‘Jersey Boys’ Working its Way Back to Omaha

Omaha, NE (January 31, 2017)–Omaha Performing Arts presents the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning hit musical, Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  The musical will make its much-anticipated return to Omaha, playing the Orpheum Theater, March 7-12, 2017.  Tickets, starting at $35, are available at the Ticket Omaha Box Office inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street, by calling 402-345-0606 or online at TicketOmaha.com.

Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons:  Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi.  This is the true story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time.  They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds, and sold 175 million records worldwide–all before they were thirty.  The features all their hits including, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Oh, What a Night”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, and “Working My Way Back to You”.

Jersey Boys is the winner of the 2006 Best Musical Tony Award, the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia).  Jersey Boys has been seen by over 24 millions people worldwide.

Directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Des MacAnuff, Jersey Boys is written by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Jersey Boys is produced by Dodger Theatricals, Joseph J. Grano, Tamara and Kevin Kinsella, Pelican Group, with Latitude Link, and Rick Steiner.  The Original Broadway Cast recording of Jersey Boys, produced by Bob Gaudio, was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.  The cast recording is available on Rhino Records.  Jersey Boys:  The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Broadway Books) is the official handbook to the smash Broadway hit.  Seasons Greetings:  A Jersey Boys Christmas, a holiday CD featuring international cast members of Jersey Boys, produced by Bob Gaudio, is available on Rhino Records.

For more information on Jersey Boys, go to www.OmahaPerformingsArts.org or www.JerseyBoysTour.com or watch online at www.JerseyBoysTour.com/watch.

OCP Goes to the Wild West with ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

Omaha, Neb.The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, running at the Omaha Community Playhouse February 10 – March 12, 2017 in the Howard Drew Theatre, is a classic western story of good versus bad and the law versus the gun. Made popular by the 1962 film version starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is set in 1890 in the Wild West and tells the tale of a young scholar from New York City who travels west in search of a new life, but arrives badly beaten in the town of Twotrees. After being rescued from the plains, the town soon becomes his home. A local girl gives him purpose, but a fierce outlaw wants him dead. He must make a choice: to turn and run or to stand for what he believes; to live or to fight; whether or not to become the man who shot Liberty Valance.

Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has been named an official event of the Nebraska 150 Celebration, which is a yearlong celebration across the state of Nebraska in 2017 marking the 150th year of statehood. The Sesquicentennial is a strategic initiative that promotes a spirit of pride, growth, engagement and connection within our state by bridging Nebraskans across different communities, perspectives and cultures. For more information, visit https://ne150.org/calendar/man-shot-liberty-valance-play/

Production:        The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Credits:                Book by Jethro Compton; Based on the short story by Dorothy M. Johnson

Director:              Jeff Horger


Dennis Stessman as Ransome Foster

Sydney Readman as Hallie Jackson

Isaac Reilly as Bert Barricune

Chad Cunningham as Jim Mosten

Christopher Scott as Marshal Johnson

Brennan Thomas as Liberty Valance

Chris Berger as The Narrator

Ensemble roles filled by Aubrey Fleming & Gary Williams

Show Dates:       February 10 – March 12, 2017 (Thurs – Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm)

Tickets:                At the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or http://www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $36 for adults and $22 for students. Tickets for groups of 12 or more are $24 for adults and $16 for students.

Discounts:           Twilight Tickets – A limited number of tickets are available at half price after noon the day of the performance at the Box Office. Cash or check only. Subject to availability.

Sponsored by:   2016-2017 Pegasus Travel Tours and Cox (media sponsor)

Location:             Howard Drew Theatre | Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass Street Omaha, NE 68132)


Do You Want to be a Leading Lady?

Leading Ladies Auditions

Production: Leading Ladies

Auditions: Monday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, February 14 at 7:00 p.m. Director: Jeff Horger

Location:  Om

Synopsis: A farce set in the 1950s. When a couple of low-rent English actors hit a low point in their careers, they concoct a scheme to swindle an inheritance out of an old lady in York, Pennsylvania. They are willing to do whatever it takes to close the deal, even if it means posing as her long-lost nieces in the process. A colorful group of supporting characters hinders their progress through counter-schemes, general confusion and even romance.

NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR: Dress comfortably, but not for the part. We have a fabulous costume department that will take care of our wardrobe needs. Right now we’re just looking for actors who can create characters and live in them truthfully. This will be a time for actors to show off their ability to act, not to prove their level of comfort in any particular style of dress. Auditions will include scenes with Leo and Jack dressed both as men and as women, so any type of attire is equally appropriate.


Note: Actors of all ethnicities are encouraged to audition

LEO CLARK – (Late-20s to Mid-40s, male) A failed Shakespearean actor in search of fame and fortune. If not the lead actor, he is certainly the stronger presence in Clark and Gable’s two-man theatre troupe. Confident and scheming in his day-to-day life, and no less so when he masquerades as Maxine. The roles of Leo and Jack require solid comedic skills and a strong middle-class British dialect. The role of Leo has a lot of heavy lifting to do in regards to dialect, as it contains the portrayal of an actor of two separate genders both on stage and off.

JACK GABLE – (Mid-20s to Mid-30s, male) Leo’s second banana. A little more naïve than Leo and a lot more nervous about their get-rich-quick scheme. He masquerades as Stephanie, who is deaf and mute. He spends most of the play in a state of either blatant frustration or a concentrated effort to hide his frustration. The roles of Leo and Jack require solid comedic skills and a strong middle-class British dialect.

MEG SNIDER – (Late-20s to Late-30s, female) A local woman with big dreams. She is serious, smart and concerned with the current state of the universe, but she is not aggressive, mean or rash. She is kind, warm and has a great sense of humor – the kind of woman you want to take home to meet your parents.

AUDREY – (Early-20s, female) an extremely sweet, good-natured and very talkative young woman. She is strikingly beautiful, but doesn’t realize it. This role requires roller skating.

DOC MYERS – (Late-40s to Early-60s, male) A local doctor and head of the local Moose Lodge. A likeable curmudgeon who dispenses more smart aleck comments than sage wisdom. Sort of a “salt of the earth” type. He is “as proud as can be expected” of his son Butch.

FLORENCE SNIDER – (Early-60s to Mid-70s) A crotchety old woman with a whole lot of money and very little hearing capability. She has been the matriarch of the family for several decades and is used to being the center of attention, if not the universe.

DUNCAN WOOLEY – (Mid-30s to Early-40s, male) a local minister who is engaged to Meg. He’s not a villain, but he is the character you would probably enjoy spending time with the least. He is not particularly likeable, even though he might be a good man at heart. He is a bit fussy, a bit compulsive and a bit absent-minded.

BUTCH MYERS – (Early -20s to Early-30s, male) A loveable meathead. A former high school football player and current blue collar laborer, he is a bit of a blunt instrument. He’s a bit slow on the uptake, but he is honest, sincere and a generally pleasant person to be around. This role doubles as Frank, a member of the Moose Lodge.


What to bring: • All contact information, personal schedules, and a list of rehearsal conflicts with which to fill out the audition form. • A recent photo if you have one available. Please note, photos will not be returned.

Show Dates: April 14 – May 7, 2017

Location: Omaha Community Playhouse | Hawks Mainstage Theatre | 6915 Cass Street | Omaha, NE 68132

Contact: For more information, contact Jeannine Robertson, jrobertson@omahaplayhouse.com, at (402) 553-4890, ext. 164.

‘Sonder’ is Coming Before the Boards

Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to announce their upcoming Before the Boards reading of Sonder by Beaufield Berry-Fisher, directed by Emma Rasmussen on Monday, February 6 at 7pm at the theatre, 3225 California St.  Tickets are $5, which includes a free beverage.  Reservations (recommended) may be made at the theatre’s website:  www.shelterbelt.org– click Box Office or e-mail boxoffice@shelterbelt.org.

The cast features:  Natalie Hanson, TAmmyRa’ Jackson, Charleen Willoughby, Jayma Smay, Natalie Weiss, and Beth Thompson.

When the manager of a small town Wal-Mart throws himself off a building, his remaining employees must cope with the loss and changes it brings, including an anxiety-ridden manager from corporate and the large tree that has erupted through concrete and taken root in aisle 7.  Sonder is a play about intersectionality, freedom, restraint, and all of the walls in place that keep us from reaching the American Dream.

