Monday, February 18, 2019

Save the Dates for Nebraska Shakespeare's Female-Forward Season

Performances by women take center-stage in Nebraska Shakespeare’s 2019 season

Nebraska Shakespeare's 2019 season will give added focus to female participation in the arts and the female voice. Fulfilling our mission to create entertaining, challenging productions and immersive educational experiences, these selections embrace the mastery of Shakespeare’s works, while giving continued relevance to his words through engaging performance presented through multiple genres.

Season 33 will be a celebration of the Nebraska Shakespeare's pledge to seek equal opportunities for female professionals. Nebraska Shakespeare is proud to be among the growing roster of theatre organizations across the nation that have committed to the ‘50/50 in 2020’ initiative.

Deborah Steinberg, WomenArts spokesperson, explains the ‘50/50 in 2020’ initiative supports parity for female theatre professionals. “The movement supports works written, directed, and/or designed by women in the professional theatre and advocates for more opportunities for women to be involved in professional productions,” Steinberg said.

The highlight of our female-forward season will be a production of All’s Well That Ends Well utilizing Nebraska Shakespeare's Juno’s Swans company, which employs an all-female cast to perform every character within a play – including those written to be performed by a male. Many roles in other performances throughout the season will likewise be cross-gendered to allow added female participation and target a 50/50 distribution of male and female performances.

We're no stranger to casting against a character’s written gender to provide opportunities for women; as stages in Shakespeare’s time prohibited performances by women, Shakespeare wrote fewer roles for the men who played women and those roles typically consisted of fewer lines. As a response, Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown, started Juno’s Swans in 2016 and, prior to that, traditionally male roles in many of Nebraska Shakespeare productions were cast with female performers.

For the past 32 years, Nebraska Shakespeare has been thrilled to work with countless talented actors,” says Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown.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.

Nebraska Shakespeare’s 2019 season kicks off on March 4, 2019, with a partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to explore films inspired by Shakespeare, and concludes in October with the educational touring production of Othello. 2019 sees the return of the flagship program Shakespeare On The Green, which will feature All’s Well That Ends Well and Hamlet.

The season listing with dates is included below. Memberships are available now, offering reserved VIP seating and other perks at this summer’s admission-free Shakespeare On The Green performances. 

THE 2019 NEBRASKA SHAKESPEARE SEASON:

PLAGUE-CROSSED LOVERS
Direction and screenplay by Jonathon Levine. Based on the novel by Isaac Marion inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
March 4, 2019 - 6 PM at Alamo Cinema, as part of Shakespeare On The Silver Screen
His name starts with “R.” That’s all he remembers. But what’s in a name when you’re a walking corpse just waiting to decompose? After this highly unusual zombie saves the still-living Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world. This screening for Shakespeare On The Silver Screen will include an interactive discussion following the film, led by Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown.

THE BEST OF BRITISH THEATRE WITHOUT LEAVING NEBRASKA (title to be announced)
March 18, 2019 - 6 PM at Alamo Cinema, as part of Shakespeare On The Silver Screen
Nebraska Shakespeare and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema partner to bring National Theatre Live to Omaha! Each broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, with cameras carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house’ view of each production. This screening for Shakespeare On The Silver Screen will include an interactive discussion following the film, led by Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown.

AN EXAMINATION OF PRIVILEGE AND POVERTY
A reading directed by Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Brown. Play by William Shakespeare. 
April 6, 2019, at 3 PM at Gallery 1516. 
Timon is a celebrated member of Athens, whose exploitation by false friends forces us to gaze into the cravings we all share. Part of the Connect with Shakespeare series, the Director's Reading explores the signature lines, major moments, and compelling characters of Shakespeare's lesser-known works.

MISTRUTHS, BETRAYAL, AND DECEIT, BORN OF OBSESSIVE LOVE
Directed by Sarah Brown. Play by William Shakespeare. 
June 20-23, July 5 & 7, 2019, as part of Shakespeare On The Green.
Juno’s Swans, Nebraska Shakespeare’s all-female performance program, will dive into a world of mistruths, betrayal, and deceit, born of one woman’s obsessive love. This production will explore Shakespeare’s characters and text through the feminine experience and perspective, posing the question “Is All Well That Ends Well?” 

A STRUGGLE WITH DESTINY
Directed by John Hardy. Play by William Shakespeare. 
June 27 – 30, July 2, 3*, & 6, 2019, as part of Shakespeare On The Green. 
A young man returns home from school abroad to attend the funeral of his father. Too soon after, he finds himself at the wedding of his mother and his uncle, and urged to revenge by a ghost. Shakespeare’s most popular tragedy journeys through a deep and painful inspection of humanity, ambition, and mortality; an electrifying tale laced with deception and terror. 
*the July 3 performance will be a special, late-night performance. 

JEALOUSY AND DECEPTION
Directed by Sarah Brown. Play by William Shakespeare.
September and October, 2019, as part of Shakespeare On Tour
A beautiful and complex tragedy, Othello investigates how arrogance, discrimination, and mistrust can dissolve the strongest bonds of love and amity. This On Tour production, and accompanying education forums, will invite high schools, middle schools, and communities across the region to participate in conversations on gender inequality and racial privilege. 


ADMISSION INFORMATION

Tickets for Shakespeare On The Silver Screen are $8. Tickets are available now at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s box office, or online at https://drafthouse.com/omaha.
Performances of Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, and Othello are presented admission-free. Free-will donations to these events support Nebraska Shakespeare’s year-round performances and programming.

Visit www.nebraskashakespeare.com for more information.

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