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Return to Niobrara

By Mary Kathryn Nagle

This play was workshopped and presented as a rehearsed reading in April 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of New Visions/New Voices 2018.

140 years ago, Steven's great-great grandfather Chief Standing Bear stood up in court and demanded that a federal Judge recognize that Indians are "persons" under the law. Today, following an altercation where Steven is bullied at school on account of his long hair, Steven must follow in his grandfather's footsteps and speak out against his school's attempt to force him to cut his hair, and ultimately, to erase his identity. Written by Mary Kathryn Nagle (citizen of the Cherokee Nation), the play invites the audience to see the past emerging in our present, and ultimately what it means to truly stand for who we are.

Witness a thrilling drama about a historic Omaha story with this world premiere production commissioned by The Rose Theater and developed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

  • Run Dates Jan 25 - Feb 10, 2019
  • Appropriate Ages 8+
  • Duration 75 minutes
Purchase Tickets

Show dates and times

Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 pm
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 pm
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5 pm
Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 pm
Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 pm* ⁂
Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5 pm**
Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 pm
Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 pm
Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 pm
Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5 pm
Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 pm

Members receive FOUR
free tickets to this show!

Additional tickets can be purchased by members for $12 each. (Regularly $20.)

Non-Member Tickets available after August 1 for $20 each.

Reservations Required. CALL 402.345.4849 or click the “Purchase Tickets” button above.
(Members may now reserve their free member tickets online.)

 


Ticket Information

Show tickets are available at Will Call, if not picked up earlier.
Lobby doors will open 45 minutes prior to the show.
Tickets that have not been claimed five minutes prior to the show may be released or sold.

* ASL interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing is provided
** Sensory-friendly show
⁂ Audio description services for the blind are provided

Field Trip Info

Information

Best for Grades:
  • 4th - 10th Grade
State Requirements:
  • Retelling information from narrative text
  • Making connections between characters or events in narrative and informational text, to own life or other cultures
  • Describing how people’s actions affect others
Field trip dates and times:
  • Friday, Jan. 25 at 10 am
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 10 am
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10 am
  • Thursday, Jan. 31 at 1 pm
  • Friday, Feb. 1 at 10 am
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 10 am
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 10 am
  • Thursday, Feb. 7 at 1 pm
  • Friday, Feb. 8 at 10 am
Field Trip Pricing:
  • Teachers are FREE!
  • $5.00 Students
  • $3.75 Students on Reduced Lunch Program
  • $2.75 Students on Free Lunch Program
  • $5.00 Adult Chaperones
  • Note: Tax will be added for out-of-state groups
Click here for online study guide  

Field Trip Sponsor:

First National Bank

Book a Field Trip

Cast
Steven/Bear Shield – Kenneth Ramos
Betsy/Prairie Flower/Bright Eyes – Nathalie Standingcloud
Tom/Thomas Henry Tibbles – Dan Chevalier
Principal McGovern/General Crook – Nils Haaland
Mom/Susette Primeau – Allison Hicks*
Dad/Chief Standing Bear – Albert (Abby) Ybarra*
Jack/A.J. Poppleton – Kevin Ehrhart
Bob/Genio Lambertson – Christopher Violett
Chorus 1 – Zach Kloppenborg
Chorus 2 – Kyle Summers
Musician – Michael Murphy
* The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union
of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Artistic/Production Credits
Playwright – Mary Kathryn Nagle
Director – Roxanne Wach
Assistant Director – Meganne Horrocks
Scenic Designer – Kathy Voecks
Projection Designer – Brittany Merenda
Lighting & Sound Designer – Craig S. Moxon
Costume Designer – Sherri Geerdes
Hair & Makeup Designer – Erin Bragg
Production Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
Director of Production – Erin M. Solemsaas
Technical Director – Greg Rishoi
Props Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
Assistant Projection Designer – Alex Pinchin
Scenic Charge Artist – Savannah Savick
Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
Lighting Apprentice – Elton Bradley
Scenic Apprentice/Run Crew – Austin Watson
Stage Management Apprentice – Kali Coates
Assistant Sound Designer – Christy Hernandez
Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Erin Bragg, Audio Helkuik, Jill Maenner
Ponca Consultants – Louis Headman and Randy Ross
Ponca Language Translation – Louis Headman
Fight Choreographer – Kevin Barratt
Special thanks to Allyson Currin, Louis Headman, Dwight Howe, Deirdre Lavrakas, Kim Peter Kovac, Randy Ross, Barbara Salvatore, Laurie Smith Camp, Steve Tamayo, Diana Vallier

