Town Americana & A Day in Nature

Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast

It had been several months, but my summer vacation had arrived and I was more than ready for the call of the road.  Ultimately, I would be making my way to Eureka Springs, AR, but I was going to make a layover in Carthage, MO so I could experience the Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast.

It was a picture perfect day for a road trip.  I enjoyed the lush foliage of Missouri as I made my way down US-71.  After being behind the wheel for nearly 5 ½ hours, I was grateful for the opportunity to stretch my legs a bit as I walked up the crumbled sidewalk which led to Grand Avenue’s front door.

Grand Avenue is a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian home and I soaked up the view before ringing the doorbell.  The door was answered by Michael Goolsby, one of the owners of this establishment.  He gave me the nickel tour and set a door code for me so I could come and go as I pleased before leaving me to my own devices.

Grand Avenue boasts 4 bedrooms and each is named after a famous author:  E.B. White, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mark Twain.  I was staying in the Mark Twain Room.  I luxuriated in the blast of cool air that met me after a hot day of driving.  After getting my luggage and other sundry items set up, I stretched out on the comfortable king sized bed and relaxed for a couple of hours.

The Mark Twain Room

The Mark Twain Room

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Then I decided to do a little exploration of the town.  Carthage, MO is a classic example of small town Americana.  It’s the type of town where everybody seems to know each other and everything is closed on Sunday.  The town also has historical significance as a major Civil War battle was fought in its environs.  There is a Civil War museum in the town square if you’re in the mood for a little education on the town’s war history.

Carthage is also the home of one the few remaining drive-in theaters in the country.  If I’d been staying for more than one night, I might have tried to catch a flick.  But after a day on the road, getting back behind the wheel was the last thing on my mind.

I was keen on getting a little dinner and had hoped to eat at a famous local drive-in called Whisler’s which was well-known for its hamburgers.  Regrettably, the open light had been mistakenly left on as the eatery, like most of the town’s businesses, was closed on Sunday.  Fortunately, I found the Carthage Family Restaurant open so I was able to experience the local cuisine.

Whislers

Whisler’s Hamburgers

The restaurant was fairly empty when I arrived so I took a booth in the back and enjoyed a club sandwich while I read a new novel featuring the detective, Frank Cannon.  After dinner I returned to the inn where I posted some pictures and watched Jurassic Park III.  I had never seen it before and it was an OK film.  After the film ended I decided to call it a day as the long drive coupled with sketchy sleep the past few nights had worn me out.

The next morning, I took a long, hot shower and went downstairs to a breakfast prepared by Jeanne Goolsby, the other owner of Grand Avenue.  Breakfast began with a dish of bananas, granola, and cream with a goblet of orange juice.  The main entrée was an omelet stuffed with bell peppers, chives, bacon, cheese, and onion with grapes, orange slices, and a cherry scone on the side.

Bananas, granola, and cream

Bananas, granola, and cream

Breakfast at Grand Avenue

Breakfast at Grand Avenue

I enjoyed the leisurely meal while I read a mystery of Lord Darcy (having left my other novel in the car).  After a splendid 30 minutes, I returned to my room to start writing up my escapades and preparing for the last leg of the journey.

Once I had settled my bill, I was back on the road heading to Eureka Springs.  Now this was the way a road trip should be.  The route took me through a number of small towns and had more twists and turns than an anaconda as I wound around the Ozark Mountains.

Ninety minutes later I found myself in Eureka Springs.  I first thought to find the Inn at Rose Hall which would be my home away from home for the next few days.  I ended up missing my turn, so I decided to follow the signs and made a visit to Onyx Cave on the outskirts of town.

Onyx Cave is a self-guided walking tour.  I wore a pair of headphones for the duration and occasionally I would come upon these boxes with a green button.  A push of the button and I would get a little information on the sections of the cave that I was looking at.

There were some truly fascinating sights in the cave such as natural onyx (I know, go figure).  Natural onyx is nicknamed bacon strips due to its appearance to raw bacon.  Pure onyx, my electronic guide said, is completely transparent.  Other impressive rock formations were the Dragon, the Fireplace, and the Elephant.  Interestingly, the Fireplace and the Elephant are actually the same formation seen from different angles.