Sonder was born from a need to explore the experience of other humans, the juxtaposition of greed and humanity, and the immediacy of empathy—without actually finding any answers to anything—all set in a value Superstore,” said Berry.

Beaufield Berry-Fisher is a playwright and novelist out of Omaha, NE.  Her work has been performed and read at theatres and festivals across the country, but her heart has remained in Omaha where she’s served her city as a member of the Black Democratic Caucus, Vice President of the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards, board member for North Omaha Summer Arts Program and Shelterbelt Theatre, co-founder of Firebelly Repertory Theater.  She’s a freelance journalist for American Theater magazine and her first novel, Childhood Friends, is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

As Omaha’s home for new plays, Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to give the audience a chance to be a part of the page to stage experience:  hear the reading of a new play, participate in a talkback with the playwright and give written feedback—all providing invaluable information to a playwright creating a new play.

Blue Barn Season Continues with Regional Premiere, ‘Hir’

The BLUEBARN Theatre is proud to continue season 28 with the sly, subversive comedy, Hir, by Taylor Mac.

BLUEBARN Producing Artistic Director Susan C. Toberer directs with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Carol Wisner, costume design by Lora Kaup, sound design by Craig Marsh, and properties design by Amy Reiner.

Shows run February 2-26, 2017; Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday, February 12, 19, and 26 at 6pm.  The BLUEBARN Theatre is located at 1106 S 10th St (10th and Pacific) in Omaha, NE.

Single tickets for Hir are $30 for adults and $25 for students, seniors (65+), TAG members, and groups of 10 or more.

Hir is generously sponsored by Jannette Davis, Dr. Kerry Dobson, Bruce Reneaud, Bluestem Prairie Foundation, and Burlington Capital Foundation.

About Hir

Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his ailing father, only to discover a household in revolt.  The insurgent:  his mom.  Liberated from an oppressive marriage, with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling as her ally, she’s on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy.  But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.

About the Stars of Hir

Hir introduces Joe Mendick as Isaac and Nick Butt as Max in their Omaha stage debuts.  Brent Spencer (Frost/Nixon, BLUEBARN Theatre) returns to the BLUEBARN stage as well as award-winning actress, Kim Jubenville (Becky’s New Car, Calendar Girls Omaha Community Playhouse) who was last seen on the BLUEBARN stage in Hot ‘n’ Throbbing.

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.

About the Playwright, Taylor Mac

Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, cabaret performer, performance artist, director and producer. TimeOut New York has called Mac “One of the most exciting theater artists of our time.” The Village Voice named Mac the best theater actor in New York (2013), and The New York Times says of Mac in general,  “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming every one of them.” Taylor Mac’s work has been performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center and The Public Theater, the Sydney Opera House, American Repertory Theater, Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, Dublin’s Project Arts Centre, London’s Soho Theatre and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, cabarets and festivals around the globe. Playwright credits include Hir (recently premiered at San Francisco’s Magic Theater), The Lily’s Revenge (Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of (Chicago’s Jeff Award nomination for Best Solo), Red Tide Blooming (Ethyl Eichelberger Award), The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (Edinburgh Festival’s Herald Angel Award). He is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, two Sundance Theater Lab residencies, three Map Grants, the Creative Capital Grant, the James Hammerstein Award for playwriting, three GLAAD Media Award nominations, two New York State Council on the Arts grants, a Massachusetts Council of the Arts Grant, an Edward Albee Foundation residency, the Franklin Furnace Grant, a Peter S. Reed grant, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s New Voices fellowship in playwriting. Mac is a proud alum of the HERE Arts Center Resident Artists program and is currently a New Dramatists fellow and a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect.

Lighthearted Play is Precise, a Little TOO Precise

Phileas Fogg wagers half his fortune that he can travel around the world in 80 days and engages in a series of adventures in pursuit of the prize.  This is Around the World in 80 Days now playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Mark Brown clearly has intimate knowledge of Jules Verne’s classic novel as his adaptation is nearly a word for word match of the book.  This is both the play’s greatest strength and weakness.  It’s strong because one gets a very faithful telling of the story.  But it’s weak because Brown uses long stretches of exposition to explain what is happening as opposed to using the efficiency of the medium to show the audience what is happening.  This takes some of the zip out of the play, though a cast of 5 strong character actors do restore a bit of pep through their quality performances.