Kenny Ramos

Kenny Ramos

Steven/Bear Shield - Kenny Ramos is elated to make his debut at The Rose Theater in "Return to Niobrara", after previously workshopping the piece at the 2018 New Visions/New Voices Festival at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Originally from the Barona Indian Reservation in Southern California, Kenny is Diegueño Iipay/Kumeyaay from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and he received his BA in American Indian Studies from UCLA. Kenny is a member of the Artist Ensemble at Native Voices at the Autry, a company member of Dancing Earth: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations, and a 2019 recipient of the First Peoples Fund’s Cultural Capital Fellowship. Kenny’s credits include the world premiere productions of Larissa FastHorse’s "Urban Rez "(Cornerstone Theater Company), Randy Reinholz’s "Off the Rails" (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and Dillon Chitto’s "Bingo Hall" (Native Voices at the Autry). Other Regional: "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat", "42nd Street", "Cats"," Aida "(Moonlight Stage Productions). Kenny is tremendously grateful to Mary Kathryn for uplifting Native perspective through her work, to The Rose for choosing to share Ponca truth on their stage, to his family for their steadfast support, and to the Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Otoe, and Otoe & Missouri peoples, whose ancestral tribal homelands encompass the region of Eastern Nebraska.

Albert (Abby) Ybarra

Albert (Abby) Ybarra

Dad/Chief Standing Bear -Albert “Abby” Ybarra has been an active actor since the age of five. Abby performed with the L.A.-based children’s theater touring company, "We Tell Stories", and starred as a dancer and singer in the musical spectacular "Hollywood Olvidado: Forgotten Hollywood". Recently he’s performed in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s "Manahatta" at the NYC Public Theater, William Yellowrobe Wood Bones , NYC, Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldier, at the Museum of the American Indian, and a staged reading of "Return To Niobrara" at the Kennedy Center, "Beyond Eden" at Arena Stage in Washington DC.
Abby has also guest starred on "Mr. Belvedere" and had many recurring roles in television soaps such as "Santa Barbara", "General Hospital", "Days of Our Lives", and "Generations". As a reporter Abby was nominated for an Emmy for his documentary "Nicaragua: Under Siege", which he wrote, produced and hosted for CBS in Sacramento, California. Abby, Pascua Yaqui, has grown up in the dueling culture of the indigenous spirit and actively participates in native activities throughout the country.

Allison Hicks

Allison Hicks

Mom/Susette Primeau - Allison Hicks (enrolled member, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and also of Choctaw descent) is an actor/writer based in Los Angeles, California. Allison is thrilled to be appearing in the world premiere of "Return to Niobrara" by Mary Kathryn Nagle at The Rose Theater! She is an ensemble actor member of Native Voices at the Autry (Los Angeles, CA), the leading American Indian Theatre Company in the United States. Her recent theatre acting credits include Native Voices’ "Bingo Hall" (world premiere) and "Stories from Indian Boarding Schools" (Native Voices Touring Company). Other theatre credits include performing in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Theater for Young Audiences, New Visions/New Voices 2018 Festival, in Washington, D.C., The Arkansas New Play Festival at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Mary Kathryn Nagle’s "Sliver of a Full Moon" (touring) "Round Dance" (Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s Native American Play Festival) "Behind the Ides" (Lounge Theatre) and multiple appearances at Native Voices Playwrights Retreats and Short Play Festivals. Allison has also appeared in various film and television productions. She holds a B.A. from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine. Allison is a proud mother of two Native sons, who are both enrolled members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Nathalie Standingcloud

Nathalie Standingcloud

Betsy/Prairie Flower/Bright Eyes - Oklahoma native Nathalie Standingcloud began her acting career in a breakout performance at the age of five, starring in the independent film "Standing Cloud", written by her aunt, Kimberly Norris Guerrero. Nathalie first appeared on stage playing “Rose” in the Cherokee Heritage Center’s "Trail of Tears Drama" in Tahlequah and continued to perform in numerous stage productions throughout middle and high school including starring roles playing “Dorothy” in "The Wizard of Oz" and “Betty Rizzo” in "Grease". Additionally, Nathalie appeared in film and print commercials for the Cherokee Nation and was also a member of the Cherokee National Youth Choir. She went on to study acting at Oklahoma City University and was cast as “Orangutan” in "Water by the Spoonful", then continued her film career appearing in acclaimed film director Sterlin Harjo’s "Mekko", and landing the lead role in "The Heart Stays" by writer/director Diane Fraher. Nathalie has worked for years with the award-winning sketch comedy troupe, The 1491’s, appearing in their popular YouTube series and most recently, performing in their live comedy shows. In addition to her work as an actor, Nathalie is an award-winning fine artist and when not performing, can be found creating exquisite body art at River City Tattoos. Nathalie is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is also Muscogee Creek, Colville and Salish-Kootenai.

