OCP’s Alternative Programming Series Opens with ‘1776’ & ‘Cry-Baby’

Omaha, Neb. – Two upcoming staged readings will be held at the Omaha Community Playhouse as part of the 2017-2018 Alternative Programming series. 1776 will be held on Monday, July 17 and Cry-Baby will be held on Monday, July 31, both at 7:30 p.m. in OCP’s Howard Drew Theatre. The showings are free and open to the public with the opportunity for donation. No tickets or reservations are necessary.

1776

It’s the summer of 1776, and the nation is ready to declare independence… if only our founding fathers can agree to do it! 1776 follows John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia as they attempt to convince the members of the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence from the shackles of the British monarchy by signing the Declaration of Independence.

In an effort to provide more performance opportunities for women actors and to look at familiar works of theatre through a different lens, this staged reading is fully cast with women playing all roles.

Event:                                   Staged reading of 1776

Show date:                         Monday, July 17, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Credits:                                Book by Peter Stone
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Based on a concept by Sherman Edwards
(1969 Tony Award winner for Best Musical)
Director:                              Ashley Laverty

Music Director:                 Jeff Horger

 

1776 Cast

Colleen Kilcoyne as John Adams

Jennifer Castello as Benjamin Franklin

Samantha Grimes as Thomas Jefferson

Jennifer Ettinger as Richard Henry Lee, Dr. Josiah Bartlett, and Continental Congress Member

Julianna Cooper as Martha Jefferson and Joseph Hewes

Crystal Hartford as Abigail Adams and Samuel Chase

Caitlin Mabon as Edward Rutledge

Emma Johnson as Courier

Breanna Carodine as John Dickinson

Kim Alger as John Hancock

Cecilia Poon as Stephen Hopkins

Brenda Smrdel as Roger Sherman

Kate Simmons as Robert Livingston

Robyn Helwig as James Wilson

Suzanne Withem as Charles Thomason

Katy Boone as Andrew McNair

Jana Coburn as Lewis Morris

Peggy A. Holloway as Caesar Rodney

Jessie Kellerman as Col. Thomas McKean

Phyllis Bonds as Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon and Continental Congress Member

Suzanne Rose as Dr. Lyman Hall and Continental Congress Member

 

Cry-Baby

It’s 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism and Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He’s a bad boy with a good cause – truth, justice and the pursuit of rock and roll. Cry-Baby and the square rich girl, Allison, are star-crossed lovers at the center of this world. Based on the cult classic, 1990 John Waters film, Cry-Baby features a delightfully demented book from the writers of Hairspray and a rockabilly score from the co-founder of Fountains of Wayne and the executive producer of “The Daily Show.”

 

Event:                                   Staged reading of Cry-Baby

Show date:                         Monday, July 31, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Credits:                                Book by Thomas Meehan & Mark O’Donnell
Music and Lyrics by Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum
Based on the Universal Pictures film written and directed by John Waters
Director:                              Andrew Saladino

Music Director:                 Jeff Horger

Cry-Baby Cast:

Nick LeMay as Wade ‘Cry-Baby’ Walker

Julianna Cooper as Allison Vernon-Williams

Kim Alger as Mrs. Vernon-Williams

Timothy Vallier as Baldwin Blandish

Mackenzie Dehmer as Lenora Frigid

Crystal Hartford as Pepper Walker

Sydney Readman as Wanda Woodward

Aubrey Fleming as Mona ‘Hatchet-Face’ Malnorowski

Brendan Brown as Dupree W. Dupree

Mike Shelton as Judge Stone/Father O’Brien/Officer

Justin Eller as Whiffle #1

Ben Adams as Whiffle #2

Sean Johnson as Whiffle #3

Whitney Hansen, Katy Boone, Breanna Carodine, and Jessie Kellerman as Ensemble

Location:             Omaha Community Playhouse, Howard Drew Theatre

6915 Cass Street | Omaha, NE 68132

Tickets:                The showings are free and open to the public with the opportunity for donation. No tickets or reservations are necessary.

