“A War of Roses: Foreign Flames”


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Will Patterson

Up next in University of Nebraska at Omaha Theatre’s 2016-2017 season is the collaborative production of “A War of Roses: Foreign Flames.”

The production is a more contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry VI” by Vincent Carlson-Brown, who is using the production as partial fulfillment of his English department master’s thesis.

Staying true to Shakespeare’s “Henry VI,” the performance is inspired by actual events that occurred between 1455 to 1487. During this time, England faced war from foreign threats in addition to internal fighting between two families seeking to secure the crown.

The historical conflicts between the English houses of York and Lancaster have inspired many works of literature throughout the years, including George R. R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.”

“A War of Roses: Foreign Flames” follows behind “Shakespeare’s Dog” in this year’s lineup of performances and brings a darker tone with it. The once cheerful appearance of the theatre has been replaced with a set depicting the consequences of the conflicts tearing across England.

The soundscape of the production has been prepared by Aaron Wrigley, a second year graduate student who graduated from UNO in 2013 with a bachelor in arts.

Wrigley describes the production as feeling “epic and larger than life,” which he attempts to bring to life with his use of audio effects. He provided the soundscape for “Shakespeare’s Dog” earlier this year as well as the performances of last year’s UNO theatre season.

“We’re trying to tell a story that we feel is timely based upon the current affairs of how our world feels today,” Wrigley said; an opinion also expressed by the production’s director.

Scott Glasser, a professor at UNO, is directing the collaborative productions in addition to his help producing the final script.

“It’s the first time UNO, Creighton and Nebraska Shakespeare are officially collaborating,” Glasser said.

“A War of Roses: Foreign Flames” is only part one of the two-part script. While UNO takes on the first half of the Shakespeare adaptation, Creighton’s theatre group will put on the second half of the performance, “A War of Roses: A Fire Within,” in the following weeks.

The play’s cast at UNO will primarily be actors from UNO in addition to selected alumni that have been brought aboard through the efforts and funding by Nebraska Shakespeare.

Glasser said that while the productions are individually designed,they do continue to unfold the plot.

“The story continues and even the characters continue, but it will be different actors, different costumes and different sets,” Glosser said.

The play will be running from Nov. 3 through Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Nov. 6, and then again on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Nov. 12 and ☻.

Students who want to see the performance are able to secure their tickets for free by presenting their MavCard at the box office at the Weber Fine Arts Building. Due to limited space in the theatre, students are encouraged to collect their tickets ahead of time to ensure their spot.


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