Explore the 2016–17 Omaha Community Playhouse season!

Start in an Alabama courtroom, travel across the pond to Victorian London, relive '80s rock 'n' roll in L.A. and make a stop in a Chicago donut shop. Join us on a trip around the world!

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

May 26–June 25, 2017

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Music by Alan Menken | Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice | Book by Linda Woolverton | Originally Directed by Robert Jess Roth | Originally Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions

Directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman

Step into the enchanted world of the beloved musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress, is guaranteed to entertain all audiences. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self — but time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. This “tale as old as time” is filled with spectacular costumes and sets and is a must-see for the whole family.

producing partner: Mutual of Omaha
orchestra sponsor: HDR
specialty sponsor: Children's Hospital and Medical Center

additional sponsor(s): Chris and Ann Abboud, Nancy Abboud, Bob and Judy Bates, The Fred and Sally Bekins Foundation, Blackman and Associates, Broadmoor Development, William and Barbara Fitzgerald, Barbara Ford, Jerry and Linda Gordman, Mike and Kathy Gross, Holland Foundation, David and Kristine Karnes, Joyce and Larry Kochen, PJ and Annie Morgan, Friend of the Playhouse, Murray and Sharee Newman, The Parker Family Foundation, Francie Prier, Nate and Hannah Schwalb, Sissy Katelman Silber, Eve Simon, Del and Phyllis Toebben, Jim and Susan Tracy, Liz and Steve Walenz, Anne Thorne Weaver
media sponsor: WOWT

Past Productions

Superior Donuts

May 5–June 4, 2017

Howard Drew Theatre

By Tracy Letts

Directed by Susan Baer Collins

Superior Donuts, by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Tracy Letts (Bug, August: Osage County), takes place in the historic Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, where Arthur Przybyszewski runs the donut shop that has been in his family for 60 years. Franco Wicks, a young black man and Arthur's only employee, wants to update the shop with healthy choices and music, but Arthur remains set in his ways and reminisces about his Polish immigrant father. This provocative comedy, set in the heart of one of Chicago's most diverse communities, explores the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship.

producing partners: NP Dodge Company and Friend of the Playhouse
media sponsor: The Reader

Contains strong language and adult themes.

Leading Ladies

April 14–May 7, 2017

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

By Ken Ludwig

Directed by Jeff Horger

In this hilarious comedy by the author of Lend Me A Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing "Scenes from Shakespeare" on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren't nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements ensue, especially when Leo falls madly in love with the old lady's vivacious niece, Meg, who's engaged to the local minister.

producing partners: Carter and Vernie Jones

Rock of Ages

March 3–April 2, 2017
(NO Performance on Friday, March 31, 2017)

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Book by Christopher D’Arienzo
Arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp

Directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman

Set in L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, both in L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. Nominated for five Tony Awards, this smash-hit musical comedy is an arena-rock-n-roll love story told through the hits of the 1980s like “Sister Christian,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Dead or Alive,” “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Here I Go Again,” “Don’t Stop Believing” and many more! Rock of Ages takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair!

producing partners: Security National Bank and Gale and Judy Wickersham
orchestra sponsor: WoodmenLife
stage manager sponsor: 2016 AAA New York Tour
choreography sponsor: Bravo! Dance Competitions
media sponsor: KMTV

Contains mischievous behavior, suggestive and adult language and comedic reference to drug usage.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Feb. 10–March 12, 2017

Howard Drew Theatre

By Jethro Compton
Based on the short story by Dorothy M. Johnson

Directed by Jeff Horger

Made popular by the 1962 film version starring John Wayne, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a classic western story of good versus bad and the law versus the gun. Set in 1890 in the Wild West, it tells the tale of a young scholar from New York City who travels west in search of a new life, but arrives badly beaten in the town of Twotrees. After being rescued from the plains, the town soon becomes his home. A local girl gives him purpose, but a fierce outlaw wants him dead. He must make a choice: to turn and run or to stand for what he believes; to live or to fight; whether or not to become the man who shot Liberty Valance.

This production is recognized as an official event in the Nebraska 150 Celebration, a yearlong, statewide celebration of 150 years of statehood for Nebraska.

producing partner: 2016-17 Pegasus Travel Tours
media sponsor: Cox

Contains adult language and racial tensions.

