Sunday, June 28, 2015

Congratulations to our Will's Best Friend Pet Costume Contest Winners

After receiving 324 votes over three days of voting, 
our online audience chose three semi-finalists, 
from which our judges chose the winner 
and title-holder of Will's Best Friend 2015:

Will's Best Friend 2015:
Leonardo DiCatrio dressed as Romeow

First Runner-Up:
Mouse dressed as Touchstone
from As You Like It

Second Runner-Up:
Zipper dressed as King Lear
from King Lear

In addition to our top prizes, our judges chose 
their favorites from various categories:

Best As You Like It Themed Costume:
Nasha as Touchstone

Best Othello Themed Costume:
Da Vinci as Othello

Purrfect Costume (Best Cat):
Chester as Lord Cat-ulet

Bone-a-fide Awesome (Best Dog):
Rex as Orlando

Most Photogenic:
Cassi as Ganymede

Winnie as Witch (Macbeth)

"Double double toil and trouble, 
get this hat off me I want to cuddle!"

Chloe as Titania (MIdsummer Night's Dream)

Mr. Chow as "To BEE, or not to BEE"

Miss Congeniality:
Gianna as Anna from Merry Wives

Best Hat:
Pyrrha as Rosalind

Best Casual-Wear:
Stella as William Shakespeare

We want to thank our Judges: 
Indre Sebutyte from Long Dog, Fat Cat
Larry Uebner from the Nebraska Humane Society
Andrea Hoig from Spirit of Omaha and
Sarah Carlson-Brown from Nebraska Shakespeare.

And a very special thank you to co-sponsor 
Long Dog, Fat Cat

Thank you to all who participated and congratulations 
again to our 2015 Will’s Best Friend Winners.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Thank you for a great opening weekend of AS YOU LIKE IT

As You Like It, directed by Vincent Carlson-Brown, kicked-off the 29th season of Shakespeare On The Green on Thursday, June 18th

The production opened to enthusiastic audiences, reaching a total of 3,498 people in the first weekend.

"excellent performances and a versatile set, [...] Nebraska Shakespeare, the presenting organization, has a winner."
-Betsie Freeman, Omaha World Herald

Along with the opening of As You Like It, the 18th heralded the return of our Scholars Forum and Shakesperience!

Forum attendees were privy to behind the scenes info and insight into topics including the conceptualization of the production, designs, puppetry, music, and more!

The evenings were rounded out by performances by Madrigal singers, sonnets from Anne Dittrick Sonnet Writing Contest Winners, and great food, souvenirs, and raffles in Founders' Towne Square.

We hope that you'll join us for the opening of Othello, on Thursday, June 25th.

What to look forward to in the upcoming weeks:

Check out for more information about Shakespeare On The Green and Nebraska Shakespeare's year-round programming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Anne Dittrick Sonnet Writing Contest Winners

This year marked our 18th season for the Anne Dittrick Sonnet Contest. 

After receiving 93 adult and student sonnets, our judging panel of professional poets and Shakespeare Scholars voted the following sonnets as our winners:

Adult/Post-Secondary Winner

Michael Harty

Michael Harty has had a long career as a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a briefer career as a poet, and generally finds that the two facilitate each other. He is fond of the sonnet form, which combines lyricism with structure. His poetry has appeared in a number of periodicals, including The Lyric, Measure, Comstock Review, I-70 Review, and Texas Poetry Calendar, and in 2014 he published a chapbook, The Statue Game. He lives with his wife Jean in the suburbs of Kansas City.

Response to Sonnet 19

When glorious morning yields to afternoon
And thence to evening, should we then be grieved?
If clouds turn gray that seemed to once festoon
The east with strands of gold, are we bereaved?

When dewy blossoms dry, the grounded lark
Goes songless to her forested retreat,
And shadows lengthen with advancing dark,
Is Nature's face less comely, time less sweet?

I hold the evening equal to the morn --
The shaded colors lovely as the bright,
The new-fledged leaf not finer than the worn,
The glow of sunset fair as dawn's new light –

For fading beauty's beauty nonetheless,
And all the sweeter for its passingness.

