Nebraska Repertory Theatre presents 'The Serpent'

The Nebraska Repertory Theatre presents "The Serpent" Nov. 3-19. Photo by John Ficenec.
The Nebraska Repertory Theatre presents "The Serpent" Nov. 3-19. Photo by John Ficenec.

Nebraska Repertory Theatre presents 'The Serpent'

calendar icon20 Oct 2017    

Lincoln, Neb.--The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film with the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts announces the second production of the 2017-2018 Nebraska Repertory Theatre season. The state’s only regional professional theatre opens The Serpent by Jean-Claude van Itallie directed by Wesley Broulik with movement direction by guest artist Morgan Barbour beginning November 3.

Tickets are available now 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 – 5:30 PM, or online at  A regular ticket is $24 and $12 for students and members of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute).
This brilliant and groundbreaking tour de force in contemporary improvisational theatre explores the Book of Genesis, and relates it to our modern experience with an eloquence and power which had earned it recognition as a milestone of American drama. Most of the work is choreographed movement, pantomime, human sounds and music made by bells, horns, whistles, tambourines and other hand-held instruments.

Performances will be in the Temple Building’s Studio Theatre, so no late seating will be allowed. Doors close promptly at curtain time. The production contains mature themes and may not be suitable for all audience members.
The Serpent performance dates and times:
Nov. 3 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 5 | 2:00 PM
Nov. 10 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 11 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 12 | 2:00 PM
Nov. 16 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 17 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 18 | 7:30 PM
Nov. 19 | 2:00 PM
The Serpent ensemble is: Alejandro Alarcon, Travis Banks, Emily Raine Blythe, Kami Cooper, Cameron Currie, Beck Damron, Michaella Deladia, Candace Nelson, Kate Schini, Arin Turnage, Jesse Turos, Lynn Twarowski, Michael Zavodny and guest performer Morgan Barbour.
The Serpent designers are: JD Madsen (scenic), Kathleen Turner (lighting), Emily Callahan (sound) and Heather M. Striebel (costumes). The production is stage managed by Shannon Humiston.
Background information written and researched by production dramaturg Julien Hoffman                                                                            
The Serpent was created by and nurtured at the Open Theatre. In 1963, Joseph Chaikin formed the Open Theatre after breaking away from the Living Theatre. The Open Theatre was an experimental ensemble theatre group that remained active from 1963 to 1973. It was created to fight against commercial theatre and the common rules and conventions of theatre, such as the fourth wall and scripts without room for alternate interpretation or creative freedom.
The Serpent was created to question the origins of evil, if man is inherently evil, taught evil, or if evil was created by man, as well as to artistically express things that were not often expressed in the performing arts due to taboos in the 1960s, and to push the boundaries as to what makes an action or a performance theatre.
These questions and themes surrounding the origins of violence being wrestled with were inspired by the historic unrest and cultural upheaval that occurred in the American 1960s due to the Viet Nam war, pushback against the civil rights movement, the cold war, and hostile division between the democratic and republican parties, as well as the sudden emersion of the American people into the media through televisions becoming a widespread staple in most American homes, which publicized all of the conflicts listed previously. This sudden widespread access to more information about these national and international conflicts that could be reached at most hours of the day caused disillusionment for a number of American citizens. This was the first time in American history that through the television real footage of graphic war violence, as well as violence due to civil unrest, was displayed to the public in real time.
This new ability to witness the true atrocities being committed by other humans in Viet Nam, as well as in parts of America, were very shocking and jarring for viewers. The American people found themselves questioning if their world had suddenly gotten more violent due to increased globalization after the world wars, heightened bigotry, and the ongoing cold war, or if the world had always had this level of graphic conflict and they are simply able to see it for the first time. This question left many Americans reflecting on the origins of violence and evil throughout time, and The Serpent attempts to give a space where this question can be confronted.
The Serpent goes about confronting this theme of the existence of violence throughout time and its possible origins through the depiction of current day violence in the form of the assassinations of JFK [John F. Kennedy] and MLK [Martin Luther King, Jr.] and the depiction of the origins of evil as the fall of man in the garden of Eden and the story of Cain and Abel, comparing the first accounts of evil and violence in Genesis to what was current examples of human violence at the time that THE SERPENT was written.”

Key Biographies
Wesley Broulik is an actor, writer, director, and producer. He currently serves as an assistant professor of practice for the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film. His work has been seen off-Broadway, off-off Broadway, in regional theatre, national tours, films, network and cable television, commercials, and emerging media. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University and is a proud union and guild member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC, and The Dramatists Guild Inc. But the most significant thing he’s ever done is convince Mandy to marry him.
Morgan Barbour is a London-based actor, aerialist, movement director, and writer. She is delighted to be joining Nebraska Rep as a guest artist for this exciting season. Barbour has performed and directed throughout the USA, UK, Ireland, and continental Europe in Off-West End, touring, and regional productions. She is the co-founder of Blazing Change Players, an educational physical theatre company with a mission to create original dramatic works focused on social inequality, and is a founding member of MOVR:s, a collective of international artists and programmers striving to expand the boundaries of virtual reality performance (in collaboration with AltspaceVR). Recent work includes Questions of Terrorism and Repression, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 12:01, Mortified!, In Dublin Fair City, and By the Bi. In 2015 her work was recognized by Amnesty International UK for ‘inspiring audiences to think about human rights.’ She is a member of UK Equity.
The Remaining Productions:
Show three is Nebraska Rep’s annual holiday celebration The Holiday Cabaret. Performances will be in the Temple Building.
Dec. 13, 14, 15, 16 | 7:30 PM
Dec. 17 | 2:00 PM
Individual tickets are $30, $15 for students and OLLI members.
Show four is Avenue Q with performances back at the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater.
March 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 | 7:30 PM
March 4 and 11 | 2:00 PM
Individual tickets are $34, $17 for students and OLLI members.
Show five is The Rep's Rising Stars with two performances only in the Temple Building.
March 30 and 31 | 7:30 PM
Individual tickets are $14, $7 for students and OLLI members. These performances are free to Nebraska Repertory Theatre season ticket holders.
Show 6 is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Performances are in the Temple Building.
April 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 | 7:30 PM
April 15 and 22 | 2:00 PM
April 22 | 2:00 PM
Individual tickets are $30, $15 for students and OLLI members