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The longer it goes on, the more Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird takes dynamic and compelling flight at the Playhouse. Credit a great script, an impeccable cast and perceptive directing by Suzanne Withem. Note  the real title. The Playhouse softens it as Stupid F@#%ing Bird.

The play doesn’t seem to have much weight during the first act; mostly it lays the groundwork, while thoroughly establishing the characters, their relationships, their confusions, their hopes. Posner also makes clear a comic perspective of people who take themselves too seriously, akin to those in his source for the story, Chekhov’s The Seagull. These people don’t know that they are funny, but, by having the performers regularly break the fourth wall, Posner both amuses us and prods us to remember that theatre isn’t real life but it can really get close. This is further underscored by real food being prepared, drunk, eaten and audience-shared.

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It’s clear from the outset that “Stupid F@#%ing Bird” holds some surprises.

For one thing, an actor breaks the fourth wall — the symbolic barrier between audience and cast — even before the play begins. That caused a Thursday night preview audience at the Omaha Community Playhouse to roar with approval, setting the stage for the sly comedy that was to come.

For another, it’s billed as a “sort of” adaptation of “The Seagull,” an 1896 work by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, but it’s set in modern times and doesn’t always go where you think it will. You don’t need to be familiar with the original to appreciate this show.

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"The title of the play is STUPID F*ING BIRD." "That'll sell some tickets!" So goes the dialogue in the newest play showing in the Howard Drew Theatre at the Omaha Community Playhouse. If you can move past the profane and sometimes impious language, here is what should sell tickets to Aaron Posner's modern take on Anton Chekhov's 1895 play, "The Seagull."

The acting. Suzanne Withem directs a superb cast of expressive actors. Beau Fisher as angst ridden playwright Conrad effortlessly scales the ladder of human emotion. His face, his body, his intonation all leave no doubt as to what is going through his tortured mind. Alissa Hanish as Nina, the would-be actress and object of Conrad's undying love is light as air (she flies like a seagull!) and is sublimely funny. Raydell Cordell III as pragmatic Dev is a likable, natural comedian with his chest rumbling laughter, wide smile, and fondness for food. Aanya Sagheer as Mash is emo to the bone with a surprisingly lovely singing voice. Sonia Keffer has perfectly captured the aging actress/cougar/selfish mother, Emma Arkadina, while Kevin Anderson is the epitome of the aloof and weak writer, Doyle Trigorin. Michael Markey as Dr. Eugene Sorn seems like the calm in the middle of the chaos until he pulls tears later with his melancholy reminiscing.

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“The Seagull,” by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, was first produced in 1896.

Aaron Posner’s loose adaptation of the play, “Stupid F@#%ing Bird,” premiered in Washington, D.C., in 2013. It’s set in modern times but it follows the same basic story, even down to using some lines from Chekhov’s script.

The play, directed by Suzanne Withem, is the next show in the Omaha Community Playhouse’s small Howard Drew Theater. It premieres Friday and runs through Nov. 12 Read More »
A painter and her partner soon will make their Omaha Community Playhouse debuts.

They won’t be onstage, and they didn’t have to learn lines or go to rehearsals. In fact, their performance will occur before the curtain goes up.

Molly Nicklin and Luke Armstrong will create a painting in the Playhouse lobby as part of an unusual exhibition in connection with “Stupid F@#%ing Bird,” which premieres Friday in the Howard Drew Theatre.

The play by Aaron Posner, loosely based on “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov, examines some questions: “What is art?” “Why is art important?” “What defines success in the art world?”

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Stupid F@#%ing Bird at the Omaha Community Playhouse will run October 13 - November 12, 2017 in OCP's Howard Drew Theatre.

This "sort-of adaptation" of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov tells a story in which an aspiring young director battles against the art created by his mother's generation. A young actress competes with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist and everyone discovers just how complicated life, art and success can be. This irreverent, modern and very funny remix of a classic play will incite you to consider how art, love and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

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Note what letters are missing in Stupid F@#%ing Bird  at the Playhouse. They substitute for those of the actual title, alerting you to forthcoming salty language and sexual situations in this much-lauded 2013 play by Aaron Posner. He takes off from what Anton Chekhov wrote 117 years-ago The Seagull.

The new play settles on ideas about theatre and its ambiguous relationship to actual life. You needn’t know the original, BTW, to get this sometimes funny, sometimes sorrowful exploration of art, love and revolution. Yet there is something Chekhovian about it. Da,Chekhov. You may think of his stuff as somber and sorrowful, but it might be well to recollect that he called many of his plays comedies, including The Seagull.

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Stupid F@#%ing Bird at the Omaha Community Playhouse will run October 13 - November 12, 2017 in OCP's Howard Drew Theatre.

This "sort-of adaptation" of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov tells a story in which an aspiring young director battles against the art created by his mother's generation. A young actress competes with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist and everyone discovers just how complicated life, art and success can be. This irreverent, modern and very funny remix of a classic play will incite you to consider how art, love and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

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Holiday shows A Christmas Carol and Yesterday and Today, the interactive Beatles show featuring Billy McGuigan and his brothers, return to the Omaha Community Playhouse for their 10th year this holiday season.

Tickets for Yesterday and Today are available now and tickets for A Christmas Carol go on sale Tuesday, October 3 at 10:00 a.m.

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Tickets for Stupid F@#%ing Bird at the Omaha Community Playhouse are now on sale through the OCP box office. The production will run October 13 - November 12, 2017 in OCP's Howard Drew Theatre. Read More »
An important part of starting or returning to college is  finding activities to get involved with,  and something to do during free  time. The Omaha Community  Playhouse fills both of those .

Located less than a block away  from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Dodge Campus is the Omaha Community Playhouse.It’s worth noting that Omaha is home to the largest community playhouse in the entire country, and it certainly lives up to that title.

One of the greatest benefits that the Omaha Community Playhouse brings to the community is the options for volunteering and involvement. Kimberly Faith Hickman, the artistic director ofthe playhouse, stresses the fact that there are plenty of choices for students that require little to no experience.

“There are opportunities in pretty much every area of our building,” Hickman said.

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Two widely known plays — “1776” and “Angels in America” — and some locally written works will be featured in the Omaha Community Playhouse’s Alternative Programming series next season.

The series includes staged readings, special events and play development collaborations. Each is produced at the Playhouse.

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The Omaha Community Playhouse is announcing its Alternative Programming series for the 2017-18 season. Alternative Programming includes a series of staged readings, special events and play development collaborations. All events are held at OCP. Read More »
The Omaha Community Playhouse has produced only a handful of world-premiere shows in its 93-year history.

In the coming season, it will present two, both created by local talent.

A new show from a longtime Playhouse performer will open the 2017-2018 season on July 12. “Billy McGuigan’s Rock Twist” will feature classic rock tunes in a big-band style and big-band standards with a rock ’n’ roll tinge. The Steve Gomez Band, including a full horn section, will accompany McGuigan, who’s known for his portrayal of rocker Buddy Holly and his popular Beatles show each season.

And “Eminent Domain” by Omahan Laura Leininger-Campbell will be the season’s first show in the Howard Drew Theatre, opening Aug. 25. The play is the story of a Nebraska farm family that’s in conflict over construction of an oil pipeline. It was a finalist at the 2016 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

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  The Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP), the nation's largest community theatre, announces the lineup for its 93rd season, the 2017-2018 season.
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