For more information on OCP alternative programs, contact Jeff Horger at jhorger@omahaplayhouse.com or (402) 553-4890, ext. 164.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelterbelt to Premiere ‘Neighbors, Lovers and All the Others’

Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to present the premiere of Neighbors, Lovers and All the Others by Marie Amthor Schuett at 3225 California Street from July 14 to August 6, 2017.  The show is directed by Elizabeth Thompson.  Performances are Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sundays at 6pm (except for August 6 which will be at 2pm).  Ticket prices are $12 for Thursday shows, $20 for Fri-Sun shows ($15 for students, seniors 65+, TAG members).  Tickets are on sale at www.shelterbelt.org (click box office) or boxoffice@shelterbelt.org or 402-341-2757.  On Saturday, July 15, the theatre will host a post-show talkback with playwright, Marie Amthor Schuett, and other members of the cast and creative team.

Loyal lives a life of blue kimonos, Judy Garland, and Pavarotti.  Facing a serious bout of composer’s block, he finds inspiration in an unlikely source–his handsome neighbor–who seriously needs curtains.  When lives intertwine, Loyal finds there is more to his neighbor than the window into his world originally revealed.

The cast features Randall T. Stevens, Connie Lee, Katie Nguyen, and Brandon Williams.  Creative staff includes Jayma Smay (Stage Manager), Kevin Goshorn (Assistant Director), Joshua Mullady (Set & Lighting Design), Lora Kaup (Costume Design), Shannon Smay (Sound Design), and Robyn Helwig (Props).

“This play was inspired by the music of the brilliant singer/songwriter, Rufus Wainwright, my lifelong crush on Judy Garland, the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams, and a summer I spent in the Rocky Mountains a few years ago.  It was the epitome of the Gatsbian–self-indulgent, luxurious, and free.  I wanted to capture the essence of that summer and experience in a play,” Schuett explained.

She continues, “Neighbors is a very different piece for me.  I posed this play as a personal challenge to myself once I realized it had the potential to be different from my other work.  What would happen if I altered the play’s physics of time and space to tell the story in a different way?”

“Who doesn’t want a few hours of jazz, opera, romance, drama, lots of laughs, and spritzers on a warm summer’s evening?” adds Thompson.  “I am excited for people to se Marie’s versatility in this piece.”

Shelterbelt produced Amthor Schuett’s award-winning play, The Other Sewing Circle, in January 2015 to sold out houses.  “For fans of Marie’s work, get ready to see a sexier side of her storytelling.  One of Marie’s many talents as a playwright is her ability to establish believable, and juicy, relationships between her characters rather quickly so as an audience we are able to comfortably go on this ride from the start,” Thompson continues.

Thompson, who is also Shelterbelt’s Artistic Director, helped choose the script for production.  “It has to begin with the story; is it something that we want to see?  What does this story have to say or contribute that feels fresh and different?  Do I like or relate to the characters?  Neighbors held all of this for me and as we have begun working on it so many other little gems have popped out and been fleshed out by the design and acting team.”

Schuett agrees, “Randall, Connie, Brandon, and Katie are a fearless bunch who bring everything they have to the table every rehearsal.  It’s hard not to fall completely in love with them as these characters.”

Jaim Hackbart is the featured artist in the gallery.

Shelterbelt Theatre is Omaha’s home for new plays.  The play concludes Shelterbelt’s 24th season, By Local/Buy Local, featuring scripts celebrating our local playwrights.  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)

‘She Loves Me’ is Up Next for the Barn Players

She Loves Me

  • Music by Jerry Bock
  • Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
  • Book by Joe Masteroff
  • Based on a play by Miklos Laszlo
  • Directed by Kipp Simmons
  • Musical Direction by Paul Morel

APR 21-MAY 7, 2017

FRI & SAT 7:30PM, SUN 2:00PM
plus INDUSTRY NIGHT, MON, MAY 1, 7:30pm

Ticket Prices:  $18 regular, $15 for seniors (65+), $12 for students (with ID) and groups of 10 or more.  Industry Night tickets are $12 at the door.  Visit www.thebarnplayers.org or call 912-432-9100.

Location:  6219 Martway in Mission, KS

Set in a 1930’s European perfumery, we meet shop clerks Amalia and Georg, who more often than not, don’t see eye to eye. After both respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement” in the newspaper, they now live for the love letters they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. Discover with Amalia and Georg the identity of their true loves and all the twists and turns along the way!

