Flatwater Shakespeare's Blog News

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Announcing the Cast for FSC's *The Weir*

The Weir by Conor McPherson

Brad Boesen as Jack
John Burney as Finbar
Summer Lukasiewicz as Valerie
Christian Novotny as Jim
Paul Shaw as Brendan

The production is directed by Becky Boesen, Flatwater Shakespeare's Executive Artistic Director.

Performances will be at Wyuka Stables, 3600 "O" Street in Lincoln, Thursday through Sunday, September 28-30 and October 1, and Thursday through Sunday, October 5-8.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Auditions for *The Weir*!

Auditions for our fall production of The Weir by Conor McPherson will be held on Monday, July 24th from 7 pm to 10 pm. There are three roles available for actors who can play ages 25 - 65. Those who are cast will be contracted and compensated for their time and talents.

About The Weir: In a bar in rural Ireland, the local men swap spooky stories in an attempt to impress a young woman from Dublin who recently moved into a nearby "haunted" house. However, the tables are soon turned when she spins a yarn of her own.

To audition for The Weir, please prepare a ghost story, not to exceed 2 minutes in length. An Irish dialect is preferred and will be required for the production.

Auditions are by appointment only, and can be scheduled by emailing Stage Manager Michelle Zinke at mkzinke@aol.com.

FSC celebrates diversity in casting and welcomes all who wish to audition.

FSC's entire production season is an official program of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial, and local ghost stories will be collected from community members during The Weir for an original project to be named at a later date.

Please see the above graphic for additional information.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Our Actors Look Back at *The Merry Wives of Windsor*

Some reflections on FSC's The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Becky Boesen:

Reed Westerhoff:
There is a special kind of feeling when an actor closes a show. Weeks, Months, Years, or however long, it all gets put to rest after so much time and work, with only a memory to fill the void of what, for a period of time, was your whole life.
Last night, an incredible, welcoming and talented cast closed Flatwater Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Nearly 3 months from Audition to close and I only wish we had more time together. I've never worked with a company so full of brilliant people that I can sincerely count among my friends. I can only hope to work with all of you again.
May your cudgels be high, your wives merry, and may you all wash yourselves of the buck. Until next time.

Breeana Francesca Carodine:

An incredible end to an incredible run.
I am so grateful to have been a part of this production. I honestly could not have asked for a better (or more challenging) way to be reintroduced to my first love. I was able to spend time with old friends and make new ones. This team of people truly were an incredible support system and helped me so much the last couple of months. You're all such an inspiration and I couldn't be more thankful to know you all.
I won't take such a long break from theatre this time. I don't ever want to enter a new experience feeling so out of practice ever again. So stay tuned everyone.

Katie Hoppe:

I could not have asked for a better way to spend my summer. Being surrounded by such positivity, support, and pure energy every day was an incredible experience. I'm endlessly thankful that the universe brought me together and gave me the chance to work all the incredible people in this cast. You best believe I will support the HELL out of you guys in whatever new adventure comes your way!
Special shoutout to Michelle Zinke and Petra Wahlqvist for being ridiculously awesome stage managers and all-around beautiful people. Working with you both was a gift. And, of course, none of this would have been possible without our fearless director, Becky Boesen. You continually push me to be a better actor and person and I don't have the words to express my gratefulness at the opportunities you have given me. You're an inspiration to me and countless others. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

Ian McKercher

I am incredibly proud of how our final show turned out tonight at the Railyard for The Merry Wives of Windsor. I felt like it was our best audience and that's because we as a cast brought our best energy to the show tonight. Everyone was laughing at every line. What an amazing night to end on! Thank you so much cast and crew for an awesome conclusion to this process. I got to work with some old faces and make some amazing new friends as well, whom I look forward to seeing in the future. We formed a true family through this production. You are all such hard workers and amazing actors! I will work with every single one of you again in a heartbeat. This tour was a blast!

Allison Baird

I've been doing this theatre thing as long as I can remember. Before I graced the stage myself, I remember watching in the crowd with big eyes wishing that I could do what they did.

Now, I get to struggle through and enjoy this beautiful mess we call art. (And I can't imagine myself doing anything else.) But, tonight in our final performance of one of the hardest yet most rewarding shows yet, I'm reminded of why I do it. So that this little girl knows that she can. And so that I am reminded that I can. Iris, your shirt is so right. Girls totally rule.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Last Weekend for *Merry Wives of Windsor*!

