Friday, January 18, 2019

Get to know Katie

by Katie Becker Colón

One of the young men I was teaching had been punished with solitary confinement during the week. For the prisoners at the Highlands Juvenile Detention Center, solitary meant going to their room (which contained only a built-in platform, a plastic-coated mattress, a pillow, a sheet, and a blanket), but it meant going into the room without the customary paperback novel. They were alone with their thoughts.

Standing in his orange jumpsuit, socks, and plastic slide sandals, the young man shared with me that he played the Red Rubber Ball game while he was in solitary confinement. It was his tool to fight boredom.

The Red Rubber Ball game was one of the first games I taught the group of 8 young men I met with every week. We gathered together in the Detention Center gym – me in my approved street clothes and shoes, them in their jumpsuits and sandals – and for two hours, we worked through theatre games and exercises as a security officer watched from the sidelines.

I pulled an imaginary Red Rubber Ball out of my back pocket and held it up for all of them to see, "This is a red rubber ball."
"No, it's not!"
"There's nothing there."
"You are crazy."

Friday, January 11, 2019

Audition Workshops

January 19th and 20th

UNO Community Engagement Center

Sarah Brown, director of All’s Well That Ends Well, and Director of Education, Katie Becker Colón, will provide audition direction and guidance to prepare an actor for the Nebraska Shakespeare auditions taking place on Saturday, February 2nd, and Sunday, February 3rd, at Creighton University.

There will be two hour-long sessions on each day:

11:00 am or 1:00 pm

(Please join us for either session.)

Bring one prepared (memorized) Shakespeare piece (any
gender/age/type you wish). The workshop will be collaborative and hands-on.

Space is limited, so please RSVP by CLICKING HERE.

Monday, January 7, 2019

We're Hiring for the 2019 season of Shakespeare On The Green!

Nebraska Shakespeare is currently seeking the artists and artisans to comprise the company for the 2019 season of Shakespeare On The Green, presenting All's Well That Ends Well and Hamlet.

Nebraska Shakespeare is a non-profit professional theatre organization committed to providing free presentations of the works of William Shakespeare in a beautiful outdoor setting for a diverse, contemporary audience. Shakespeare On The Green is presented each summer in cooperation with Creighton University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the City of Omaha.

Shakespeare on the Green is one of only a handful of admission free events across the country.

Location:Presented under the stars in a natural amphitheater set in Omaha's beautiful Young Park (411-1/2 N Elmwood Rd).

Audience:A diverse gathering from across the region. Average annual audience of nearly 20,000 people. Some audiences exceed 5,000.

All's Well That Ends Well and Hamlet
June 20 through July 7

Technicians: May 13th through July 12th
Acting Company: May 21st through July 7th

General Work ConditionsActors, Directors, and Management work six days a week, ordinarily with Monday as the day off. The scene shop operates Monday through Saturday. The costume shop operates Tuesday through Saturday. Rehearsals and Costume build take place at Creighton University's theatre building (Lied Education Center for the Arts). Scenic and properties build takes place at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Facilities include two rehearsal halls, costume shop, scene shop, dye room, callboards, and meeting and office spaces.

RehearsalsThere are two four-hour rehearsal periods in the workday: one in the afternoon (typically 12-4 PM) and a second in the evening (typically 6-10 PM). Technical and dress rehearsals run as late as 1 AM with appropriate adjustments made in the afternoon rehearsals.

Work Calls Scenic shop work calls are typically from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM with two 15 minute breaks and 30 minutes for lunch. Costume shop work calls are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Props and paint generally follow the scene shop schedule and crafts follow the costume shop schedule. Lighting calls run with the scene shop until focus. Once the company moves into technical rehearsals, the schedules will change.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Season 33 Auditions

Auditions for Nebraska Shakespeare's 2019 season are just around the corner! We're looking for the professional company that will perform the Shakespeare On The Green productions of Hamlet and All's Well That Ends Well, as well as the touring company for Othello!

Auditions will be held in New York on January 8th through 10th , and in Omaha on February 2nd and 3rd . Audition slots are available now!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Thank You for an Amazing Year of Shakespeare!

-William Shakespeare

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff of Nebraska Shakespeare, a huge thank you to everyone who played a part in making our 2018 season such a memorable one! 

From our amazing audiences and donors who came to our shows this year, to the company members (cast, crews, design and production teams, front-of-house volunteers and staff) who showed such incredible talent and energy...we are grateful to ALL of you for caring about this 32-year-old community tradition and contributing to its success. You make Nebraska Shakespeare happen!

Between all of our programs, we had 51 performances all together! This included two plays we had never performed before, Edward III and King John (a Nebraska premiere!), as well as some of our favorites: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream !

