New Staff, Programs and Costumes at RESPECT!

There have been big and exciting changes happening at RESPECT this month. In March, we learned that several of our current Actor-Educators will be pursuing other opportunities in the 2015-2016 school year including graduate school, possible touring productions, and performing for Nebraska Shakespeare’s Shakespeare on the Green! Though we are sad to see Katlynn, Olivia, and Josh leave, we wish them well.

Joining our company this spring will be four brand new Actor-Educators. They come to us from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri, and with a wealth of teaching and acting experience. You may have seen Megan on stage at the BlueBarn’s production of Bad Jews, or you can catch her soon in the Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Robby has been onstage regularly throughout the 2014-2015 season at The Rose in productions like Jackie and Me, Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band, and The Cat in the Hat. Emily, a new addition to the Omaha theater community, recently graced the stage a The Shelterbelt in their production of The Other Sewing Circle. And you’ll be able to catch Dan this summer in Othello at Shakespeare on the Green.

In the coming weeks, these new Actor-Educators will be joining our veteran Actor-Educators in rehearsal and training as they prepare to learn the RESPECT catalog of 13+ plays, which they will then present to students and families across the city, state, and region.

Other changes this month have included the premier of our play, The Adventures of Net Nanny at St. Margaret Mary’s School. Kids there learned about online safety, addressing online bullying, and avoiding online strangers, and they had fun using their imaginations, interacting with Natalie and the other characters. Our Training and Education Director, Haley, lead this production in the role of Natalie. Haley devised a new interactive format for this production. The students in the audience assume the role of “tech trainees” and their trainer, Natalie, invites them to participate and ask questions throughout the play. The student “tech trainees” help the other somewhat clueless adults in the play learn about ways to keep kids safe when they use the internet, online games, texting, chatting, and more. The kids at St. Margaret Mary had a blast, and we can’t wait to bring Natalie to more schools in the coming months.

Also premiering this month is the brand new alien costume for Bubbylonian Encounter. Working with designer, Lindsay Pape and cutter/draper Wesley Pourier, we have created an adorable, playful, and updated costume that not only reflects the fun we hope kids have learning about safety, but also features RESPECT’s favorite color: purple! Look for Bub appearing on stickers, educational handouts, and in classrooms soon!