Fall 2011 theatre season sure to please

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By Krystal Sidzyik, Senior Staff Writer

The fall 2011 theatre season at UNO is sure to be fun and entertaining.

Students and faculty alike can expect to see works for the upcoming main stage productions from Jeffery Hatcher’s adaptation of “The Government Inspector” by Nikolai Gogol, directed by Douglas Paterson, and Caridad Svich’s “12 Ophelias” (a play with broken songs), directed by Cindy Melby Phaneuf. UNO’s Showcase production also includes Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” directed by graduate student, Zack Jennison.

“The Government Inspector” is first on the stage for the fall season. It’s a satirical play that pokes fun at political corruption. This will be Paterson’s second time directing the play; the last time was 33 years ago. The play is originally set in Russia, but Paterson has lived in Omaha the last 30 years, so he changed the location of the play.  

“We will be locating the play in Omaha in the early spring of 1861 and using the names of some of Omaha’s most notorious thug-mayors and thug-city bosses, namely cowboy Jim Dahlman and the crook of crooks Tom Dennison,” Paterson said.

Students can expect a lot of comedy in this play.

“It is a farce and a truly brilliant play,” Paterson said. “This adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher perhaps even improves on Nikolai Gogol’s original by cutting about 45 minutes and making the language cleaner and more precise.”

Performances of “The Government Inspector” run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 and Oct. 12 to 15.

The second play to take the stage is UNO’s showcase production of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” It is directed by graduate student, Zack Jennison. Jennison picked “A Moon for the Misbegotten” for his final project for his Master’s Degree in the Dept. of Theatre at UNO.

It’s a play about undying tough love. Jennison chose this play because it haunted him since the first time he read it in 2004.

“Each of the characters in the play has such interesting habits, problems and obsessions; I can’t help but think of them whenever the term ‘character study’ comes up in conversation,” Jennison said. “These characters are, in fact, not really ‘characters’ at all; they are all real people with real problems in an all too real world.”

Jennison hopes to cultivate conversation with his production.

“UNO students can expect to see an honest production that values speculation over spectacle and enlightenment over entertainment,” Jennison said.

Performances of “A Moon for the Misbegotten” run from Oct. 27 to 29.

The last play to take the stage this fall season is Caridad Svich’s “12 Ophelias” (a play with broken songs), directed by Cindy Melby Phaneuf

According to Phaneuf, “12 Ophelias” is a “reimagining of Hamlet from Ophelia’s perspective. It is a play about love and loss.” In Phaneuf’s interpretation of 12 Ophelias, Ophelia emerges from her “watery grave” into a modern world that is cold and hard, yet alluring. Phaneuf’s Ophelia also emerges into a punk rock world instead of the original setting in Denmark.

Students can expect a play that’s an entirely different take on Hamlet.

“The play is imaginative and challenging to actors, designers and audiences,” Phaneuf said.  “It is beautiful, funny and thought provoking.”

This play is also nontraditional in the way that it incorporates broken songs, which means there are songs throughout the play that are composed by Michael Croswell.

“Characters sing to sort out their feelings and to orient themselves into their world,” Phaneuf said.

Performances of “12 Ophelias” run from Nov. 16 to 19 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

If students are interested in attending any of the performances, they can call (402) 554-PLAY or go to the Weber Fine Arts box office located on the first floor in the afternoons, two weeks before each show. Each student is allowed one free ticket to each production.

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