Carl Beck returns to the Playhouse to direct this comedy and hasn’t lost a step.  His sense of timing remains as tight as ever and he still has a keen eye for a good gag.  Beck led his actors to very solid performances, though the overall pace and cue pickups could have been quicker in tonight’s performance.

Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek gives a very restrained performance in the role of Phileas Fogg.  As Fogg, Clark-Kaczmarek presents a rather eccentric English gentleman whose need for preciseness borders on the obsessive-compulsive.  Indeed, he seems more machine than human.  Fogg takes the bet to travel around the world purely to prove he can do it, showing little desire for the money or even to see the sights of the planet as he spends most of his time alone planning his schedule.

This changes when Fogg makes the decision to save the rani of a dead rajah from being a human sacrifice.  From that point onwards, Clark-Kaczmarek does a wonderful job of gradually revealing the great heart of Fogg as he transitions into a real human being as he slowly falls in love with the rani, Aouda, and builds a bond of friendship with his servant, Passepartout.

Ablan Roblin is quite amusing as Fogg’s servant, Jean Passepartout.  Passepartout takes the job to enjoy a quiet life, having led an energetic and adventurous one prior to the start of the play.  His life is immediately turned upside down as Fogg makes his wager on Passepartout’s first day on the job.

Roblin imbues Passepartout with a terrific sense of loyalty as he is feverishly dedicated to his master.  He also ably handles the comedy of the character as he is at the center of most of the play’s misadventures. From his mugging at a pagoda for wearing shoes to a wonderful drunken defense of Fogg’s character in an opium den to his constant botching of the name of an inept detective, Roblin made the most out of the funny Frenchman.  His French accent was a little too thick at some points, so he does need to pull it back a touch so his dialogue isn’t lost.

Teri Fender’s primary role is that of Aouda, the rani saved by Passepartout and Fogg, but she really shines in some of the character roles she plays.  Most entertaining were her portrayals of Sullivan, Fogg’s former servant who is fired for bringing him shaving water two degrees too cold and as a “man on the street” reporting the news surrounding Fogg and his wager.

As Sullivan, Ms Fender drops the timbre of her voice, bends her knees, and slouches to make for a very convincing elderly man who makes some very polite verbal ripostes in regards to his termination.

Ms Fender brings a youthful energy and exuberance to her “man on the street” as he pops in and out to report on Fogg’s goings-on as well as engages in an exhausting monologue explaining how Fogg is going to go around the world in 80 days.

It is always a pleasure to watch Monty Eich perform and he is able to use his chameleon-like acting powers to the fullest in this show as he portrays a myriad of characters, each with a distinctive voice and bearing.  In the blink of an eye, Eich transforms from a pompous member of the Reform Club to a southern train conductor reminiscent of Andy Devine to the wife of a reverend.

But his best role in the show is that of Detective Fix who chases Fogg in the mistaken belief that he is a bank robber.  Eich got the biggest laughs of the night as he stumbled and bumbled his way across the world to arrest Fogg.  A few of his best moments were his shooting himself in the foot during an Apache attack and being swatted by the English consulate in India.  And his chemistry with Ablan Roblin and Ben Beck made for some excellent give and take in their shared scenes.

Ben Beck also gets to dip into his own formidable bag of tricks as he portrays a slew of characters.  Some of the highlights of his performances were his servant narrator who sagely gives the idiotic Fix a plan to detain Fogg in Hong Kong while he waits for the arrest warrant, a sea captain (bearing a strong resemblance to the Gorton Fisherman) who pilots Fogg to Yokohama during a typhoon, and the blustering Colonel Proctor who’s willing to duel at the drop of a hat, but ends up proving a formidable ally when the chips are down.

I found the sets of Bryan McAdams to be some of the most elegant I have seen at the Playhouse.  There was both a simpleness and a richness to his scenery as the show slid from Fogg’s opulent home, to the steamers the characters sailed on, to the various locales they visited. Likewise, Jim Othuse’s lighting matched the locales and moods of the plays perfectly.  From the sinful red of an opium den to the swirling blues and lightning of a mighty typhoon, Othuse never missed a beat.  John Gibilisco’s sound was always on target and Georgiann Regan’s costumes were top notch from the finely tailored suits of Fogg and Passepartout to the numerous character outfits utilized by Beck and Eich to the elegant dresses of Aouda.