Around the World in 80 Days

Jan. 20–Feb. 12, 2017

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

By Mark Brown
Based on the novel by Jules Vernes

Directed by Carl Beck

Around the World in 80 Days is a fantastic journey filled with exotic locations and cultures, with comedy and suspense leading the way. Phileas Fogg, an Englishman, and his French manservant, Passepartout, create a strange pairing with their distinct cultural backgrounds. Their journey challenges both Fogg and Passepartout in many ways, but they come out as winners in the end. The two men journey around the world to win a simple wager, but they leave an incredible story about loyalty and friendship in their wake. This production consists of five extremely resourceful actors who bring Jules Verne’s incredible story to life. Making the most of the Playhouse stage, they create all the exotic locales, the international cast of characters and even an elephant!

producing partner: Rich and Fran Juro
media sponsor: KPTM
specialty sponsor: Pegasus Travel
sponsorship opportunities available

Yesterday And Today

Nov. 25–Dec. 31, 2016

Howard Drew Theatre

An Interactive Beatles Experience
Featuring Billy McGuigan
©2007 By Rave On Productions

Billy McGuigan and his brothers are back! This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. Share your stories and relive your memories with your favorite Beatles songs. No two shows are the same, and every show is a guaranteed exhilarating time!

producing partner: University of Nebraska Medical Center
media sponsor: KMTV

A Christmas Carol

Nov. 18–Dec. 23, 2016

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

By Charles Dickens; Adapted by Charles Jones
Musical orchestration by John J. Bennett

It just isn’t Christmas without A Christmas Carol. Experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition as Ebenezer Scrooge takes us on a life-changing journey filled with beautiful costumes, exquisite music, perfectly crafted sets and special effects second to none.

producing partner: First National Bank
orchestra sponsor: KPMG LLP
media sponsor: Cox
cast dinner sponsor: JK Barker Foundation
bakery shoppe sponsor: Rotella's Bakery

counting house sponsor: SilverStone Group

Murder Ballad

Oct. 14–Nov. 20, 2016

Howard Drew Theatre

Conceived by and with Book and Lyrics by Julia Jordan
Music and Lyrics by Juliana Nash
Directed by Jeff Horger

Murder Ballad is an intimate, sung-through indie-rock musical that tells the dramatic tale of a love triangle gone wrong. At the center of it all is Sara, a young mother and wife who seems to have it all but longs for her dangerous past and begins a love affair with her old boyfriend. As events unfold, the audience is along for the ride with every twist of the story. Murder Ballad is a steamy and fun thriller with a razor's edge.

producing partner: Le Voltaire Restaurant/Le Petit Paris, The Berry & Rye, David and Anne Rismiller
orchestra sponsor: Whitmore Charitable Trust
media sponsor: CW15
stage manager sponsor: Bluestone Development

Contains situations of infidelity, adult language and mild violence.

Sister Act

Sept. 16–Oct. 16, 2016

Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner
Additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture “Sister Act” written by Joseph Howard

Directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman

Broadway’s smash musical comedy Sister Act will make you jump for joy! Based on the 1992 blockbuster movie and featuring original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Newsies), this uplifting musical is filled with toe-tapping songs, show-stopping dance numbers and a truly touching story. After witnessing her mafia boyfriend commit a crime, night club singer Deloris Van Cartier seeks help from the local police. She is placed in the witness protection program in the last spot her boyfriend would think to find her—a convent! Struggling to fit in with a group of nuns, Deloris finds her calling working with the convent choir. As she helps her fellow sisters find their voices, she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Sister Act is a reason to rejoice!

producing partners: Kiewit Corporation,
Methodist Health System, Lamp Rynearson and Associates
orchestra sponsor: Giger Foundation
media sponsor: Cox


To Kill A Mockingbird

Aug. 19–Sept. 18, 2016

Howard Drew Theatre

By Christopher Sergel
Based on the novel by Harper Lee

Directed by Ablan Roblin

Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved stories of all time. In this moving and heartfelt tale, a quiet Southern town is rocked by a crisis of morality. Despite threats to himself and his family, lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man wrongly accused of a grave crime. With the recent release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the newly discovered sequel, this is a wonderful opportunity to revisit To Kill a Mockingbird

producing partners: Cindy and Scott Heider, Valmont Industries, Inc.
media sponsor: KETV
guest director sponsor: Ramona and Deryl Hamann
stage manager sponsor: The law firm of Gross & Welch

Contains language and situations related to racial tension and mob violence.