Released: July 2, 2012
Lincoln, Neb. - Nebraska Repertory Theatre, UNL’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film’s professional Actors’ Equity Association-affiliated theatre company, celebrates its 45th anniversary season! This summer the Rep will offer a full slate of activities including 3 plays, 2 Destinations performances, youth drama opportunities, and opening night receptions. Read more about these below, or view the Rep calendar.
About the Plays
First to open on July 6th is "Jeeves Intervenes" by Margaret Raether, based on P.G. Wodehouse's stories about the terribly upper class Bertie Wooster and his remarkably clever butler, Jeeves.
Explains Artistic Director Virginia Smith, “Who of us hasn't waved a hand and said, ‘Martini, Jeeves, with an onion, not an olive,’ and then looked up expectantly to one's companions who certainly won't have anything like a martini to hand you, with or without an onion. Jeeves does. He always does. And he always seems to be able to get Bertie out of any number of awful scrapes and mash ups no matter how many knots he's tied himself into.This time Bertie's Aunt Agatha wants him to marry a bossy, brainy girl, Gertrude, who wants to reform him. Horrors! They would be Gertie and Bertie! That just won't do. Add to this a destitute school chum, Eustace, who has been lying to his Uncle Rupert about how well he's been doing in business and needs Bertie to loan him his life.”
Doug Finlayson from St. Louis is directing "Jeeves Intervenes." Finlayson is the Head of Directing at Webster University and directs extensively at Webster and in the St. Louis area. Finlayson’s cast for Jeeves starts with the wacky Bertie, played by Joel Egger an alum of the Johnny Carson School who got his M.F.A. in acting from Cal Arts, and his clever valet, Jeeves, played by Alan Knoll, a professional actor who is also from St Louis. Aunt Agatha wants Bertie to marry her young friend Gertrude Wigglesworth-Bode, so she can "improve" him. Aunt Agatha is played by Dennis Henry, in the fine old British tradition of men playing women. Henry is a second year directing grad student at UNL, who also happens to be a professional actor. Gertrude is played by senior performance major, Jenny Holm. Naturally Bertie's great friend from school, Eustace, falls hard for Gertrude and his Uncle Rupert does the same for the rather intimidating Aunt Agatha. Eustace is played by senior performance major, Nate Ruleaux and Sir Rupert is played by actor Brad Boesen, who has appeared with numerous local companies.
Next to open (July 12) is "Heroes" by Gerald Sibleyras and translated by Tom Stoppard. Smith explains, “It's 1959 somewhere in France at an old soldiers' home. Three residents have staked out a little terrace where they spend time commenting on the reduced margins of their lives, the terrace, their rooms, and longing for what is beyond. World War I Veterans, who know how to plan a skirmish, or mount a campaign, try to solve their little problems with great daring. A curmudgeon, an optimist and a gentle worrier clash in remarkably funny and poetic ways.”
"Heroes" is being directed by D. Scott Glasser, the Head of the Theatre Department at UNO. Chicago Equity actor Stephen Spencer plays the curmudgeon, Gustav; Alan Knoll, the failing Phillipe and Bob Hall plays the chipper, Henri. Hall is Artistic Director of the Flatwater Shakespeare Company and former Artistic Director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre.
God of Carnage
Last to open (July 18) is "God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton. Smith describes it, “Yesterday, in the park, one boy hit another with a stick, we don't know too many details, perhaps just a couple of broken teeth. Today the parents of the boys are meeting to talk about the wisest path to healing for all parties. Surely civilized people can work out some fleeting disagreement between two young boys. What starts as well meaning and polite soon becomes more honest and revealing and then, well, more hostile and arrogant and funny. That someone within us, so carefully cloaked and conforming to society's norms is still present, watching, waiting for affront, the insult which kicks the door down... Who knew we were so absurdly laughable when provoked, and who could possibly imagine such an outcome.”
Virginia Smith directs "God of Carnage." Dennis Henry takes off his wig and high heels to play Michael, married to Veronica played by Amy Hayes. Hayes is an alum of UNL’s M.F.A. Acting program and works in the Indianapolis market. Scott Herr and Sasha Dobson play Alan and his wife, Annette. This production is written for mature audiences.
Scenic designers this summer are Laurel Shoemaker, lighting teacher at the Johnny Carson School, well known for her sets for the Opera Program at UNL. Laurel is designing "Jeeves Intervenes." Ahna Packard teaches for the Carson School and is designing "Heroes" and "God of Carnage." Senior M.F.A. Technical Direction grad, "Erica King" is the prop master for all three shows.
