Julius Tours, Titus Faces Goth Queen

Shakespear Free Before Traveling

Last week’s look at the first few months of the theater season featured almost everything you needed to know about openings, but here’s a chance—make that one chance only—to catch up with Shakespeare on Tour.

Before director Vincent Carlson-Brown takes Julius Caesar on the road to Nebraska, Western Iowa and South Dakota for its seventh tour, you can see a free performance at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in the Elmwood Park site known as Shakespeare on the Green behind the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It’s a fully-staged 75-minute version that promises to “preserve all key text and primary scenes.”

In other words, Marc Antony won’t condense his speech to “Hey, listen up, I’m not here to praise the guy but bury him.” So you friends, non-Romans and countrymen can lend him your ears for a free-will donation, which is likely to be less than the $40 patrons will pay to see the same show at 5:30 p.m. at Kaneko.

The company includes seven actors along with the director, stage manager Wesley A. Houston, scenic designer Charles V. Fisher and costume designer Lindsay Pape. Shakespeare veteran Sarah Carlson-Brown, Dan Chevalier, one of Omaha’s comedic favorites; former Creighton leading man Dan Tracy, the versatile and talented D. Kevin Williams, Russell Daniels, Meredith Ernst and Colton Niedhardt.

Workshops allow students to work directly with the ensemble’s professional teaching artists. Some performances are offered to community groups as well as schools.

Meanwhile, UNO, the university that nurtured Vincent, Sarah and Colton, among others, opens a less familiar Shakespearean drama, Titus Andronicus, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, the first of two preview performances in the Weber Fine Arts Building, followed by repeats the following two weekends.

Titus, weary from war, brings home the Queen of the vanquished Goths  and she incites a gruesome revenge cycle. Director D. Scott Glasser says the play has been “embraced as a vital theatrical reflection of our own times.”  It comes with the rep as the Bard’s most violent and least admired play.

The student in the title role bears a name worthy of a war-lord, Qadir Khan. The cast of 17 includes Katlynn Yost as Tamora the Queen

You’ll read about Red opening at the Blue Barn in next week’s Reader. It’s remarkable for many reasons, but when you add it to an outstanding August: Osage County, the most-honored play of 2008, consider that now we’re getting the consensus top play of 2010 only two years after its run on Broadway.


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