Nebraska Masquers to produce 'Matters of the Heart: A Musical Theatre Cabaret' to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Nebraska Masquers presents "Matters of the Heart:  A Musical Theatre Cabaret" on April 2 and 4.
Nebraska Masquers presents "Matters of the Heart: A Musical Theatre Cabaret" on April 2 and 4.

Nebraska Masquers to produce 'Matters of the Heart: A Musical Theatre Cabaret' to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

calendar icon26 Mar 2015    

Lincoln, Neb.--Nebraska Masquers, the Recognized Student Organization for theatre and film at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is proud to announce its spring charity production of Matters of the Heart: A Musical Theatre Cabaret, directed by Emma Gruhl and Bryan Howard. With two performances the first week of April, in addition to a silent auction and raffle to take place at the event, all proceeds will go to benefit BroadwayCares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Matters of the Heart performances are Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 pm in the Lab Theatre, 3rd floor of the Temple Building. Matters of the Heart is open to University students as well as community members. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased by visiting, with limited tickets being held at the door for purchase.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is “one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations that draws upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community.” Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised nearly $225 million for AIDS research and patient services. Nebraska Masquers hopes to contribute to this total by utilizing students’ theatrical and musical talents in Matters of the Heart.

A production that is completely produced and performed by UNL students and alumni, Matters of the Heart aims to serve the community by entertaining audiences of all ages, spreading AIDS awareness, and raising money for BC/EFA. Matters of the Heart additionally gives students and local theatre and music artists the opportunity to collaborate and perform for a greater cause. Director Emma Gruhl describes the creative intention behind Matters of the Heart

“The students of UNL have a desire to work on musical theatre: to act, to design, to direct musical theatre. The Johnny Carson School produces a musical only once every four years. We are attempting to give students interested in musical theatre an outlet, and to provide another opportunity for the music students and theatre students to collaborate and create together.”

Audience members can expect to hear some of the collaborative cast’s songs come from both critically-acclaimed and up-and-coming Broadway musicals. Although the diversity of musical numbers varies greatly, Gruhl says, “Matters of the Heart is a production about relationships. While it is a cabaret and the songs are a selection of different musicals and different genres of music, the songs connect with one another, as do the characters.”

The silent auction and raffle will take place on both nights and will include donations from local businesses in addition to Broadway memorabilia donateddirectly from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Winners of the auction andraffle items will be contacted following the final performance.

All proceeds from ticket purchases, silent auction, and raffle will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in memory of Patrick Zatloukal, a lover of theatre and dear friend to the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

For more information about Matters of theHeart and Nebraska Masquers, please visit the Nebraska Masquers Facebook page or the Facebook Event “Matters of the Heart.” Nebraska Masquers can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

For more information about Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, please visit


Emma Gruhl is a junior Theatre Directing/Management and Theatre Performance double major at the Johnny Carson School. Previous directing credits include "Time Stands Still" (Theatrix), "Encore" 6 & 7 (Lincoln Southwest). Acting credits include "The Skin of Our Teeth" (UNL Mainstage), "The Comedy of Errors" (Flatwater Shakespeare), "Middletown" (UNL Mainstage). Emma is currently serving as the Theatrix Managing Director and Nebraska Masquers Faculty Liaison.

Bryan Howard is a senior double majoring in Dramaturgy and English. He is thrilled that "Matters of the Heart" is his first large-scale foray into directing. Other recent credits in the Johnny Carson School include dramaturg for "Love's Labor's Lost," House Manager for "The Skin of Our Teeth," and actor in various UNL Mainstage and Theatrix productions. Bryan currently serves as the president of the cabaret's sponsoring organization,Nebraska Masquers.

Nebraska Masquers is sponsored by the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film is the theatre and film school of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.