21 And Over, Nogg’s Class, Katie’s Fury

In a season with such unprovocative titles as The Odd Couple, Nunsense and Steel Magnolias running consecutively at the Omaha Community Playhouse, here comes a striking contrast: Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the OCP’s Howard Drew Theatre, its new “21 and Over” program offers a free reading of Peter Nachtrieb’s Boom, involving a global catastrophe that occurs after a graduate student’s online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to a research lab. And that’s just the first of a series of “21st century plays for a 21st century audience,” as conceptualized by the theater’s new resident director, Amy Lane. It continues with works by Theresa Rebeck, Sarah Ruhl (yes, her The Vibrator Play) and concludes next June with Tracy Letts’ award-winning August: Osage County. Some of the plays will be partly staged with blocking, etc. It’s the latest effort to meet the Playhouse challenge of striking a balance between the conventional requests of longtime season members who call for the old chestnuts and the bolder desires of playgoers whose tastes are more likely to be met by Blue Barn or SkullDuggery. That’s the little outfit, now seeking a new location while holding auditions for such titles as Working and F***ing … the one identified with “Expletive” replacing the effing in the Sunday daily. We settle for ellipsis but prefer Shakespeare’s “the beast with two backs.” Meanwhile, you can read about Amy Lane’s direction of the more traditionally delightful A Thousand Clowns at left. The teaser last week about Manya Nogg’s hope of paying actors to perform her Theater to Go “Edu-Tainment” gigs promised more details. For starters, you can contact her at writeitrightmn@juno.com or call 397.8887. I won’t mention her London office number since the work is more likely to be local. They do interactive mystery theater shows at Ricks Café Boatyard, a game show and what-have-you, but the “Edu” pieces are intended to be humorous and informative talks for meetings and the like. If you find Monday too far off for something 21st century, try Saturday’s one-night only offering, Aetherplough presents The Epicene Furies, led by Katie F-S, in com(e.)passion. We’re told it’s a “poetic performance” and that Katie F-S “pushes all the right buttons” in dealing with the hot one of abortion. It’s at 8 p.m., Oct. 23, at The New BLK, 1213 Jones St. A $10 donation is suggested. That’s more suggestive than the Playhouse series reported earlier. They only mention that donations are “acceptable” for the free readings. Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.

posted at 08:25 pm
on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

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