At the end, I think the play provides a night of lighthearted distraction.  Brown’s desire to do a nearly ad verbatim version of the novel keeps the play from being all it could be, but solid direction and talented actors help pick up the slack.

Around the World in 80 Days plays at the Omaha Community Playhouse through Feb 12.  Performances are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $36 for adults and $22 for student ($28 and $18 on Wednesdays).  For tickets, call 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Dodge Street in Omaha, NE.

‘Cotton Patch Gospel’ to Play at Hoogland Center for the Arts

What:  Cotton Patch Gospel by Tom Key and Russell Treyz with music & lyrics by Harry Chapin

Where:  Hoogland Center for the Arts (420 S 6th St, Springfield, IL)

When:  March 3-12

This “Greatest Story Ever Retold” is based on the book The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John by Clarence Jordan in which the Gospel is presented in a setting of rural Georgia with country music songs. The music is the final, and perhaps best, work of Harry Chapin.

As this Gospel begins, they sing that “Somethin’s a-brewin’ in Gainesville.” Herod is the mayor of Atlanta and, inevitably, Christ is lynched by local thugs only to rise again.

Drama critics loved this show and so did a broad spectrum of religious commentators:

“Entertaining and inspiring, it will lift your spirits and renew your hope.” —The Long Island Catholic

“Rollicking, foot-stomping, hand-clapping new musical!” —The Messenger

The Hoogland’s production will be directed by the popular local director and playwright, Ken Bradbury. Ken directed a very successful production of the show years ago in Jacksonville, and to this day it is the show he is most often asked to stage again. We are thrilled that he has agreed to present the show at the Hoogland!

The stellar cast features Greg Floyd as Jesus, Nathan Carls as Matthew, Ken Bradbury on accordion, Mark Mathewson on guitar and other strings, Carrie Carls on vocals and autoharp, Barry Cloyd on banjo, dobro and other strings, Steve Vincent on fiddle and other strings and Rob Killiam on bass.

Tickets are $18 for adults, and $16 for seniors and students.  Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.  For tickets contact the Hoogland Center for the Arts at 217-523-2787 or visit their website at www.hcfta.org.

Cotton Patch Gospel is being sponsored by Concordia Village:http://lssliving.org/communities/concordia-village

Open Auditions at Barn Players

Audition dates set for the Barn production of RUMORS!


by Neil Simon
Directed by Bill Pelletier

Saturday, April 8, 2017 1pm – 5pm &
Sunday, April 9, 2017 1pm – 5pm
(No callback is planned at this time)
At St. Pius School
55th and Woodson, Mission, KS.

At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing (Palisades) townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, and wife, Chris, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusion and miscommunication mounts, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.

Prepare: Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Prior to auditions, please read and familiarize yourself with the play and the role/s that interest you.
Bring: Please bring a current resume and headshot. Also bring all known conflicts from April 30 through the June production dates listed below.
Rehearsal: Rehearsals will begin Sunday, April 30 and run Sunday-Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. Rehearsal will be at St. Pius School until the production moves to the Barn Players stage on Monday, May 8.

Additional Notes: Cast members are required to assist with strike following the final performance on June 18. Cast members may also be asked to assist with costume pieces.

June 2 – 18, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Monday, June 12 (Industry night performance) at 7:30 p.m.

All performances take place at The Barn Players Theatre, 6219 Martway, Mission, KS

5M – 5F
NOTE : Age ranges listed for characters are suggested ages only. These may be flexible depending on the actors.

KEN GORMAN – (M – 40) A well-to-do lawyer. Wealthy, but by no means pretentious. Takes charge of the situation. Married to Chris. Halfway through the show, a gunshot causes his temporary deafness.

CHRIS GORMAN – (F – mid-30s) Another lawyer, married to Ken. Beautiful, easily flustered. Frantically tries to maintain normalcy at the party. Has recently quit smoking, which drives her to drink a bit more.

LENNY GANZ – (M – Late 30s, early 40s) – A wealthy accountant, distraught over the recent destruction of his new car. Starts the show with an extreme case of whiplash. Intolerant of the gossipy-lifestyle that he is often involved in.

