Omaha Playhouse Premieres ‘A Night with the Family’


April 25th, 2013

Omaha, NE — The Omaha Community Playhouse continues its world premiere run of A Night with the Family through May 12th.


A hippie father who’s addicted to fake swear words, an overbearing mother with her French-Canadian ballet-dancing fiancé, a coddled son and his massive panic attacks and a level-headed daughter who is trying to make sense of it all. The dysfunction is only the beginning of the fun for the Playhouse’s latest mainstage production A Night with the Family by Matthew Ivan Bennett. Director Carl Beck said that show stemmed from the playwrights own experiences.

“It’s a fascinating process because it basically is based on the playwrights own life. His father turned into a hoarder so the setting is the father’s home which is literally piled high with junk… It’s a battle of strange personalities mixing and coming together on Christmas Eve.”

The Cast of 'A Night with the Family'

The Cast of ‘A Night with the Family’

The play was discovered from a reading at the Great Plains Theatre Conference hosted every summer in Omaha. The show is one of two plays discovered at the conference, the other being Recommend Reading for Girls by Ellen Struve that premieres next month. Beck praised the Playhouse for taking chances with World Premiere productions.

“Theatre is a constant struggle to bring in audiences and to be able to continue to produce quality work. To take the chance on an unproduced piece is very much to the Playhouse’s credit.”

The play seemed to be a perfect fit for the Howard Hawks theatre. More often than not, the greatest challenge in picking the Playhouse’s season is finding an appropriate and effective contemporary comedy for the Mainstage.

“Generally you’re dealing with adult language in contemporary pieces and adult themes. This one was incredibly refreshing in that it was perfectly suited to our mainstage audience.”

The one message that all audiences will take away from this show, Beck said, is the complicated yet rewarding journey that a family makes.

“Everybody inherits a complicated bag of tricks, each with their own family. The ups and downs a family undergoes are as varied as the personalities that make them up. But ultimately the family unit and a loving spirit does prevail.”

A Night with the Family runs Wednesday through Sunday until May 12th at the Omaha Community Playhouse. For ticket information call (402) 553-0800 or go online at

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