Lighting Designers are Dan Stratman for "Jeeves Intervenes" and "God of Carnage," and Kathleen Lorenzen, an alum of our M.F.A. in Lighting Design, designs "Heroes." Stratman, also an alum of UNL’s theatre program, is known for his work at the Lied Center and with the Angel's Theater Company. Lorenzen also serves as NRT’s Master Electrician.
The Sound Designer is Mike Smith, returning for his fourth season. Mike Smith hails from North Carolina where he teaches at Elon University. Janice Stauffer, UNL professor of costume design, is designing the costumes for "Jeeves Intervenes" and "Heroes." Mallory Prucha, senior M.F.A. Costume Design student, is designing "God of Carnage." Mallory also created the illustrations for NRT’s brochure this year.
NRT's senior management inlcudes Paul Steger, Executive Director; Virginia Smith, Artistic Director; Brad Buffum, Production Stage Manager; and Julie Hagemeier, General Manager.
Creative Drama for YouthNebraska Repertory Theatre invites youth ages 4 to 12 to participate in creative dramatics while their parents/guardians attend performances.
- Adults must have tickets to corresponding performance. Reservations strongly recommended.
- $5 per child per session.
- Fridays, July 20, 27 and August 3 – 7:00 PM to final curtain
- Sundays, July 22, 29, and August 5 – 1:30 PM to final curtain
- Drop-off/pick-up children in Temple Lobby
- For more information, or to make a reservation, go to unl.edu/rep
- Season Passes
$55 faculty/staff, senior citizen, active military
$35 students, members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Season passes allow holders unlimited attendance to all three NRT 2012 productions and one free admission to each Destinations performance.
- Individual Tickets
$22 faculty/staff, senior citizen, active military
$12 students, members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
- New: Reserved Seats in Howell Theatre! Available by contacting the Lied Center Ticket Office.
- Reservations are strongly recommended for main stage performances but will not be taken for Destinations performances.
- Telephone Orders
402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231
(Visa and MasterCard orders only.)
- Ticket Office Mailing Address:
Lied Center Ticket Office
301 N. 12th Street
P.O. Box 880157
Lincoln, NE 68588-0157
For ticketing information and to order online: unl.edu/rep or liedcenter.org
(Credit Card orders only.)
Opening Night Celebrations
Nebraska Repertory Theatre invites patrons attending opening night performances (July 6, 12, and 18) to join the cast and crew in the Temple Lobby following the performances for something spirited, savory and sweet. Catering by Meier’s Cork and Bottle and Chez Hay of Lincoln will be provided.
Since 2006 Nebraska Rep has also offered two to three special productions that play for only one performance on a regular season dark night. This is called the Destinations Series. The Nebraska Repertory Theatre will present its annual one-night only performances in the Howell Theatre. They include:
- "RIP" - Created by Dovetail Theatre Company, Kara Davidson and David Darrow, Founders. Inspired by Rip Van Winkle, "RIP" raises questions about how modernity and progress affects us.
July 24, 7:30 pm
- "One-Man Hamlet" - Performed by Ryan Kathman. Hamlet with one actor, eighteen characters, in about an hour.
July 31, 7:30 pm
- The Destinations performances are free to season pass holders. Non-pass holders are charged $7 for the event.
Originally offered as a bonus to season ticket holders, the Destinations Series has proved to be very popular and has become an important venue in Lincoln for trying out new work. Many of the pieces premiered in a Destinations performance have had a wider life afterwards being performed in other venues across the country. Nebraska Rep is able to offer a chance to workshop, providing a director and feedback during a rehearsal process, which culminates in audience responses in an open discussion afterwards. Most often the artists involved are part of the summer company, or from the area, but this season Virginia Smith, Artistic Director, was approached by two separate alumni of Nebraska Rep, who have moved to larger markets and are creating work there, about the possibility of returning to try out their work in the Destinations Series.
Nebraska Rep jumped at the chance. Said Smith, “Not only does the Nebraska Rep want to support their work, it's a tremendous opportunity to put UNL students in touch with young professionals who are living their dreams.”
Ryan Kathman, graduate of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film with an MFA in Acting 2010, performed for Nebraska Rep in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He is currently working in Memphis, Tennessee. His One-Man Hamlet premiered in April 2012.
Kara Davidson graduated from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in 2009 with a BA in Performance, spent a year in the Apprentice Company at Actor's Theatre of Louisville before moving to Minneapolis and founding Dovetail Theatre Company with David Darrow. Kara was in the Nebraska Rep companies in 2007 and 2009. Dovetail has created a new work, Rip presenting a modern version of Washington Irving's tale, Rip Van Winkle. The Nebraska Rep will premier this production, and it will also be performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival the following week.