CLAIRE GANZ – (F – Late 30s) – Lenny’s wife. Very concerned with appearances (hers and others’). Likes to gossip.

ERNIE CUSACK – (M – Early 50s – 60s) – A psychiatrist. Affable, loves his wife very much. Tries to be as helpful as possible cooking the evening’s dinner.

COOKIE CUSACK – (F – 40s – 50s) – Has her own cooking show. Suffers from extreme back spasms. Loves her husband very much. A bit absent-minded at times.

GLENN COOPER – (M – 30-40) A handsome man running for State Senate. Worried about his own reputation. Struggles with placating his wife, who is convinced he is having an affair (which he may or may not be).

CASSIE COOPER – (F – late 20s, early 30s) Glenn’s beautiful wife. Obsesses over her husband’s relationships with other women. Quick to anger. Obsessively rubs her quartz crystal to calm herself down.

OFFICER WELCH – (M – 30-50) – A city police officer having a rough night. Does not tolerate lying. Sees through the “classy” façade that these high-society types put on.

OFFICER PUDNEY – (F – 20-40) – Welch’s partner. A strong but silent type.


The Crucible
By Arthur Miller

Directed by David Martin
Assistant Direction, Set Design & Sound Design by Steven James
Stage Management by DK Evenson
Lighting Design by Chuck Cline
Costume Design by Jenny Knecht
Props Design by Valerie Martin

Thursday, March 2nd
from 7:00pm – 10:00pm

At St. Pius Church
55th and Woodson, Mission, KS

Auditions will be an open call and will consist of cold readings from the script. Callbacks are by invitation only on Monday, March 6th from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Please come to auditions with as close an idea as you can as to your availability for June and July. The rehearsal period will be a fairly standard Sunday-Thursday, 7-10 pm schedule. All efforts will be made to arrange a rehearsal schedule that allows for actors only to be called when needed, but please try to keep conflicts to a minimum. No conflicts will be accepted during the final week of rehearsal.

All characters, with the exception of Tituba, are from the New England area and should speak with a more proper Americanized nearly British accent. No character should have a Boston accent, nor should they speak in full on British accents. The best way to think about it would be to think of an American Shakespearean actor aiming for a regionless dialect.

If you have any questions about the process for this show or expectations or to arrange an alternative audition time should those dates not work for you or anything at all, please contact David Martin at dmartin922@gmail.com.

July 14 – 30, 2017

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 2:00pm

Industry Night is Monday, July 24th at 7:30pm

All performances take place at…
The Barn Players Theatre
6219 Martway in Mission, KS

The Crucible is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the late 1600’s. It focuses on accusations, trials, hearsay vs. evidence, and character assassination. This production will take those elements and paint a broader picture of persecution over the entire history of witchcraft along with historical moments of those wrongfully accused. Great attempts will be made to bring the audience in as pseudo-jury members for the trials portrayed within the play.

CAST BREAKDOWN (all ages listed refer to playable age and not actual age):


John Proctor:  A local farmer known for his independence and temper. He is married to Elizabeth Proctor who is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams, in part because Abigail and John had a brief affair. John is also accused of witchcraft and eventually sentenced to hang. (Male – late 30’s-40’s)

Elizabeth Proctor:  A quietly strong frontier wife who is honest to a fault and is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams. Married to John, she is spared the death penalty due to the fact she is pregnant. (Female – late 30’s-40’s)

Abigail Williams:  Prior to the start of the play, worked as a maid for the Proctors until she was fired by Elizabeth under suspicion of an affair with John. The ringleader of the young girls in terms of creating the witchcraft scare in Salem. Reverend Parris’ niece. (Female – 20’s, young looking)

Reverend John Hale:  A young minister from nearby Beverly, MA who is called in due to his knowledge of witchcraft. At first, Hale attempts to carry out the court’s wishes, though he later believes the entire situation to be false and fights for the victims of false accusations. (Male – 30+)


Reverend Samuel Parris:  The minister of Salem. He is obsessed with keeping up his good reputation and assumes that anyone who does not attend church regularly or fails to recognize his piety is someone not to be trusted. (Male – 40’s)

Mary Warren:  Replaced Abigail Williams as maid to the Proctors. She is alternatingly weak and strong when faced with pressure from others. She is a mostly sympathetic character who seems to simply be in over her head. (Female – 20’s, young looking)

Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth:  The chief judge of the court, he is power hungry and believes in wielding his power over any and all who are accused. According to Arthur Miller, he is the true villain of the play for he should know better than to let the trials proceed. (Male – 45+)

Judge John Hathorne:  A judge of the court who essentially believes Abigail against all evidence to the contrary. (Male – 40+)

Giles Corey:  A close friend to the Proctor family, his wife is falsely accused of witchcraft. He is frequently accused of various crimes himself, so he knows the law. He may resemble a town drunk, but he is smart, honest, strong, and outspoken. Must be visibly strong. (Male – late 60’s+)

Tituba:  Slave of the Parris family, Tituba came to Salem from Barbados. She has knowledge of a mystical nature and helps the girls become infatuated with magic. This character will speak in a Barbados dialect. (Female, African American – any age)

Rebecca Nurse:  Well respected and pious, Rebecca is accused of both witchcraft and infanticide by Ann Putnam – Rebecca had worked as a nursemaid for Ann. Married to Francis. (Female – 60+)

Francis Nurse:  Tries incredibly hard to clear his wife’s name and his other friends who have been accused. Married to Rebecca. (Male – 60+)

Ezekiel Cheever:  Clerk of the court responsible for crafting and carrying out warrants for arrest. (Male – any age)

Betty Parris:  The young daughter of Reverend Parris, the play opens with her being ill. This sets off belief that she was caused illness by witchcraft. (Female – 15ish, must look younger than the other girls)

Thomas Putnam:  A rich landowner trying to use accusations of witchcraft to buy up land cheaply from those convicted. (Male – late 30’s-40’s)

Susanna Walcott:  One of the group of girls experimenting with magic. (Female – 20’s, young looking)

Mercy Lewis:  One of the group of girls experimenting with magic. (Female – 20’s, young looking)

Ann Putnam/Sarah Good/Martha Corey (these three roles will be combined):  Ann accuses Rebecca Nurse after seeing seven of her children die shortly after birth. Sarah is essentially accused for being strange. Martha (who we never see) has some questionable books about witchcraft and is eventually sentenced to die. (Female – late 30’s-40’s)

Marshal George Herrick:  A heavy drinker, Marshal Herrick carries out warrants and guards the inmates under arrest. (Male – any age)

NOTE – The Role of Hopkins has been cut.

For more information, please contact Eric Magnus, Artistic Director of
The Barn Players, at emagnitude@me.com

The Barn Players embraces diversity in all aspects of our organization. Non-traditional and equal-opportunity casting is encouraged.

A Season Most Short

I had once planned to call this year’s story series “A Season of Renewal”, but life had other ideas as it’s actually become my shortest season in history.

Picking up from our last tale, Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods continued its critical success into that year’s Playhouse Awards.  All of my actors were nominated for acting prizes which certainly made me proud with my first dip into the directing side of things.  We ended up taking home 4 prizes (Best Featured Actor, Best Supporting Actor & Actress, and Best Cameo by an Actress).

Success followed us to that year’s TAG Awards where Lara Marsh took home the Best Director prize in a three way tie.  I’ve laid claim to the left big toe of the statuette.

Broadway World Awards were next on the list where we ended up taking Best Actor, Director, Supporting Actress & Actor, and Best Set Design (Large Theatre).  I truly was blessed to have been involved with such an astounding production.

But for my own little endeavors as a performer, it was a long wait for my next audition.  In fact, my first audition for the season took place only a month ago.  It had been a year and a half since my last audition, the longest amount of time that had ever passed between attempts.

I auditioned for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance at the Omaha Playhouse under the direction of Jeff Horger.  The film version is one of my favorite westerns and it’s a powerful story of a man standing on principle against the law of the gun.

For those of you familiar with the film, the play is quite a bit different than you may expect.  The play more closely resembles the short story with which the film took quite a few liberties.  Characters have different names.  Some characters in the film aren’t present in the play.  The language is a bit stronger.  Valance is considerably more intelligent.  The play is also quite a bit talkier.

