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Nebraska Shakespeare

"Female Forward" Season Brings
Juno's Swans Into Mainstage Rep

Nebraska Shakespeare logoNebraska Shakespeare in Omaha is heading into its 33rd year determined to make a major change in its programming: bringing more women onto its stage.

"For the past 32 years, Nebraska Shakespeare has been thrilled to work with countless talented actors," Interim Artistic Director Sarah Brown wrote in an email note to patrons in December. "Since Shakespeare wrote so few parts for women, however, we have only had the opportunity to work with a small percentage of local and national female artists. In our 33rd year, Nebraska Shakespeare is focusing on a "Female Forward" season, offering opportunities to more female artists than ever before."

The company has sponsored an all-female troupe as ancillary programming called Juno's Swans for its Shakespeare on the Green festival the past three summers. Juno's Swans have presented all-female performances of The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III and Julius Caesar.

For summer 2019, Juno's Swans will be part of the mainstage repertory with a production of All's Well That Ends Well directed by Brown. It will be paired with a production of Hamlet helmed by Nebraska Shakespeare veteran John Hardy who "will unearth the heart of Shakespeare's most famous play, exploring a broken family surrounded by a politically unstable country," Brown writes.

Brown has worked with Nebraska Shakespeare for 16 years as an actor, director, and educator and was named director of education in 2013. She launched Juno's Swans in 2016. "Nebraska Shakespeare's mission is to create entertaining, challenging productions and immersive educational experiences that connect our diverse community to Shakespeare's exploration of what it means to be human," she writes. "Season 33 will be no exception."

Every Juno's Swans performance will conclude with a discussion that allows the audience to discuss the themes, relevance, and gender exploration of All's Well. Meanwhile, Brown writes, "Shakespeare's most complex character, Hamlet, allows audiences to approach questions of action, consequence, duty, and morality like no other character can."

The company will be mounting a touring production of Othello in the fall.

Shakespeare on the Green is located in Shakespeare Park adjoining the University of Nebraska's Omaha campus. All's Well That Ends Well is scheduled to run June 20–23 and July 5 and 7, Hamlet June 27–30 and July 2, 3, and 6.

January 29, 2019

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