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P.O. Box 84935
Lincoln, NE 68501-4935

The Flatwater Shakespeare Company
P. O. Box 84935
Lincoln, NE 68501-4935
(402) 473-2897
Media representatives, please contact
Bob Hall, Artistic Director
(402) 770-5065

Flatwater Shakespeare's Ides of March Gala March 13 at the Rococo Theatre to Support Free Flatwater Shakespeare in Lincoln Parks.

Contact: Bob Hall 402-770-5065, Paula Ray: 402-802-7513

Flatwater Shakespeare is holding a fundraiser in support of its summertime free Shakespeare programs. The Ides of March Gala takes place March 13, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Rococo Theatre, 128 N. 13th Street, Lincoln. For information and to reserve tickets, call 402-473-2897.

Since the summer of 2011, the Flatwater Shakespeare Company has brought free Shakespeare to the people of Lincoln. The venues have included Lincoln City Parks, the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, First Plymouth Church, and other locations ranging from the new playground at Prescott School to the pond at Wyuka Cemetery.

In June and July of 2011, Flatwater Shakespeare presented A Midsummer Night's Dream to enthusiastic crowds. That show was matched in 2012 by an equally successful production of Twelfth Night. These plays were attended by close to 4000 patrons, hailing from all parts of Lincoln and including more families with children and a more racially and ethnically diverse audience than the company has seen in its twelve years of performing. Bob Hall, Artistic Director of Flatwater Shakespeare, says proudly, "Some of the neighborhoods we've played are called underserved; we know for sure that a lot of people in whatever location are seeing Shakespeare performed live for the very first time."

A Midsummer Night's Dream was recognized as the Lincoln Arts Event of 2011 at the 2012 Mayor's Arts Awards. Flatwater's free Shakespeare programs have been supported by grants from the Woods Charitable Trust, the Cooper Foundation, the Lincoln Arts Council, and the Nebraska Humanities Council. As some of these grants have run their course, Flatwater Shakespeare is staging its first citywide fundraiser since its launch.

The Ides of March Gala, March 13 at the Rococo Theatre, will feature Shakespeare-inspired music and skits along with food and drink. The honorary hosts include Phil and Barbara Heckman, Susan and Lynn Johnson, Melodee and David Landis, Carren and Tice Miller, Darl Naumann, and W. Don and Andrea Nelson. The event is organized by Breanna Benjamin, Mark Bestul, Elizabeth Govaerts, Lori Raphael, Paula Ray, and Michelle Zinke. The evening promises to be "fanciful, frolicking fun for friends of Flatwater!" Dinner and Socializing from 6:30 to 7:30 will be followed by Eccentric Entertainment from 7:30 to 9:00. The donation is $75. Those who can't make it for dinner can join the festivities at 7:30 for $25.

As Hall observes, "The productions may be free to Lincoln audiences, but of course they are not free for us to produce. For one thing all our actors and technicians are paid. We're very proud of that." Flatwater Shakespeare believes in free Shakespeare programs to help ensure that the greatest, most moving, most telling drama ever created is available to everyone, from all walks of life and in all sorts of places. The company believes passionately that Shakespeare can be a uniquely life changing experience. Growing up without encountering Shakespeare done well is like never hearing Beethoven performed or seeing a Van Gogh in person. Hall notes that "You might never know what you're missing -- but one could say the same about so many things that make life worth the struggle. Shakespeare? He reminds us how that struggle is sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic and always deeply moving."

This summer, Flatwater Shakespeare will present Much Ado About Nothing, opening June 5 at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden through June 16 and then touring Lincoln parks June 20-30. Visit www.flatwatershakespeare.org for more information about both the production and the Gala.