There are two chances left to see The Merry Wives of Windsor!

Saturday, July 1st - 7 PM - Homestead National Monument of America -
8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE
Sunday, July 2nd - 7PM - The Railyard - Canopy Street in Lincoln's Haymarket

This weekend wraps up our 2017 summer tour! Will Shallow ever let Falstaff off the hook over the whole "ill-killed" venison thing? Who's really hiding in Dr. Caius' closet? Will Frances Ford ever truly "wash" himself "of the buck?" Join us and find out for yourself! We'll see you there!

Make sure to come early to enjoy music from the amazing Orion Walsh!

Can we have a big cyber round of applause for Ameritas, Union Bank & Trust, and Nelnet for supporting this tour? Shakespeare is for everyone, and these Silver Season sponsors are helping FSC to make it so!

Did you know that homesteader children often learned and recited Shakespeare as part of their daily lessons? Here's a photo from McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader. We found this on the shelves at the gift shop at Homestead National Monument of America! Children reciting from Henry V? We love it! It gets us excited for our upcoming education and outreach initiative, which introduces Shakespeare's poetry to children as young as 5 years old! Stay tuned for more about that, coming soon.Find our more at www.flatwatershakespearecompany.org.

Photo Credits: John Nollendorfs and Becky Boesen. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions about Our 2017 *Merry Wives* Tour

Flatwater FREE Shakespeare

Summer Tour 2017–The Merry Wives of Windsor

Got questions? We have answers.

What Is Your Inclement Weather Policy?

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.

If severe storms are likely or imminent, shows may be canceled beforehand. To find out if a show is canceled prior to showtime, please check our Facebook page or call our Information Line at 402-601-8529. A recorded message will advise you accordingly.

Do I Need a Reservation?

No reservations are needed. However, audience members are strongly encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before the performance time in order to have good seats or places. This is particularly true if you plan on using a blanket at one of the park locations, as space is limited. This is also true if you want to enjoy Ozark Hutch and Orion Walsh in our musical pre-show!

Is There a Cost to Attend?

No! Flatwater Shakespeare Company offers the summer touring production FREE of charge. A $10 donation is suggested, but everyone is welcome regardless of whether or not you can make a contribution.

Good Will Donations in all amounts are greatly appreciated as we continue our tradition of producing Good Will Shakespeare productions.

When Do Shows Start and How Long Do They Run?

Performances begin at 7:00pm, including the Sunday performances. The one exception is Pioneers Park Nature Center show June 24th, at the restored schoolhouse, which starts at 2 pm. Performances run just under 2 1/2 hours, plus intermission.

Is the Show “Family Friendly?”

The Merry Wives of Windsor has some mild innuendo. The plot also centers on John Falstaff's scheme to seduce two married women. But Alice Ford and Meg Page, the Merry Wives of the title, are determined to teach Falstaff a lesson. Or two. Or three. The informal park setting is perfect for families to have a taste of the Bard’s wonderful characters, exciting action, and brilliant language. Previous audiences have included everyone from babies to people in their 80s, people of wide-ranging cultural and ethnic backgrounds, people with physical disabilities, and even some pets. 

You Mean Pets Are Allowed?

Except for the performances at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, Pioneers Park Nature Center, Homestead National Monument, and The Railyard, furry family members are welcome to attend a performance with you! We request that dogs be kept on a leash. Pet owners must clean up after their dogs.

Are the Locations Accessible?

The performances held at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, Pioneers Park, the Homestead National Monument, and The Railyard are handicapped accessible. Park locations should be accessible for several mobility considerations; however, there may be uneven ground in some areas and limited parking options.

If you have a specific need, please contact Flatwater Shakespeare Company at 402-601-8529. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Are Restroom Facilities Available?

Yes! All locations will have either restrooms or port-a-potties.

Do I Need to Bring My Own Chair or Blanket?

Chairs will be provided at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden (June 30). Audience members are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets for the performances at all other locations.

May I Bring Food and Beverages?

