John Hardy, 
Director - Merry Wives

Over the course of a thirty-five-year career, John has directed over 125 productions including Othello at Nebraska Shakespeare in 2015. Elsewhere he has directed Oedipus The King, Antigone, Henry V, Tartuffe, Macbeth, The Man of La Mancha, The Mikado, The Taming of the Shrew, Amadeus, The Grapes of Wrath and others. As an actor at Nebraska Shakespeare, John played Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus in 2013 and Jacques in As You Like It in 2015. At other theatres John has played Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Hamlet, Macbeth, Fred in A Christmas Carol (Off-Broadway) Teach in American Buffalo and others. As a playwright, John has had over 200 productions of fifteen plays produced around the globe. John is thrilled to be back in Omaha working with the fine artists and artisans of Nebraska Shakespeare. MFA: The University of Alabama; Ph.D.: Texas Tech University.

You are in for a wild ride this evening. As it happens, the town of Windsor is in turmoil. They thought they knew what was going on in their town but as it turns out…

Daughters are rebelling, men are going insane, the women of Windsor, who have quietly been running things for years, are now publicly taking over – no longer content to let the men think that they are the ones who are in charge. The women are in charge, as they have always been, but now, they don’t care who knows it.

All of a sudden, everything in Windsor is up for grabs: A battle is raging between the ideals of community and individualism; The accepted notions of status are in question; The expectations of gender roles are examined and re-formed; Children are defying their parents. There is a whole lot going on in Windsor right now. Nothing goes smoothly anymore. Things are changing and it is happening quickly. How will things look when everything settles down? Will the pieces of the puzzle ever fit together again?

Windsor is the perfect place for all of this to happen. They are a relatively isolated town, distanced from any large metropolitan area. Yes, they are influenced by what goes on in the world that surrounds them but they are isolated enough that they must create their own rules, their own morals, their own fashion, their own version of religion, their own culture. When things start to go badly, they are their only resource.

You will see that this production is strongly influenced by a particular location in the American southland around the time of 1930: Louisiana Bayou country. This region of America has always been a bit separate from the rest. They seem to have created their own world. They have their own way of looking at things, quite apart from the larger society that surrounds them nationally.

The thing that I love most about the play is this: it grapples with forces that cause a new world to emerge but it does that on a very human level. The play does not concern itself with kings and queens and giant events like war and murder and tragic misunderstandings. It takes place in a relatively small community that is populated with people like you and I. No queens, no kings, no dukes - none of that. It is people like you and I struggling with the quirks of humanity.

Sit back and watch the battle being waged for the future of Windsor.