Shelterbelt Season Opens with a ‘Revelation’

SHELTERBELT OPENS 24th SEASON WITH REVELATION BY SAMUEL BRETT WILLIAMS

Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to present Revelation by Samuel Brett Williams, at 3225 California Street, October 7-30. Performances are Thursday/Friday/Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 6pm (except for the October 30th performance at 2pm.) (Plays: Thursdays | $12 (online: use ticket code THU) • Friday/Saturday/Sunday $20 – general | $15 – students, seniors 65+, TAG). Tickets are on sale at www.shelterbelt.org (click box office), or boxoffice@shelterbelt.org or 402.341.2757. On Saturday, October 8, the theatre will host a post-show talkback with the playwright.

Brandon’s Southern Baptist father always taught him to be prepared for the Rapture. Rebecca is a pre-med student, raised as an atheist. All of a sudden, people begin disappearing, the Hudson River turns to blood, and the entire state of Ohio comes down with a bad case of boils. Brandon grabs Rebecca and tries to make it from New York City to Arkadelphia, Arkansas in hopes of finding the New Jerusalem. Revelation explores faith, love, and the American landscape in a pitch black comedy about the End Days.

“I’ve been interested in the Book of Revelation and “the end of the world” for as long as I can remember,” says playwright Samuel Brett Williams. “When writing plays, I never have answers — I always just have questions that I want to explore. I’m much more interested in theme, than thesis. For this play, I kept going back to the same question — Why as a culture do we crave apocalyptic entertainment?”

The cast features: Nick LeMay, Meganne Storm, Sarah LaCount and Craig Bond. Shelterbelt’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Thompson directs. Stage Manager: Jayma Smay • Assistant Director: Emma Rasmussen • Set Design/Props: Robyn Helwig-Lighting Design: Joshua Mullady • Assistant Lighting: Beau Fisher • Sound Design: Shannon Smay • Costumes: Bridget Mueting.

“I love this play because it allows us (the audience) to see both sides of the religious discussion in humorous, honest and human ways. It’s a comedy, but it has a lot of heart and moments of real truth that I hope will allow people to relate to the characters, all of the characters, on a basic human level regardless of all the labels we place on ourselves and others. The struggle is real right now but if we open our minds, hearts and hands we can get by with a little help from our friends,” Thompson said.

This is Williams first script produced in Omaha. He says, “I came to Omaha a year ago from New York City by way of Arkansas. The theatre and film community have been incredibly welcoming and generous. I’ve fallen in love with Omaha and the art the city is producing. Shelterbelt has been tireless, professional, and utterly fearless in producing this play.”

“This experience will be unlike others in Omaha because for many in our country it feels like the End Days right now. Brett has found a way to tell this story with an open mind and heart,” said Thompson. “Answers are not given freely and questions are encouraged at the end of this world, so it makes sense that the journey should be just as loaded!”

Williams adds, “I promise that if you come see this show you will laugh. And maybe think. And hopefully even feel. But, you’ll definitely laugh.”

In the gallery, Shelterbelt presents ink and watercolor illustrations by William Holland.

Shelterbelt Theatre is Omaha’s home for new plays. This is the opening play in Shelterbelt’s 24th By Local/Buy Local season 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 applauds theatres that produce a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. (www.womenplaywrights.org).

Shelterbelt to Hold Auditions & Staged Reading

SHELTERBELT TO HOLD AUDITIONS FOR REVELATION BY SAMUEL BRETT WILLIAMS

Shelterbelt Theatre will hold auditions for the apocalyptic comedy, Revelation, by Samuel Brett Willams on July 12 and 13 at 7pm at the theatre, 3225 California Street. Roles are available for 1 man and 1 woman in their 20-30s and 1 man and 1 woman of any age who play multiple characters. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. The show is directed by Beth Thompson and runs October 7-30. Rehearsals will begin around August 22. For more information: www.shelterbelt.org. To read the script or for questions: artistic@shelterbelt.org

SHELTERBELT THEATRE PRESENTS BEFORE THE BOARDS: THE WINGS BY BEN BECK

Shelterbelt Theatre is pleased to announce their upcoming Before the Boards reading of The Wings by Ben Beck, directed by Susan Baer Collins on Monday, July 18 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: http://www.shelterbelt.org – click Box Office or email boxoffice@shelterbelt.org.

The cast features: Thomas Becker, Jonathan Purcell, Leanne Hill Carlson, Steve Hartman, Liz Kendall Weisser, Jerry Longe, Megan Friend, Delaney Driscoll and Greg Harries.

The stage may be dark, but the stories are never over… The Wings takes the audience backstage to witness the lives and relationships that exist behind the curtain.

“I love how Ben’s play, The Wings, borrows its structure from Schnitzler’s classic play La Ronde, in which characters move from one two-person scene to the next until all the characters are revealed. He’s put a contemporary swing on this classic, circular structure for his examination of human relationships in the theatre,” said director Susan Baer Collins. “It feels like a piece of music to me: a combination of classical and jazz forms, sort of a “Theatre Fugue in Key Minor.” As a result, this reading hopes to honor Ben’s work, and illustrate this circular “musical chairs” game that one plays in the process of a theatrical life.”

Beck has been writing for the stage for several years. He received an Omaha Entertainment Award for Best Premiere of a New Original Script for his play, Crash! Boom! Pow!. He earned a Theatre Arts Guild Award for Best One Act for his play, Chekhov’s Gun, which was part of Shelterbelt’s Shelterskelter series. He has written for Witching Hour pro-ductions, the Stir series with First Christian Church, and the Douglas County Historical Society. Also a performer, Ben most recently appeared in Frost/Nixon at Blue Barn Theatre, Where Madness Lies for Walk the Night Productions, and I Hate Hamlet at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Collins, who also happens to be the playwright’s mother, continues, “Ben and I haven’t done a project together since he was 22, and we’re having a great time. Plus, I’m thrilled to work with this truly stellar group of actors who all said yes when we asked! What could be better than that?”

As Omaha’s home for new plays, Shelterbelt 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.

Shelterbelt Theatre is Omaha’s home for new plays.