For most shows, yes! Audience members are welcome to bring in snacks, even a picnic supper, for you and your family. The one exception is The Railyard, but several vendors there will be open for business. In all cases, we ask that trash items are disposed of after the show so that we leave the performance locations in good condition.

Please note that alcoholic beverages cannot be brought to any of the public locations. At the performance at James Arthur Vineyards on June 23, wine will be available for purchase, as well as soft drinks and water. Information about pre-ordering food baskets for the JAV performance will be posted at www.jamesarthurvineyards.com -- or you can call 402-783-5255.

Will Other Concessions Be Available?

Yes, depending on location. At the parks, Flatwater Shakespeare will have bottled water available for a $1 donation. At most locations, except for Homestead National Monument and The Railyard: FREE ICE CREAM during intermission! Ivanna Cone is again creating a new ice cream flavor exclusively for our summer touring production.

Photo: Ian McKercher as Simple and Juanita Pat Rice as Mistress Quickly in Flatwater Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Becky Boesen. Photo Credit: jenny gegg photography

Monday, June 12, 2017

Audiences Respond to *The Merry Wives of Windsor*

As we bid farewell (for now) to The Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables and the first weekend of The Merry Wives of Windsor, here are reactions given to us by audience members in survey comments and Facebook posts:

This is the hardest I've laughed at a theatre production in a long time! I'll be coming to more Flatwater shows! 10/10 A+ Really enjoyed this performance -- excellent talent.

My first Flatwater Shakespeare Company show, but it won't be my last! Lots of fun, great setting!

Actors are great!!

If you're looking for a fun way to see Shakespeare, I'd strongly recommend this. It's hilarious, adorable, and unexpected. It's like no Shakespeare you've seen before.

I underestimated the skill and hilarity I would see, and I expect to be seeing more.

I loved the show!! The setting was perfect for this interpretation, and the production is extremely well-acted! Loads of fun and laughs! Cheers to everyone involved!

It was a great show!! I'm glad I went!!

Phenomenal job tonight! Everyone did such a great job and I enjoyed the show immensely!

Thank you for the laughs. Keep up the great work!

These two women [Allison Baird and Meganne Horrocks Storm] were brilliant as Mistresses Page and Ford. Their energy and interactions were a highlight of an all around wonderful production.

The cast is superb and the artistic direction outstanding and creative. I love the venue at Wyuka but look forward to seeing it again at Pioneers Park.

We are enjoying it very much. Acting is very good and easy to see and hear. Lots of action!

Very nice production! Very enjoyable! Great cast! Musicians were great!

Great show! I haven't laughed this much in a long time!

The Merry Wives of Windsor now begins its summer tour of parks and other outdoor venues in Lincoln and southeastern Nebraska. Performances are presented FREE OF CHARGE -- although donations will be gladly accepted. Bring blankets or lawn chairs (and bug spray) and arrive early for our musical pre-show with Orion Walsh and Ozark Hutch. And at Intermission, FREE ice cream from Ivanna Cone! Showtime is 7 pm, except June 24 at 2. 

Thurs., June 15 Henry Park, S. 44th and Prescott

Fri., June 16 Cooper Park, S. 6th and D

Sat., June 17 Holmes Park, Holmes North Shore Road and Normal Boulevard

Sun., June 18 Trago Park, N. 22nd and U

Wed. June 21 Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, Centennial Mall and N

Thurs., June 22 Bethany Park, N. 65th and Vine

Fri., June 23 James Arthur Vineyards, 2001 W. Raymond Road

Sat., June 24 Pioneers Park Nature Center, 3201 S. Coddington (2 p.m.)

Sun., June 25 Havelock Park, N. 64th and Ballard

Sat., July 1 Homestead National Monument, 8523 W. State Highway 4, Beatrice

Sun., July 2 The Railyard, Canopy Street between Q and P Streets

Photo Credit: Chris Maly

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Are You Ready to Get Merry on the Prairie?


The Flatwater Shakespeare Company's The Merry Wives of Windsor, an official event of the Nebraska State Sequicentennial, brings together the Bard and Homestead Settlers. Directed by Becky Boesen, the production invites audiences to get “merry on the prairie.” The show kicks off at the Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables with a first weekend of paid performances (all tickets $10), June 8-11. The show then tours throughout and beyond Lincoln, with two weekends of FREE performances, June 14-19 and 21-25. All performances start at 7 p.m., with the exception of the June 24 show at Pioneers Park Nature Center, which will begin at 2 p.m.

