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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Dog, and a Bit about Love


Flatwater newcomer Blue plays Crab the Dog in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Blue, a 13-year-old “All American” canine, retired from agility competition just last year. During his competitive career, Blue accrued over thirty-five titles. While this is his first performance on a theatrical stage, Blue has given dozens of agility demonstrations in Lincoln, including at the Lied Center, the Lancaster Event Center, and First Plymouth Church. When not shaved down for the summer, he has a 3-4 inch long dark gray coat with black spots. His mother was an Australian Shepherd; his father was a traveling sales dog, of the spaniel variety. Blue’s owner is Jayne Sebby.

Blue finds the greatest challenge with Shakespeare is panting in iambic pentameter. He observes that dogs usually breathe in trochees: HUH-ah, HUH-ah, HUH-ah. Concentration, he says, is the key to turning the beat around. Although warned against ever appearing on stage with a clown, he has found that Robie Hayek’s Launce only rarely upstages him.

See Blue in Flatwater Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the Swan Theatre at Wyuka, 3600 O Street in Lincoln, beginning Thursday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue Friday-Sunday, June 11-13; and Thursday-Sunday, June 17-20 and 24-27. All show times are 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. Call 484-7640 for reservations.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten Years of Open-Air Comedy


FLATWATER SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

JUNE 10 -27 AT THE SWAN AT WYUKA


Come celebrate 10 years of open-air comedy at the Swan Theatre.

In the summer of 2001, Bob Hall acted upon a vision shared with Suzanne Evans, Doug Evans, and a few others. He transformed the Carriage House at Lincoln’s historic Wyuka Cemetery and Park into the Swan, an Elizabethan-style playhouse, bringing Shakespeare’s artistry into the new millenium. From that first production of Twelfth Night to last June’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hall and company’s take on Shakespearean comedy has delighted Lincoln audiences with timeless and timely antics, insights, wit, and heart.

The tradition continues this summer as The Flatwater Shakespeare Company presents The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the Swan Theatre at Wyuka, 3600 O Street in Lincoln, beginning Thursday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue Friday-Sunday, June 11-13; and Thursday-Sunday, June 17-20 and 24-27. All show times are 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. Call 473-2897 for reservations.

Recipient of a 2010 Nebraska Artist of the Year award, director Bob Hall has set this early, silly, but sophisticated comedy in the 1930s, where it fits comfortably in the world of Noel Coward and Cole Porter. In the movie Shakespeare in Love, one character summarizes this play as “love and a bit with a dog.” But much more is going on.

Maybe friendship is selfless while love is selfish. If so, a would-be lover can betray a friend and a former beloved, while attempting to force himself on his new beloved – all in the name of love. So gentleman Proteus makes sure that his friend, gentleman Valentine, is banished. He abandons the lady Julia and obsesses on the lady Silvia. Along the way, Julia assumes male disguise in order to follow Proteus, thus witnessing all his misdeeds. Somehow all this leads to a happy ending, with the help of a foolish rival, two clowns, several outlaws, and a dog named Crab.

The production features Gage Wallace and Darin Hemmer as Proteus and Valentine, the Two Gentlemen of the title, along with Maya Naff as Julia and Petrea Whittier as Silvia. Other performers include Flatwater regulars Will Bennett, Tom Crew, Robie Hayek, Clay Stevens, and Dustin Witte. Joining Flatwater for this show are Andy Dillehay, Mike Lee, Emily Martinez, and Bret Olsen. The stage manager is Michelle Zinke. Costumes are by Janice Stauffer, with set construction by Richard Imig and lighting design by Richard Schroder. The sound design is a collaboration between director Hall and dramaturg Stephen Buhler.

The Flatwater Youth production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Tom Crew, will be presented at the Swan Theatre on June 21, 22, and 23. Show time is 7 p.m. Call 473-2897 for tickets and information. In September, Flatwater will present Shakespeare’s magnificent Antony and Cleopatra under the stars at the Swan.

Flatwater Shakespeare is a professional not-for-profit theatre company, dedicated to bringing audiences the richness of the works of William Shakespeare as they were meant to be experienced – played out by a dynamic ensemble of performers on stage. For more information about Flatwater, go to www.flatwatershakespeare.org. And you can follow us on Facebook, too!


The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Dates: June 10-13, 17-20, 24-27
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Swan Theatre at Wyuka, 3600 O St. Lincoln
Tickets: (402) 473-2897
$18 Adults; $15 Seniors; $10 Students

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Look Back in Anger (for Some) at "The Homecoming"


A few more audience comments:

". . . what a bizarre story line, beautifully acted by an amazingly talented cast. THANK YOU!"

"If you miss this fantastic opportunity to see Bob Hall hit people with a cane, and to see Melissa Lewis Nuss work her feminine wiles, how can you live with yourself?"

"The play itself sure made me do some serious thinking . . . "

"It's an interesting, thought-provoking night of entertainment. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You may become aroused or let out a gasp . . ."


Pinter's play still has the power to unsettle, disturb, and plain outrage audiences -- as well as entertain them. The Flatwater Shakespeare Company and the Haymarket Theatre greatly appreciate our patrons, who joined the actors and artistic team in exploring such dangerous territory.