“Thank You 5”

Tim MantilEvents

“Thank You 5”

By: Joe Basque, Contributor


Daena Schweiger has spent over twenty-five years actively involved on and back stage, as a stage manager, actor, director, playwright, sound designer, and board member. You can now add “podcaster” to the list.

On March 4, Schweiger unveiled her new local theater podcast, “Thank You 5,” with an interview of Camille Metoyer Moten. She followed this up on March 15 by dropping interviews with Ellen Struve, Emily Mokrycki, Steve Krambeck, and Amy Reiner. After one final podcast in March (with Moira Mangiameli), the podcast will settle in to a regular bi-monthly schedule in April.

Schweiger has been working on the idea of a podcast dedicated to Omaha’s performing arts scene since last summer. “When I meet theater people I haven’t worked with before, I want to know why they got into theater. I always like asking people that.” Converting her interest into a podcast took hold after SNAP! Productions and the Shelterbelt Theatre lost their space on California Street last summer. “I wanted to shine a light on all the theaters and all the hard work that goes into it.”

True to her well rounded theater experience, Schweiger wants listeners to hear about all aspects of theater. “I want it to be about more than actors.” As a result, her first five interviews cover stage managing, props, writing, teaching, and directing in addition to performing. Even her theme music was composed and performed by Tim Vallier.

New to podcasting, Schweiger invested in new sound equipment with the help of a TAG Theatre Arts Grant (“Be sure to thank TAG in the article!”). The biggest surprise has been the amount of time invested in sound editing. For every 45-60 minute interview she spends hours editing the sound. The effort has definitely paid off: the sound is as good as any professional podcast. The interviews themselves are terrific. I binged the four on March 15, and loved every one of them.

In less than a month, her podcasts have been downloaded in a number of states and as distant as three listeners from Korea. But the focus is local. “I hope patrons want to hear more about people they see on stage, and then want to go see them in another play.” Her listeners are already surprised about revelations from her interviews. “Debbie Krambeck had no idea that (her husband) Steve played the letter “Z” in grade school,” notes Schweiger. Where else can you hear inside theater gossip like that?

At the end of each interview, Schweiger finishes by asking a few questions inspired by James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio” interviews. Because no one interviews her, I grabbed the opportunity:

Favorite color? “Blue. It’s always been blue.” (Almost every interviewer thus far has chosen green).

Favorite word? After briefing considering her favorite expletive, she landed on “love.” “So my least favorite word is ‘hate.’”

Profession she would least like to do? “Exterminator. I hate cockroaches.”

If she could go back in time and interview three people for her podcast, who would she talk to? “Pam Carter, Barb Ross, and Liz Heim.”

What I wouldn’t give to hear those three podcasts.

“Thank You 5” is Daena Schweiger’s new bi-monthly podcast dedicated to Omaha’s vibrant performing arts scene. Podcasts drop 2nd and 4th Friday of each month. Podcast info can be found online at https://thankyou5pod.com/ as well as on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thankyou5pod/. This includes links to subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. There is no cost to subscribe. The newest podcast, with Moira Mangiameli, dropped on March 29. Questions? Message Daena Schweiger on Facebook Messenger @thankyou5pod or contact her via the website at https://thankyou5pod.com/contact/.