For six years, the FSC tour has staged free, high-quality Shakespeare productions at local parks and other outdoor locations throughout the City of Lincoln and surrounding areas. This year, in honor of the Nebraska 150 celebration, Executive Artistic Director Becky Boesen will set the Bard’s beloved comedy on the Great Plains in 1867, the year Nebraska achieved statehood. Audiences can expect rollicking fun and belly laughs in a show geared towards audiences of all ages. “The women in this play, the Merry Wives themselves, are the primary movers of the comedy,” says Boesen. “There is something about their independent drive that parallels the spirit of the intrepid American settler – especially the female variety.” Along with the special afternoon performance at the one-room schoolhouse adjacent to the Pioneers Park Nature Center on June 24, the production also visits Homestead National Monument, Beatrice, on July 2. Each performance starts with pre-show music from noted local singer-songwriters Ozark Hutch and Orion Walsh.

Some who came to the new state found that times can be rough out on the prairie. Low on funds but with his appetites and waistline as large as ever, lovable scoundrel Jack Falstaff has hit on a new scheme. Settling in the town of Windsor, Nebraska, he intends to seduce the wives of two leading citizens and thereby have access to their husbands’ finances. But Alice Ford and Meg Page find out that Falstaff has written identical “love” letters to them both. Their husbands, Frank Ford and George Page, are warned of Falstaff’s plan. The results involve disguises, bribes, dirty laundry, insane jealousy, a plunge into the Platte River, a befuddled Welsh parson, a wacky French physician, and much ado about horns.

The production features Meganne Horrocks Storm and Allison Baird as Alice Ford and Meg Page, the Merry Wives, and Brad Boesen as Jack Falstaff. Tyler Hale is the jealous Frank Ford and Matthew Bejjani plays George Page. Juanita Pat Rice, a member of Actors' Equity Association who previously appeared in Flatwater Shakespeare's Richard III, portrays Mistress Quickly. “Having Juanita in this ensemble elevates everything that we do,” observes Director Boesen. “We are pleased at Flatwater Shakespeare to continue our tradition of hiring union actors and we hope to increase our ability to invite AEA actors frequently to our team.” Other performers include past Flatwater Shakespeare associates Meghan Arenz (who moves from our youth program to the mainstage), Mikey Barth, Sara Broad, Sasha Dobson, Ian McKercher, Scott Shomaker, and Rich Sibley. Joining the Company for this show are Breanna Carodine, Josephine Dobson, Amanda Fogerty, Katie Hoppe, Tyler Rambali, and Reed Westerhoff.

Costumes are by Julie Douglass, with set and technical design by Patrick Lambrecht and props by Alexa Kirchgasler Spale. The Fight Director is Reed Westerhoff and the Movement Coach is Amanda Fogerty. Sasha Dobson is Assistant Director and Vocal Coach. Stephen Buhler is Dramaturg and Tim Scholl the Creative Consultant. Stage Manager and Tour Manager is Michelle Zinke, assisted by Petra Wahlqvist.

Shakespeare is for everyone! For tickets at the Swan Theatre and for more information about Flatwater Shakespeare, visit www.flatwatershakespearecompany.org.


Thurs.–Sun., June 8–11 Swan Theatre at Wyuka Stables, 3600 O Street
($10 admission this location only)

Thurs., June 15 Henry Park, S. 44th and Prescott

Fri., June 16 Cooper Park, S. 6th and D

Sat., June 17 Holmes Park, Holmes North Shore Road and Normal Boulevard

Sun., June 18 Trago Park, N. 22nd and U

Wed. June 21 Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, Centennial Mall and N

Thurs., June 22 Bethany Park, N. 65th and Vine

Fri., June 23 James Arthur Vineyards, 2001 W. Raymond Road

Sat., June 24 Pioneers Park Nature Center, 3201 S. Coddington (2 p.m.)

Sun., June 25 Havelock Park, N. 64th and Ballard

Sat., July 1 Homestead National Monument, 8523 W. State Highway 4, Beatrice

Sun., July 2 The Railyard, Canopy Street between Q and P Streets