by Keith Reddin

September 7-22, 1990
Directed by Rhonda Clark

It’s the end of the Cold War, but for the men and women stationed at an air force base outside of Omaha, the tensions of existence seem to increase each day. Dean Swift has been transferred to missile silo duty. Seventy feet underground, in a sealed launch center, the twenty-four-hour shifts take their toll on Swift, his wife, Julie, and his duty partner, Fielding. Dean entered the service, like his father before him, hoping to find a purpose to his life. Instead, he realizes that his choice of profession is a tragic mistake. Fielding, by contrast, is an enthusiastic product of military thinking, secure in the identity given him by his regimented duties. Swift’s commanding officer, Major Gurney, has problems of his own. His wife, Carol, is bored with the life on base and tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol and a series of adulterous affairs. Sooner or later they all begin to lose their center in a barren landscape of loneliness and despair. NEBRASKA asks the question, "What is the cost of keeping the peace?"

- Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

I saw the first production of NEBRASKA by Keith Reddin at La Jolla Playhouse in California in the summer of 1989, and to my knowledge, this is its second US production.

When I first saw the play, I was struck by the uniqueness of a missile base as a setting for a play, but most importantly, by the incredibly real, human situations Reddin creates for his characters. Countless times during rehearsals, an actor or I have said "I've lived this" or "I've said these things to my boyfriend" or "I've seen this character in a bar somewhere". You may never have been involved with the military (neither have most of us in this production!), but if you, our audience, leave the theatre saying, "I know some of those characters in real life", then we will have succeeded.

Several times in the last few weeks since the problems have exploded in the Middle East, people have commented, "How timely. When did you pick this play about military officers?" Of course, it was selected many months ago, and it is very unfortunate that our minds are now focussed on U.S. servicemen shipping out for overseas. Let us all hope for their quick and safe return

- Rhonda Clark

(Webmaster's note: These notes would have been written around the time of Operation Desert Shield - in preparation for the Gulf War.)



Randy Bumgarner and Kelly Morris in NEBRASKA
Randy Bumgarner and
Kelly Morris in NEBRASKA 


Lt. Dean Swift

  Randy Bumgarner
Mjr. Jack Gurney   Don Shirey
Julie Swift   Kelly Morris
Lt. Henry Fielding   Mike Gonzales
Lt. Ted Barnes   David Swanner
Carol Gurney   Lilli Bassett
Kim Newman   Lisa Shenk
Bartender   Gary Thomas


Director   Rhonda Clark
Set Design & Construction   Jim Osterlund
Lighting Design   Richard Charnay
Stage Manager   Linda Lagan
Asst. Stage Mgr.   Katie Je Huffman
Control Booth   Stephanie Telleen
Running Crew   Lisa Warlick
Donna Jackson
Mike McNulty
Gary Thomas
Sound Setup   Skip Bachman


Technical Advisors:
Capt. Mark Nelson, USAFR
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey A. Feirick, USAF
John Heitz, Ret. Lt. Col., USAF

Audio Midwest - Evans Home Furnishings - Don Ogle Aircraft Interiors - Vikki Simer - Forest Lumber Company - Carozza Properties - Lilli Bassett - Lisa Warlick - Renee Preftakes - Tony Armstrong - Eric Easter - Ron O'Neal - Richard Corner - State Insurance Fund - Kelly Morris - Katie Je Huffman - Mary Sine - Kate Leader
Lura Casey, Editorial Assistant, Office of History, Tinker AFB
James Crowder, Chief of Office of History, Tinker AFB
Linda Suda, Oklahoma Civic Opera

Produced by special arrangement with The William Morris Agency, New York, NY
Rights administered by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.



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