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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Friday, June 27, 2014

Special Fare for July 3 Performance at James Arthur Vineyards!

The Comedy of Errors
Flatwater Shakespeare Company
July 3 Performance – James Arthur Vineyards (Raymond, NE)


Ivanna Cone will provide FREE ice cream for patrons.

James Arthur Vineyards (JAV) will have wine, bottled water, and soda available for purchase during the show.

JAV also has food baskets that may be pre-ordered and picked up the night of the performance. Anyone interested in a basket must place their order by calling the winery at 402-783-5255 by Tuesday, July 1st. Each basket will serve 2 people. Baskets can be pre-paid when ordering via credit card.

James Arthur Vineyards are located at 2001 W. Raymond Road (near NW 27th St.), Raymond, NE

To learn more about JAV, visit www.jamesarthurvineyards.com

Wine and Cheese Lover’s Basket ($8.99 + tax)
4 oz. Shuster’s Summer Sausage
4 oz. Jisa Cheese
Rotella’s French Loaf
Bakers Chocolate


Ultimate Gourmet Basket ($14.99 + tax)
5 oz Smoked Salmon
4 oz. Jisa Cheese
Rotella’s French Bread
Bakers Chocolate

Cheese Options (choose 1)
New York Cheddar
Smoked Bacon
Lucky Bucket Beer Cheese
Tomato Basil
Spinach and Artichoke

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Shakespeare Works (an occasional series) I

Installment One: Observations from Oskar Eustis of NYC’s Public Theater

We took Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure into a maximum security woman’s prison on the West Side . . . there’s a scene there where a young woman is told by a very powerful official that “If you sleep with me, I will pardon your brother. And if you don’t sleep with me, I’ll execute him.” And he leaves the stage.

And this character, Isabel, turned out to the audience and said: “To whom should I complain?”

And a woman in the audience shouted: “The Police!” And then she looked right at that woman and said: “If I did relate this, who would believe me?”

And the woman answered back, “No one, girl.”

And it was astonishing because not only was it an amazing sense of connection between the audience and the actress, but you also realized that this was a kind of an historical lesson in theater reception. That’s what must have happened at The Globe.

These soliloquies were not simply monologues that people spoke, they were call and response to the audience. And you realized that vibrancy, that sense of connectedness is not only what makes theater great in prisons, it’s what makes theater great, period.

— transcribed from ArtBeat Nation (he shared the same story on the Charlie Rose program)

(Photo: Danai Gurira as Isabella and Michael Hayden as Angelo in Measure for Measure, directed by David Esbjornson, 2011.) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

FSC 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 such "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 cancelled beforehand. Unless bad weather is clearly inevitable earlier, our policy is to post cancellations around 6:00 p.m. To find out if a show is cancelled prior to showtime, please check our Facebook page or call our Information Line at 402-473-2897. A recorded message will advise you accordingly.

"With hey, ho, the wind and the rain . . . " -- Feste, Twelfth Night

Friday, June 13, 2014

Let the Hijinks Ensue!

Lincoln Journal Star review by Cindy Conger, June 13, 2014

The Flatwater Shakespeare Company could not have ordered up a more perfect evening to debut its summer production. The Comedy of Errors played to a warm audience and gentle breezes at the Lincoln Community Foundations Gardens Thursday evening.

Director Bob Hall, with the assistance of dramaturg Stephen Buhler, set the Bard's farce in the wild, wild west. In his director's message, Hall "fessed up" to removing some "theeses and thouses." After greeting the audience and asking people to believe that anyone dressed alike was a twin, Hall turned the park over to his troupe and let the hijinks ensue.

Identical twin brothers, long separated along with their identical twin servants, find themselves in the same town. The audience is in on the joke as the townspeople are caught in a slapstick web of mistaken identity.

The twin duos played by Rob Burt and Jeff Tinnean, Andy Dillehay and Richard Eisloeffel, anchored the production. These accomplished actors consistently delivered both humorous lines and physical comedy with precise timing. They were supported by a talented cast with a notable performance from Darin Hemmer as Dr. Pinch.

