‘Neighbors, Lovers and All the Others’ Premiering at the Shelterbelt

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July 11th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the Shelterbelt

Omaha, NE—Beginning July 14, the Shelterbelt Theatre will show Neigbors, Lovers and All the Others, a new play by frequent Shelterbelt collaborator, Marie Amthor Schuett.

Loyal, played by Randall Stevens, faces composer’s block, spending his days in silk kimonos in his Chicago apartment, contemplating his next opera. His unexpected inspiration is his handsome neighbor, a ballet dancer who doesn’t know he needs curtains.

“And then a knock at the door comes and a mysterious woman enters the picture, and she is sort of the common denominator between all of them,” said Elizabeth Thompson artistic director at the Shelterbelt and director of Neighbors. “She knows the dancer, she stumbles upon Loyal, he invites them over for drinks, chaos ensues. For me it’s really a play about connection and searching for that connection and the relationships that are revealed throughout the play. It gets complicated and messy, but that’s life.”

The mysterious woman is named Jenny, played by Connie Lee, and the small cast and close collaboration between actors, playwright, and director has influenced the performance.

“These are actors that Marie had invited to very early read-throughs and so as the characters and the script developed their energies and their mannerisms and sort of who Randall and Connie are sort of seeped into these characters,” Thompson said.

Neighbors also features UNL student Katie Nguyen and UNO student Brandon Williams.

Given the setting and characters, music plays an important role in the play.

“Loyal is an opera composer, so we have opera in the show,” Thompson said. “Our sound designer Shannon Smay, who I love—I’ve worked with several times—he’s also a composer, so he is composing some original music for it. There’s a lot of jazz, a lot of Judy Garland, some Barbra Streisand sort of weaved into this world, and my hope is that it’s going to be visually and audibly really rich and fun to watch—as well as these killer performances that they’re given.

Neighbors, Lovers and All the Others will run at the Shelterbelt Theatre from July 14 to August 6, Thursdays through Sundays. On Saturday, July 15, there will be a post-show talkback with the playwright. For more information or tickets, visit shelterbelt.org.

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