Cast

  • Amalia Balash – Krista Eyler
  • Georg Nowack – Brian Shortess
  • Ilona Ritter – Jessica Alcorn
  • Steven Kodaly – Steven James
  • Ladislav Sipos – Mark Murphy
  • Arpad Laszlo – Christoph Nevins
  • Mr. Maraczek – Craig Aikman
  • Mr. Keller – Paul Brennan
  • Waiter – Joell Ramsdell
  • Busboy – Matt McGaugh
  • Ensemble
    • Whitney Armstrong
    • Paul Brennan
    • Joell Ramsdell
    • JC Dresslaer
    • Natasha Gibbons
    • David Loethen
    • Kathleen Marx
    • Matt McGaugh
    • Kay Noonan
    • Charlotte Gilman
    • Miles Wirth

Give Kay & Ryan a Helping Hand

Kay & Ryan McGuigan are two of my closest friends.  I met Kay when I did my very first show in theatre and she has been a bedrock of support as I struggled through this business.  Through her I met Ryan whom I bonded with over a love of the Beatles.

This past weekend, Kay was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer and she, Ryan, and their lovely family really need your help.  Both are self-employed and have needed to put work on hold to focus on Kay’s health.  To help with day to day expenses a GoFundMe page has been set up and the link is below.

https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-ryan-and-kay-mcguigan

Please make a donation and then share the post on social media to help these truly wonderful people.

I thank you for your charity.

 

 

Auditions Galore at Sioux Empire Community Theatre

Sioux Empire Community Theatre is proud to hold auditions for the following productions:

 

The Fantastic Mr. Fox Auditions

Audition Dates: February  21 and 23 at 7:00 pm

Performance Dates: March 23 – April 2 Thursdays – Saturdays at 7 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm. One school Matinée Tuesday, March 28.

SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES:

PLEASE COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. WE WILL BE SEEING MANY ACTORS SO IN THE EFFORT OF TIME, WE ASK THAT YOU COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE TO COMING BOTH NIGHTS
We are auditioning young actors 5th grade – 12th grade) and Adult Actors (12th Grade +)

AUDITIONS WILL CONSIST OF:
– Reading from the script
– Director led improv exercises
– A small movement audition. We will put you through you a small section of a exercises in small groups. You will then be asked to perform it in front of the production team as a group. Please remember to wear clothing that you can move in and appropriate shoes (i.e NO sandals, flip-flops, etc..)

Synopsis:

Roald Dahl’s much-loved story follows the vain attempts of three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, one fat, one short, one lean, to get rid of the fox who regularly steals food from their farms.

They try to kill him by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmer’s ploys backfire. Fantastic Mr. Fox devises a plan which will ensure full stomachs for not only his family, but all his friends, who celebrate with a sumptuous feast.
Cast:

BADGER/NARRATOR – Avuncularly friendly
MR. FOX – Confidently courageous
MRS. FOX – Bravely protective
BOGGIS – A fat farmer
BUNCE – A “pot-belied dwarf” farmer
BEAN – A lean, tall farmer
RAT – Whining parasite
MABEL – Gossipy housekeeper
MRS. BADGER
YOUNG FARMER/MR. MOLE
YOUNG FARMER/MR. WEASEL
YOUNG FARMER/MR. RABBIT
YOUNG FARMER/RAT
YOUNG FARMER
MRS. MOLE
SMALL MOLES
MRS. WEASEL
SMALL WEASELS
MRS. RABBIT
SMALL RABBITS
SMALL BADGERS
SMALL FOXES
LANDGIRLS
LANDGIRL/RAT
CHAPERONES
VILLAGERS

The Amish Project Auditions

February  27  and March 1 at 7:00 pm

Performance Dates: April 6 – April 9 Thursday – Saturday at 7 pm.  This is our AACTfest entry so there is a chance that we could advance on to regional, national and internal tournament.

SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES:

PLEASE COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. WE WILL BE SEEING MANY ACTORS SO IN THE EFFORT OF TIME, WE ASK THAT YOU COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE TO COMING BOTH NIGHTS

We are auditioning young females 6-8, Young females 16, Women 25  – 60.  Men 30 – 60.

