Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back By Popular Demand: JUNO'S SWANS: RICHARD 3

After Juno's Swans successful 2017 performance of Richard 3 to a packed house, excerpts of the performance and a discussion about performing Shakespeare through the female perspective will be featured at the Arts & Literary Festival this September alongside other Nebraska artists and authors.

Now in its seventh year, the Joslyn Castle Arts & Literary Festival returns this fall celebrating women of Nebraska. About the event from Joslyn Castle:
"For this festival, our primary goal is to create an awareness and appreciation for women artists who have, and still are, significantly contributing to the cultural fabric of Nebraska."
 The Arts & Literary Festival will be a week-long event, from September 21 - 27, and Juno's Swans will perform on September 23. Don't miss your final chance to see Juno's Swans in 2017.  Attendees can purchase tickets for an individual evening or for the full week's activities.  Details and pricing is available at

For more about Juno's Swans, check out or contact Director of Education, Sarah Carlson-Brown at

Don't forget to follow Nebraska Shakespeare on Facebook for up-to-date information on future performances, including the Juno's Swans performance of Julius Caesar in 2018!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Shakespeare On Film offered for the Fall of 2017 at UNO

Professor D. Scott Glasser, who serves as a guest speaker for the Shakespeare On The Silverscreen 
series, will be teaching SHAKESPEARE ON FILM: THE ART OF INTERPRETATION this fall at 
the University of Nebraska at Omaha, with screenings at Film Streams.

For more information, or to enroll or audit the course, visit

Friday, July 28, 2017

IN THE NEWS: The Public Pulse: A star of Omaha's theater scene

"What a bold, powerful and astounding performance. It left me totally enriched, feeling incredibly fortunate for the experience."


Thursday, July 27, 2017

"That she may long live here, God say amen!"

Nebraska Shakespeare's Juno's Swans was thrilled to present its 2nd annual all-female production this July. Richard 3 was performed on July 9th, 2017, at The Blue Barn Theatre for a full house. The production concluded with an engaging post-show discussion (featuring a guest panelist from the Women's Fund of Omaha) about women's presence and voice in theatre (especially in Shakespeare) as well as in our current society.

The part of Richard 3 was played by the entire Juno's Swans ensemble, 
giving a unique female voice and motivational variety to the character's journey to the throne.

A Wooing: Richard 3 (Katie Becker-Colón) with a grieving Lady Anne (Chloe Armao).
Positioning for Power: Queen Elizabeth (Brittany Proia), Lord Rivers (Katie Otten), and Lord Grey (Hailee Domagalski) worry over King Edward's (Mallory Freilich) failing health.
An Uncle's Protection: Buckingham (Tori Walker), Prince Edward (Chloe "Bill" Irwin), 
Richard 3 (Anna Jordan), and Catesby (Ashley Spessard).
A Bloody Prophesy: Richard 3 (Mallory Freilich).

Cursing Women: Duchess of York (Lauren White), Queen Elizabeth (Brittany Proia),
and Queen Margaret (Charleen Willoughby)
Nightmares on the Battlefield: Richard 3 (Lauren White).

Post-performance discussion with the Richard 3 Company and Christon Mactaggart from the Women's Fund of Omaha.
A Full House at The Blue Barn Theatre
A huge Thank You to this wonderful cast, The Blue Barn Theatre
and the staff of Nebraska Shakespeare for making this event a great success.
The Swans, 2017.

Please join us in the summer of 2018 for Juno's Swan's Julius Caesar. 
Not to be missed.
"With all kind love, good thoughts, and reverence. 
Your voice shall be as strong as any man's." 
Julius Caesar III.1

If you are interested finding out more about Juno's Swans or contributing to the program, please contact Sarah Carlson-Brown at

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Winners of the Will's Best Friend Costume Contest


Will's Best Friend 2017
1084 VOTES

First Runner-Up
1079 VOTES

Second Runner-Up




Most Photogenic

Best Filters

Bone-A-Fide Awesome

Best Buddies

OR BY PHONE AT 402.990.6066!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

IN THE NEWS: Nebraska Shakespeare performs 'Merry Wives of Windsor' with a Louisiana twist

"Shakespeare with Southern accents? Yes, please. Drawls — along with New Orleans jazz, straw hats and summer-weight suits — are a remarkably good fit"


Monday, June 26, 2017

A Great Opening of Shakespeare On The Green 2017

Over 3,000 people joined us for the opening weekend of 
Shakespeare On The Green and the weather was awesome!

After grabbing seats and food, audiences were treated to a performance of 

Brittany Proia as Goneril, Chloe Armao as Regan

Brittany Proia as Goneril, V Craig Heidenreich as Lear, Chloe Armao as Regan

John Hardy as Gloucester, Sarah Carlson-Brown as Edgar

We're gearing up now for the second week when we're excited to 
be presenting The Merry Wives of Windsor.  

