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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Second Look Back at *Hamlet*

Keene Short, a recent arrival to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's graduate program in Creative Writing, has posted on his blog thoughts on our Hamlet and its location. One central passage:

. . . hearing Shakespeare’s words put to the instrumentation of a cast of strong voices makes it impossible for me not to enjoy those words.

But there's much more to consider in his fine essay, "To Hear Hamlet (In a Cemetery)." Follow the link and enjoy --


Photo: Richard Sibley and Stephen A. Gaines, in their Ghostly garb, before the last performance of Flatwater Shakespeare's Hamlet. Photo Credit: Michelle Zinke.

Monday, October 05, 2015

A First Look Back at *Hamlet*

Audience Comments, continued --

Last weekend, I took two of my sons to see your production of Hamlet. It was so wonderful, I took my other son to see it tonight. I just wanted to share this:
-I have seen several different productions of Hamlet in my life, including one at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival. In the Flatwater production, all the players were so good and I have to say that Matthew Lukasiewicz was far and away the best Hamlet I have ever seen. Indescribable!!
-Seeing amazing theatre is a blessing to me and I really mean that. Thank you, Flatwater players, for giving my spirits a MUCH needed lift!

Thank you SO much for your beautiful performance of Hamlet! It brought tears to my eyes, it was so moving! You have a wonderful cast, and I am so thankful that I was able to go. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

Thank you Flatwater for an EVEN BETTER performance than last week (I didn't really think that was possible) and for the company's willingness to share with my acting students about the rehearsal process and your work [in a post-show talkback session].
The caliber of your work and your generosity were such gifts to these young actors.
Thank you.

Thank you all for a spectacular performance tonight . . . I was brought to tears and immediately to my feet!

Live theatre, as a rule, is magic. In tonight’s Flatwater Shakespeare production of Hamlet, it was power. This is the best production FSC has ever done, and Matthew Lukasiewicz's Hamlet is the best I’ve ever seen, on stage or screen.

I attended your performance of Hamlet tonight with my fifth grade daughter and I wanted to say THANK YOU for a stunning performance. It was simply wonderful. I've read the play many times (and will be teaching it in a few weeks) but was finding myself reconsidering passages and noticing angles of play that had escaped me before. Everything about it was thoughtful and well executed and I am so proud that you are part of the Lincoln community.

Matthew Lukasiewicz is awesome, absolutely the best Hamlet I've ever seen, and I saw many productions of it in places such as the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC. He did the absolute best job of making the audience understand what was going on in Hamlet's tormented mind. Wonderful job!

I saw the show on Saturday with a group of students and we all loved it! The students are still talking about it . . .

This was my first time seeing one of your productions. You have done a wonderful job with my favorite of Shakespeare's works. I love the intimate nature of the venue. It really adds a lot. I will definitely be back!

Took a friend’s recommendation and went to the newly renovated Swan Theater to watch the Flatwater Shakespeare Company perform Hamlet! Incredible acting. Explosive, emotive, and realistic! So worth attending!

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a stereotypical English Lit person who thinks Hamlet is a great work of literature. That being said, I have never seen a version (live or on film) that I thought was any good. However, I just saw an open air performance in Lincoln, Nebraska that was good. Not just good, it was fantastic.

I have never cried at Hamlet -- until tonight. Flatwater Shakespeare's Hamlet is awe inspiring.

Photo: Cast members from Flatwater Shakespeare's Hamlet discuss the production with students from Blue Hill, Nebraska. Actors, from left to right: Sara Broad, Emma Gruhl, Scott Shomaker, Dillon Kirby, Paden Alexander, Matt Lukasiewicz, Rachel Lambrecht, Andy Dillehay. Photo Credit: Summer Lukasiewicz.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

FSC Inclement Weather Policy at the Swan


It is our desire to complete every performance, and we will make every effort to start, continue, and finish each show despite light rainfall or breezy conditions.

In the event of heavy rains or winds, however, we may delay the start of the show, or the completion of the show, in the hope that the weather will clear. Announcements will be made informing audience members of "holds." We may also pause to take precautions to ensure the safety and health of the performers and crew, as well as members of the audience.

The Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables provides ample room for all to avoid the rain. Most of the performance and seating areas, however, are open-air.

If severe storms are likely or imminent, shows may be cancelled beforehand. To find out if a show is cancelled prior to showtime, please check our Facebook page. You can also call for information during the afternoon of a performance date at 402-473-2897 -- a prerecorded message will announce any decision for that evening.

Tickets for cancelled shows can be exchanged for another performance, depending on availability.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Audience Response to Flatwater Shakespeare's *Hamlet*


Three Comments and Two Reviews:


I knew this production would be good.
I know that Matt Lukasiewicz is incredibly talented.
I know that Bob Hall is a great director.
I know that Lincoln is full of talent.
I have special love and admiration for the delightful Andy Dillehay.

I don't have words.


If you are in Lincoln, you MUST go see Hamlet at The Swan Theatre at Wyuka. Bob Hall has done something truly amazing, and Matt Lukasiewicz is so out-of-control talented that you will be actively angry with him (just kidding, mostly). Hands down my favorite Shakespeare experience ever. Plus, bonus Deb Waechter! 


An amazing production! Hamlet like this is rarely seen, with a depth of complexity fully embracing the wit, humor, and tragedy as the Bard would have intended. Brought to life through direction that allows actors to rise to a caliber of excellence difficult to find anywhere, on any stage.


From the Lincoln Journal Star, September 21, 2015: 

"Lukasiewicz makes a choice in the development of his Hamlet to shy away from the brooding depression often associated with the role and instead attacks the part with a ferocious emotional intensity that is staggering."


From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Daily Nebraskan, September 21, 2015

"Hardcore Shakespeare fans and casual play watchers alike can be transported away to Shakespeare’s gripping world of *Hamlet*. With the sky overhead and the actors close to the audience, the Flatwater Shakespeare Company’s production is Nebraska’s own version of the Globe Theatre."

Eight Performances Left.  To Repeat: Go. See. Hamlet.

Tickets available at our website: www.flatwatershakespearecompany.org.

Friday, September 04, 2015

*Hamlet* Opens September 19!

The Play’s the Thing! The Flatwater Shakespeare Company proudly presents Hamlet, one of William Shakespeare’s greatest theatrical achievements, in the Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables, 3600 “O” Street, Lincoln. The show opens Saturday, September 19 and runs three weekends, through October 4.

Showtime is at 7:00 PM. Visit flatwatershakespearecompany.org, or the FSC Facebook page, or this Blog for more information.

In this classic of mystery and murder and deepest musings, young Hamlet returns to Elsinore Castle and confronts both his father's death and his mother’s hasty remarriage to Hamlet’s uncle, who is now King of Denmark. The prince is visited by an apparition claiming to be his father’s ghost and accusing Claudius of murder. Hamlet pretends to go insane as a cover for his investigations into the likely crime. Hamlet commissions a visiting company of actors to stage something like his father’s murder, hoping to shock Claudius into revealing his guilt. When the new king cuts the performance short, Hamlet's doubts are cleared and he renews his vows to take revenge.

But even before the tragedy fully unfolds there are casualties. Hamlet bitterly rejects his beloved Ophelia. He mistakenly kills Polonius, chief adviser to the crown and Ophelia’s father. Then Ophelia goes mad and dies by drowning. Queen Gertrude is torn between her life with Claudius and the frightening accusations that her son aims at her new husband. Ophelia’s brother Laertes seeks revenge on Hamlet for the destruction of his family. “The time is out of joint,” says Hamlet, but will he truly be able “to set it right”?

Director Bob Hall has assembled an exciting and experienced cast. Matt Lukasiewicz plays Hamlet, the play’s charismatic, reflective, sometimes reluctant hero. Rachel Kornfeld-Lambrecht appears as Queen Gertrude and Patrick Lambrecht as King Claudius. Stephen Gaines is the Ghost. Richard Nielsen portrays Polonius, with Emma Gruhl as Ophelia and Scott Shomaker as Laertes, Polonius’s children.