Natural onyx AKA bacon strips

Natural onyx AKA bacon strips

The Dragon

The Dragon

The Fireplace

The Fireplace

After the half hour tour, I decided it was time to find the Inn at Rose Hall, after I made a stop at a nearby visitor’s center where the friendly clerk gave me a map of Eureka Springs and walked me through the numerous interesting sights and things to do while I was visiting.

Inn at Rose Hall

Inn at Rose Hall

Then I began the search for the Inn at Rose Hall.  Even with a map, it was a tricky place to find.  According to local legend, Eureka Springs was designed on a napkin in a bar in Chicago.  It is a very steep city (think a much smaller San Francisco) with streets that suddenly end or transform into other streets.  Eventually, I found the inn and was greeted at the door by its owner, Zoie Kaye.

Zoie checked me in and offered me a plate of delicious chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies that had chips in every bite.  I lingered over my cookie as Zoie brought me to the Treasures Room which would serve as my base of operations for this trip.  I unpacked my clothes and things and laid out on my comfy bed while I made some reservations for some future adventures.

Treasures Room

Treasures Room

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Antique Rose

Antique Rose

The Gallery

The Gallery

Sun Room (Breakfast Room)

Sun Room (Breakfast Room)

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After a few hours, I headed out to find some dinner and found myself at Bubba’s BBQ (It may not look famous, but it is!).  I had a beef brisket sandwich along with some homemade French fries.  This was the best BBQ I had ever enjoyed, especially with the hot & spicy BBQ that I sprinkled over my sandwich my fries.

Bubba's BBQ

Bubba’s BBQ

After dinner, I saw a sign suggesting I visit the Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge.  I followed the wise sign’s suggestion and had a pleasant half hour jaunt where I saw the famed rock formations and walked off my dinner.

Pivot Rock

Pivot Rock

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

I decided to go back to the inn to relax for the evening as I was going to need every bit of energy I could muster for the next day’s adventures.  So as I sip a sherry, I bid you a fond good night and invite you back tomorrow for a new set of hijinks.

Porchyard Reading Auditions

Auditions at the Blue Barn Theatre

“Out of the Blue” Special Series Announces Auditions for Porchyard Readings.

Well by Lisa Kron

Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee

Audition Dates:  July 6 and 7 from 6-8pm

THE AUDITIONS WILL BE HELD AT CURRENT BLUE BARN SPACE AT 614 S 11TH ST IN OMAHA, NE.

Both plays are the first to be produced as part of the Porch Yard Reading Series – a segment of BLUEBARN’s “Out of the Blue” Special Event Series.

The Porch Yard Reading series offers staged readings of contemporary plays that entice audiences to embrace risk and celebrate discovery. 

New works. New voices. New adventures.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. 

Both plays will be directed by Amy Lane.

About Well by Lisa Kron

Performance of Well is Monday, September 28.

Needed for Well:  4 female (Ages 30-60) and

2 male actors (Ages 20-50) of various ethnicities.

What begins as a formal “multi-character exploration of issues of health and illness” soon collapses on our narrator, Lisa. Her mother, Ann, is suffering from a mysterious illness; the actors she’s employed to help enact her carefully constructed narrative begin to revolt; Lisa is beginning to lose her grip on the evening. Well is a surprising and funny play that ultimately contemplates the nature of empathy and our ability to heal, not only ourselves, but our families, our neighborhoods, each other.

About Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee 

Performance of Straight White Men is Monday, December 7.

Needed for Straight White Men: 4 male actors (Ages 30-70)

Christmastime for Ed and his three grown sons is a celebration of all-American maleness: boyish pranks, brotherly teasing, and takeout Chinese dominate the festivities. But when the brothers are faced with problems that challenge their ideas of identity, they are left reeling in doubt about the value of being a straight white man. This is a candid and hilarious look at privilege in our times.