The set and costumes raised the bar for community productions. Richard Imig, who built the set, and costume designer Kathryn Burton Cover each deserve a standing ovation for their attention to detail and audience experience.

The Comedy of Errors will play in outdoor venues through July 6. While the Flatwater Shakespeare Company may not be able to duplicate the perfect weather enjoyed Thursday, audience members can expect a topnotch production.

Photo: Rob Burt and Jeff Tinnean as the Antipholuses, Emma Gruhl as Luciana, Megan Higgins as Adriana, Andy Dillehay and Richard Eisloeffel as the Dromios.  Photo Credit: Eric Gregory, Lincoln Journal Star.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Shakespeare, Twins, and *The Comedy of Errors*

William and Anne Shakespeare were the parents of twins (though not identical) – Judith and Hamnet, born in 1585.

Twins were also part of Shakespeare's literary and theatrical heritage. The Comedy of Errors is based on Menaechmi, a comedy about twins and mistaken identity by the Roman playwright Plautus, whose career was thriving around 200 B.C. Plautus's works – in Latin – were frequently used as grammar school texts in the Renaissance, so Shakespeare could expect much of his audience to recognize the source. Shakespeare complicates matters delightfully by doubling the number of twins and borrowing from another of Plautus's comedies, Amphitryon, about identically-named twin servants.

Twins could also be a matter of deep concern in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance culture. William Viney, a research scholar at Durham University, points out that twins were frequently felt to be “things contrary to nature.” According to Aristotelian philosophy, twins qualified as monstrous since “they were infrequent forms without clear purpose.” In other words, they didn’t happen often and it wasn’t clear why they did. In searching for explanations, people could associate twins with an imbalance of humours (the fluids that affected personality and health), with sexual infidelity (how better to explain any excess “seed”?), and with the supernatural – all of which are themes found in Shakespeare's play.

But Shakespeare, perhaps because he and Anne had twins of their own, anticipates more modern attitudes, as well – twins as a source of wonder, as a sign of unexpected bounty, as a cause for celebration. This is especially the case in his later play Twelfth Night, but is clearly evident in the joyful recognition and reunion of twins at the conclusion of The Comedy of Errors.

From Flatwater Shakespeare's resident gemellogist (expert on twins) and stage manager, Michelle Zinke:

Twins are important in Greek and Roman mythology (Apollo and Artemis, Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux AKA the Gemini) as well as in various cultures (they are found in Native American and African stories) and the Hindu religion (the Ashvins are twin gods of healing). I’ve also read about cultures that found twins to be so odd and disturbing that one or both were killed at birth.

A lot of stories that I’ve read about twins tend to focus on them either as intense rivals or as very connected in a positive way. I, of course, prefer the latter stories. My sister Monica and I personally have experienced a 'twin connection' multiple times: suddenly knowing that something was wrong and calling the other person; getting similar injuries while living in two different states; plenty of examples. These things have happened much less in the past 10 years; we think we haven’t needed the link as much during that time since we live so close to each other now.

Mom also said that we had our own form of communication when we were young. She said it wasn’t a complete language but still words that no one else knew or understood. We’d have conversations that way at times. Also, apparently often we would stop playing, look at each other, and then start giggling or laughing out loud. She could never figure out why.

We’ve been told that we still have many of the same gestures and voice inflections. We don’t think that we are very alike anymore, compared to when we were little, but other people seem to think that we still are quite similar. That’s one of the reasons why I really liked Flatwater Shakespeare's 2006 production – the actors seemed to work at sharing gestures and patterns of speech.

I think Shakespeare had it right – twins should be celebrated. Let’s face it, twins are pretty awesome.”

(Image: In this 19th-century depiction of Shakespeare at home in Stratford-upon-Avon, Hamnet stands at one side of the playwright and Judith leans on the other.)