Nebraska Repertory Theatre launches new, year-round season with 'Abigail/1702'
calendar icon20 Sep 2017
Lincoln, Neb.--The Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the state’s only regional professional theatre, associated with the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, launches its first year-round season September 30, 2017 with ABIGAIL/1702 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Directed by Nebraska Rep’s Artistic Director, Andy Park, performances are Sept. 30, Oct. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 1, 8, 15 at 2:00 pm in the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater. Tickets are available through the Lied Center Ticket Office at 301 North 12th Street, 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231 Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm, or online at liedcenter.org. A five-show season ticket is $120, $60 for students and member of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Individual tickets for ABIGAIL/1702 are $30, $15 for students and OLLI members.
The Nebraska Repertory Theatre, affiliated with the Actors’ Equity Association, has been on hiatus since its final summer season in 2014. A new collaboration between the Nebraska Repertory Theatre and the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and a merger of the Nebraska Rep and University Theatre begins with ABIGAIL/1702. According to Park, “Nebraska Rep is thrilled to kick-off our 49th year with a bold new vision. For decades, we’ve served Lincoln as a professional summer repertory theatre. We are pleased to announce that we are now a year-round theatre. The theme of our season this year is Classics Reimagined. Not only are we reimagining Nebraska Repertory Theatre and expanding our season, but all of our shows this year tell familiar stories in a new way.”
Ten years after The Crucible’s infamous seductress, Abigail Williams, danced with the devil in Salem, darkness returns. As she cares for a young sailor on the brink of death, a mysterious stranger from Abigail’s past catches up with her, sending her on one final, suspense-filled quest for redemption.
Park explains the background of the play: “Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, is a fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials that occurred in 1692. The play takes aim at the hysteria that swept colonial Salem, Massachusetts and caused twenty innocent victims to hang as witches.”
At the beginning of Miller’s play, Reverend Parris catches his niece, Abigail Williams, and several of her friends dancing in the woods. Fearing severe punishment, the girls pretend to be possessed by friends, family members and neighbors.
Park continues, “Abigail Williams is a cunning manipulator. She easily whips the other girls into an emotional frenzy…One man, John Proctor, knows that [she] is lying…Worried for his friends and neighbors, John threatens to reveal his infidelity with Abigail to the court if necessary to stop her…Eventually, Abigail stands by as even John is accused. Unable to watch John Proctor hang, Abigail steals Reverend Parris’ life savings and flees from Salem. ABIGAIL/1702 begins 10 years after John Proctor and 19 others were falsely accused, sentenced and hung for witchcraft.”
The production is designed by JANICE STAUFFER (costumes), CHRISTINE DUNCAN (makeup), LAUREL SHOEMAKER (lighting), JD MADSEN (scenic), and JEFF O’BRIEN (sound), all faculty and staff members of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. The production is stage managed by BRAD BUFFUM, a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Cast members who are members of Actors’ Equity Association:
ABBEY SIEGWORTH (Young Woman), DON RICHARD (Older Man) and VIRGINA SMITH (Older Woman).
Additional cast members are:
NICHOLAS RUSSELL (Young Man) and HUCK MADSEN (Little Boy).
Cast members comprising THE TWENTY are:
Brittany Albin, Jeremy Blomstedt, Angela Gilbert, Japrice Green, Ethan Greenlee, Michelle Ingle, Grant Koch, Krista Lawrence, Aguel Lual, Je’Qwan Owens, Nick Prior, Christa Retka, Karen Richards, Maria Smal, Cullen Wiley, Leana Wolt
Siegworth's past credits include: ELECTRA, TIGERS BE STILL, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, SHAPE OF THINGS, KING LEAR, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, REASONS TO BE PRETTY (Dallas Theater Center, Brierly Resident Acting Company); THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA, ANTONY & CLEOPATRA (American Players Theatre); TARTUFFE (Three Day Hangover, NYC); an all-female OTHELLO (TITAN Theater Company, NYC); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Clarence Brown Theatre). She has done five tours with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and worked throughout Milwaukee and Chicago at Next Act, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Shakespeare, and Northlight.
Don Richard remembers touring Nebraska for two years in the century-before-this-one, taking productions to the edges of the Cornhusker state with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan. Broadway: original cast of JANE EYRE, URINETOWN and the recent revival of SIDE SHOW. Original National Tour companies: WICKED (1st National, Chicago, and 2nd National) and SUNSET BOULEVARD with Petula Clark. Helen Hayes award for Best Ensemble (Kennedy Center SIDE SHOW) and Best of Kansas City awards for FALSETTOLAND, LISBON TRAVIATA, and GUYS AND DOLLS. Regional: Dr. Rance (WHAT THE BUTLER SAW), Watson (SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE), Thernardier (LES MISERABLES), Sweeney (SWEENEY TODD). Film: Stephen Soderbergh’s KING OF THE HILL (Mr. Farley).
Smith served a decade as the Artistic Director for the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. She came to Nebraska in 2000 to teach acting and directing at UNL. After years of mostly directing, this is her third acting role in 2017; Scottie in THIS RANDOM WORLD for University Theatre and Sister Aloysius in DOUBT for Crane River were the first two. Her previous roles for Nebraska Repertory Theatre were in Zina in ACT A LADY, Flora in HUMBLE BOY, Karen in DINNER WITH FRIENDS, and Vivian in WIT. Her Rep directing credits include CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, MAKING GOD LAUGH, GOD OF CARNAGE, CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES, VINO VERITAS, SANTALAND DIARIES, SOUVENIR: A FANTASIA ON THE LIFE OF FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, METAMORPHOSES, JACOB MARLEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL, OMNIUM GATHERUM, CRIMES OF THE HEART and DINNERTIME which was performed at the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Theatre Festival in New York City and in Krakow, Poland. She is the Head of the Directing program at UNL.
THE SEASON CONTINUES:
THE SERPENT by Jean-Claude van Itallie | Nov. 3–19
THE HOLIDAY CABARET conceived by Andy Park, featuring Chicago’s The Lakeshore Dolls | Dec. 13–17
AVENUE Q | March 2 – 16
THE REP’S RISING STARS | March 30 & 31
William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams | April 13 – 22