Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Are You Ready to Get Merry on the Prairie?



FLATWATER SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS “THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR”
JUNE 8 to JULY 2 AT THE SWAN THEATRE AND ON TOUR

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.

LIST OF LOCATIONS:

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

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