The Village Behind the Bluebarn

“It Takes a Village”

As I walked throughout the BLUEBARN Theatre this past weekend during their 25th anniversary bash, I made my way up and down the halls, looking at photos detailing every show in its eventful history (a few of them I was fortunate enough to be in). The photos aren’t in any particular order but one gets a sense of the large progression the theatre has made while never compromising it’s original artistic vision: groundbreaking, thought-provoking theatre.

What was started by a group of college friends on no more than $75 and a painted bed sheet has now become one of the most dynamic theatres in the midwest. Many attribute the theatre’s recent progress to Artistic Director Susan Clement-Toberer, but every time someone makes that comment, Toberer’s response is the same.

“It Takes a Village.”

Toberer is quick to point out the lengthy list of people who have contributed to the BLUEBARN’s success over the years. From the initial founders (Mary Theresa Green, Nils Haaland, Kevin Lawler, and Hughston Walkinshaw) to those who set the theatre’s early foundation (Rachel Hauben Combs, Amy Matthews, Sheila Malone, and John St. Angelo) to the endless amount  of box office volunteers, crew members, actors, and set builders (Al Marcault, Craig Lee, Shane Staiger, and a Who’s Who of Omaha’s acting community) to the theatre’s current staff including Shannon Walenta, Amy Reiner, and Kevin Mahler.

Now, as the theatre begins to conclude it’s chapter at 11th and Jones street and starts it’s next chapter in 2015 at their new space on 10th and Pacific, one thing that won’t change is the heart and soul of the Village that makes the theatre so unique.

- If you are looking for the chance to see two of Omaha’s most accomplished actors (Bernie Clark and Nick Zadina) square off against each other, don’t miss your chance to see the Omaha Playhouse’s’ production of Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain and directed by BLUEBARN founder Kevin Lawer. The fictional story of legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud meeting Narnia creator C.S. Lewis will surely be a conversation starter when audiences leave the theatre.

- The next installment of the Playhouse’s 21 & Over series will be this upcoming Monday October 28th. The play is Freakshow by Carson Kreitzer, the story of a group of side show freaks searching for some sort of normalcy in a life that is anything but normal.

posted at 01:10 pm
on Monday, October 21st, 2013

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