Nils Haaland

Nils Haaland

Principal McGovern/General Crook -Nils Haaland received his BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and his MFA from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Nils has worked for The Rose Theater in many capacities. Nils currently works with Why Arts? And with the Ollie Webb center. Nils is thrilled to be included in this wonderful ensemble of actors, designers, technicians. And feels honored to be a part of this world premiere production of "Return to Niobrara"!

Kevin Ehrhart

Kevin Ehrhart

Jack/A.J. Poppleton -Kevin Ehrhart has been a member of the Omaha Theater Company staff since 1989 as a Director/Actor/Instructor and Chief Technology Officer. While at the Theater, he has directed mainstage, studio theater and national touring productions. His directing credits include "Charlotte’s Web", "Treasure Island", "Old Yeller", "The Giver", "A Year in The Life of Frog and Toad "and "Pinkalicious". Recently, Kevin directed – "Sherlock Holmes and First Baker Street Irregular" and "Cat in the Hat". Kevin’s acting credits include George Bailey in "It’s a Wonderful Life", "Cat in the Hat" in Seussical and George in "George and Martha". As an instructor, Kevin teaches Acting Technique classes for BROADWAY at the Rose and DRAMA at the Rose classes on Saturday mornings.

Christopher Violett

Christopher Violett

Bob/Genio Lambertson -Christopher is excited to be a part of this world premiere production here at The Rose! You may recognize him from this season’s holiday production of "Elf the Musical" where he was seen as Matthews and the Macy’s Santa. Favorite credits include: "The Secret Garden" (Dickon), "A Year With Frog & Toad" (Snail), "Clue: the Musical" (Mr. Boddy), "It’s a Wonderful Life "(Harry Bailey), and "Jesus Christ Superstar" (Peter). He has sang around the world as a vocalist on Oceania Cruise Lines and as a lead singer in Hollywood to Broadway at the Ritz Carlton in Shanghai, China. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona.www.christopherviolett.com

Dan Chevalier

Dan Chevalier

Tom/Thomas Henry Tibbles -Dan Chevalier is thrilled to be back at The Rose after previously appearing as Buddy in "Elf the Musical". Over the past decade, Dan has appeared on stage at many theatres in the Omaha area, including the Omaha Community Playhouse, Bellevue Little Theatre, Chanticleer Theatre, and Shelterbelt Theatre. Some favorite roles include Snail in "A Year with Frog and Toad", Bud in "Gutenberg! The Musical!", and Alexander T. Wolf in "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs". Dan is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Zach Kloppenborg

Zach Kloppenborg

Chorus 1 -Zach Kloppenborg is a director and costume designer. He is a proud collaborator with The Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company in Lincoln, for whom he has directed and designed five world premiere productions, including "Jurassic Park: The Musical: 3D", and this summer’s "The Brothers Karamazov" (Unabridged). Favorite past on-stage credits include Lancelot/French Taunter/Tim the Enchanter (Spamalot), Annas (Jesus Christ Superstar), Sam Byck (Assassins), Gordon (Dead Man’s Cell Phone), and George Frideric Handel (Coram Boy). When his apartment isn’t buried in an avalanche of fabrics, Zach enjoys accidentally killing houseplants with his favorite wife, Mariel, and their spoiled-rotten cockapoo, Ozzy.

Kyle Summers

Kyle Summers

Chorus 2 - Kyle Summers is a teaching artist and storyteller from White House, Tennessee. He received his BA in Theatre with Minors in Elementary Education and Speech at Carson-Newman University. While in Tennessee, Kyle performed in many shows such as "Diary of Anne Frank" (Peter Van Daan), "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (Edmund), "The Diviners" (Buddy), "Noises Off! "(Freddie/Philip), and "Proof "(Hal). He also served as a Teaching Artist and Camp Coordinator for Nashville Children’s Theatre. Kyle moved to Omaha to be a full time Teaching Artist for The Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families. Kyle Summers was most recently seen on The Rose stage in "The Meaning of Maggie" and "Point A to Point B." As Kyle continues his work in Omaha, he aspires to implement theatre techniques to create a safe environment for all students regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, or disability, and encourage students to create a more positive and accepting generation.

