Omaha’s Circle Theatre was one of the first small theatre companies in Omaha. It was founded in 1983 by a group of twelve UNO graduates who wanted to create theatre together after they had left college. Due to the great expense of producing live theater, the Circle Theatre came up with the concept of Diner Theatre and performed in an old café in the Benson area of Omaha for sixteen years. During that time, the theatre produced over 100 plays with the majority of them being original productions written by regional playwrights. For over a decade, the Circle produced a play festival that some say began the wave of original work that came out of Omaha.
In 2000, Circle Theatre moved into the basement of Central Presbyterian Church and continued to produce plays on a wide variety of topics including child abuse, disability, aging, and loss. It is a theatre that actively encourages and uses actors, directors, designers, playwrights, and technicians who have disabilities. The Access Theatre Project is now in its fifteenth year and was a featured presentation at Nebraska’s first VSA (Very Special Arts) Festival at Joslyn Museum in the fall of 2001 which showcases the artistic talents of disabled artists from Nebraska.
In 2016, longtime Omaha director and producer, Fran Sillau, assumed the role of Artistic Director. Under Sillau’s leadership, the theatre began to reimagine its role and reformulate its mission to be a multi-generational theater focusing on producing work that includes artists with and without disabilities as well as telling stories about individuals who ordinarily would not have a voice in the theatre.
Circle Theatre will conclude its 2016-2017 season with the world premiere of The BOOB Girls, The Musical, opening Saturday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. and running July 23 at 2:00 p.m., July 28th and 29th at 7:00 p.m., and July 30th at 2:00 p.m.
Based on the series of books of the same name by Joy Johnson, the stage adaptation was co-written by Circle Theatre Artistic Director Fran Sillau and Mark Kurtz. Kurtz, is the composer and lyricist for the show. He currently serves as the Associate Music Director and Collaborative Pianist for Resonance, a professional vocal group in Omaha, and as Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Omaha.
The writing process for The Boob Girls, The Musical began a year and a half ago, when Kurtz began reading the books for fun. He quickly realized that he had stumbled on a gold mine of musical possibilities and approached Sillau about collaborating to produce the musical. The development process involved working closely with author Joy Johnson to transfer her characters from the book and to shape the story to the stage. Six drafts and thirty-two readings later, The BOOB Girls will have its premiere.
The musical follows four women living in retirement community in Omaha, as they discover that life does not end at any particular age. Along the way, Maggie, Hadley, Robbie, and Mary Rose, go on some incredibly crazy adventures and realize that they have power inside them to be fabulous. The cast includes: Sue Mouttet (Maggie), Marguerite Bennett (Mary Rose), Sara Planck (Hadley), Phyllis Mitchell Butler (Robbie), Dave Wingert (Wiley), Gary Planck (George and Frederick Sapp), Elizabeth Planck (Polly), Lisa Marcus (Natalie), Johnathan Smith (Henry, Doctor, and Peyton), and Joe Mendick (Jimmy and Lionel). The BOOB Girls will feature a five-piece combo, accompanying songs in the show that come from a variety of genres
Don’t miss the world premiere of this fantastic musical comedy. Performances will be held at the Jewish Community Center, 333 South 132 Street in Omaha. Tickets can be purchased online at www.circletheatreomaha.org or by calling the Circle Theatre directly at 402-553-4715. General admission tickets are 25.00, 18.00 for Seniors, students and TAG members. There will be a TAG Night Out Friday July 21, 2017 with a curtain time of 7:00 pm.