Friday, November 15, 2019

Nebraska Shakespeare Welcomes Back its Founder, Alan Klem

Alan Klem named Artistic Director by Nebraska Shakespeare Board of Trustees


OMAHA, NE – Nebraska Shakespeare and its Board of Trustees today announced that Alan Klem, who co-founded the organization in 1986, will become the company’s next artistic director. Klem will play a central role in Nebraska Shakespeare’s continued goal to connect the community through dynamic productions and immersive educational experiences.

Klem’s return comes with the departure of Sarah Lynn Brown, who previously served as Director of Education for Nebraska Shakespeare and acted as Interim Artistic Director for Nebraska Shakespeare’s 2019 “Female Forward” season. Brown has been with the organization for 19 years, where she played a key role in elevating Nebraska Shakespeare’s education standards and created the all-female “Juno’s Swans” performance program, among other contributions.

Klem co-founded Nebraska Shakespeare in 1986 and served as Co-Artistic Director, along with University of Nebraska at Omaha Professor Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf, before taking a step back from the role of Artistic Director in 1991 to start a family with his wife, Kelly. Following Phaneuf’s resignation, Klem returned as Artistic Director from 2010 to 2012, and started the organization’s film festival, “Shakespeare On The Silver Screen”. His directing credits for Nebraska Shakespeare include “The Tempest”, “Hamlet”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, “Richard III”, and “Julius Caesar”. He has also appeared in seven plays as an actor, performing the roles of Caesar in “Julius Caesar”, Gonzalo in “The Tempest”, Duncan in “Macbeth”, and Gloucester in “King Lear”, among others.

Klem taught classes in acting and directing at Creighton University for 34 years, directed more than fifty plays, and in 2003 he collaborated with two other Creighton professors, Dr. Frederick Hanna and Fr. Don Doll to produce a musical celebrating the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804. The musical premiered at Creighton University in 2003 and was also produced at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Earlier this year, Klem retired as Associate Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Creighton University, giving him time to return to lead the future of Nebraska Shakespeare’s artistic programming.

Before moving to Omaha, Klem Co-Founded Shakespeare-in-the-Park in Fort Worth, Texas, where he served as Artistic Director from 1976-1979. From 1975 to 1978 he served as an acting teacher and stage director for Casa Manana Playhouse and Performing Arts School in Fort Worth.

About Nebraska Shakespeare
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 33rd year, Nebraska Shakespeare serves 20,000 individuals annually through performances and educational forums including Shakespeare On The Silver Screen, Shakespeare On The Green, Camp Shakespeare, Shakespeare On Tour, Director’s Reading Series, the Anne Dittrick Sonnet Writing Contest for students and adults, and year-round resources for students and educators.

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