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Musician -I was born just blocks away from Fort Omaha, and grew up there. I don’t remember not knowing about Standing Bear and his trial, my mother use to say that by the grace of God, I had blonde hair and blue eyes. She was in her way teaching me about race, we never talked about her ancestors as being different, she was Scottish, and French, but she also had Mohawk, and Huron blood. It was after she passed that I started playing the Native American Flute, a way to remember her, and that led me to start to understand, led me to opportunities to help with the music for this and other stories of Standing Bear as told by playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle.

Roxanne Wach

Roxanne Wach

Director -Roxanne Wach is so pleased to share this important story with audiences at The Rose. In 2009, she began working with playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle, directing/producing plays about Chief Standing Bear, including "Machunatzha: I Am a Person "(Hruska Federal Courthouse, Nebraska State Capitol - 130th anniversary of the landmark trial), followed by "In My Father’s Eyes" and "Three Stars", both for the Douglas County Historical Society. Roxanne is the Executive Director of Shelterbelt Theatre, a new works theatre in Omaha, NE. A multifaceted artist, she has performed, designed and directed for many Omaha stages over the past 47 years, including work with BroadStreet Productions, Chanticleer Theater, Circle Theatre, Dundee Dinner Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse, Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, Quincy Productions, Shelterbelt Theatre, and SNAP! Productions. Most recently, she directed "Fun Home" for the Omaha Community Playhouse and "Three To Beam Up" for Shelterbelt. Working with middle/high school students, she wrote two musicals with composer Jay Atwood, "The Purple Pomegranate" and "Faith". An Omaha Theatre Arts Guild (TAG) life member and past-President, she has been the recipient of multiple TAG Awards for writing, production, direction and performance, as well as Roberts TAG Board Recognition Awards and the Filbert TAG Lifetime Achievement Award. Productions she directed have won outstanding production awards from Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards. She is a member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights and the Executive Director of Compassion Omaha.

Mary Kathryn Nagle

Mary Kathryn Nagle

Playwright -Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Nagle studied theater and social justice at Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, and received her J.D. from Tulane Law School where she graduated summa cum laude and received the John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia across the country. Her articles have been published in law review journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal (online forum), Tulsa Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others. Nagle is an alumn of the 2012 PUBLIC THEATER Emerging Writers Group, where she developed her play "Manahatta" in PUBLIC STUDIO (May 2014). Productions include "Miss Lead" (Amerinda, 59E59, January 2014), and "Fairly Traceable" (Native Voices at the Autry, March 2017), "Sovereignty" (Arena Stage), and "Manahatta" (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). In 2019, the Rose Theater (Omaha, NE) will produce her new play "Return to Niobrara", and Portland Center Stage will produce the world premiere of "Crossing Mnisose". Nagle has received commissions from Arena Stage (Sovereignty), the Rose Theater (Return to Niobrara, Omaha, Nebraska), Portland Center Stage (Mnisose), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Yale Repertory Theatre (A Pipe for February).

The Rose is honored to be a part of the 2018 New Visions New Voices Conference at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Return to Niobrara was chosen as one of the plays that was featured and workshopped at the conference in April 2018.

 

Show Photos

Know Before You Go

Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!

A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!

Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.

Accessibility

Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of theater. Performances are open to children and family members of all abilities. Click here to learn more about accessibility at The Rose.

Social Stories

A social story is a tool that helps individuals better understand the world around them so they can plan for a positive experience, even if they are going into an place that is unknown to them. Social stories help individuals know what to expect and what to do in unfamiliar situations by walking them through the experience. They are often used by individuals on the autism spectrum, children with sensory needs or those with other special needs. They can be very helpful for very young children anticipating their first theatrical experience. The Rose’s social stories feature photos of all areas of the theater to help children of all abilities with a step-by-step explanation of what it is like to visit The Rose, as well as answering questions they may have. Click here to access The Rose’s show-specific social stories.


Theater Location

The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.

Directions

From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

Convenient Parking

Parking is available for $2 in the parking garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102).

Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays.

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About New Visions/New Voices

About New Visions/New Voices

New Visions/New Voices is a week-long biennial workshop/festival for playwrights and theaters to stimulate and support the creation of new plays and musicals for young audiences and families. The next New Visions/New Voices will be April 27-29, 2018.

Since its inception in 1991, the program has assisted in the development of 111 new plays, musicals, and operas from 97 playwrights and 38 composers, working with 61 U.S. and 12 international theater companies, and has received awards for exemplary service to the field from both the American Alliance for Theater and Education and the Children's Theatre Foundation of America.