Expect twists, turns, and hilarity as Falstaff tries to seduce two wealthy 
wives and win their husbands' fortunes.

The Merry Wives of Windsor runs Thursday (June 30th) through Sunday (July 2nd). 

And if you missed the first week of King Lear, don't fret.  
King Lear will be back next week, starting with a special one-time-only 
after-dark event: Late Night Lear.  

We'll be showing the same great play, but completely in darkness!
And leading up to the show, we're partnering with Big Canvas to bring 
stand-up and improv comedy to the Green for the first time.  

Grab a pizza, kettle corn, and visit our beer garden sponsored by 
Brickway Brewery OR take in the full experience by donating to make 
Late Night Lear a reality and get great perks including 
VIP seating, gifts, and food & drink packages.

Thursday, June 29 - Sunday, July 2

Wednesday, July 5th

Thursday, July 6th

Friday, July 7th

Saturday, July 8th

Sunday, July 9th

Visit for more information. 
Make sure to get to the Green!  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Anne Dittrick Sonnet-Writing Contest

Middle School Division Winner:

Colors of Life
By Emma Kanne
Grade 8
Gretna Middle School
Teacher: Lori A. Wewel

Everyone grows up unmasking new things
Tis’ something that you will want to achieve
You learn that nature has a lot to bring.
Amazing things that you will soon unweave

You seek that all the green leaves late in fall
Change colors and flutter to the hard ground
‘Oft the bright orange rays in the sunset call
Upon the faraway stars all around.

But what if’t be true, everything was gray?
No vivid tone nature sets right in place
No rise of the sun marking a new day
No sparkling snowfalls of the stars in space

In order to obtain the color back,
People joyous will make life glow through black.

High School Division Winner:

A Watercolor Horizon
By Hannah Manoj
Grade 12
Papillion LaVista High School
Teacher: Carly Sire

A deep blue sea below a painted sky,
The melted cobalt glass oasis stands.
With em’rald palm trees that appear to fly,
And detailed castles made of velvet sands.

The golden yellow brushstrokes stain the base.
And pumpkin orange that creates a glow;
With blushing rose cascading through the space,
A subtle lilac stream begins to flow.

And tangy salt that coats the tranquil shores;
A thousand waves, they hit the jagged stones.
With strangled cries, the waves release their roars.
The tides wage war, relinquish shattered bones.

At last, the flaming sun completes its dive.
Now charcoal black and silver moon will thrive.

Adult Division Winner:

By Diane Coffin
Omaha, NE

For some who love, love takes them unaware:
They meet, they speak, agree or disagree,
Find common ground, or find no ground where they’re
United both -- and neither see the rising of the sea.

For them, the tide arises without note.
The tide surprises both with dampened feet,
Then foaming calves, wet knees, wet thighs, no boat
In sight to lift them out, and no retreat.

With sodden hearts they sense a passion new,
With raining eyes they view the other’s face,
A face well-known yet strangely changed. How true                 
It seems, how swift the thrill, how full of grace!

The sand beneath them shifts; they tumble down.
In love’s sweet surge they sink and gladly drown.

Honorable Mentions:

By Christopher Malkasyan
Grade 7
St. Gregory Hovsepian School
Mr. Shahé Mankerian

Hello, my dearest and my loving dove.
I have come to see you, my bell flower.
You fly off to wonderland, my prized love,
But you leave me by the very hour.

However, the gorgeous feathers you hold,
I cannot believe how well and merry
You’ve become in my heart of solid gold.
I love the way you soar, but I worry.

If I’m alone, I’m lost, what will I be?
No one will sing a melody with me.
I cannot chirp and sing without a bee.
So please, do not be afraid and go flee!

I’m a good person, ma’am, with a good tone too!
All I wish is too sing a song with you.

Love of Soccer
By Alexander Mnatsakanian
Grade 6
St. Gregory Hovsepian School
Mr. Shahé Mankerian

There is a sport I love. On grass, I play.
I kick the white ball. ""What a goal, Hurray!""
With the ball at my feet, dribbling away.
I tackle, I fake, I slide like a sleigh.

The only destructive part about it
I get hit in the head. My concussion
Takes me to bed. I feel dead in a pit.
I start having a weird conversation.

Even though it is bad, I still love you;
I've so many Nike branded shin guards.
I have many cleats, maybe one or two.
Every day I play like Jesse Lingard.

It's like I found love from a treasure chest.
I play the game soccer; it is the best.

