Springer Opera House Announces ‘Theatre Under the Stars’

Columbus, GA–Citizens will see an outdoor theatre going up on the corner of Tenth Street and Second Avenue downtown over the next six weeks as the Springer Opera House creates an innovative way to protect their audiences and artists this spring.

“COVID transmission rates are inching downward in Muscogee County but patrons aren’t quite ready to gather indoors yet,” said Springer producing artistic director Paul Pierce.  “We anticipate a continued downward trend as the weather warms and the impact of the vaccines takes hold.  Meanwhile, this amphitheatre will give patrons a quality theatre experience designed for safety.”

The Springer has repackaged its remaining shows as the “Springer Theatre Festival” and designed a comfortable fresh-air performance space with distanced seating, an outdoor lighting system and advanced video projection equipment, allowing the theatre to produce shows on a broad, thirty-two foot stage right next to the 150 year-old historic theatre.

Pierce explained, “We’ve adjusted the calendar a bit and scheduled seven shows between mid-March and late June. Six of those shows are musicals.  Columbus Consolidated Government has been very supportive in helping us work through the permitting and rules to be able to pull this off.  I’m very grateful to Mayor Henderson and City staff for all their encouragement.”

The first production in the Springer Theatre Festival will be a remount of Singin’ in the Rain which had to be cancelled when the pandemic hit last spring.  That show will kick off the Springer Theatre Festival on March 18.

Theatre lovers will also have the option of seeing shows via web streaming, if they prefer.

Masks will be required to be worn by patrons. Temperature checks and social distancing will also be required.  

Singin in the Rain – Broadway song-and-dance musical based on the film classic.

March 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, April 1, and 3 at 8pm 

March 21st at 2:30PM

Cotton Patch Gospel – The story of Jesus set in modern-day rural Georgia. Bluegrass musical.

March 24, 25, and April 2 at 8pm 

March 27, 28 and April 3 at 2:30PM

Click Clack Moo – Children’s Theatre musical comedy about cows who demand blankets.

April 10 and 17 at 10am / 12:30pm / 2pm 

April 11 and 18 at 2pm

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – The Broadway musical set at the famous Chicken Ranch Texas brothel.

April 29,30 May 1, 6, 7, and 8 at 8pm 

May 2 and 9 at 2:30PM

Planes Trains and Things that Go Zoom – Theatre for the Very Young show about transportation

(In the backyard plaza)

May 1 and 8 at 10am / 12:30pm / 2pm

Curious George and the Golden Meatball –  Children’s Theatre show about the mischievous monkey who enters a cooking contest in Rome, Italy.

May 28 and June 4 at 7pm

May 29, June 5, and 12 at 10am 

May 29,30 June 12 and 13 at 2pm

Spamalot – Hilarious Broadway musical comedy based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

June 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 at 8pm 

June 27 at 2:30PM

“The Grown-Up” Raises the Curtain on Blue Barn’s New Home

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The BLUEBARN Theatre is proud to present the regional premiere of The Grown-Up by Jordan Harrison. This will be the inaugural production in the BLUEBARN’s new home at 1106 S. 10th Street.

BLUEBARN Producing Artistic Director Susan Clement-Toberer directs, with set design by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting design by Carol Wisner, costume design by Jill Anderson, sound design by Martin Magnuson, and properties design by Amy Reiner.

Shows run Sept 24-Oct 18; Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday October 4th, 11th, and 18th at 6 p.m. Single tickets for The Grown-Up are $30 for adults; and $25 for students, seniors 65+, TAG members, and groups of 10 or more.

About The Grown-Up

The Grown-Up is BLUEBARN’s Humana Festival Pick and tells the story of Kai, a ten-year-old boy at his grandfather’s knee listening to a story of a magic doorknob. Jump 15 years and he is a young television writer. Jump in time again, and he and his future husband attend their wedding reception. Has Kai run into powerful magic or has he just realized the breakneck speed of an ordinary life and what he might have missed? A funny and honest tale about living in the moment.

About the playwright, Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison’s play, Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist), had its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum and will have its New York premiere this fall at Playwrights Horizons. Harrison’s Humana Festival premieres include Maple and Vine, The Grown-Up, Act a Lady, Kid-Simple, and Fit for Feet. His other plays include Doris to Darlene (Playwrights Horizons), Amazons and their Men(Clubbed Thumb), Finn in the Underworld (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Futura (Portland Center Stage), and The Museum Play. His children’s musical, The Flea and the Professor, commissioned and produced by the Arden Theatre, won the Barrymore Award for Best Production. Harrison is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a graduate of the Brown University M.F.A. program, Harrison is an alumnus of New Dramatists. Harrison currently writes for the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black.

About the stars of The Grown-Up

The Grown-Up will highlight some of Omaha’ brightest talent including BLUEBARN founding member and award-winning actor Nils Haaland (Our Town, 33 Variations, BLUEBARN Theatre.) Veteran actor Jerry Longe (American Buffalo, Red, BLUEBARN Theatre) also joins the cast. Longe is best known for his perennial performance as Scrooge in the Omaha Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol. Rounding out the cast are Megan Friend (Bad Jews, BLUEBARN Theatre), Nick Albrecht (Spamalot, Omaha Community Playhouse), Matt Karasek (Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, BLUEBARN Theatre), and Katie Otten in her BLUEBARN debut.

ABOUT THE BLUEBARN THEATRE

The BLUEBARN Theatre has been bringing professionally-produced plays to area audiences 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.

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