Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Shakespeare On the Green pairs popular comedy with a Nebraska first



Omaha, NE (May, 2018) – Shakespeare On The Green (SOTG) returns for season 32 with the popular comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, and the regional premiere of King John. Both productions are free and open to the public.

Kicking off the season, Much Ado About Nothing will be performed at 8 p.m. on June 21-24 and July 5 and 7. A one-night only after-dark, “Moonlight Much Ado” performance will be performed at 10 p.m. on July 2. King John will be presented at 8 p.m. on June 28-30 and July 1, 6, and 8.

Shakespeare on the Green is located next to Omaha’s Elmwood Park, the entrance is just south of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Bell Tower. Parking is available on UNO’s campus. The public is encouraged to arrive early with blankets and lawn chairs to get a good spot on the green. Concessions and souvenirs will be available.

Each performance will be preceded by a range of family-friendly activities, including food and souvenirs; Shakesperience! – educational and interactive activities for kids; Scholars Forums where artists discuss Shakespeare’s text, production, and relevant contemporary topics; and entertainment by Madrigali et al.



ABOUT THE PLAYS
The witty comedy of romantic misunderstandings, gossip, and false rumors, Much Ado About Nothing, was previously produced On The Green in 2008, 1997, and 1989. In the play, Benedick and his friend Claudio return from war and become reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero. As memories of conflict give way to a life of parties and masked balls, Claudio and Hero fall madly, deeply in love, while Benedick and Beatrice reignite a more combative courtship. Taking place in a 1950’s villa and inspired by the golden age of Hollywood, this year’s production will be a “merry war” of wits that is sure to delight.

Much Ado About Nothing is directed by Susan Baer Collins, who also directed the 1997 production. Collins says of the production: “Welcome to our fabulous house party on the Mediterranean Coast! In this time of peace there is much to amuse: elaborate feasts, masquerade balls, moonlit dances, and party games. But be aware: this seeming paradise may prove claustrophobic, as residents tend to conduct their business by gossip, spying, and pretense. It’s human nature to gossip, to hide the truth, to mask our real feelings. Sometimes we invent alternative facts, or pretend to be someone we’re not. Truth is revealed by unmasking, a brave undertaking that requires self-reflection and an open heart.”

“Let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me."Much Ado About Nothing (Act 1, Scene 3)

Epic battles, illegitimacy, and the struggle for power set the stage for King John, being performed for the first time for Nebraska and Shakespeare On The Green. Richard the Lionheart is dead. His brother, John, has become King of England. The French King wages war in support of Arthur’s (John’s nephew) claim to the throne. Meanwhile, another member of the royal bloodline is discovered – Richard Lionheart’s bastard son – who joins the fray.

King John is directed by Vincent Carlson-Brown, Artistic Director for Nebraska Shakespeare. Carlson-Brown says of the production, “This play expresses madness: personal and systemic. At times it may seem like those in power are at a form of child’s play. In turn, ordinary human lives are irrevocably impacted by the absurdity of extreme religiosity, political machinations, and the arrogant putting-forth of an individual’s personal agenda.” Set in a warring 12th century England – but re-imagined through a contemporary eye – this play will be one-part “Game of Thrones”-inspired intrigue, combined with a rock soundtrack and designer fashion.
“Be great in act, as you have been in thought”King John (Act 5, Scene 1)


ADMISSION INFORMATION
Shakespeare On The Green is admission-free. $30 suggested donations to the event support Nebraska Shakespeare’s year-round performances and programming.

For the VIP experience, patrons can become a donating Member and receive special benefits at each Shakespeare On The Green performance.


Membership Opportunities:
$100 Green Level members receive ground seating for four people, front and center, at Shakespeare On The Green.

$250 Bronze Level members receive VIP chair seating for four at Shakespeare On The Green and shuttle service to the park.

$500 Silver Members receive all Bronze level perks, plus reserved parking for one vehicle at Shakespeare On The Green.

$1000 Gold Members receive all Silver level perks, plus two additional chairs and attendance at the Cast Welcome Event.

$2500 Platinum Members receive all Gold level perks, plus use of the Party Tent prior to a performance at Shakespeare On The Green (accommodates 30 guests).

$5000+ Sponsor status for a Nebraska Shakespeare performance or event.

Additional information about the 2018 season of Shakespeare On The Green and membership opportunities can be found at www.nebraskashakespeare.com or by emailing info@nebraskashakespeare.com.


Under the leadership of Executive Director, Mary Ann Bamber; Artistic Director, Vincent Carlson-Brown; and the Board of Directors, 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. NebraskaShakespeare.com

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