“In the jungle, you must wait, until the dice read 5 or 8.” So goes a Chris Van Allsburg rule in his book Jumanji where kids play a game loaded with perils. Omaha playwright Jeremy Johnson’s world- premiering script takes many of those words and spins the wheel of fortune to look inside the boxed-in confines of an insurance company office where previously good-natured colleagues discover darker corners which they had not noticed before. Janitors become major players. Two of them have been moonlighting as poets. More dangerous, their supervisor manifests the effects of being a war veteran. As things heat up in the sweltering interior, 10 characters contend for space, attention and meaning within the narrow limits of their lives and Shelterbelt Theatre’s close walls.
Johnson is no stranger to Shelterbelt having had a few of his one-acts staged there. New York and St. Louis audiences have also seen his work.
That desk phone near you jangles. Could the call be for you?
In the Jungle You Must Wait runs April 17-May 10 at . Shelterbelt Theatre, 3225 California St. Omaha. Thurs-Sat: 8 p.m. Sun: 2 p.m. Tickets: $10-15. www.shelterbelt.org