By Taylor Wagner
Grade 12
Ralston High School
Teacher Jeff Lacey

Unceasing thoughts roll through me day and night
Ideas crashing, roaring, in my head
And yet it seems impossible to write
Embarrassing- paper not touched by lead

An alphabet of twenty six letters
And endless combinations to be made
This must be easy for the go-getters
I see their words so beautifully displayed

How do I give a meaning to my words
Self expression- not a talent of mine
When will thoughts fly out of my mouth like birds
Instead of catching in my throat like twine

Away with tragic fear of being wrong
My words are magic, genuine, and strong

Reach the Light
By Kevin Gomez-Franco
Grade 12
Ralston High School
Teacher Jeff Lacy

If I could only touch the shining sun
Compelling energy within my hands,
This power that will make me fly and run
To go discover the awaited lands

To find that home where I can live and last
Become the one immortal and supreme
And not be alone like I was in the past
To dominate and rule beyond the dream

If I could only reach the shining light
And feel the glorious flame of heat that burns
The moon and I would dance all night
Before the sun comes back, and I return

I might then die, and live no more
And leave no sign of what I was before

The Last Plantagenet
By Robert Ferdinand
Minneapolis, MN

In August, at late Summer's teeming height,
The last Plantagenet rode forth one day
Defying Fortune, rising to the fight
And risking all in battle's bloodied fray.

He stood resolved, which course he must pursue
To stem the sham of Richmond's royal claim
A final thrust could see the battle through
To ride straight for The Tudor was his aim.

Surrounded by the pride of England's might
With heart set high he charged the foe pell-mell
Within the deepest folds of battle's fright
King Richard strove: he sought, he fought, he fell.

A King he lived and died, without regret-
On Bosworth Field the Sun in Splendor set.

Sonnet on Lost Love
By Ruth Li
Logan, Utah

In dim recesses of entangled thought
Oft I chastise myself for spinning sin
I am compelled to let free strands I sought
To forget the beloved I cannot win!

A maddened voice then whispers to my ear:
“Be not lost in thy dreams and fantasies
The fragments that fade with each passing year
Entwined in golden threads of memories.”

Yet strands of sorrow stroke my softened soul
To tear the threads inflicts a wound of pain.
What would I give to mend the parts toward whole?
Our limbs were once enjoined as though ‘twere twain.

The farther fate’s false strings fray us apart
The closer am I wedded to thy heart.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Help Bring Late Night Lear to Life!

Join us in continuing the fun and creating an all-new Omaha community event (that’s free for all!) – with a one-night only, special late night performance of King Lear as part of Shakespeare On The Green this summer! 

In partnership with Big Canvas Improv, join us before the show for improv and stand-up comedy before the 10pm performance of King Lear.

Plus, a beer garden and food vendors! Fabulous raffle prizes include hammocks courtesy of Hayneedle, gift cards from your favorite Omaha restaurants/stores and more!

CLICK HERE to see how you can support the event and maximize your experience with a number of great perks!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Will's Best Friend Pet Costume Contest 2017!


Celebrating its 11th season, the Will's Best Friend Pet Costume Contest is accepting entries through June 19.

Owners can submit their pets in their best Shakespearean costume to be voted on by Nebraska Shakespeare followers.


  • Take a photo of your pet in a Shakespearean Costume.
  • Submit it using the online contest form. 
    • There is no fee/purchase necessary to enter. 
    • You and your pet must be able to attend the contest finals on July 6 to be considered for the top title: Will's Best Friend 2017.
  • Vote and tell your friends to vote between June 19 and July 2 

  • On June 19th, access to the contestants' photos will be available for voting.
  • You and your friends can vote once per day.
  • Voting will close on July 2 
  • The three contestants with the most votes will be invited to the finals at Shakespeare On The Green on July 6th.

TOP AWARDSContestants must be able to attend finals to be eligible:

  • Will's Best Friend (Overall Highest Score)
    • Prize: $50 Gift Certificate to Long Dog, Fat Cat (+swag for your pet) 
  • First Runner-Up (Second Highest Score in the Competition) 
    • Prize: $30 Gift Certificate to Long Dog, Fat Cat (+swag for your pet) 
  • Second Runner-Up (Third Highest Score in the Competition) 
    • Prize: $20 Gift Certificate to Long Dog, Fat Cat (+swag for your pet) 

JUDGES FAVORITESEven if you don't win a Top Award, you could still win one of our judges favorite categories, including:

  • Favorite King Lear costume 
  • Favorite Merry Wives of Windsor costume 
  • Purr-fect Costume (favorite cat costume) 
  • Bone-a-Fide Awesome (favorite dog costume) 
  • Most Exotic 
  • Most Photogenic 
  • Cutest 
  • Silliest 
  • And More 

  1. Pets must be on a leash. Nebraska Shakespeare is not responsible for the actions of your pets. Pets must be under control at all times. 
  2. Pets must be current on vaccinations. 
  3. Pets should be sociable with other animals, adults, and children and not aggressive about food, toys, or owner. 
  4. Pets must be comfortable in a loud and festive environment. Please be aware of the stress level of your pet at all times. We want this to be a positive experience for everyone. 
  5. Pets must be at least 4 months old since younger animals have weak or no immune systems. 
  6. NS reserves the right to refuse entrance or ask to leave anyone whose pet is exhibiting aggressive behavior. 
  7. Be prepared to clean up after your pet. 