Andy Dillehay, Paden Alexander, and Larry Mota play Hamlet’s most significant friends – Horatio, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. The actors visiting Elsinore include Dillon Kirby, Rich Sibley, Jesse Snider, and Natalie Weiss. Members of the Danish court are played by Sara Broad, Aden Marshall, Walter McDowell, and Deb Waechter. Tom Crew, as First Gravedigger, will present Yorick’s skull to Hamlet.

The production team, led by stage manager Michelle Zinke, includes dramaturg Stephen Buhler, costume designer Kat Cover, technical director Richard Imig, and fight choreographer John Marinovich. The operations manager is Linda Zinke.

Flatwater Shakespeare is delighted to return to Wyuka Cemetery for the full run of Hamlet. The Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables, newly renovated, presents a perfect theatrical space for experiencing Shakespeare’s stagecraft in an intimate setting. The production is supported by the Nebraska Arts Council and by Henry’s on South, which will also offer wine, beer, and snacks on sale for all shows.  

Tickets for performances are $18, with seniors’ and students’ tickets $12. Call Flatwater Shakespeare at 402-473-2897 for reservations and information. Tickets can also be purchased on our website, flatwatershakespearecompany.org.

A special preview performance of Hamlet will be presented on Friday, September 18, 7p. Sign language interpreters will assist during the performance on Thursday, September 24. Student Nights, with pre-show talks, are Sunday, September 20, and Thursday, October 1. Please call 402-473-2897 for further details about these events.

Performance Schedule

Friday, September 18 – Special Preview Night
Saturday, September 19 – Opening Night
Sunday, September 20 – Student Night I, with pre-show talk

Thursday, September 24 –
Friday, September 25 –
Saturday, September 26 –
Sunday, September 27 –

Thursday, October 1 – Student Night II, with pre-show talk
Friday, October 2 –
Saturday, October 3 –
Sunday, October 4 – Closing Night

Photo Caption: Matt Lukasiewicz as Prince Hamlet in the 2015 Flatwater Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet.

Photo Credit: John Nollendorfs.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Flatwater Shakespeare Company announces cast list for *Hamlet*


The Flatwater Shakespeare Company is pleased to announce the cast for the fall production of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, directed by Bob Hall. There were many great auditions, and difficult casting decisions had to be made. Congratulations to those who were cast, and heartfelt thanks to all who tried out for the production. 

Hamlet Cast List (in alphabetical order)
Paden Alexander - Rosencrantz
Sara Broad - Lady in Waiting
Tom Crew - Bernardo/1st Gravedigger
Andy Dillehay - Horatio
Stephen Gaines - Ghost of Hamlet's Father
Emma Gruhl - Ophelia
Dillon Kirby - Murderer/Osric/Priest
Patrick Lambrecht - Claudius
Rachel Lambrecht - Gertrude
Matt Lukasiewicz - Hamlet
Aden Marshall - Francisco/Reynaldo
Walter McDowell, III - Marcellus/King's Body Guard/Sea Captain
Larry Mota - Guildenstern
Richard Nielsen - Polonius
Scott Shomaker - Laertes
Rich Sibley - Player King
Jesse Snider - Boy/Prologue/2nd Gravedigger
Deb Waechter - Lady in Waiting
Natalie Weiss - Player Queen

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Flatwater Shakespeare Youth Presents *As You Like It*!

Flatwater Shakespeare Youth stages As You Like It at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, 15th and "N" Streets, this weekend: Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18, 7 pm.  

Flatwater Shakespeare's Youth productions, supported by Humanities Nebraska, bring young actors into direct contact with Shakespearean language and stagecraft. Under the direction by Paden Alexander, one of the program's esteemed graduates, the current program allows students to work with actors who have themselves just completed a run of the same play for Flatwater Free Shakespeare's summer show. 

This production connects with the 1960s "back to nature" movement.  As with the mainstage summer show, there is no admission charge, although donations will be happily accepted. 

This past weekend, Megan Higgins and Emma Gruhl visited the Youth production cast and crew, sharing their recent Flatwater Free Shakespeare experiences with the play.  Add your support for these talented young artists by attending the show!