For more information contact Randall T. Stevens at rstevens@bluebarn.org

About The BLUEBARN Theatre

The BLUEBARN Theatre has been bringing professionally-produced plays to area audiences since 1989.  Since its inception, BLUEBARN has produced over 100 plays and has established itself as Omaha’s professional contemporary theatre company. Striving to bring artistically significant scripts and professional production values to Omaha and the surrounding region, BLUEBARN is known for high-quality entertainment and the fearless pursuit of stories that challenge both theatre artists and patrons.

Do You Want to Walk The Night?

The BLUEBARN Theatre will hold auditions for the immersive theatrical event, Walk the Night. THE AUDITIONS WILL BE HELD AT CURRENT LOCATION: 614 S. 11th Street.  Auditions will be Wednesday, July 1st and Thursday, July 2nd from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Auditions will be by appointment. To schedule an audition time, please email omahawalkthenight@gmail.com. Time slots will generally last an hour. Walk-ins are welcome but subject to scheduling.  Those auditioning should prepare a classic monologue or text (preferred but not required) and should comes dressed ready for a movement portion of the audition.   Rehearsals will begin at the end of August; Performances will run October 21 – November 14.   Walk the Night is seeking performers who are comfortable with audiences much closer to them than the stage and are able to sustain a lengthy performance without leaving audience presence. All ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

Give Doug a Lift!

Doug Marr is the founder of the Circle Theatre as well as a renowned local playwright in Omaha, NE.  Doug has been in and out of the hospital for the past few months and the bills are starting to pile up.  His daughter, Emma, has created a fundraising page for him on YouCaring in an attempt to raise $9,500 in the next 60 days to help defray medical expenses.  Doug and his wife, Laura, have donated countless hours to the Omaha theatre community over the past 30 years.  Please click on the link below and help give Doug a lift.  Any little bit helps.  Thank you for your charity.

Give Doug a Lift!

Auditions Announced For “The Nutcracker: A Theatrical Adventure” At Circle Theatre

The Circle Theatre will be holding auditions for its holiday production, The Nutcracker: A Theatrical Adventure by Doug Marr.  Auditions will be held July 8 and 9 from 6pm to 9pm at First United Methodist Church located at 7020 Cass Street in Omaha, NE. Please enter through door #4 on the east side of the building. You will be asked to read from the script provided.  Both those with and without dancing abilities are welcome. This is NOT a musical or ballet.  It is a play based on the story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King that may integrate movement and music. For questions or to schedule an audition time, contact Director Fran Sillau at Fran@fransillau.com

Auditions for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” at Bellevue Little Theatre

Bellevue Little Theatre, 203 W. Mission in Bellevue, will hold auditions for “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”,  the opening production of the 2015–2016 season,  on  Sunday July 12 and Monday., July 13 at 7 pm on both evenings. Callbacks will be held on Thurs., July 17, also at 7 pm. All auditions will be held at the theatre. NOTE: The role of Jewel has been precast.

A large cast of adult singers and dancers are needed for this production which will open on Sept.11 and run for three weekends, closing on Sept.27.

Rehearsals are tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday July 20.

D. Laureen Pickle will direct this production, and Chris Ebke is musical director.  Kerri Jo Watts is serving as choreographer, and Sandra Thompson is producer.  For information call 402 -681-9785

Those auditioning will be asked to sing 16–32 bars of a song of their choice with accompaniment. An accompanist will be provided. There will also be a dance audition and some cold readings from the script.

Due to the adult nature of this production, no one under the age of 16 will be allowed to participate.  Additionally, there are no children’s roles in this production.  If under 18, a parent/guardian must attend the audition and must sign a permission form before the young person will be allowed to audition.

This show is set in the late 1970′ and presents a happy go lucky view of small town vice and statewide political side-stepping as it recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas.

Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello until that puritan nemesis Watchdog focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution.

The resulting conflict is portrayed in this musical, which features lots of singing, dancing, and innuendo. The musical opened on Broadway in 1972 and was made into a movie a decade later.