Shelterbelt Boldly Goes Where No Man has Gone Before

SHELTERBELT THEATRE PRESENTS THREE TO BEAM UP BY DON X. NGUYEN,
Dates:  APRIL 20-MAY 13, 2018
Somewhere in the Gamma Quadrant, a distress signal calls…
Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to present Three to Beam Up by Don X. Nguyen at 3225 California Street, April 20-May 13, 2018.  The play is directed by Roxanne Wach.  Performances are Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 6pm except for one matinee performance at 2pm on May 13.  Tickets are $12 for Thursday performances and $20 Thurs-Sun.  Ticket prices for students, seniors (65+), and TAG members are $15.  Tickets are on sale at www.shelterbelt.org (click box office) or boxoffice@shelterbelt.org or 402-341-2757.  The April 21 performance includes a post-show talkback with the playwright, director, and cast.
Sam Wisher returns home to Riverside, IA at the urgent request of his sister.  There, he discovers Jules and their father, John, have built a holodeck and John has locked himself inside for 2 weeks.  Jules and Sam must rescue their father before they lose him forever.  Three to Beam Up is the story of a man who believes he is the Captain of a Federation Starship and the children that fight to keep his feet firmly planted on Earth.
Don’t miss the world premiere of this play by former Omahan, Don X. Nguyen.  Originally performed as part of the 1999 Shelterbelt season, Nguyen has completely rewritten the original play as part of the Shelterbelt’s 25th season.  “I wrote this play about sixteen years ago when I was running the Shelterbelt Theatre.  I came up with this crazy idea of a father who thinks he’s a captain of a starship and started to explore that further and it quickly turned into a play about my family and the fact that, growing up, my parents worked all the time.  I’d hardly see them and that kind of pushed me to interrogate this notion of absent parents and the children who are left behind.”
“I remembered the original production and suggested it to our reading committee.  I thought it would be fun to bring it back, but give Don a chance to revisit it.  It’s been exciting exploring this new script and seeing how Don’s work has evolved.  The play has such a great mix of family drama, comedy, and Star Trek,” said Roxanne Wach, director.
“The script didn’t really age well,” continued Nguyen.  “It’s the very first full length play I’d ever written so there were a ton of rookie mistakes.  I knew it wouldn’t work in its current form.  This upcoming production at the Belt gave me a chance to do a page one rewrite of the script and really delve into the emotional connections of my characters.  One priority for me was to strengthen all my female characters and I’m really happy with where they ended up in this new version.”
The Shelterbelt production comes on the heels of the world premiere of Nguyen’s play, Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth, performed Off-Broadway at The Playwrights Realm in New York City.
“It’s very exciting to be able to come back to Omaha and, particularly, the Shelterbelt.  I haven’t stepped foot inside the theatre since I moved to New York City twelve and a half years ago,” said Nguyen.
The cast features Pam Chase, Nathan Dunham, Kevin Goshorn, John Haverkamp, Matt Karasek, Willa Rauch, Meganne Horrocks Storm, AJ Stoscher, and Brennan Thomas.  Mary Beth Slater stage manages with set design by Ben Adams, costume design by Erienne Wredt, lighting design by Laura Arias, sound design and original music by Shannon Smay, assistant lighting designer is Taelore Stearns, and props/set dressing by Roxanne and Dan Wach.
In the gallery:  Carl Dumicich, mixed media
Shelterbelt Theatre is Omaha’s home for new plays.  Three to Beam Up is part of Shelterbelt’s 25th season, Original Lives Here, featuring scripts celebrating our local playwrights, past and present.  Shelterbelt Theatre is a 2015 and 2016 recipient of the international 50/50 Applause Award by the International Centre for Women Playwrights which honors theatres that produce a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. (www.womenplaywrights.org)
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