Statement from the Board of Nebraska Shakespeare

2020 has been an unusual year for everyone and it’s not over yet. Our mission remains to create entertaining, challenging productions as well as immersive educational experiences that connect our diverse community to Shakespeare's exploration of what it means to be human.

  • Black Lives Matter. We affirm the anti-racist, anti-violence principles of Black Lives Matter. We are striving to become an organization more aligned with our community in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are intent on improving our awareness of our blind spots and improving our relationship with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our community. To that end, we have engaged with the Omaha non-profit Inclusive Communities and have reached out to individuals in the theatre community to gain a more expansive view and advice for our next steps. We are committed to improving our performance on inclusion and supporting our BIPOC community for five segments:

  • Our onstage performers
  • Our backstage professionals

  • Our board of directors 

  • Our staff, including our Executive Director and Artistic Director

  • Our audience

We believe that black lives matter, and we want to have the whole Nebraska community more involved at every level of the organization. Continuously improving our short-term and long-term performance with each of these segments is a priority for the board of Nebraska Shakespeare.

  • Management Transition. We are continuing our search for a new Artistic Director and a new Executive Director, a process that began in 2019. We are grateful to Alan Klem (our co-founder) and to Mary Ann Bamber for their many years of service to the organization. Once we have hired a new Artistic Director and Executive Director, we will hire for additional positions in due course. We look forward to building a resilient, responsive organization that is in alignment with the needs of the community and fulfills our mission long into the future.

  • Our tour. Because of the unusual circumstances of 2020, our statewide tour will be virtual. Our current plan will serve schools across Nebraska with an excellent video production of a Shakespeare play followed by a live discussion over Zoom with actors discussing themes of the play and what it’s like to perform it. We hope that creating a digital production means we can reach more schools than ever, as well as deliver valuable and engaging content well suited for today’s unique educational environment. We are aware that the planning process at schools across the country has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, our fall tour may extend into the winter.