Omaha Community Playhouse provides opportunity & entertainment

Photo by Omaha Community Playhouse

Will Patterson

An important part of starting or returning to college is finding activities to get involved with, and something to do during free time. The Omaha Community Playhouse fills both of those.

Located less than a block away  from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Dodge Campus is the Omaha Community Playhouse.It’s worth noting that Omaha is home to the largest community playhouse in the entire country, and it certainly lives up to that title.

One of the greatest benefits that the Omaha Community Playhouse brings to the community is the options for volunteering and involvement. Kimberly Faith Hickman, the artistic director ofthe playhouse, stresses the fact that there are plenty of choices for students that require little to no experience.

“There are opportunities in pretty much every area of our building,” Hickman said.

A lot of different roles go into making a production come to life—and all of them are essential to each play’s success. Aside from acting, the playhouse needs people to help with backstage tasks, costuming, lights, ushering guests and more.

In the past, UNO students have played key parts in productions.Last year, two UNO students performed the lead roles in the playhouse’s rendition of “Sister Act.” Additionally, “Sister Act featured several performers who had never set foot on stage before.

“This is community members that want to learn a new skill and volunteer their time to work with us,” Hickman said.

Those who are interested in becoming a part of the Omaha Community Playhouse can find more information on their web-site under the tab labeled “Get Involved.”

This year’s lineup of shows is exploring a wide range of genres.
Hickman said that she is particularly excited for the productions of “Parade” and “The Mountaintop.”
“Parade” is a musical about the trial of a Jewish man who is wrongfully accused of murder in the town of Marietta, Georgia in 1913. The performance illustrates the racism and religious intolerance that engulfed southern towns in the early 20th century.“Parade” is based on a true story of Leo Frank’s trial.
Also focusing on the theme of intolerance, “The Mountaintop” is a historical fiction play imagining Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night alive. The play is about King’s encounter with a mysterious stranger following his final speech.
“I think we have a really good year of offering something for everyone in terms of our shows,” Hickman said.
The first show to premiere during the school year will be “Eminent Domain.” This contemporary story takes place in Nebraska and follows a family that is impacted by the plans to construct an oil pipeline. The play was written by an Omaha author and will be performed for the first time by the Omaha Community Playhouse.
Students that are interested in catching a show can purchase discounted tickets for $7 during the opening weekend of each performance. The discount isvalid for any student from kindergarten through full-time undergraduate students.