UNO theater presents “Shakespeare’s Dog”: A historical fiction play through a dog’s eye


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Will Patterson

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s theater performance season kicks off with their production “Shakespeare’s Dog” at the Weber Fine Arts Building Theater.

The plot of “Shakespeare’s Dog” observes the life of a young William Shakespeare and his family through the eyes of his four legged companion.

Hooker, Shakespeare pet, follows his owner as he struggles on his path to become the world renowned playwright we know today.

The play is a fun spin on historical fiction, giving the audience a strange perspective in a world that might actually be the unusual.

The world according to Hooker is far different than the world humans see every day.

Originally written as a book by Leon Rooke, the piece has made a smooth transition into a musical piece through the efforts of playwright Rick Chafe.

“It’s historical fiction so it’s not going to be entirely accurate,” said Jacob Plumb, the assistant director of the production. “In the play William Shakespeare has fallen on some rough times. His family has fallen in nobility ranks, and now he’s trying to figure himself out.”

Plumb explained how the performance revolves around not just how Shakespeare is trying to figure out his life, but how Hooker is seeing everything and trying to find out where he fits into the world.

While Hooker is portrayed by a human actor on stage, the actors have been certain to incorporate dog like elements into the way he explores the world. This means bringing in animal like actions such as pawing at doors.

A unique and important aspect of UNO’s production of “Shakespeare’s Dog” is the charity tied in with it.

Each night UNO will be partnering with Nebraska Humane Society to help raise money for the prevention of animal cruelty.

Information will be available to help spread awareness about the animal cruelty and animal adoption from the Nebraska Humane Society.

“The show does touch upon some animal cruelty issues,” Plumb said. “We really want to help the Nebraska Humane Society. These animals need to find homes, and I think people really want to build on their family with these furry little animals.”

He is encouraging individuals to attend “Shakespeare’s Dog” to support the efforts being made to end animal abuse and to support the performing arts department at UNO.

“Shakespeare’s Dog” will be running from Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 and then again from Oct. 5 – 8. General admission is $16, however, UNO students are permitted one ticket free of charge if they present their MavCard in person at the box office.

As always, students who are interested in the performing arts, regardless of major or experience, are encouraged to attend these performances and audition for parts in upcoming productions.