Needless to say...a lot of great Shakespeare happened this year. So, thank you again for a fantastic season, and we can’t wait to share what the 2019 season holds for everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Message from Sarah Brown

Dear Friends,
For the past 32 years, Nebraska Shakespeare has been thrilled to work with countless talented actors. Since Shakespeare wrote so few parts for women, however, we have only had the opportunity to work with a small percentage of local and national female artists. In our 33rd year, Nebraska Shakespeare is focusing on a Female Forward season, offering opportunities to more female artists than ever before.
Over the past three seasons, Juno's Swans, our all-female performance program, has presented The Taming of the Shrew, Richard 3 and Julius Caesar to rave reviews. This summer, Nebraska Shakespeare is honored to welcome Juno's Swans to the Shakespeare On The Green stage in 2019, presenting All’s Well That Ends Well
Pairing with All’s Well will be one of the favorites: Hamlet. This production, directed by NS veteran Dr. John Hardy, will unearth the heart of Shakespeare's most famous play, exploring a broken family surrounded by a politically unstable country. John's commitment to thoughtful, engaging, and exciting Shakespeare will make this a production you definitely do not want to miss! 
Nebraska Shakespeare's Mission is to create entertaining, challenging productions and immersive educational experiences that connect our diverse community to Shakespeare's exploration of what it means to be human. Season 33 will be no exception. Every Juno's Swans performance concludes with a discussion, allowing our audience to discuss the themes, relevance and gender exploration of All's Well. And Shakespeare's most complex character, Hamlet, allows audiences to approach questions of action, consequence, duty and morality like no other character can. 
Nebraska Shakespeare is able to create these dynamic experiences FREE to our community because of generous supporters like you. I would be honored if you would contribute to our #AllsWellThatStartsWell campaign to jump-start this very important 2019 season.
We cannot wait to share this exciting season with you! See you On The Green!

Thanks, thanks, and ever thanks- 
Sarah Brown 
Interim Artistic Director


Photo 1: Juno's Swans 1st production of The Taming of the Shrew.
Photo 2: Year Two - Richard 3
Photo 3: Juno's Swans 2018 - Julius Caesar
Photo 4: An interactive discussion is held following every performance.


Photo 1: Casey Kizziah performed as NS’s very first Hamlet in 1988.
Photo 2: Hamlet (Bradford Farwell), along with Marcellus (Terry Brennan) and 
Horatio (Kristopher Gordon Kling) in 2001.

Photo 3: Marcus Kyd as Prince Hamlet in a contemporary production in 2011.
Photo 4: Our most recent Hamlet, Matthew Olsen, with Chloe Armao as Ophelia in the 2016 tour.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Nebraska Shakespeare Welcomes Katie Becker Colón As Director Of Education

Colón’s Prior Roles Provide Expertise for Nebraska Shakespeare’s Expansion Plans

(OMAHA, NE, November 15) Nebraska Shakespeare is proud to announce and welcome Katie Becker Colón as the organization’s Director of Education. Colón joins Nebraska Shakespeare’s full-time staff with over 10 years of experience in arts education in Chicago, Virginia, and Albuquerque. Colón will be responsible for developing relationships with educators and school administrators, hiring and training teaching artists, as well as directing and shaping the curricula and teaching processes for Nebraska Shakespeare’s educational programming to meet the needs of the learning communities the organization serves.

“We are thrilled to welcome Katie to the Nebraska Shakespeare staff,” says Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown, “Her intelligence, empathy, tenacity, and generosity will be transformative assets for our programming as well as the greater Nebraska community. This company is very excited to support and learn from Katie as we continue to grow and deepen our work as artists and humans.”

Colón joins the Nebraska Shakespeare team from Albuquerque, NM, where she acted as Director of Education for Duke City Repertory Theatre and created three educational programs: Classrooms Alive!, an educational tour that brings curriculum-based theatre to schools across New Mexico; Imagine Action Conservatory, a two-week summer program; and The Art and Craft of Acting, an adult education program for business professionals and theatre artists. Colón’s work as a teaching artist for the past three seasons of Nebraska Shakespeare’s educational touring program, Shakespeare On Tour, and as guest speaker for the organization’s summer Scholars Forums and Camp Shakespeare programs have allowed her to gain familiarity with Nebraska Shakespeare’s current curriculum, the communities served, and the opportunity to work with thousands of students across Nebraska and Iowa. 

As Director of Education, Colón will continue Nebraska Shakespeare’s success in providing educational opportunities to students across the state. Colón comments, “As an actor and educator for both Shakespeare On the Green and Shakespeare On Tour, I have seen the powerful relationships that NS has forged with communities across the state of Nebraska. I am thrilled that I will learn to strengthen those relationships and build new ones as we move into the 2019 season. The productions are top-notch, the personnel are generous and hard-working, and the impact of Shakespeare is more important and necessary than ever before. What a great year 2019 is going to be!”

About Nebraska Shakespeare
Under the leadership of Executive Director, Mary Ann Bamber; Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown; and the Board of Trustees, Nebraska Shakespeare’s mission is to create entertaining, challenging productions as well as immersive educational experiences that connect our diverse community to Shakespeare's exploration of what it means to be human. On stage, in the classroom and through collaborative partnerships, we create, engage, and inspire. Now in its 32nd year, Nebraska Shakespeare serves 40,000 individuals annually through performances and educational forums. For more information, visit