High School Winner

Mary Johnson, Millard North High School

Mary will be a sophomore this August at Millard North High School. In her spare time she likes to play violin and read. Mary started violin lessons when she was four. She is a member of the Youth Symphony with the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Mary was introduced to Shakespeare in 9th grade English class, where they read Romeo and Juliet. It was that unit that introduced her to sonnet-writing, which she enjoys immensely. When Mary wrote Gemstones of Night, she was watching the rain out her bedroom window at midnight. The starlight reflected on the rain, making it glitter as it ran into the gutter. This gave her the idea for the sonnet.

Gemstones of Night

When the proud sun departs the azure sky

The shimm’ring opal moon comes out to shine
Her handmaids, glitt’ring diamonds ‘hind her fly
As constellations, stars in wild line

Their gentle light encompasses the world
Enveloped in night’s spreading sapphire cloak
Illuminating leaves by moonlight pearled
Made emerald, crystalline upon an oak

In contrast to that silv’ry light so bold
A far off planet sparkles ruby red
The richest lord decked out in wealth and gold
Has no jeweled crown so glam’rous for his head

‘Tis true that human kind, while rather bright
Can craft no gems as fine as those of night

Middle School Winner

Dayton Linhardt, Gretna Middle School

Dayton Linhardt is 14 years old and has lived in Gretna, NE., since birth. This fall he will be a freshman attending Gretna High School. Dayton enjoys creative writing and making people laugh, and he does just that with his quirky sense of humor. In addition, Dayton has a passion for music and will be joining the clarinet section of the GHS Varsity Marching Band in the upcoming school year. Dayton is looking forward to a full summer attending numerous band camps, being part of a missions team traveling to Nashville, TN., enjoying the outdoors, and eating Taco Bell whenever possible.

Fiery Love: Taco Bell

I like to eat tacos in my freetime.
I really like to eat at Taco Bell.
When I can’t have it, sometimes I do cry.
When I can’t have my tacos, I’m in Hell.

Green apple and cherry are the slushies.
Fountain drinks and free water are my life.
Strawberry lemonade and ice-cold tea.
You find the sauce and napkins by the knives.

Crunchy and spicy cinnamon twisties,
Cinnabon delights and the churros too,
Why their food is so good is a myst’ry.
Sometimes Taco Bell makes me have to poo.

Taco Bell will 4ever be my life,
I wish that I could make it my own wife.

Thank you to everyone who submitted sonnets!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Shakespeare On The Green - Check out our 2015 Menu!

Take advantage of the great food options On The Green!

2015 vendors include the return of Prairie Fire Pizza and Lauren Beth's Popcorn and newcomers, Piccolo's Mobile Venue and Made It Myself Shaved Ice.

Performances start at 8:00 PM, but come early to get good seats and great food!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Auditions for Shakespeare On Tour 2015

Nebraska Shakespeare will hold auditions for the professional company of artists to perform in its 2015 Season of Shakespeare On Tour:

As You Like It 

by William Shakespeare

directed by Sarah Carlson-Brown

Residency Dates: September 6 - October 23
Performances: September 26 - October 23

Auditions will be held at Creighton University's Lied Education Center for the Arts (24th and Cass) in Omaha, NE at 7 PM on Monday, June 29th.

This year’s On Tour company will consist of 5 men and 3 women. All contracts are non-Equity. Prepared monologues are not needed. Sides will be provided. Those auditioning will also be asked to sing. All actors are encouraged to audition.

Audition Facts At-A-Glance

Location: Lied Education Center
Creighton University (24th and Cass)
Omaha, NE 68178
Date: June 29th (Monday)
Time: 7:00 PM
Preparation: Sides will be provided.
Those auditioning may be asked to sing.
Nebraska Shakespeare's touring production of As You Like It will focus on Shakespeare's greatest female protagonists, Rosalind and Celia, as they discover the meaning of love, loss, and the bond of true friendship. Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, this production will dive down the rabbit hole to uncover the playful, whimsical side of this classic Shakespeare comedy.

Actors also serve as educators. Nebraska Shakespeare On Tour is designed to use the work of William Shakespeare to offer a multitude of educational activities that illuminate and examine the themes of Shakespeare’s plays; broaden students’ vocabulary, word analysis skills, and capacity for comprehension and fluency of text; and to allow students hands-on knowledge of theatre as an art-form.

Actors assist in the loading of scenic, costume, and prop items. Those hired must be able to routinely move objects weighing 50-75 lbs.

For more information about Shakespeare On Tour, or for a list of Character Descriptions or Audition Sides, visit