AUDITIONS WILL CONSIST OF:
– Reading from the script
– Director led improv exercises
– A small movement audition. We will put you through you a small section of a exercises in small groups. You will then be asked to perform it in front of the production team as a group. Please remember to wear clothing that you can move in and appropriate shoes (i.e NO sandals, flip-flops, etc..)

Synopsis:

The Amish Project is a fictional exploration of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake

Cast:

ANNA – Amish girl, age 14. Victim of the shooting.
CAROL STUCKEY – Widow of the gunman, age 31. English/non-Amish.
VELDA – Amish girl, age 6. Sister of Anna. Victim of the shooting.
BILL NORTH – English/non-Amish man, 50s. Scholar and professor on Amish culture, as well as friend and spokesman to several Amish families affected by the shooting.
AMERICA – Hispanic girl, age 16. Pregnant. Works in the local grocery store.
EDDIE STUCKEY – The gunman of schoolhouse shooting, age 33. English/non-Amish. Killed himself at the end of the schoolhouse attack.
SHERRY LOCAL – English, age 53. Resident of Nickel Mines, PA.

Jesus Christ Superstar Auditions

February 28 and March 2 at 7:00 pm.

Performance Dates: May 5 – May 21 Thursdays – Saturdays at 7 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm. One school Matinée Tuesday, May 9.

PLEASE COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. WE WILL BE SEEING MANY ACTORS SO IN THE EFFORT OF TIME, WE ASK THAT YOU COME ONLY ONE NIGHT. THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE TO COMING BOTH NIGHTS

We are auditionimg actors: 16+

AUDITIONS WILL CONSIST OF:
– singing 32 bars of contrasting piece one upbeat contemporary and one more classical broadway ballad.  An accompanist will be provided for you.  Please do not accompany yourself.
– Reading from the script
– Director led improv exercises
– A movement audition. We will put you through you a small section of a exercises in small groups. You will then be asked to perform it in front of the production team as a group. Please remember to wear clothing that you can move in and appropriate shoes (i.e NO sandals, flip-flops, etc..)

Synopsis:

It seems especially fitting that the first rock opera, created as a concept album at the end of the turbulent ’60s, should have at its center a social and political rebel. Jesus’ meteor-like rise in renown provides, as the title suggests, a parallel to contemporary celebrity worship. As his radical teachings are evermore embraced, Judas increasingly questions the enlightened motives of this new prophet, resulting in betrayal. Christ’s final days are dramatized with emotional intensity, thought-provoking edge and explosive theatricality. Propelled by a stirring score, by turns driving and majestic, satirical and tender, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart.

Cast:

PRINCIPALS
1 Woman
2 Men FEATURED
6 Men ENSEMBLE
Large singing ensemble consisting of Lepers, Cured Lepers, Merchants, Apostles, Soldiers, Judas’s Tormentors, Reporters, Temple Ladies, and Soul Girls.

CHARACTERS
Mary Magdalene
Jesus of Nazareth
Judas Iscariot
King Herod
Caiaphas
Peter
Pontius Pilate
Simon Zealotes
Annas
3 Priests
Lepers
Cured Lepers
Merchants
Apostles
Soldiers
Judas’s Tormentors
Reporters
Temple Ladies
Soul Girls

If you have any questions please send them to patrick@siouxfallstheatre.com

Hope to see many of you there!

Sioux Empire Community Theatre is located at 315 N Phillips Ave in Sioux Falls, SD.

Upcoming Auditions at Barn Players

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

AUDITIONS:

Thursday, March 2nd
from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
At St. Pius Church
55th and Woodson, Mission, KS

EXPECTATION and PREPARATION:

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.

A NOTE ABOUT DIALECTS

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.

PRODUCTION DATES:

July 14 – 30, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 2:00pm
Industry Night is Monday, July 24th at 7:30pm

SYNOPSIS:

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, heresay 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):

LEAD ROLES

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+)

SUPPORTING ROLES

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.

Rumors

by Neil Simon
Directed by Bill Pelletier

OPEN CALL AUDITIONS:

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.

SYNOPSIS:

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 mis-communication mounts, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.

EXPECTATION and PREPARATION:

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.

PRODUCTION DATES:

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

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

5M – 5FNOTE : 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.

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.

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.