Visit Nebraska Shakespeare's Facebook Page to Enter!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mad Libs Sonnet Madness.

“This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.” - King Lear

Nebraska Shakespeare's Anne Dittrick Sonnet Contest is celebrating its 20th Anniversary! 
We are so honored to offer this program every Spring, giving talented authors throughout Nebraska and beyond an opportunity to submit their original sonnets. 

Writing a sonnet is not easy. 
There are very specific rules and guidelines that must be followed, or at least understood. An author of a Shakespeare-style sonnet needs to not only be creative and expressive, but also linguistically flexible.
Shakespeare, who was a bit of a show-off, wrote 154 sonnets. But for all of us that lack a bit in the literary genius department, I have put together to Mad Lib Sonnets (based on Sonnet 23 and 29), so everyone can create their own "original" sonnet.
(Feel free to leave completed Mad Lib Sonnets in the comments)

Sonnet 23.5

                                                                         1. Emotion- 1 syllable
                                                                         2. Adjective- 1 syllable 
                                                                         3. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         4. Possessive noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         5. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         6. Adjective- 1 syllable
                                                                         7. Noun- 1 syllable-rhyme with “might”
                                                                         8. Possessive noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         9. Verb- 2 syllables
                                                                         10. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         11. Noun- 1 syllable- rhyme with “expressed”
                                                                         12. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         13. Verb- 1 syllable
                                                                         14. Body part- 1 syllable
                                                                         15. Adjective- 1syllable
                                                                         16. Emotion- one syllable
                                                                         17. Body part- 1 syllable

Sonnet 23.5
                                                As an unperfect actor on the stage, 
                                                Who with his (1.               ) is put besides his part,
                                                Or some (2.               ) (3.               ) replete with too much rage,
                                                Whose (4.               ) abundance weakens his own heart; 
                                                So I, for fear of (5.)               , forget to say 
                                                The (6.               ) ceremony of love's (7.               ), 
                                                And in mine own (8.               ) strength seem to decay,
                                                (9.               ) with burden of mine own love's might. 
                                                O let my (10.               ) be then the eloquence 
                                                And dumb presagers of my speaking (11.               )
                                                Who plead for (12.               ) and (13.               ) for recompense 
                                                More than that (14.               ) that more hath more expressed.
                                                O, learn to read what (15.               ) (16.               ) hath writ: 
                                                To hear with (17.               ) belongs to love's fine wit. 

Sonnet 29.5

                                                                         1. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         2. Possessive noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         3. Verb- 2 syllables
                                                                         4. Adjective- 1 syllable
                                                                         5. Adjective- 2 syllables
                                                                         6. Verb- 1 syllable
                                                                         7. Verb- 1 syllable
                                                                         8. Noun- 1 syllable- ryhme with "scope"
                                                                         9. Possessive noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         10. Noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         11. Plural noun- 1 syllable
                                                                         12. Noun- 1 syllable- rhyme with “least”
                                                                         13. Animal- 1 syllable
                                                                         14. Plural location- 2 syllables 
                                                                         15. Verb- 1 syllable- rhymes with “kings”
                                                                         16. Verb- 1 syllable

Sonnet 29.5
                                                When, in disgrace with (1.               ) and (2.               ) eyes,
                                                I all alone (3.               ) my outcast state,
                                                And trouble (4.               ) heaven with my (5.               ) cries,
                                                And (6.               ) upon myself, and (7.               ) my fate,
                                                Wishing me like to one more rich in (8.               ),
                                                Featured like him, like him with (9.               ) possessed,
                                                Desiring this man’s (10.               ) and that man's scope,
                                                With what I most enjoy contented least;
                                                Yet in these (11.               ) myself almost despising,
                                                Haply I think on thee, and then my (12.               ),
                                                Like to the (13.               ) at break of day arising
                                                From sullen earth, sings hymns at (14.               ) gate;
                                                For thy sweet love remembered such wealth (15.               )
                                                That then I (16.               to change my state with kings.

If these Mad Libs inspired your own sonnet-writing voice, we are accepting submissions until May 15th at midnight!

All winning sonnets will be published in Shakespeare On The Green's annual program and read prior to each production this summer.