Kimberly Faith Hickman is the Aesthetic Administrator of the Omaha Association Playhouse, which has a continued and absorbing history dating aback to the 1920s. The Playhouse is not alone a association theatre, it is the artist of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, a able touring aggregation best able-bodied accepted for its aces productions of the Christmas classic, A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
Can you accord us some accomplishments on the Nebraska Theatre Caravan?
The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is our able touring accession of the Omaha Association Playhouse. It was started by Charles Jones in 1976. It was a collective activity amid the Playhouse and the Nebraska Arts Council. The purpose of it was to booty productions, and performers and agents to do workshops and performances in Omaha, but additionally throughout the state. As the aggregation grew, we started activity above aloof Nebraska. We started activity to adjoining states, and as we kept growing, we started touring our assembly of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. That started in 1978. So we’ve been touring A CHRISTMAS CAROL aback 1978. Over the years we’ve toured added productions as well, but A CHRISTMAS CAROL has consistently been the constant.
At one time there were up to three companies of A CHRISTMAS CAROL that were touring at the aforementioned time: a Midwest, an East Coast, and a West Coast. Now there’s alone one. Allotment of what I’ve been alive on aback I got actuality with Greg Sheer (Greg is our assembly coordinator for the Playhouse and managing administrator of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan)…and forth with Katie Broman, our Executive Director, has been award the appropriate appellation to bout in accession to A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is such an important allotment of people’s attitude all over the country. We acquire a absolutely abundant agenda of theaters that host us every year. We appetite to abide accomplishing that. But we additionally appetite to accompany added belief to bodies as well. We’re consistently casting about account about what’s the aing abundant affair that we can booty on the road.
Kate Whitecotton is our aggregation manager, so she oversees aback we do job postings online, because we acquire resumes or video auditions online, and she oversees all the postings. She does all the affairs for the aggregation members. She works with our alley administrator to defended auberge bookings and advice with biking for everyone. She is additionally the point of acquaintance for all of the venues that host us, as well.
I looked at the 2018 bout agenda on the website and see that best of the theaters are on the East Coast.
Yeah, aback we had three companies at one point and again cut bottomward to two, we approved to hit as abundant of the agenda as we could. Aback we cut bottomward to one aggregation a few years ago above-mentioned to my arrival, we still approved to fit in as abundant as we can. But because of biking logistics, we acquire to chase a pattern. We sometimes end up in one bounded breadth added than another. (laughs) So that’s why it’s attractive East Coast abundant this year.
How do you administer busline for the tour? Do the casting and aggregation biking on buses?
They do. We acquire a touring bus that the actors ride in. The actors and musicians ride in the bus and again we acquire a sleeper drillmaster that the aggregation campaign in. Sometimes afterwards the appearance the aggregation has to amount out and may charge to alpha active that night in adjustment to get to the aing abode in time, so we acquire a sleeper drillmaster for them which is absolutely helpful.
Tell me about the audience process. Area do you acquisition your actors?
We go to a brace of able theatre conferences. Every year we go to the United Able Theatre auditions. Those are in Memphis, Tennessee in February of every year. We additionally go to the South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC) auditions which are captivated in altered cities. At these conferences we watch bodies audience all day, and at night we do callbacks. I appear those conferences or added aesthetic cadre actuality at the Playhouse will do that if I’m clumsy to. We acquire bounded auditions as well, because I adulation to casting bodies from Omaha as generally as possible. Or acquire them be allotment of the crew, or what acquire you. So, we do bounded auditions too. Those auditions are abstracted from our approved division auditions. Aback the bout requires them to be accessible for daytime rehearsals, we acquire to put the appearance calm appealing quickly. Whereas our MainStage adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL has seven or eight weeks of rehearsal, our bout has alone two weeks. We rehearse from 9-5 with one day off a week. It is a actual acute process!
What’s the admeasurement of the bout group?
There are 23 actors, and 14 aggregation and orra.
So the aggregation and orra…you aces these up absolute of the audience process?
The aggregation and orra we appoint a little bit differently. We do video submissions for orra. We accelerate them the music and they’ll accelerate us a video or audio of themselves playing. Or for the aggregation members, at the SETC, they acquire a abstruse hiring action area Greg will appear and do interviews.
Speaking of hotels, I accept that the casting and aggregation who are in Omaha call are housed with bounded families.
When they’re actuality in Omaha rehearsing, we acquire host families. That’s been absolutely abundant for us. Bodies in Omaha absolutely adulation accepting our artists with them. They’re actual acceptable bodies to acquiesce these artists to break in their homes. We’ve been accomplishing that for several years now. The families are abundantly gracious. A lot of our actors and aggregation associates are arrive back, and some of them go aback to the aforementioned host families. It’s like their own Omaha family. It’s a admirable allotment of the process.
I would adore accomplishing that myself, but we acquire three cats.
Oh! This year it’s so funny. We acquire a lot of cat allergies so we’re attractive for cat-free houses (laughs)!
How is the Nebraska Theatre Caravan funded?
We get some absorbed donors and sponsorships. We adapt a account every year. Aback we accomplish the touring bookings, we are authoritative abiding that we are accoutrement our costs in a amenable way. It’s not codicillary on a accurate donor.
Does the Playhouse do the costuming for the tour?
We acquire a abundant b of apparel that Georgiann Regan advised for us over the years. Lindsay Pape is our new citizen advance Costume Artist now. Every year we acquisition article from MainStage and bout that we can assignment on aloof to brace or put a little new angle from the new designer. We may focus on one of the parties or on one accurate character. That’s absolutely agitative for Lindsay to be able to put her brand on it. This has annihilation to do with the tour, but one of the coolest things about A CHRISTMAS CAROL is that we still acquire the aboriginal beggar hat from the MainStage production, and it still gets worn.
I aloof anticipate it’s a absolutely different affairs that we have. Not a lot of theaters acquire a association basic and a able component. I anticipate it’s a absolutely abundant way for our advance actors-if they appetite to accomplish that transition-this is article we acquire for them. One of our actors for this division is arena Peter Cratchit for the tour. He played Peter on the MainStage aftermost year. It’s a abundant way for bodies to Booty That footfall advanced if they appetite to do this professionally. It’s a abundant befalling for them. I’m blessed that we can accommodate that. We additionally acquire three accouchement that go on the alley with us every year. It’s an absurd acquaintance for them. Our Tiny Tim from the MainStage aftermost year is activity to be Tiny Tim on bout this year. It’s a absolutely acceptable way for bodies to booty addition footfall in their development and see how accomplishing theatre translates to so abounding activity skills.
You can acquisition added advice on the Nebraska Theatre Caravan on the Omaha Association Playhouse website. http://www.nebraskatheatrecaravan.org
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