My choices were pretty limited.  Originally I had been interested in the roles of Ransome Foster (played by Jimmy Stewart under the name Ransome Stoddard in the film) and Dutton Peabody, the newspaperman (played by Edmund O’Brien in the film).  There isn’t a Peabody character in the play so that went out.  That left me with either Foster or the Marshal.  Valance didn’t enter my mind as I don’t have the look of a stone cold killer.  Foster was even a long shot as most of the characters in the show were supposed to be in their mid twenties.  While I still look younger than I am in the face, my hairline and hair color more readily reveal the truth that I am about to turn 40 in a few months.

From the start, I felt there was something off about this read.  From a technical standpoint, I was pretty solid.  But the spark of my heart simply wasn’t there.  It just felt like I was going through the motions.  For the first time in years, I walked out of an audition without the glimmer of hope that I had a chance and that ended up being the case.  Given that most of the primary cast is in their mid twenties, I take some solace in the fact that even a top flight audition might not have netted me a role.

I actually had my last audition for the season earlier this week.  I received an invitation from Christina Belford-Rohling to audition for Elephant’s Graveyard, the next reader’s theatre production of the Playhouse’s Alternative Programming series.  The play is based on the true story of the lynching of a circus elephant.

I came to the audition and was pleased to see quite a few faces, many of them new to me.  I’ve noted that the reader’s theatre productions tend to bring out quite a few people since there is a lot more flexibility in the casting.

Aside from the brief synopsis, I knew nothing about the play so I was open to any character.  When I read the character, I felt a pull towards the Ringmaster, Clown, and Preacher.

Let me tell you something.  Monday’s audition was the best type of audition.  I read the monologue for the clown and the beats just fell into place.  I walked into the room and nailed the read.  The spark was there and I was truly enjoying myself.

When I finished, Christina said, “Truly excellent.  I want you to try something for me.”

Then she brought out a music stand and had me place the monologue on it.  She then asked me to actually mime juggling and do the last half of the monologue and really make her feel like I loved that elephant at the end.  I had actually envisioned the juggling when I originally read the monologue so this worked out well.

I started juggling and the physicality of it made my read a little more nonchalant.  And I switched up the juggling as I spoke, moving from two hands to one back to two, tossing it under my leg, and catching it behind my back.  I caught my imaginary balls and delivered the love line which could have been taken a smidge farther.

Christina said, “Really excellent.  I don’t think I need to see anymore if that’s all right with you.”  I had no problems with that and went home, content with a good read.

Let me tell you something.  Monday’s audition was the worst type of audition.  Despite an excellent read, I failed to make the cut.  But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that the reward is always in the read.  If you read well, you won.  The casting really doesn’t matter.  It’s just the icing on the cake.

Until the next season.

BLT Holding Auditions for ‘CLUE: The Musical’

Auditions for Bellevue Little Theatre’s production of CLUE: The Musical will be held on Sunday, January 22 and Monday, January 23 at 7:00 PM at St. Timothy Lutheran Church (510 N 93rd Street – 93rd and Dodge) in Omaha and will consist of a music audition (1 minute of music appropriate to the style of the show – an accompanist will be provided), a dance audition, and cold readings from the script. Please come dressed to move. 4 Men and 4 Women (of various ages) are needed.

PLEASE NOTE THAT AUDITIONS ARE NOT BEING HELD AT THE BELLEVUE LITTLE THEATRE. Callbacks, if needed, are scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m., also at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. A read thru with the cast is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, January 29th , and rehearsals will begin on Monday, January 23rd (lasting 8 weeks). The show runs from March 24 – April 9, 2017. Please bring a calendar so you can list ALL conflicts from January 15 – April 9, 2017 on your audition form. The show will be directed by Daena Schweiger, with music direction by Chris Ebke and choreography by Kerri Jo Watts. Pam Matney serves as producer. Questions about auditions, the rehearsal process, or the show can be directed to daena.schweiger@gmail.com.


Mr. Boddy (B Flat 2 to F Sharp 4)

Professor Plum (B Flat 2 to F 4)

Colonel Mustard (B Flat 2 to E Flat 4 (#7))

Mr. Green (G Sharp 2 to F Sharp 4)

Mrs. Peacock (B Flat 3 to D Flat 5)

Miss Scarlet (G Sharp 3 to F 5)

Mrs. White (B Flat 3 to F 5 (#4))

Detective (no set vocal range)