Circle Theatre’s One Act Play Festival

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Circle Theatre Presents Short Play Festival
Circle Theatre has a rich and diverse history within the Omaha Theatre community. The organization has taken many artistic risks and broken new theatrical ground to pave the way for many theatre artists and theatrical institutions creating work today.
A crucial part of Circle Theatre’s mission is to create a venue for artists whose voices have not yet been heard in the region. With that mission in mind, February 24 and 25 Circle Theatre will be hosting a short play festival. All works featured in the festival will be written by first-time playwrights from area special education classrooms in Omaha and Millard Public Schools, as well as young adults from the local non-profit, Gotta Be Me. Original work will also be featured from young playwrights at Girls Inc. Local Omaha actors will perform each play in a staged reading.
The short play festival is made possible by a contract from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Participation by the Omaha Public Schools was funded by a grant from the Omaha Public Schools Foundation. Each participating school worked with professional playwrights Jennifer Castello-Scott, Colleen Kilcoyne, David Ackerman, Courtney Stein, and Fran Sillau. The team visited each classroom and facilitated a series of workshops that resulted in the short plays that will be featured in the festival.
This format created by Jennifer Castello-Scott, allows Circle Theatre to give voice to students who rarely get a platform of creativity in our community. Circle Theatre believes that the community benefits greatly by hearing these diverse voices on stage. “We hope that this festival will the first for many seasons to come,” says Fran Sillau, Circle Theatre executive artistic director.
“This project has been one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I’ve had the honor of teaching. The classrooms are so positive, and in just five days we see such a growth in the students’ energy and classroom participation,” exclaimed program developer, Jennifer Castello-Scott. Day one, the students don’t really know what to do as they are stretching their faces and acting like lions and bears. But by day five, they are sharing inside jokes, memorized lines, and there is confidence as they take the stage in their own original play.
“I can’t believe we get so much done in just five days. The students are learning the basics of acting and ending up with a finished script and performance. It’s been so engaging, exciting, and meaningful,” concluded Scott.
Performances are Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. Both performances will take place at the Circle Theatre’s new home at Hansom Park United Methodist Church at 4444 Frances Street in Omaha. More information about the festival and other Circle Theatre activities can be found online at